Blood Red Shoes: from LA to Eastbourne for a date in Brighton

Blood Red Shoes are back with their sixth album, Ghosts On Tape, recorded in Eastbourne and released on Velveteen Records on Friday, January 14.

After years spent living on opposite sides of the Atlantic, world events threw Laura Mary Carter and Steven Ansell back together into what has become the most fruitful era of their 17 years together.

Steven lives in Brighton; Laura is in Los Angeles. And yet somehow it hasn’t mattered, as Steven explains.

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“It’s just the two of us. We bring extra people in when we play live but the band is just me and Laura Mary and until the world went bananas she had been living in Los Angeles. She is actually Irish and she lived in the UK when we formed to the band here but as we started to tour America, America took over and she really loved it and she ended up living there from about 2017 or 2018.”

Which didn’t mean the end of the band.

“I think if you are a creative person, you always try to find a way to make things work. We are fortunate enough to do this for a living.

“We get together to write an album and record it and then we wait while everything is set up and then we tour the album, and you can do any of those things anywhere in the world.

“It just means that we have to come together to do the recording and the touring. Really for us it hasn’t made a lot of difference. It just means that I get to fly to Los Angeles to stay in Laura’s house.

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“In January 2020 I went out there to write the album for about six weeks in the sun and then we came back to the UK. We recorded the album in Eastbourne and that just felt very typical of Blood Red Shoes. We’re like completely opposite personality types and so there was something very Blood Red Shoes about the fact that we wrote the album in LA, this great city in beautiful sunshine, and then we recorded it in a sleepy coastal town like Eastbourne!

“We recorded it in March 2020 and we came out of the recording studio and the next day we went into lockdown. The world went bananas and we had no idea what was going to happen.

“Luckily the album was being mixed by a producer in his own studio where he lives on his own so it didn’t impact on finishing the record. We just had to push pause on releasing it.

“As a band we are primarily a live band. The touring has always been the core of what we do. If we can’t play the songs to people directly in real life then we can’t bring an album to life so we waited. The other thing was that the music industry just went crazy and just stopped doing anything. They stopped everything. Nothing was going on so nobody wanted to release records.

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“But actually it’s not the first time we have waited that long for an album come out. Sometimes these things just take that long but when I think about the writing and the recording, it feels like it was from a different universe. But I’m glad of that fact in a way.

“What has happened is that everybody was writing music during lockdown and all the music is very informed by that world situation that I am quite frankly really bored of. I’m glad that it didn’t poison what we made.

“The last thing anybody wants is yet another musician whingeing on about being trapped in isolation.

“This album isn’t about that!”

Forthcoming gigs include January 26 at Chalk, Brighton.

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