Music Go Music - ICA London
As the nights draw in and Autumn begins, many music fans have already started putting together their "Best album of 2009" lists. I tend to find myself extremely hesitant in deciding such important matters at such an early stage as I'm always looking for something to wow me in the last quarter of the year, devouring new music on an almost daily basis. Even so, I imagine two of September's discoveries will end up in my "Top 5" for the year.
Taller Children from New York's Elizabeth And The Catapult is a sumptuous release, bringing to mind the likes of Rilo Kiley, She And Him and even The Carpenters. It's had numerous plays in the Thomson household but not as many as the debut from LA"s Music Go Music.
Expressions is an extremely quirky collection of catchy songs so I was curious as how the band would sound live. I was delighted to discover that the band were playing two shows in the capital so made my way to the ICA to check out Music Go Music's first UK date.
You could have packed a few more punters into the ICA auditorium but as the band have yet to release anything in the UK they had an extremely good turn out for their debut show. Music Go Music comprise of Meredith and Dave Metcalf from Bodies Of Water and thrash metal guitarist Adam Siegal. As MGM is a bit of a side project they've adapted stage names so we now have Gala Bell on vocals, Kamer Maza on keyboards and Torg on guitar! The trio's live set up is augmented by a bass player, drummer and two female backing singers.
The band pulled their set from their Expressions album, with songs running in almost the same order as the album tracklist so "I Walk Alone" with its piercing opening howl kicked off proceedings. Record shops may be devoid of Music Go Music product but the band seemed to be preaching to the converted anyway as the majority of the audience seemed to know the songs on offer, leading to the band receiving a great reception throughout their set.
The band seemed extremely happy with the response they were getting. Although onstage banter was kept to minimum Gala thanked the audience on several occasions. There was a brief tete-a-tete with the audience mid set when the barefooted Gala was asked by an audience member at the back if he could see her shoes but that was just a bit strange!
Music Go Music deliver songs with an Electro Pop base but each song tends to offer something different with "Light of Love" resembling The Ronettes singing Abba's "Waterloo", while the lengthy "Warm in the Shadows" could be a lost Moroder track from the 70's or a sister to Blondie's "Rapture" without the "Fab Five Freddy" nonsense. "Reach out" give us baroque verses with a galloping chorus and a triumphant guitar solo in the middle !
At times MGM's output puts me in mind of some lost 70's rock opera but they can also produce more straight forward fare like "Just Me" whose chorus always puts me in mind of The Fix's favourite Omaha stompers Tilly And The Wall.
The whole package is immensely enjoyable anyway and the band seemed to enjoy it as much as the audience with Gala dancing barefoot throughout the set and Torg throwing as many guitar shapes as he could manage!
The band finished their set with album closer "Goodbye Everybody". It's a far more laid back song and another that reminds me of The Carpenters. The crowd bayed for an encore but I've a feeling the band didn't have any more songs to give us as they didn't return. It was selfish to ask for more anyway as Music Go Music's London debut produced one of my favourite shows of 2009 so it couldn't have really got much better!