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Touring tales from the south coast outfit...

Blood Red Shoes remain a virtually unstoppable force.

Now six albums deep into their career, the south coast band are every bit as visceral as the moment we first set eyes on them.

Laura-Mary Carter and Steven Ansell re-united over lockdown, working on the following up to 2019's 'Get Tragic'.

In many ways, new album 'Ghosts On Tape' is a tale of triumph over adversity, proof that a devoutly independent band can still operate under the strictures of the pandemic.

A colossal live force, Blood Red Shoes - Laura-Mary Carter and Steven Ansell - have been absent from our lives for too damn long.

Steven Ansell looked back on a decade (and more) of titanic live shows for Good Trip, Bad Trip...

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Best Trip…

The beginning of our very first US tour. We were landing in Seattle and we knew that all of the locations from twin peaks were in the Pacific Northwest so on the first day when we landed, we paid our tour manager to drive us on a tour of all the twin peaks sites - the waterfall, the RR diner etc. most bands would have slept of the jet lag or rehearsed ready for shows. Not us. We took photos at twin peaks locations.

Worst Trip…

We played a mini-festival in Vienna for a radio station there, like their birthday party sort of thing. After we played I got completely out of my mind and was hanging with Alex from two door cinema club, just generally fuckin around getting up to no good. we spotted a giant shoulder-height disco ball which we decided to steal by rolling it down the middle of the road to our hotel. Pretty sure it was snowing too.

Anyway we got to the hotel night door, realised it wouldn’t fit through, the venue dude caught up and took it back. Woke up the next day to find out that radio had taken it very personally and we had essentially gotten our new single banned.

Our favourite foreign venue…

Probably Molotow in Hamburg. That place is real deal rock 'n' roll. They serve a shot called a mexikaner which is like a miniature Bloody Mary and will fuck you up good and I’m pretty sure we’ve played there more than any other venue in the world. Pretty sure the ghost of Lemmy is there holding the building up.

We’re surprisingly popular in…

Lots of unconventional places. Because somehow everything in our world is unconventional. Portugal springs to mind. And Russia, we play to loads of people in Russia. And Houston Texas. And Jakarta. I think more people like us in all of those places than they do in the UK you know.

Best or worst exotic foodstuff…

The worst was defo the cold fish intestine sushi that I once tried in Tokyo. I think if nobody had told me what it was, I might have enjoyed it you know. But I DID know. And I felt dead weird.

We’ve had a lot of great food but the place that I literally dream about going back to is Cafe De Klos in Amsterdam which is a ribs house, and the ribs are great but what it’s really about is the garlic butter. There’s crack in it or something. It’s outrageous. It’s so good that when we get sent a new tour, I see Amsterdam, and I think YES GARLIC BUTTER.

The most interesting individual you've met on the road…

Oh that’s easy. My bandmate, Laura-Mary Carter. Even after 17 years in this band she still manages to surprise me regularly with some weird shit or other. It’s quite fascinating really. I think she is a unique species and potentially from the future, or another dimension. She definitely does not obey our conventional laws of time, that’s for fuckin sure. 

Worst on-tour injury, or accident…

Well Laura-Mary came off a motorbike in California and broke her arm. I don’t think we’ll ever beat that one. Straight outta nowhere, the 5 foot 4, introverted, quiet Irish girl disappears off to hit the California highway on a fuckin' hog. And people think I’m the reckless one in this band.

My essential travel item…

Moisturiser. don't leave home without it. Gotta keep up the skincare.

My essential travel tip...

The way to beat jet lag is don’t sleep on the flight, not even for a second, then when you arrive in a country, stay up as late as you possibly can until you’re tripping balls from tiredness. Then sleep and get up at a regular morning time for the place you’re in. Bam. No jet lag.

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'Ghost On Tape' is out now. Catch Blood Red Shoes at London's Rough Trade East on January 17th.

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