Nine Black Alps – Old Blue Last, Shoreditch, London

By Mark Youll | 20th March, 2011 | gig reviews |

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Shoreditch, and summer’s cancelled. These gray spitting streets are littered with racing office types and skin tight kids, kids who look like they should be in bands, bands like tonight’s Nine Black Alps who to help launch the release of new single 'Get Faster' have opted for something different. Tonight they will be performing naked, well, stripped down and acoustic, before they plug in to thrill. Think minimalist and you're half way there.

Just a tiny strip searched room deteriorating under naked bulbs that will illuminate our Manchester heroes. Missing in action for nearly two years leader Sam Forrest is first to appear his angelic voice dripping to the watery folk buzz of ‘Behind Your Eyes’, The other Alps surface one by one to tune in to the sliding ‘Intermission’ before some B-side spins and the country tweaked ‘Pocket Full Of Stars’ which is simply stunning.

“Sam Forrest is no longer saintly, he is now a streaming mantis stalking this shot up excuse for a stage to the razored strains of ‘Future Wife’ ...”

It seems the Alps feel at home, content as they build their ammunition, gradually swelling into the full four piece grunge squad that will carry us to tonight’s real intermission and the unloading of the band’s real guns. Act Two and ‘Just Friends’ screams like they mean to go on, gluing infectious words to gutsy riffs, Sam Forrest is no longer saintly, he is now a streaming mantis stalking this shot up excuse for a stage to the razored strains of ‘Future Wife’ and the seething ‘Cosmopolitan’ and then to the already arresting young contenders ‘Burn Faster’ and ‘Painless’ before they accelerate towards their final bows and the bloody ‘Shot Down’ .

In the wings lies a savage new album and tonight was its twisted taster. An intimate explosion before the full blown injection. Can’t wait.

Originally published in Zavvi magazine, August 25th, 2007.