Of Mice & Men
The Mo Club, Southampton, UK - 16/4
Funeral For A FriendPrevious Next
support Revolution Mother + Plök + My Getaway In Audio
author TL date 05/10/07 venue Lille Vega, Copenhagen, DEN
It's almost 7 o'clock on October 5th. The sun is setting outside of Vega, Copenhagen, and I'm trying hard to enjoy a sad excuse of a kebab roll while trying even harder to ignore the noisy crowd in the line, majority of which are Swedish emokids, no older than 16. I haven't had the time nor the money to get some drinks after ending my interview with the guys from Funeral For A Friend, so basically I'm just aching to get in and get the 'music' part of the evening started. The occasion is Coca Cola's obscure Take Off event, apparently the third of it's kind. I might be a bad journalist for not knowing what it's all about, but to be honest I couldn't care less. Tonight I'm just here to see the bands.
Photos taken by Bright Side Of Murder Photography
Fast forward 45 minutes. Lights are dimming, I've treated myself to a beer, and a very very VERY small crowd (even for Lille Vega) is congregating to greet tonight's first band, the Danish "My Getaway In Audio". After the first song the Swedish teentards who seemed hellbent on being a continuing annoyance to.. just about everybody, bands included, are screaming "WHO ARE YOU!?" at the band, and baffled, lead singer Rune Staunskćr proclaims "We're My Getaway In Audio dammit'.. It says so on the poster outside you guys?". That's about as much as the band lets themselves be distracted for their 30 minute show, except of course for the occasional courteous thanking of the crowd for their attendance. It's a shame really, that so few people seem to be paying any real attention to the band, which while having trouble making their atypical setup (drums, guitar, 2xkeyboards) work as well live as on recordings, still fill the room with their progressive soundscapes, hinting at both Bowie as well as more local and recent acts like Kashmir and Veto. They get me interested for a while, but unfortunately end up sharing traits with another Danish band, namely "Dúné", as it all starts lacking diversity towards the end, which when all comes to all, isn't that admirable considering the short lenght of the show. Promising at best.
Next up is the other Danish band on the bill, namely "Plök", and to be frank I can't remember ever seeing a band as weird as they are. Think The Blood Brothers, especially in terms of vocal delivery. The sound is some of the most smashed weirdness ever. It sounds like a band virtually playing in a dumpster that's tumbling down some stairs. The funny thing is that the combination of the band members really getting into it and rocking out during the songs, and the retardedly strange behavior of the singer and bassist Mikkel works like.. well a charm, as the crowd is charmed indeed, and while a few seem to be stupified by the profound weirdness, most people get into it as if it was the most accessible stuff on the radio. The band doesn't seem to feel pressured by the strict schedule and generally just fool around on stage like they own it, and somehow this un-caring punk-ish behavior ends up seeming like a very seductive aquintance.
Now I'm scratching my head as to what compelled Funeral For A Friend to bring the Revolution Mother from California on tour as they couldn't really be much more different from each other. Revolution Mother plays a mixture of punk, thrash and hardrock and they do so in a largely uninspiring way. Their fast paced riffs are obviously meant for head banging, but the problem is that the only way you're gonna see me doing so is if I can convince myself that I'm listening to something else. Despite the fact that they're extremely boring, that isn't the worst factor in their show. That trophy goes to their overly pretentious bullshit attitude. Clad in leather vests, large shades and stetsons and trying much too hard to be rock'n'rollers in the vein of Motörhead, all they succeed in is seeming like hollow wannabes. They talk on and on about "true rock'n'roll" even though I wouldn't suspect they'd recognize rock'n'roll if Slash came up and smashed them in their faces with his guitar. They bullshit the crowd with tacky stagetricks (dedicating a song to the girls in the house - mostly 16 year old emogirls from Sweden as you may recall - because they were "some of the most beautiful girls in the world?" - CMON!), and they insult our taste with their vastly unoriginal and soulless attempt at whiskey drenched metal'n'roll.
Finally, after recovering from the shock of that atrocity, it's time for the band everyone's been waiting for all along. The stage is prepared, lights are turned off and "We Are The Champions" is put on. There doesn't seem to be any reason for that however, and after the song ends the band enters as if nothing's happened, to the ambient sounds that lead into "Into Oblivion" and proceed to set things on fire in an instant. Reception is as could be expected and the singalong fest is definetely on. As to show us that we're in for a diverse show, they follow with "All The Rage" and "Juneau", the latter seeing the most engagement from the crowd, unsurprising considering the higher status the older material has among fans. Then follows "Out Of Reach", "She Drove Me To Daytime Television" and "Great Wide Open" and everything is flowing along nicely (if we disregard the most idiotic of the moshers, as they disregarded the rest of the crowd). Thereafter "The End Of Nothing", "Raise The Sail" demonstrate just how much better the new material can be brought to work live, considering their somewhat polished shape on record. The band's relatively casual behavior between songs is directly contrasted by the behavior of the crowd when the band decides to play what I think was "This Years Most Open Heartbreak" (correct me if I'm wrong). The moshing which was already most excessive during the songs from the debut album goes completely apeshit for the duration of the song and it's nice to hear a band that's not afraid to include even their oldest of material in their liveshow. At some point Matt Davies tries to get the crowd to be quiet for a reason we never get to learn because some retard girl, who must have some kind of attention disorder, felt like being an idiot by destroying it. To her I would just like to say: Get cancer and die. Thank you. During the show the most entertainment provided aside from singing and dancing to the tightly performed songs, comes from the two guitarists who made sure there's plenty of rocking out taking place on each side of the stage, without ever breaking the feeling that tonights performance is a pretty casual and cosy one. After "Roses For The Dead" and "Walk Away" the set is predictably closed with "Streetcar" and "Escape Artists Never Die", and you walk away with the impression of a good performance made especially enjoyable by the very diverse and well chosen setlist.
- 1. Into Oblivion
- 2. All The Rage
- 3. Juneau
- 4. Out Of Reach
- 5. She Drove Me To Daytime Television
- 6. Great Wide Open
- 7. The End Of Nothing
- 8. Raise The Sail
- 9. This Years Most Open Heartbreak
- 10. Roses For The Dead
- 11. Walk Away
- 12. Streetcar
- 13. Escape Artists Never Die