Shields of sound: MBV dishing out ‘plugs25 August 2009
UK: Kevin Shields’s resurgent alt-rock quartet, My Bloody Valentine, has been handing out free earplugs from Earplugshop, writes David Davies. Widely regarded as one of the UK’s loudest bands, MBV is providing fans with free disposable earplugs at all of its current European gigs, which are set to culminate in the ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ show at Butlin’s Holiday Resort in Minehead this December.
As reported in the September 2008 issue of PSNE, My Bloody Valentine recently returned to the live stage after a hiatus of more than 15 years. However, with regard to the ferocity of their live sets, nothing had changed: the band played with an undiminished intensity, regularly concluding their performances with a coruscating 20-minute rendition of ‘You Made Me Realise’.
For its August and December shows, the band is handing out hundreds of thousands of Moldex yellow earplugs, supplied by Earplugshop. In conjunction with this, the online retail has posted a Festivals and Gigs section on its website to sell specialist reusable earplugs which reduce noise to safe levels, rather than simply blocking out the noise.
Earplugshop’s Shaun Thornburgh tells PSN-e: "Fans of My Bloody Valentine’s ear-splitting music are already aware of the sound levels which can be reached during the concerts. However, these levels are very dangerous to hearing and can cause long-term damage. We are pleased to have struck a deal to supply earplugs at their gigs, to ensure fans can continue to hear the band’s classic tracks for many years to come.
"Handing out earplugs is a great move by My Bloody Valentine and brings to light the very serious issue of ear damage in music venues. We are also very pleased that RNID’s Don’t Lose the Music campaign is working with us to showcase how important earplug wear is."
Emma Harrison, RNID’s director of external affairs, added: "This is a fantastic initiative by an iconic rock band, and we love the fact that they are drawing attention to ear protection by providing free earplugs. We always recommend the use of reusable plugs that reduce the volume, not the quality of the sound."