22 November 2018 (gig)
28 November 2018
The first time I saw Mudhoney was at Reading Festival in 1992. They were magnificent all those years ago and touring the classic Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge album. So when they start off tonight's gig with Into The Drink from that very album I'm a happy man! First impressions are of a band that seem fighting fit (these guys are well in their 50's but looking good on it to a man), well rehearsed, ready for action with fuzz pedals most definitely plugged in!
Next up is I Like It Small, one of the standout tracks from 2013's Vanishing Point. The crowd warms up shouting "I like it small" repetitively back at Mark. There's certainly a bit of movement down the front but it's a cold night and it's going to take this Roman crowd a bit longer to warm up enough to take their jackets off, never mind start shoving each other around.
Mudhoney have recently released their first album for 5 years, and wow, has it been worth the wait for Digital Garbage. Full of biting politically charged social commentary and angry riffs, it's some of the strongest material they've put out in a long time, and tonight we hear most of it. The best thing is, it doesn't feel like it's at the expense of old classics as the new stuff is so strong. Hey Neanderfuck is the first offering from the album tonight and it's pleasing to see how many of the crowd know the words.
You Got It from the first album is a stone cold classic and as we all shout "keep it outta my face" back at the band it's apparent there's a bit more movement in the potential mosh pit area! By the time the first Superfuzz Bigmuff offering comes on, No One Has, the jumpers have been ditched, the mosh pit is in action, and all of a sudden the crowd hasn't just warmed up it's taken off. Crowdsurfing is back with a vengeance, and once these guys start they can't stop,
Touch Me I'm Sick, one of the most memorable riffs of the early 90s rings around the venue like a call to arms. I'm on my way back from the toilet at that point so it's a polite push and shove from back to front of venue.
The crowd surfing really does get a bit much at points with some of the heavier guys failing, and falling quite drastically. One poor guy got pretty much slam dunked over the security barrier and looked to be in a bit of pain, but then I suppose there's always going to be a fair chance of a few bruises accompanying that pastime! Mark tries to direct proceedings by suggesting that the "older dudes" get passed backwards instead of over the front, but it seems to fall on deaf ears.
Later on in the set Mark loses his guitar for a few songs and takes on a new lease of life! This new found freedom sees him exploring the stage, jumping around, gesticulating and just generally loving it. His inner wild front man is set free for a few songs, the pinnacle of this little section being I'm Now.
Bassist Guy Maddison reminds us that it's Thanksgiving in the US today and raises a glass to the guy in the crowd in the Pilgrims hat! All the band are clearly celebrating tonight. They're playing with smiles on their faces and frankly kicking ass and having a few drinks along the way!
21st Century Pharisees continues the airing of most of the new album and finishes the main set off leaving us wanting more.
The band come back on for a frenetically paced encore. Here Comes Sickness has a riff that seems to involuntarily propel people into one another and Who You Drivin' Now the big chorus that has us scream out what's left of our collective vocal chords.
Sweet Young Thing slows the pace a little before a trio of cover versions (and live favourites) finishes the night off for us. Fang's The Money Will Roll Right In ( famously covered by Nirvana at Reading 92 ) is followed by long time live stalwart, the awesome Hate The Police (originally by the Dicks), and to finish us off we get a Black Flag cover, Fix me.
Tonight has been amazing. A bunch of 50 somethings with more energy than most teenagers have blown this audience away in a great venue (with very good sound) in a fantastic city. Grunge lives on. Long live the Fuzz!