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She Burns Red

Artist: She Burns Red, Prymå

Venue: Blackpool, The Waterloo Bar

Date: 28th January 2024

"Music brings people together and tonight was a wonderful experience for me and the rest of this gathering. Both bands were amazing tonight and I can’t wait to see them again soon."


She Burns Red © Graeme Wright
She Burns Red © Graeme Wright

I’d seen She Burns Red in Manchester in 2023 supporting South Of Salem and they were hugely impressive, so I had no compunction making the fifty-milec trip up the motorway to the Waterloo Bar in Blackpool, which is bar none my favourite venue in the country. I’d heard a couple of songs from Prymå which I’d been impressed with, but this was my first time seeing them in the flesh. I’d heard nothing but good things about their live shows so couldn’t wait to make their acquaintance.

Tonight’s show had an early start time and Prymå hit the stage just after 7pm. It was a credit to the reputation of the band that the place was already packed and it was clear that people had made the effort to get down here early to see them. They opened up with ‘Suicide Storm’ which begins with panicky guitars and nervous energy, and then Gabrielle George starts to sing and the whole place is stunned. The singer is both fabulous and fierce and bounces around the stage like a woman possessed. I’m absolutely blown away by what I’m hearing and we are soon into the next song, ‘1:23:45.’ I step back to properly watch the rest of the band and it’s clear that everyone here is a top quality musician. Max Raven is a phenomenal guitarist and makes everything look so easy, while the back line of Ant Durrant (bass) and Dom Smith (drums) are an outfit to die for and drive things along like a freight train. ‘My Bastard Gods’ is an ultra heavy bass driven monster of a song that is everything modern, aggressive Rock music should be, while the new single ‘Dead To Me’ is an absolute killer in the live arena and shows real progression for this band. The studio version is a great track, but live this was the most affecting song of the night and the whole band took it to another level. ‘Black Teeth’ and ‘Survival’ are both banging live songs and keep the energy levels insanely high and the crowd are definitely all in at this stage.

‘My Cold Shadow’ thunders across the stage and set closer ‘Freaky Friday Night’ gives the audience a chance to participate with the chorus, all the while punching the air and head banging like it’s a Metallica show. The band left the stage to a thunderous round of applause and it’s always a bonus when speaking to musicians before and after the show that they are great guys as well. I loved their set and hopefully I’ll be back here to see them again in a few months.

The atmosphere in this venue tonight is amazing. Everyone seems to know everybody else, the bands freely mingle with the fans both before and after the show and are even buying each others merch. She Burns Red take to the stage and are treated like it’s a homecoming show by the audience. Andy Moore is dressed in his “Walter from The Big Lebowski” movie outfit tonight, while James McCulloch as always looks like he’s strolled in after a hard day’s graft killing his enemies on the battlefield. What this band have got is huge and addictive songs. Loads of them. They are more melodic than people expect when they first catch sight of them and the people in here tonight know every word to every song. The band open with ‘Touch’ which sounds way heavier than it does on vinyl, and it’s a high energy start to the proceedings. ‘Rise And Fall’ and ‘Stronger’ are both from the band’s most recent album, with the latter in particular starting a huge sing-along amongst the captive audience tonight.

‘My Curse’ is a new song to me from this band, while ‘Copernicus Falls’ takes us back to the band’s 2020 EP, ‘Take Back Tomorrow’. ‘Crosshairs’ is many people’s favourite song from She Burns Red and both band and audience are at full throttle with it tonight. I’m taking photographs this evening, but even I stopped what I was doing to have a dance and a sing to a song that for me is a bona fide live music classic. The band take us through their entire repertoire and it’s clear to me how polished and tight they are as a unit. ‘Heavy Is The Head’, ‘Tell Me How It Ends’ and ‘Maelstrom’ fly by in the blink of an eye, new songs mingling with old favourites and all are of an astonishing quality.

We finish up with three songs from the new album. ‘Run’ (which is a beautiful, affecting song), the anthemic ‘Crack The Sky’ and the amazing ‘Out Of Darkness’. All too soon the show is over, but it’s McCulloch’s birthday in the morning and after the band have left the stage to meet the fans he is presented with a birthday cake from the audience and it’s a genuinely moving and life affirming moment (at least to this old softy.) Music brings people together and tonight was a wonderful experience for me and the rest of this gathering. Both bands were amazing tonight and I can’t wait to see them again soon.


Review & Photos: Graeme Wright





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