There’s all kinds of difficulties when it comes to writing reviews of live gigs. There’s turning up late and missing support bands. There’s getting a bit drunk and not remembering the gig too well. There’s turning up to a gig you thought you’d be able to get into and finding it was sold out, which is what almost happened at last night’s gig. Thankfully it just turned out that everyone inside the side room in The Brunswick was standing inside the doorway, holding up the queue outside. Once inside though I was faced with a rather unique problem – the support band didn’t actually have a name! So I could tell you that they were a bit ska crossed with German Oom-pah band, and that while they were obviously all tremendous musicians they weren’t especially to my taste but the crowd loved them – what do I know, eh? – but that won’t be that helpful of you want to go and find out more about them, would it? Thankfully, there did leave us with one big clue – they were the band who until recently were Twelve Stone Toddler. I’m not sure quite how and why they aren’t any more, and never saw them in their previous incarnation, but there you are.
Headlining were The Muel, whose album “All Kinds of Love” came out in spring of last year. Since then, they’ve been touring hard. Most recently Sam Walker (who writes all the songs, and whose full first name is where the band name comes from) has been out in Australia playing a string of acoustic shows. It’s very difficult to describe The Muel’s music – it’s a kind of psychedelic rock, centred around Sam, who sings, plays guitar, oh and plays drums from the centre of the stage too. As with the music defying definition, so the supporting cast are very talented and versatile – each of the other band members take on vocal duties at various points in the gig – and guitar player Jim Mortimore (who’s also been playing bass for The Woo!Worths and double bass for The Moulettes recently) also took on steel drum duties. The majority of the set was new songs yet to be recorded and released, that have the same energy as the older stuff, but do a much better job of showcasing the rest of the band and their talents – I was particularly impressed by some of the guitar and piano solos that we were treated to. If you missed the gig, you can catch them again in London at the Slaughtered Lamb in Clerkenwell next monday, and at the Landsdown Arms in Lewes on 11th Feb.