Bleech at The Borderline, London

Album Launch Show, June 22nd 2012.
Review & Photograhy by Natasha Truman

Though in my experience The Borderline seems to be the go-to venue in Soho for teenagers to hang out underage, due to their entry age being fourteen rather than the usual sixteen or eighteen, for the crowd gathered for London-based 3-piece BLEECH’s album launch on the night of Friday 22nd June, this was not the case.The audience comprised largely of the band’s somewhat small, but none the less dedicated, fan base. The venue itself is surprisingly large, containing two bars, a good sized stage complete with lights, and multiple places to sit, including one where the stage can still be seen.

BLEECH had two acts supporting them for this show; the first being new-wave rock ’n’ roll trio Drag Your Heels, who played a catchy, though slightly repetitive, blues-inspired short set to a scattering of people there early enough.

One thing, though irrelevant, that I must point out about this band is the fact that they had their set-lists written out on paper plates, which I thought was pretty ingenious.

The band following Drag Your Heels were supposed to be a band called Eyes on Film, though I discovered that the band I saw was not in fact them, as both their Facebook and Twitter pages say that they pulled out of the show the morning before.
As a result, I don’t have much to say about the second band, as I cannot find their name anywhere, however, if you happen to know this band, or indeed if you in fact are this band, please let me know, because I enjoyed their set and would like to hear more of them!

Between who I shall call for now “the band who are not Eyes on Film” finishing their set, and BLEECH starting theirs, the somewhat sparse gathering of people by the stage filled out.

BLEECH’s set began with a slightly odd recorded announcement done in voice of the Queen, due to their album being released on the Diamond Jubilee. This recording would be my only real criticism of the whole show. It felt out of place, and though it may have been quite funny, the show was after the Jubilee, so it all seemed a bit gimmicky, and didn’t set the mood for the show as perhaps the band wanted it to.

Once BLEECH started playing, however, the unfitting intro was soon forgotten, in favour of loud, punk-esque guitars and shout-y vocals. BLEECH are one of those bands that have a sort of sound that must be heard live in order to really appreciate, a sort of energy that cannot quite be captured on record – slightly ironic as this show was in celebration of their album being released.

The crowd danced, and moshed, throughout the entire set, which was, unsurprisingly, comprised largely of songs taken from their new album, Nude. Songs included the crowd-pleasing single, Mondays, and slower track Flowerhands, which showcased Jen and Kathrine’s beautiful harmonies; a key feature in BLEECH’s sound, complimenting and contrasting with the heavy drums and lively guitar riffs. As the set went on, the venue filled even more, and though Jen joked that half the people coming in were just drunk and didn’t know who BLEECH were, quite a large number of people in the crowd were singing along to every song, which would suggest otherwise.

All in all, I enjoyed the show, and though their recorded music may not really be to my taste, I would definitely recommend seeing BLEECH live regardless, as this is where their distinct sound really comes into its own.