Mudhoney - Academy 2, Manchester - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

Mudhoney - Academy 2, Manchester

by Bob Coyne Rating:9 Release Date:2012-10-15

If I'm honest, I didn't know a lot about Mudhoney or Meat Puppets, except how they impacted on Nirvana. For someone who considered themself to be schooled in the ways of grunge, this was woefully inexcusable. In my defence - no, there is no defence. But I wanted to rectify it.
Due to whatever, I missed Canada's three-piece, Metz, which was galling, as I was 'reliably' informed by some dude at the bar that they were awesome, "Sub Pop's shiny new toy", which I'll have to take his word on. Probably wouldn't take his word on a lot, but at least that much has been corroborated elsewhere. Next time. Next time.

So, Meat Puppets. Bit of a strange start. The Academy 2 was still filling up, and it took the crowd quite a while to warm up, which didn't seem to bother the band too much, as they lost themselves in some extensive tonal instrumentals. Don't get me wrong, the pace was enjoyable, but it wasn't until they started into 'Plateau' that things really got going.

OK, so I've already admitted to my lack of Meat Puppet experience, but I doubt I was the only one there who got a buzz off listening to a song famously covered by a band no one will ever get to see/again. Despite being so famously covered, the Meat Puppets stormed through the rather apparent Nirvana-based interest, and came out on the other side with the crowd most definitely with them. New material from the band's recent album, Rat Farm, made appearances, but the rather surprising inclusion of The Beach Boys' 'Sloop John B', with its Vegas-Elvis-esque finish transitioning into 'Lake of Fire' was the epitome of cool. Everyone there knew it, and went mad for it. Meat Puppets were clearly having fun.

After that delightfully rude smack in the face of my ignorance, Mudhoney came on and, from start to finish, their set was an assault of the very best kind. From the new and irritatingly catchy 'I Like It Small' and the superb attitude of 'Douchebags on Parade', to such staples of the grunge golden era as 'You Got It' and 'Suck You Dry', they didn't miss a trick. The energy persisted throughout; the lo-fi, distortion-pedal grunge beast that is Mudhoney was kicking ass on stage in Manchester.

My knowledge of Mudhoney prior to Friday was limited to a 'Best of', a lasting memory of Matt Dillon, Eddy Vedder, et al's 'homage' to 'Touch Me I'm Sick' in Singles (I'll never not have to sing "Touch Me I'm Dick"…), and the basic general impression that "they sound a lot like Nirvana". And they do sound like Nirvana. Or, rather, Nirvana sound like Mudhoney. Either way, seeing some of Seattle's finest will always be a tick on the Bucket List.

This was an awesome and relentless set of nihilistic, dirgy grunge/punk at its best. There was a huge sense of nostalgia, mixed with the realisation that I've always been a fan; I just didn't realise. In the words of my gig-buddy after 'In N Out Of Grace' was encored: "Never fails to make me dance like a bastard!"

 

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