Music Go Music, We Have Band, Miike Snow - ULU London
The Next Big Thing Festival is a ten day, London based event organised by HMV and MAMA group featuring a new generation of breakthrough artists performing at several venues throughout the capital, with the price of each gig capped at a tenner! With the likes of Marina And The Diamonds, Paloma Faith, Ellie Golding and Chew Lips performing it was certainly a great way to check out up and coming talent.
London's ULU played host to a trio of acts on a cold Thursday night, with We Have Band taking to the stage first. This was the first time I had encountered the London based trio and they delivered a very decent opening set, with the band's funky electro pop output winning the crowd over. I've no idea what songs they played but I imagine many will feature on their WHB album, due out in April. The set particularly picked up towards the end, with the last two tracks really making an impression.
The band stuck in the middle of the bill was the reason I took the trip to ULU. Music Go Music are an LA based group, featuring Meredith and Dave Metcalf from cult indie band Bodies Of Water and guitarist Adam Siegal or as they would like to be known in their MGM guise - Gala Bell on vocals, Kamer Maza on keyboards and Torg on guitar!
The US release of debut Expressions delivered my favourite album of 2009 and their appearance at the Capital's ICA last September generated a show that featured very highly in my top gigs of the last 12 months. The band opened their ULU set with "Just Me" but things ground to a halt very quickly, with the song stopping mid intro as there was a problem with the power on stage. Gala kept things going regaling us with a tale of a man and woman in a cafe soundtracked by a plinky plonky piano, with the song starting properly soon after. I was really surprised as it seemed as if many of the audience members were attending the gig just to watch MGM. As it turned out, the band had actually scheduled a show at another London venue the same evening with ticket holders shunted to the ULU.
Music Go Music's first song went down a storm, with the excitable audience already dancing. Eager for more, with Gala teasing them with "Wait for it" before the band launched into the immense "Thousand Crazy Nights", the end result leading to an audience member yelling how sexy Gala was! Another set highlight - "Light of love" came next, a song that mixes down and dirty boogie guitar with an Abbaish melody creating something very special indeed!
The majority of the band's debut was played and they even threw in a new song, hopefully meaning that their successful side project will continue. MGM's ULU set was immensely enjoyable. Their musical output both live and on record is a slightly bizarre combination as they mix 70's rock with Morder style disco beats and huge pop melodies but it really works. They're such a quirky looking outfit too, with the bass player and guitarist looking more suited rocking out playing "Freebird" in some backwater bar than firing out pop classics in a London venue.
Music Go Music may not have covered the
A lot of people departed from the front after Music Go Music's set resulting in a wave of Miike Snow fans pushing their way to a prime viewing position. I stayed where I was so I'd have a decent angle for photographs but the rowdy audience were beginning to get to me and I had to suffer a pair of drunken harpies trying to steal my place down the front for a lengthy period, spilling beer throughout their attempted subterfuge! I had a feeling that the light for the trio's set was going to be dire too and wasn't wrong with horrible backlit lighting states and people enjoying themselves (how dare they!) leading to a very disappointing three song picture allocation.
I moved to the back as the fourth song appeared but I wasn't really enjoying the set, with the Swedish dance trio doing nothing for me. I had given their eponymous debut a couple of spins earlier in the week but it wasn't really my thing and the tracks didn't gel in the live setting as the band weren't great visually and played almost in darkness.
There were a couple of moments where I perked up slightly, with "Silvia" and another whose name escapes me sounding good but I decided to cut my losses and leave, the sound of Music Go Music soundtracking my journey home.