GIG REVIEW: The Mysterines at The Garage
We've been waiting an awfully long time to see our fav spooky quartet The Mysterines headline, and last Thursday (October 14th) that dream finally came true. It was set to be one for the books - a sold out show at The Garage in Islington, the venue buzzing with the band's 600 best mates. No pressure!
Getting the crowd nice and warmed up were Document, a stylish Manchester 5-piece brimming with ominous northern swagger. Opening with an emphatic thrust which perfectly set the tone for the whole performance, frontman Alex's stage presence has an aura of foreboding about it as he viciously spits out lyrics to the band's dreamy post-grunge tracks like The Spy Who Came In from the Cold and Uncle Sam's Daughter. The slow, heavy beats are full of attitude and reverb, keeping the crowd perfectly on edge, before blasting us with eye-watering riffs that get everyone paying attention. Between verses, Alex stands staring into the crowd, like a schoolteacher waiting for the class to shut the fuck up. It's hypnotising. The lads end their set on the venomous, more upbeat thrasher Pity, leaving us wanting so much more. Thankfully, they're playing The Grace in December, so we won't have to wait too long.
By the time The Mysterines come on stage, the venue is jam-packed, and the atmosphere thick with anticipation. Before the applause settles down, we're straight into upcoming album Reeling's opener, Life's A Bitch (But I Like It So Much). It's an instant classic - one of those songs you feel like you could sing along to despite never having heard it before. Bassist George Favager is having a lovely time as always, headbanging along as Lia ferociously strums the guitar. In My Head is the first released track we get a taste of, which sends the crowd into a circle-pit forming frenzy. It's mad to think that we went over a year without this type of chaos, but clearly the fans haven't forgotten about the inexplicable euphoria that comes with slamming your body into a pool of sweaty strangers.
Next up is bonafide stomper The Bad Thing, rapidly building in pace throughout before erupting into a crazy guitar solo from Callum Thompson. Lia's commanding onstage persona is nothing short of magnetic as her effortlessly cool vocal performance holds everything together, maintaining that wonderfully "Mysterines" sound: dark, chilling and alluring. It's fucking tasty, and we love it. But you knew that already.
Title track Reeling follows, overflowing with deliciously bassy guitar tones, melting right into the massive crowd pleaser (and personal favourite) that gets everyone's fists pumping - the beautifully sinister I Win Every Time, with its cascading riffs and superior main character energy, it's a definitely a winner. Pun intended. Old Friends / Die Hard is up next, serving goth western vibes that we absolutely cannot wait to get our hands on once the studio version is released! Continuing with the new tracks, the band launch head first into Dangerous, which opens with a scuzzy 90s grunge style riff flowing into a catchy melodic chorus and admirably angsty bridge.
Means To Bleed is a vicious screamer that could only be chased by a strong shot of hefty new single, Hung Up, which we reviewed last week. After the turbulent scenes of a full on mosh pit, Lia checks in with the audience, before it all kicks the fuck off again to the sensual sounds of Hormone, which sends beers flying all over the place. The heat isn't under the covers now, it's in The Garage.
Everything goes dark as The Mysterines exit the stage, but (obviously) the crowd chant for one more song - and what a treat, we get 3 instead! Lia returns alone, armed with an acoustic guitar, signalling a rest for the moshing masses. She delivers a stunning rendition of Still Call You Home - her incredibly raw vocals front and centre, it feels like we're part of something truly special and intimate. As the rest of the band returns to the stage, they ask if we’d like to hear more, which is a silly question. The night ends on Love's Not Enough, and as everyone sings along we can't help but feel anything but exhilarated.
The Mysterines are clearly onto something sacred, and we throughly recommend getting involved now if you haven't already! The 4-piece have just announced their Reeling tour for March next year, so don't delay in getting your tickets - upcoming dates are as follows:
Oct 20 - O2 Academy, Leicester
Oct 21 - The Crescent, York (SOLD OUT)
Oct 22 - The Key Club, Leeds (SOLD OUT)
Oct 23 - Club Academy, Manchester
Oct 28 - The Mash House, Edinburgh (SOLD OUT)
Oct 29 - St Doms, Newcastle
Oct 30 - O2 Academy, Liverpool
Mar 18 - Ulster Sports Club, Belfast
Mar 19 - The Workmans Club (Basement), Dublin
Mar 23 - G2, Glasgow
Mar 24 - Social, Hull
Mar 25 - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Mar 26 - Mash, Cambridge
Mar 30 - Band On The Wall, Manchester
Mar 31 - Castle & Falcon, Birmingham
Apr 1 - Electric Ballroom, London
Apr 2 - Invisible Wind Factory, Liverpool
Review by Courtney Myers
Photography by Indy Brewer