Live Review: Bloodywood at The Electric Ballroom, London on 30-03-23 supported by Lake Malice

Written by and photos by: DAVID CHAVE

Bloodywood ... bloody good!

A sold-out Electric Ballroom reflected Bloodywood’s experience on this seven-week tour of Europe, with many venues sold out weeks in advance, suggesting when they next tour these shores, they will be at larger capacity venues. This venue holds 1400, and many had queued from very early to secure places at the barrier. 

Often gigs here commence early, due to the venue turning into a nightclub late evening. However, with only two bands, the live music starts after 8pm on this occasion, with  Lake Malice taking the stage first, launching in to Magic Square, following some intro music. For a band that only formed in 2021, they have an impressive CV of support slots, boasting Hactivist, Modern Error, Zeal and Ardor and now Bloodywood amongst the headliners.  

From the off, it is clear this is a visual as well as audio experience. Guitarist Blake Cornwall is all action, constantly in motion, covering every inch of the space. Power Game  follows swiftly, the cat-suited Alice Guala using the whole of the front of the stage, popping up between the plethora of foldback monitors. You can’t take your eyes off her, because if you do, you have to search for where she has gone, as she’s not still often. 

For this tour, Alice and Blake are supported on drums by Jamie Boyce and the powerful bass lines of the muscular Alex Laird. The band sadly had to pull out of some nights on this tour due to Alice being unwell, but she appears fully recovered in London tonight. 

Switching between death metal and clean vocal, Black Turbine inspires crowd bouncing with the mid-tempo beat of the chorus. The opening riff of Creepers, generates excitement in those in the know about Lake Malice and appears a particular crowd favourite.

Although Alice and Blake are supplemented with a live rhythm section, backing tracks are used for some vocal parts and synthesiser parts. Bloodbath is a more pop based song, before latest release Stop The Party turns up the rock riffs again; Alice’s vocals displaying emotion, as she sings the song’s message forcefully. However, this doesn’t stop the party, with one last song in Blossom, the single that introduced the band to the world, with its early heavy riffs and contrasting ethereal vocals before the death metal growls creep in. The chorus has a commercial feel to it, as do many of their songs, providing excellent crowd participation for those that know the lyrics. 

Lake Malice are a very good live band and they will have made lots of new friends on this tour.

Indian music occasionally has a significant impact on western music. The most obvious and probably most famous being Ravi Shankar and his influence on The Beatles, particularly George Harrison. In more recent times, Mercury Music prize winner Talvin Singh, along with Nitan Sawney have fused Indian and Indian classical with a variety of genres. Whilst there has been a metal scene in India for decades, it has been largely underground with a small but hardcore following. Bloodywood have found a following abroad with touring and festival appearances generating interest, rather than from their homegrown exploits. Initially a parody band, Bloodywood have taken elements of various metal sub genres (nu, extreme, death and traditional) and incorporated elements of traditional Indian folk music to provide a unique and intoxicating fusion. 
Opening their set with Gaddaar, a dhol lays the rhythmic foundation, before a distorted drop tuned guitar and bass crash the party, turning the crowd into a seething frenzy. Hot on its heels,BSDK.exe takes the pace down slightly at first, until the chorus kicks in. 
The twin vocals ofJayant Bhadula, and Raoul Kerr (rap vocals) deliver their many political and social commentary-based lyrics with passion and conviction, using a mix of English, Hindi and Punjabi, Aaj featuresKaran Katiyar on an indian flute in parts, as well as his heavy guitar licks.

Dana-Dan is probably their best-known song and brought an enormous roar from the crowd. The song rages against sexual assault and is a call to end its pernicious presence in many aspects of Indian society. 
The band are all action, with the vocalists and Katiyar’s guitar the most prominent at the front of the stage. Jee Veerey again features the flute, and more traditional chunky metal guitar is a feature ofZanjeero Se, as well as a rap spat out by Kerr. 
The dhol is back to open Machi Bhasad, before the down-tuned dirty guitar sound kicked in sparking more energy in the moshing. The band close out with the only song not taken from their debut album, Ari Ari, a single from 2018, before they finally leave the stage. 
There was no way they were going to be allowed to escape without an encore, and an alternative version of Gaddaar is provided for the heaving mass, that mosh as if their lives depend on it. 
This was without doubt, a superb gig from a band who have a point of difference in their sound, social and political opinions to express, and an ability to get a crowd going with stellar energetic live performances. I can’t wait to see them at Download Festival in June. 


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