Goldblume, Portland Arms, Cambridge, 6 January 2017

This was the launch for the EP ‘Go Figure’ from Cambridge grungy trio Goldblume.

The show opened with alt-rockers Fall From Glory, spreading the noise from a possible new crucible of power rock in the Midlands town of Daventry. Driven by an extra punchy bass with drum pulse (how did they get that sound?) the five-piece features two guitarists and strong vocals from singer Megan Gibson.
It is proper rock, lovingly played and featuring many clever flourishes such as a quick burst of Thin Lizzy style twin harmony lead guitars, the reassuring punk repetition of ‘What Do You Take Me For?’ and the mellower ‘Home’, which builds up to a big finish. A great start to the evening!

Next up were Maud; they describe their music as alternative/dream pop/witch rock. Tonight they were without their bass player so the two guitars and drums created a sound all their own. With gentle echo on repeated guitar lines underneath the twin vocals, held back in the mix to add to the atmosphere and to give an impression of distance they performed enigmatic sonic grooves, with mysterious one-word titles such as ‘Moon’, ‘Woolf’ and ‘Saline’. The sound drifted in and out; it was all strangely addictive.

I had seen Goldblume playing a support slot for Tellison a while back but tonight they stepped up to headline and blew away this reviewer and the rest of the audience. The guitar, bass and drum musical interplay is razor-sharp and the vocals from Jethro Steel constantly surprise. It is mostly fast and furious edgy stuff but there are art-rock touches and even a bit of 70s style virtuoso prog when the bass and guitar duel.
‘Bleach’ is a signature track with many of these elements present and the slower ‘Wisconsin’ (…It’s colder, in Wisconsin, without your allure….) is a highlight, with a disquieting introduction, maniacal shouts and starts and stops all over the place. ‘Dr Wu’ (not the Steely Dan song of that name..) and immortalising ‘Eddie Bloody Izzard’; the titles and lyrics as well as the music seem to be one step ahead of the listener, which to me is a very good place to be. Towards the end of the set, the brilliant and varied drumming stepped up a gear into real fireworks; on this performance they must be one of the hottest live bands in Cambridge at the moment.

Unmissable, go and see them!

https://www.facebook.com/goldblumeband
https://www.facebook.com/ffgband
https://www.facebook.com/maud.cambridge/

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