Over the past decade and a half it’s been interesting to watch the impact of technology as it has evolved and disrupted the music industry. From the decline in the importance of ownership, to the creation of the shared economy and the popularity of streaming services, technology, it could be argued, has both helped and hindered popular music. And whilst live music is, mostly, a thriving scene it may be as a result of the detrimental impact of technology onto the recording scene. Who knew, at the turn of the century, that the musical landscape would look so different?
To combat this new landscape, new bands need new skills. Or at least that seems the approach of West London based BLOXX, who’s meteoric 30-month rise has seen them learn, and implement, new skills which have enabled their development and success. “More than anything we tend to use Spotify as a primary tool for our live shows” confirms lead singer Fee, hours after landing from an American tour, “it has a great feature we can use to find out what songs are popular in the cities we are playing shows; which means that, in a way, the local community are helping curate the show and helping us to chose the songs they want to hear. The impact means that in some cases, like our recent show at the Radio One Big Weekend event, we mix up our set quiet dramatically.”
Recently signed to Chess Club Records this technique may prove useful to BLOXX as their list of songs grows so far that they are unable to play all of their songs in one sitting; a recent gig at Northumbria Uni saw the band play a new song for the first, and only ever, time. “Well that’s not quiet true” laughs Fee “I remember making that announcement when we were in Newcastle but actually that song went from something we made up in soundcheck to something we’ve played regularly. It’s likely it’ll end up on our album now; which was never intended. There are plenty of other songs though that we play once or twice and then move on from. It’ll be interesting to see what ends up on the album. And we’re still writing lots at the minute”.
Signed to Chess partly because of their Spotify numbers, and social media followings, BLOXX’s real strength is their live show; equal parts angry, grungy, guitar sounds (think Sundara Karma) to wistful intellectual moments of vulnerability. Supported by a desire to connect with their audience, a BLOXX show is certainly a one to catch before they take off to larger venues which is why, if you can get there, their next north east gig at Hardwick Live is something to aim for. “We can’t wait for Hardwick” confirms Fee “we’ve been playing clubs for most of the year, which we love, but it’ll be great to get into the festival scene and really have some fun. Interestingly we tend to get our best reactions at festivals, perhaps as we get to play for people who’ve never heard us before and they get a shortened set with lots of energy as we try to play as much as we can”. Shortened set? Best get Spotify ready…
Bloxx play Hardwick Live 17-18 August