Bootblacks + Liminal Project – Crofters Rights, Bristol – 25 October 2022

I had barely had time to catch my breath after the Actors gig, when I had to make tracks to The Other Venue to catch a show I had been looking forward to as much and for as long.

Liminal Project – Une nuit d’enfer

Our luck was back, and we were blessed with another excellent support band – Liminal Project, a three piece French coldwave outfit based in Liverpool. They inhabit the jangly, upbeat end of the cold/dark wave spectrum. They are quite new – I was told this was only their fifth live show – but they were tight and performed like pros. They only have three tracks available on Bandcamp but they’re all lovely. They’re another new band I will follow with interest.

Just a short clip

I *love* Bootblacks. A lot. They were another key band that got me through first lockdown – and are one of the “official” Twitch Bat Gang bands which means I’ve made a lot of friends through shared love of the music. I’ve been desperate to see them since their livestream from the empty St Vitus club in New York when such a thing was only barely possible in late 2020. The release of Thin Skies made my month when it came out (which was either last week or 100 years ago, pandemic time being what it is). When they were booked to play Bristol I emitted a high-pitched squeal which could probably be heard in Brooklyn. By bats.

They deliver up a guitar- and synth-driven postpunk sound, full of gorgeous clean single-note guitar lines (which are just about my favourite thing in music).

Unfortunately, they were let down by really terrible sound. All I could hear was the drums. I thought it might be where I was standing (front and centre, why do you ask?) but my companions said it was as bad everywhere. They were also let down by a really disappointing turnout – what’s up, Bristol? I thought we had better taste than that.

Having said that, they put on a terrific performance – Panther was all over the place; Barrett, Larry and Ali rocked out. I had the time of my life just being in the same room with them and watching Ali create those astonishing guitar lines right in front of me. Speaking of emitting high-pitched squeals, it definitely happened again during Travelling Light.

I had planned to stick around to talk with the band and get some selfies afterwards but my lift was leaving, and to be honest I was so exhausted after having been on the go for three weeks non stop that I wouldn’t have made a good impression anyway.

The prohibitive price of shipping from the US stopped me buying Thin Skies on vinyl at the time, so look what just fell into my “in case of merchandise” bag on the way out:

Sooo pretty!

I won’t let one set of unfortunate circumstances get in the way of my love for Bootblacks. Anyone who was at the show and was not convinced should check out their recorded works, and I will definitely be in the front row again as soon as I possibly can.

I hadn’t listened to Thin Skies all the way through for a while, which I did the next day, and was blown away all over again by how great it is.