LIVE: Moose Blood / The Winter Passing @ O2 Academy Islington, London

By Ben Tipple

Moose Blood vocalist Eddy Brewerton’s hushed interaction between songs is no match for the crowd’s screams. Taking the occasional moment to dedicate both ‘Anyway’ and ‘Cherry’ to his wife, clearly elated as she watches on from the side of the stage, his few words are met by a truly adorning audience matched in excitement by their faultless recital of every lyric. It’s only as the Canterbury four-piece showcase new tracks ‘Honey’ and ‘Glow’ that the room falls quiet, a stark contrast to the deafening voices that often overpower even Brewerton’s affectionate tones.

Despite Moose Blood’s considerable growth from headlining the city’s Borderline fifteen months prior, tonight the Islington Academy feels small. Their intimate performance is unaffected by the increased capacity as they unconsciously declare themselves ready for vastly bigger stages. It’s a characteristic shared by The Winter Passing who mirror Moose Blood’s understated shine and personable delivery, clearly holding their own at their biggest show to date.

The crowd’s reaction to Moose Blood proves entirely justified as the headliners deliver the likes of ‘Pups’, ‘Gum’ and ‘Bukowski’ with a mesmerising blend of passion and skill, the latter track simultaneously a fan favourite from their debut record and a nod to their very early days. Even with everything they have achieved up to this point, the potential on display suggests that this is just the beginning. All that has come before emerges as a mere snapshot of what Moose Blood are capable of. It’s triumphant to say the least, met by a hero’s welcome as they not only wrap up this chapter but explode into the next.