It was a Friday night, sure, but the buzz you get at the Brude is different, no matter what day it is. Many faces had turned out for The Mysterines, clocking in early to check out their well-picked supports, Fräulein and Coach Party. The room filled, the temperature rose and, from the bright neons, each of the acts delivered unforgettably impressive sets…
The two-piece Fräulein opened up proceedings. There was so much oomph from the pair alone. They were outstanding proof that it can be done — and nailed — just by two artists coming together and showcasing deft vocal harmonies, slick riff-perfect guitar handling and tight drumming.
“We’re Coach Party and we’re from the Isle of Wight” were the words uttered from the main support, a four-piece who apparently hail from just across the water from me. Who knew? Having a Leeds branch to one of their family trees gave them a boost, too, and they whipped up the crowd and engaged each one of us at every turn.
They were fresh, brimming with energy and there to seamlessly serve us a faultless set pumped full of their strongest tunes. Lead and backing vocals worked their unified magic on tracks such as ‘Weird Me Out’, ‘Breakdown’ and, my personal standout, ‘FLAG (Feel Like A Girl)’, especially.
There’s no doubt about it: this band is headline material and you urgently need to put them on your radar.
In a flash of red, all clad in black clobber, Liverpool’s The Mysterines — our riotous headliner — emerged onto the stage after an anticipation-raising walk-on. Imagine the uproar. Their return to Leeds comes just two weeks after their debut album, ‘Reeling’, dropped, which is an utterly triumphant 13-track beast. Not listened to it yet? You’ve got my permission to pause and put that right immediately.
You’ve only got to get seconds into their set to appreciate that it’s hardly surprising they’re on the upward trajectory. Their raw, industrial rock sound has a healthy pinch of the Americana style, and it floods into their deep, seductive riffs and powerhouse vocals. This is a band as musically lethal as some of their song titles allude to.
The Mysterines’ arsenal of guitars is a who’s who of Fenders, Gibsons and Rickenbackers, while Lia Metcalfe brought out a gorgeous electric-acoustic for ‘On The Run’.
Throughout all the bangers, ‘Old Friends / Die Hard’, ‘Reeling’, ‘Dangerous’, ‘The Bad Thing’ and ‘Life’s a Bitch (But I Like it So Much)’, the crowd was somehow too captivated to be aimlessly moshing. They made heaps of noise and gave the usual warm, effusive Leeds reception, but the mindless throwing around of bodies just wasn’t evident as much. That says to me that everyone was there to be dazzled. Refreshing. And yeah, they were.
From the lead to the rhythm, the guitars were studio-ready. Nothing was out of place — and that goes for the ground-shaking drumming. It was steady but brash, in all the right places. And their bassist? Well, he was just the happiest guy, plucking the strings and grooving to each song. He was my side of the stage and had everyone completely immersed in the present.
Circling back to live performances that are as good as a studio recording — Lia is some vocalist. She brought us an amazing solo, acoustic performance of ‘Still Call You Home’ as the first encore. The audience was still but putty in her hands. It’s not a reach to claim she’s one of the most immeasurably gifted vocalists in rock of this generation. She has Paul Weller’s seal of approval, let’s not forget. Lungs like that need to be celebrated, and it’s credit to her remarkable delivery that this band possess such a huge USP.
All good things must, annoyingly, come to an end. That came in the form of the closing spectacle, ‘Hung Up’. It riled everyone up for their journeys home or into the sea of Headingley’s bustling bars.
After that, I’m ready to see them again ASAP. The Mysterines are a fun yet seriously professional unit, but they’re just insanely talented people. That’s the bottom line. There’s no bluster or arrogance, despite their placing in the album charts.
Oh, they’re such a dangerous band.
Press access with thanks to Blue Raincoat Music