Live Review: Black Foxxes // Deaf Institute – Manchester

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Black Foxxes brought Reiði’ to life as they kicked off their UK Tour in Manchester.

“One of my amps just died so that’s fun,” declared frontman Mark Holley before they even started playing so not the best start to the tour but those sorts of minor setbacks are easily brushed off the shoulder for a band like Black Foxxes.

Replicating their new album, the trio dove head first into ‘Breathe’ with astonishing power before firing into first album cut ‘Maple Summer’.

In debuting songs from their sophomore album, it was also Black Foxxes longest ever set and as a result came new relationships between the new tracks and their earlier work. Switching pace with ‘I’m Not Well’ before breaking out the huge ‘Manic In Me’ back to back, the pair together became a story of overcoming Mark’s both physical and mental hardships. Not only showing their progression musically, the tracks progress from being the victim of those illnesses before ‘Manic In Me’ embraces those same problems. It’s that level of care that is so abundantly clear in everything this band create with the whole set crafted to ride enormous highs and explore emotional lows.

After showing off the lead single ‘Saela’, they introduced a gritty cover of Pixies ‘Monkey Gone To Heaven’ by advising, “If you don’t know it then you should fucking educate yourselves because everyone should know it.”

Continuing to pick out tracks from ‘Reiði’, the set fleshed out songs with the same imagination that has made Black Foxxes’s second album such a marvellous victory.  From the swirling pedal mashing madness of ‘It Had To Be You’ to the upbeat ‘The Big Wild’ before the self confessed “chaos” of ‘Joy’ it was evident how much thought had gone into turning ‘Reiði’ into a live monster. Oh boy have they succeeded.

Obligatory inclusions of ‘River’ and ‘Husk’ helped Foxxes canter towards the end of their set but it was the energy poured into the new tracks that made the night special. As the distorted screams of ‘Pines’ faded out to close the night, the band left the stage looking spent but in awe of the thunderous reception they received.

It was only the first night on the tour for Black Foxxes but new tracks from ‘Reiði’ already sit comfortably alongside some of the old hits; and in some cases bring a new dimension to those first album tracks too.

There are maybe still a few things to figure out and the album will still grow as it gets aired more but no band can deliver such raw emotion with the power and devastation that Black Foxxes can. They are a band to cherish.

 

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