Comets On FireEdit this event
There’s a rush: beer is spilled from soft plastic cups as men of all ages race from bar to balcony. A riff rings out, loud and proud, a battle cry from a bygone era somehow still resonating with relevance today. Attendees old and gnarled and young and pimpled alike pound hands on knees and foot on floor; at the front, a mosh pit is triggered, one that won’t stop for an hour. It won’t stop ‘til Mark Arm’s made good on his promise to ‘Suck You Dry’.
This is Mudhoney performing the best set I’ve witnessed them deliver to a London audience, and this is my brain when that song opens with the so-familiar “Omph”: RRRRWWWWWAAAAHHHHT OOOOOH MY GAAAAAWD YEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSS.
‘Touch Me I’m Sick’ might be something of a proverbial albatross about the band’s collective neck, but even now it sounds remarkable, bubbling with amazing energy and crackling with amplification, delivered so fast it leaves the listener’s skin numb but their insides ablaze. Despite a frenzied opening few songs, though, this isn’t a greatest-hits show – the band deliver a series of fine selections from this year’s Under A Billion Suns, the true standout being the politician-bashing sleaze-stomp of ‘I Saw The Light’. The line “You went down like a nuclear bomb” is apt, as regardless of what era they’re plundering for material, Mudhoney this evening are never less than rapturously applauded. Their sound is all consuming, their rock rolling everyone in the building; they do strike with all the force of a WMD.
A moment’s clarity is found during ‘Where Is The Future?’: Mark Arm is only seven years younger than this writer’s father. Yet as he writhes beside guitarist Steve Turner during an incredible rendering of ‘In 'N' Out Of Grace’, sprawling his frame across the stage, it becomes absolutely apparent that age can’t slow Mudhoney down. Grunge may be dead, but Mudhoney’s absolutely anthemic rock will continue to win new fans for the foreseeable future and remind the more mature attendees in the house this evening of simpler musical times, when a magazine cover wasn’t achieved solely through acting the fool in front of wandering paparazzi. This is music of integrity and honesty, qualities that really don't age alongside whatever haircut was hot last Wednesday.
Where is the future? Heck, who cares when the past still sounds so fucking ace. What a rush.
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