Live Reviews

Wax Fang/Mother Mother – Live

The Social
12th May 2010

It must be daunting for Canada’s Mother Mother tonight. Not only they have taken the big bird against all odds to beat volcanic explosions to be here at The Social, they face the task of starting all over again. You see, this band who are signed to Last Gang Records, (home to the likes of MSTRKRFT, Crystal Castles and Death From Above 1979) are used to playing in front of well over 1500 people per show in Vancouver and to more than 500 per night in NYC so coming to London to play in front of 200 must have been a come down. But on this evidence tonight, it’s far from a comedown, it seemed like a pleasure to the 5 piece whose vocal harmonies can match the best bands on the planet, as Mother Mother live compared to on record is another entity.

If you have never heard this band before then picture the scene. They play extremely catchy indie pop that is not only quirky but also packs a punch with killer, memorable songs that could be played on any radio station worldwide all day long. They kick this show off with their latest self-titled album track O My Heart, a killer number which fills the dancefloor within seconds. Imagine the Pixies at their very best and you could be close to where this epic track is coming from. Singer/guitarist Ryan Guldemond is aware just how big these songs are as he welcomes the crowd to their first UK show ever by saying that his Mum reckons they ‘will be big in the UK….within 5 years’ – his modesty will get him everywhere on the strength of the first 3 numbers that also include the title track from their first album Touch Up.

This offered a glimpse of just how crazy their time changes were when they started out compared to their second album that certainly did not suffer from the usual syndrome most bands have to endure. For tracks as Arms Tonight and the monstrous Body Of Years (one of tonights highlights) come packed with high energy before they end on the fan-craving Hayloft, which rocked the roof off the place by a room packed to the gills.

Question is, where did these fans come from for a debut show? Are these all Canadians or has the Hayloft single travelled far and wide over the last month or so. The band seem stoked regardless and even more stoked that Hayloft was released here as after the show. Ryan mentioned in passing that they always wanted to release it properly when the album dropped a year ago back home and it certainly ended their set on a major high and the crowd dispersed leaving US indie stalwarts Wax Fang with a desert instead of a sea of people.

I felt for the Kentucky visitors as their set was insanely good. Never heard of them before? Me neither but they brought a drummer with them who is probably the best you will ever see and a sound that makes REM and David Bowie merge with Interpol and Grandaddy- the entire set left us feeling high and convinced us that buying a CD was a good move, look out for them at ATP. Both bands smashed it here tonight and roll on towards the UK festival scenes from tonight.

Once again, this proves that deep in the underground people are travelling to our shores that deserve your attention, now go google this shit and discover some magic, you will not be disappointed.

Seb Adoh