My Bloody Valentine - Manchester Apollo
Live Review

My Bloody Valentine – Manchester Apollo

When My Bloody Valentine announced their tour, a friend told me that a mate of his had seen them back in the 90s and that, to this day, it was the greatest and loudest thing he had ever seen. But as with anything that you hear from a friend of a friend, I took it with a pinch of salt. On the way to the show, the same friend said that he’d heard that on entry they give out ear protection and that the sheer intensity of the volume, along side the visuals, was meant to send you on a mad but sober trip. Again, all rumours, I thought.

Yet, when we arrived at Manchester Apollo, two yellow, foamy earplugs were pressed into my hand. And fucking hell, did I need them.

It’s been 22 years since My Bloody Valentine have released anything so it was no surprise that when the band appeared on stage, the audience was stunned into silence. They spread out across the stage in front of their wall of amps, and opened with ‘I Only Said’, which gave us a taste of how loud (and for how long) things were going to get – and this was only the beginning.

Suprisingly, only three songs from the new album ‘m b v’ were played, including ‘New You’ and ‘Only Tomorrow’, which the audience appreciated – we’ve been waiting a long time to hear ‘Loveless’ and ‘Isn’t Anything’ again. The great thing about this band is that that their sound is so unique that there is only so far you can take it, so the new tracks seemed to blend so easily with the old. There’s no radical new direction, just a further exploration of what we already know and love.

To sum up, the whole show was incredible, but the obvious highlight was of course ‘You Made Me Realise’. This was the moment the whole audience had been waiting for – the ‘holocaust section’ that easily lasted 10 minutes. 10 of the loudest, most intense and entrancing minutes of my life. Teamed with the hallucinatory visuals, it was perfect. Everything I’d heard along the grapevine – it was all true.

The final song of the night, taken from the newest album, was ‘Wonder 2’, where Ó Cíosóig played guitar instead of drums. It was a great way to end the set and to bring the audience back down to earth after the wall of sound that we’d just encountered.

I’m sure Manchester would agree with me, this show was definitely worth the wait.

Venue: Manchester Apollo
Support Band: Guests

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