Bob Mould - Rescue Rooms, Nottingham

by Lawrence Poole Rating:7 Release Date:
I’m sure there is a smattering of musical accusations you can lay at punk rock firebrand Bob Mould’s door, but being guilty of hanging around is surely not one of them. The New York-born, Minnesota-raised alt-guitarist and vocalist went about his business at the kind of break-neck speed that Eastern European dictatorships fell once the Iron Curtain had been joyously ripped down.
 
A metaphor worth reaffirming, as while Husak and Ceausescu's reigns were being unceremoniously fought then toppled in the 1980s, on the other side of the Atlantic Mould and other like-minded heads were enjoying a entirely different musical revolution. Inspired by the counter-culture punk ethos rearing its chaotic head in London, Manchester and The Big Apple - Mould quickly became a revered figure thanks to his work with Grant Hart and Greg Norton in Husker Du.
 
Blending visceral, shredded guitars with undertones of melody and bittersweet lyrics, Mould would reinforce his reputation a decade later in Sugar with the Creation Records-released gem, Copper Blue.
And it was from this record that the standout moments of jam-packed Saturday show in Nottingham full of punks (reformed and lapsed) and beardies were taken.
 
More than ably backed by a tinnitus-inducing rhythm section - Mould belied his 55 years to bounce manically around the stage like a four-year-old in a Haribo factory. Teasingly dropping in lesser known Husker Du tracks around the more melodious Sugar tracks like the glorious 'If I Can't Change Your Mind' and 'Celebrated Summer' - worked just, although grumbles were overhead questioning why the stellar moments from 1986's acclaimed 'Candy Apple Grey' were not aired on departure.
But by smashing through a couple of dozen or so tracks in a 75-minute set, no one was complaining they didn't get bangs for their bucks - even if some of those bangs tread over similar sounding ground.
 
Keeping chit-chat to a minimum, except to praise his band and the city of Nottingham for its recent UNESCO Capital of Literature gong, Mould had an energetic plan to get from A to B and wasn't going to be derailed. Like fellow US punk pioneers Lou Barlow and J Mascis, who have also impressed on Nottingham stages, Mould - despite the moniker - remains pleasingly in rude health.

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