Brighton Concorde, 24/9/2002
published: 24 /
One of the most acclaimed bands of the moment, the Music recently completed a full-length tour of Britain. Lisa Mundy finds memories of the Stone Roses and Primal Scream from twelve years ago come flooding back
It’s a strange world we live in when a bunch of skinny guys with drainpipe jeans who plagiarise music from 30 years ago are considered the cutting edge of fashion, yet a bunch of skinny guys in flares who plagiarise music from 12 years ago are considered deeply unfashionable.
Blame the shameless marketing of plastic garage by major labels; blame the fact that everyone who liked (shudder) BAGGY the first time round acts too damn cool to admit it ; blame the ridiculous obsession with style over content that seems to motivate everyone involved in running clubs, putting on gigs and writing about music. Yes The Music are unfashionable, but who wants to be a slave to fashion anyway?
The promoters and journalists who think The Kids should all be listening to Fischerspooner and Peaches in an oh-so-knowing and ironic way don’t remember what its like to be young. They all loved the Stone Roses and their indie/dance ilk. But just because bands like the Music are younger than them and couldn’t give a fuck about their approval, they are shrugged off as irrelevant. The audience tonight were mostly under 21, and couldn’t be more into a band. Crowd surfing, singing along word-perfect to every song, dancing at the front rather than lingering at the bar. This is what gigs should be like. This is what gigs used to be like.
Singer Robert Harvey is a revelation. A bizarre hybrid of Robert Plant and a hyperactive schoolboy who has been on the orange squash, his dancing truly will become the stuff of legend. And this guy can sing. During an hour long set of vocal acrobatics he doesn’t falter once. The rest of the band more than match his prodigious talent; guitarist Adam Nutter permanently lost in a Squire-esque shimmering psychedelic reverie of riffage, which is what 'Second Coming' should have sounded like. Bassist Stuart Coleman is the most innocuous man on the stage, impossibly young yet capable of keeping the focus during some of the more meandering middle sections. Drummer Phil Jordan really comes into his own during ‘Disco’, the drum levels are turned up and he gets a chance to show what he is capable of.
The highlights tonight are undoubtedly the singles; The People’s triumphant demand to ‘Change The Way You Live Now!’ comes close to being 2002’s ‘I am the Resurrection’. Harvey certainly has the youthful arrogance and messianic self-belief to pull it off, and the crowd seem devoted enough to crown him their generations King Monkey. ‘Take the Long Road and Walk It’ is another storming call to arms; even those who swore they would never dance at a gig again end up nodding their heads. The Music understand the long-forgotten indie concept of the Groove, and that’s what so many of their detractors seem to be afraid of. There is no reason why indie/dance needs to be a dirty word; they play their arses off tonight and, without the aid of a million Instruments of Dance, manage to induce a state of presumably drug-free euphoria comparable to the heady pilled-up days of Primal Scream’s lunatic 'Screamadelica' tour. It’s dance music for guitar fans, and remember quite how good that was back in 1991? Well, it can still be as good, it's just being played by people younger than you. Don’t fight it, feel it.