29th May 2015, Manchester Ritz
Nearly twenty years since the only previous time I had managed to see Mudhoney, the Seattle veterans headed to the UK for another of their frequent visits over their long and prolific career. With a string of fine albums under heir belts in the last few years (arguably the most consistent band of all the early 90’s alternative scene), a well-packed Ritz in Manchester was in for a treat.
First up was fellow Seattle native, singer songwriter Barton Carroll. A very different prospect to the headliners, but nevertheless a fine show, with the early crowd appreciating the change in pace. An example of how good this type of music can be, its just a shame that there only seems to be space commercially for one or two huge names that get all the exposure, but that’s a different rant for a different time. Mark Arm showed support by appearing at the side of the stage for the last few tracks, a good start to the evening.
Next it was the turn of Wolf People, with their bizarre mixture of folk, noise and psychedelia. Impressing the crowd with their chilled out vibes, they easily bridged the gap between the opening and headline acts. The band have been branded as ‘Peat bog superfuzz sphagnum moss sludge’ by Stewart Lee, and on this evidence, their latest album ‘Fain’, to which Lee was describing, should be a decent album to pick up.
Mudhoney took to the stage and delivered a fine set, culling tracks from all stages of their long and prolific career. It’s easy to forget that they have been a constant when many of their contemporaries from back in the day have split, reformed and some even split again. Opening with ‘Suck You Dry’ the band powered through a 26 song set which drew from 10 different album and showed both their bluesy side as well as their gloriously fuzzed up noise, and just about everything in-between. Mark Arm was on amazing form vocally (how he hasn’t ruined his throat over a quarter of a century of his gnarled shouts and screams, I will never know). Material from more recent albums blended seamlessly alongside classics like ‘F.D.K.’, ‘Touch Me, I’m Sick’, and ‘Judgement, Rage, Retribution & Thyme’.
A brilliant night, I need to make sure I don’t wait as long to see them again.
Suck You Dry – Into The Drink – I Like It Small – Broken Hands – Poisoned Water – Get Into Yours – Sonic Infusion – Beneath The Valley Of The Underdog – F.D.K. (Fearless Doctor Killers) – Flat Out Fucked – Sweet Young Thing (Ain’ Sweet No More) – Judgement, Rage, Retribution And Thyme – No One Has – Touch Me I’m Sick – What To Do With The Neutral – I’m Now – The Final Course – You Stupid Asshole – Hate The Police – Chardonnay – The Only Son Of The Widow From Nain – You Got It – Who You Drivin’ Now – Here Comes Sickness – When Tomorrow Hits – In ‘N’ Out Of Grace