Thursday, 14 October 2010

Mi Mye Album Launch

If you’re unfamiliar with Mi Mye then I’ll inform you that they consist of Wakefield musical journeyman Jamie Lockhart and his ever-changing collection of talented musicians creating the type of music that would’ve persuaded Adolf Hitler to forget about invading countries, put down his copy of Mein Kampf and instead rush to the nearest charity shop and buy some extra woolly jumpers so that he could be cosy for the coming winter months. Yes, they are that infective.

Tonight is their album launch. Their album, incidentally, is wonderful and upon entrance we are very generously given a small piece of card with URL address scribbled on it so that we can download it for free when we get home.

As it is Mi Mye’s launch night it is they who have picked the supports, the first of which being Tiny Planets. Tiny Planets used to exude an aural/aesthetic oxymoron reflective of their name, in that they sounded like a juggernaut and looked like fairly pleasant indie boys. They still have a big sound, but they sound happier. The only time I had previously seen Tiny Planets I noted how grungy they were, where as now their influences seem to come more locally. A more anthemic Orange Juice perhaps. Definitely not a bad thing.

The second support comes from London where Adam Killip of The Tailors has kindly ventured north to play an acoustic gig. A friend of Mi Mye, and indeed most of the attendees, Killip draws a dedicated, polite and attentive audience to the front of the room and (a little pet-hate of mine) a less attentive bunch that loiter at the back and decide to talk throughout the performance. Note to gig-goers – if you want to talk during an acoustic concert then please fuck off outside. The words being sung on stage are usually more relevant than the vacuous chitter-chatter about whatever pointless bollocks you have indulged in during the previous wearisome week.

Milk White Teeth are one of those bands that don’t lend themselves to venues like the Hop. Not from a musical standpoint, but rather because there are shit loads of them and the stage at The Hop is quite small. Also, because there are shit loads of them with numerous instruments, they are potentially open to Arcade Fire comparisons, which aren’t a bad thing for most people, but are to me. Milk White White Teeth had much more of a groove though, which in my humble opinion gives them the edge. High praise indeed, for most people.

Next up are Fonda 500. Its many years since I last saw this band and I’d forgotten how mesmerisingly brilliant they are. I don’t usually make outrageous statements and I have never once indulged in hyperbole, but I’m now going to make two proclamations of unquestionable accuracy.
1) Fonda 500 feature the best ever sitting-down frontman. He can sing, which helps, but he also has unique charisma. Singer Simon Stone wears Mickey Mouse ears, acts like the gig is a tiresome business meeting and treats us to dour deadpan jokes such as his opening gambit to this Wakefield audience (“Give me a W; Give me an A; Give me a N; Give me a K..”).
2) Fonda 500 are the best ever band from Hull. Perhaps I’m wrong about that as I haven’t heard every single band to come from Hull, but I doubt that very much.

When Mi Mye finally return to the stage, as the smaller hours approach, it becomes apparent that the band have somewhat returned to their former guise. With musicians spilling off the stage it was a wonder no-one lost a tooth due to a swinging guitar or violin bow.

The last time I saw Mi Mye it was mostly just Jamie and Rob Slater from The Spills – an almost punked version of the usual celtic/country sound. This time around a lot of the old faces have returned. It’s a tribute to Jamie that he can still drag musicians from literally all over the country, many of them busy in other successful bands. As ever the songs seem very personal to Jamie, but it seems the audience hold them dear also. Maybe if they pick up a guitar a fiddle they could join Mr Lockhart on stage.

Stephen Vigors

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