Wednesday, 16 December 2009

684 MEW, Envy And Other Sins, Bristol Fleece, Sunday 23 October 2005

More Mew? You bet! Their second tour in the space of a month saw us getting tix for the Bristol show, so we drove down in inclement weather, hitting the Fleece just after 8 and just in time for another one of Mew's dubious support bands.

Or so we thought! Envy And Other Sins had a horrible name, and sported Farmers Boys-style waistcoats and neckties, so could quite easily have been a disaster. However this Birmingham 4-piece were much better than that - tunes with the urgency of early Marion, a quirky, quintessentially British attitude similar to British Sea Power, and a zeitgeisty XTC/ Gang Of Four sound nevertheless wrapped round some fine hooky choruses. One to watch, perhaps...

I took a quick squirt before Mew's due time of 9.15, bumping into drummer Silas on the way out, so I wished him a good gig. Took my place with Rachel down the front, stage left, for Mew's eventual entrance at 9.30. Operating largely with the same set as their 2 recent shows, with a couple of tweaks to satisfy and surprise us regulars, Mew were once again magnificent in themselves, their performance and the articulation of their deliciously crafted sound, despite a blown speaker near us fuzzing things up a little. Once again, like their recent Portsmouth gig, the Sunday Bristol crowd seemed flat and relatively unresponsive - don't these people know when they're in the presence of true musical greatness?

In many ways, Mew have become my "home team" for me, as Echo And The Bunnymen were in the 80's, epitomising everything a rock band should be. Other-worldly, untouchable, glacially cool in both music and style, ready to rock and emote in equal measure, never less than brilliant "live". Once again "Zookeepers Boy" stood out as a, "what the fuck was that???!!!" moment, and whilst "She Came Home For Christmas" sounded a little thin, the funky "Special" ("about Mika," joked Bo, before singer Jonas cut him dead with a surprisingly hard stare) sounded tough, strident and never better.

Encores "Apocalypso" and "Comforting Sounds" ("this one's called "Mika"", said Bo again - luckily Jonas wasn't around at this point) capped another stunning set, which I have to say this crowd really did not deserve. Home in filthy weather - but we'd drive through any conditions to see Mew right now!

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