29 April 2010 (gig)
02 May 2009
Going to see hotly-tipped bands can be a real 'hit and miss’ affair: just ask anyone who went to see Radio 4. So going to see a local Brighton band at Komedia caused both excitement and trepidation in equal measure. Sure, they’d just blown away the rest of 'Later,’’s guestlist, but so, apparently, did James Blunt- and nothing more on that needs to be said.
Things were quickly made clear however. Jeremy Clarkson likes to coo that a 'good car’ will make not to sixty in two seconds: Similarly, The Mummers went from Silent to Outstanding in about six bars. The first two songs were so well played, and performed with such a happy-go-lucky style that the audience were quickly, nay instantly, desperate to meet each closing song with rapturous and extended applause. Something special was being pumped down our ear-holes.
The first two songs (including the single, 'March of the Dawn’) were buoyed by a military beat that demanded the attention of the assembled crowd. This caused a moment of worry in my journalistic consciousness; 'Are they a one trick pony? Is this their one 'sound’? Well, it was as if they has sensed my worry and set about calming my (pretty insignificant) fears. For the next hour we heard less military-style drumming than a recently-recaptured Taliban stronghold. From a reworking of 'Sleepyhead’ to the burlesque 'Wonderland’, each song set about extending the limits of their sound. And it was an undoubted triumph.
It can be hard to review gigs sometimes. This, to some, may seem the sycophantic rambling of a young journo keen to impress. Not so! I am put in this awkward position because, after eight years of being a regular gig-goer, I have to conclude that this was one of the best (if not the best) gig I have ever been to. The Mummers should sell lorry loads of their debut album: It will likely be one of the the 'sound of '09’. But buying a great album is not going to be enough here. Go and see them live and you will want to see them again and again and again and again.