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My Bloody Valentine: Wed, February 20 @ The Tivoli, Brisbane

Words by Scenewave Oz - Published on February 26, 2013

I was pretty stoked to say the least to hear that My Bloody Valentine would be touring Australia after over two decades between their last trip. Having never had the chance to see them in my lifetime, I knew this may be the only opportunity to bask in the iconic shoegazers sound at over 120 decibels – hello tinnitus.

After touring Loveless in 1992 and with expectations growing to produced a follow up, Kevin Shields and band virtually disappeared from the music scene and remained on hiatus until their mid-2007 reunion. European and American tours followed and the band announced that new material was in the works. Legions of MBV fans waited and early this month it finally launched. m b v was released on the 2nd of February and could once and for all tick over.

Straight off the bat, they opened with two massive tracks from Loveless: “I Only Said” and “When You Sleep”. Their sound was immense. Effortlessly, Shields and Butcher create so much happen between them without looking like they’re doing anything at all. Their balance of perfectly distorted guitars and dream-like melodies immerses you, shaking your whole body and despite not engaging the crowd at all, you couldn’t help but be locked in awe just staring at them. They followed on with the only track performed from their latest album, “New You”, filling the rest of the set with a back catalogue of EP’s and a large portion from Loveless.

With the band pushing their 50s, they stayed true to their roots; Googe raucously rocked it out on the bass and Shields and Butcher met the crowd with blank expressions. Butcher did actually whisper something inaudible once in between songs which I think was something along the lines of “Thank you for having us Brildon.” The crowd in itself was a progressive time-stamp of the adoring fans they’ve gathered over 30 years and it felt like everyone was blown away by the magnitude of their sound. No one really got their limbs moving but there’s no doubt in my mind that the people weren’t enjoying the spectacle. They lived up to all expectations.

The set closed with “Holocaust” that has become the signature for My Bloody Valentine’s live show. 20 minutes of intense, single-toned white noise, which by the end of it was really uncomfortable, but a true experience. It was what imaged it’d be like to sit metres away from a plane engine in an aircraft hangar. The ear plugs did nothing. I was tempted to make for the door like many had in hope of being able to listen to music in the future and not have to learn sign language but nonetheless, I braved it and enjoyed the brief reprise of “You Made Me Realise” before they left the stage. No goodbye, no see you later, no nothin’. Just left.  Someone did manage to head bang the entire Holocaust; I guess he ‘got it’ more than I did.

Their performance was ace and instrumentally perfect. If I was to be picky I would have loved the vocals to have been louder where often the guitar tones drowned them out and you couldn’t make out anything coming from the microphone. All in all though, it was an amazing act by a phenomenal group. I’m truly chuffed to have had the chance to see them which was something I’d written off a long time ago.

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