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BIG BLOOD + JAKE BLANCHARD - Internet - Saturday 27th February 2021

Friday 6th September 2019 was the last time I went to a concert. We don't get a lot of my kind of bands coming through Phoenix so I did know as I walked out of that show that it would be a while until my heat live music experience. I didn't know it would be this long.

So, the new normal, streaming gigs. Great, I accepted lots of Facebook invites but for some reason never attended, usually because the Arizona time zone doesn't connect well if anywhere else nor do my shifts. Fuck it, I decided, time to just make it work.

Presented as part of the Outlands online festival, Tor Festival put together this line-up completed by Todmorden’s top DJ Nick Farrimond playing a very cosmic set of jazz and funky pop. Jake Blanchard was my reason to be here, though, and he didn’t disappoint with a set of cosmic synths and spaced shahi baaja. I’d listened to a lot of Jake’s music in lockdown but watching it unfold again in front of my eyes provided enormous relief and transported me to Jakevarna.

Confession time, I’d never heard of Big Blood but anyone who had Jake open for them had to be alright. I was expecting great things. However, it seems I’d underestimated them. Big Blood delivered astounding things. The Mom, Dad and teenage daughter trio simply floored me. From edgy post-punk bounce to haunting ballads, they had it all and all three members were that rare combination of precociously talented, unassuming and totally authentic. I felt deeply ashamed for having been so unaware of them for so long and was spending my last bucks on their Bandcamp and on some vinyl from Feeding Tube long before the set was over.

A little research later revealed to me that I’d come across the parental duo as part of the excellent Young God Records band Fire On Fire and they’d also both contributed to Wooden Wand “Death Seat”: and Swans “The Seer”, both previous Was Ist Das? albums of the year that I have been playing forever. So it feels like a full circle for me, my new favorite band were already in my collection.

The streaming quality was great and it was awesome to see the artists and DJ all at work in their homes, giving it an intimate feel to watch but Outland’s format had a side chat too which became really buzzing and sociable. Hopefully 2021 is the year we kick this covid shit to the kerb but this format is also something I can get behind.

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