Thursday, 10 November 2011

GIG REVIEW: Throwing Muses @ Shepherds Bush Empire 02/11/11

A drunk guy got hold of the set list. It's an odd thought to have when you're at a gig but I'm pretty sure that's what half of the audience were thinking at Throwing Muses London gig.

By using some sort of lager fueled seance the, now very drunk, audience member started repeatedly yelping the names of the Muses songs until they played them. "FISH. FISH. FISH. FISH", he screamed until it appeared. "MANIA. MANIA. MANIA." *random chat from Kristin about her day till drunk guy interrupts with* "IS THIS ABOUT MANIA" then the song kicked in.

It was really something to behold. Maybe the next Science Journal should consider covering the theory 'Does the amount of alcoholic substances in the blood stream increase the likelihood of a telepathic experience when attending a popular music concert.'

Not that this is a bad thing. I quite love the maniac for bringing me my favourite songs. I also love him because he was part of a three-person mosh pit. If this was an Iron Maiden gig then that would be perfectly normal but since Throwing Muses fans are generally in their mid 40s and probably spend most of their evenings reading The Guardian and picking out tile patterns for the new bathroom getting constantly smacked in the back by three lagered-up lads probably isn't how they imagined spending their evening.

But alas I have majorly digressed from the issue at hand so let's get back to it. Throwing Muses. Yep, they're back. Well back in a sporadic gigging band format. After the release of Anthology, the band take on a 'greatest hits' album, the band packed up and headed on the road to their fans who seem to be always ready for another slice of Throwing Muses no matter how far apart their work seems to be.

The band were on top form and played all the hits ('Bright Yellow Gun', 'Mania'), band favourites ('Finish', 'Pearl') and hardcore fan faves ('Garoux des Larmes', 'Soul Soldier'). I could barely keep the smile off my face and my legs still as the band playing a setlist that felt like it was created with me in mind.

During the encore Kristin came back first and played a mesmerising solo version of 'Fish', a song Kristin wrote when she was only 18. When I was 18 I wrote a story about a man who lived with his mother. It was no 'Fish', but then again I don't have the never-ending talent of Hersh, the pounding rhythms of Dave Narcizo or the jazzy bass that Bernard Georges brings to the band. I have nothing that could make me a member of Throwing  Muses. Only the Muses themselves can bring together their folk-punk-scatty-harsh-pop fusion to resemble something beautiful and moving.

The Muses are slowing down now and I'd love to think in the future that I could look forward to another band like them but it's unlikely. No one else could approach music from such a obscure angle and make it seem easy. No one else could write songs about mental illness and make you feel like you're going through too just by listening. No one else could make you reconsider what you think a 'normal' song structure sounds like.  Nope there's not gonna be another band like them but for now the Muses seem to be in a touring mood so see them while you can.


  1. I recorded these videos, Excellent gig, especially for fans! I never had seen, I hope in few years to see them again.
    Annoying the guy who shouted the name of the songs, I think Kristin sent him to eat sushi for yelling "Fish" ...

  2. Cool thanks for the videos then. It was a great gig, despite the drunken guy. Fingers crossed the muses come this side of the pond again x.x.x.