The Monicans @ Leadmill, with support from Dan Williamson, obLONG, Blue Lip Feel and The Hosts.
Starting up the night to everyone’s delight was Dan Williamson, always a pleasure to see live with his ditties. His set was short but sweet, with the solemnity that was the perfect hors d’oeuvre for the night. By the way, you can get his album for free, check the “links” section below (or just press here if you’re bored already with this review).
Although there were some sound glitches, obLONG gave a very energetic show, the like that it has become a constant for them. Between the pounding rhythm section (courtesy of Hugh Ruiz and Tom Didlock) that relentlessly keeps the pace frantic and the energetic stage presence of guitarist Steve Genn is paired just right with lead singer’s Tracy Deakins powerful delivery (which was lost in the mix). Between a few new songs, some staples like ‘The Knife’ and ‘I am the noise’ made the rounds.
Blue Lip Feel play a mix of rock and blues with a very relaxed pace, but still having a bit of an edge. Again, there were some problems with the sound and some of their set went a bit muddy, I’m afraid to say. The band seemed to be enjoying playing the songs from their recent EP and even had a local rapper, Nathan Gordon, come on stage to do a spot of rapping in the song ‘ I’ll never know who’ (included in their EP Shallow getaway).
The Hosts wore all smart suits, giving the previously garage rock atmosphere a more classic rock and roll feeling. With their suave demeanour, they played a series of songs that slowly but surely left a good impression, getting quite a few audience members near the front to dance and cheer at every moment they could during their set. A song called ‘Wake up’ seemed to be the crowd pleaser, I preferred ‘In dreams’ and ‘The one’, but it generally was a pretty good set (and all of them were the best dressed to boot).
It’s always a pleasure to see The Monicans live and tonight wasn’t the exception. The addition of two string players during a couple of their songs was a very nice touch, giving them an extra kick to already rocking numbers. ‘Fear goes’ was a great choice to start the set, followed by ‘My Love’ and ‘Angeline’.
A particular highlight was seeing lead singer/guitarist Paul Beard go mental with an ebow, a lil’ gadget that always makes guitar playing a very fun experience (although you can go seriously wrong with them).
I always have time for ‘Into the rows’ and ‘A beacon’ and they sounded pretty great. New songs ‘Fool’ and ‘Fear goes’ sound pretty solid and their new material (which you can listen at The Monicans’ Soundcloud) are a tantalising preview to their newer stuff.
The Monicans are a band that needs to get their dues soon and hopefully this gig will upsy-daisy’s them into a more rarefied atmosphere. They sure were in good company in this gig.
Blue Lip Feel