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Modest Mouse – Melkweg – 07.09.2010

The first time I saw Modest Mouse, also at the Melkweg, in September 2007, I was blown away. They were touring the We were dead… album, which is packed full of catchy songs. They also played lots of songs from the Good News… album, again plenty to sing along to. Even allowing for the fact that they were (I guess) playing lots of stuff from a forthcoming album last night, it was still – for me at least – a disappointing gig. If you’d never seen them before it would have been great to hear them do Float On, Satin in a Coffin, etc…, but even then the performances were fairly loose and the lead singer didn’t seem to be 100% there. Missed the Boat, in particular, was a bit of a shambles.

The newer songs seemed light on decent choruses or anything like a proper hook, and some of them were way too long. If the album includes the same extended jams as we heard last night it won’t be of interest to me. With two drummers, and sometimes two bass players, in a six-piece band it was a pretty heavy sound a lot of the time. Some of the guitar playing was really good and, as you’d expect, quite odd at times. But I think the fact that Johnny Marr, of Smiths fame, was playing with them in 2007 must have added even more to the sound than I thought at the time. I now definitely want to go see The Cribs playing live, since Mr. Marr has since joined them.

The support act, Yuck, played fairly dull shoegazing rock. One or two nice moments but nothing to write home about. I’d probably have preferred to hear the impressively afro’d drummer.

2 replies on “Modest Mouse – Melkweg – 07.09.2010”

Totally agree with Missed the Boat, how terrible was that? It’s one of my favourite songs so I was a bit let down. But I gotta say, it was a great show. Sure, the ‘hits’ didn’t sound well, maybe it’s because Johnny Marr put his mark on ‘We were dead…’ so much, Jim Fairchild is really amazing. Find my review of that night on my own website. I rather enjoyed the extended jams. I actually had to miss Modest Mouse 3 years back, gutted, because it would have been my last and only chance to see Marr. Now I’m a HUGE the Cribs fan, little did I know that I would see him a fair lot.

Go see the Cribs, with or without Marr. They’re a great band but don’t expect his influence to be incredibly notable, for that the Cribs have too much of their own sound. But get ‘Ignore the Ignorant’ regardless, it’s the only album he’s played on so far. The band’s currently on a break.

Thanks for the comment. Glad you enjoyed the gig. My musical tastes probably lie more at the pop/songwriter end of the rock spectrum, so I’m not very patient when the jamming is over-extended. I agree that the musicianship on display was impressive but I think I prefer when it sits within the songs rather than being the show itself. (Not sure if that makes sense!) In any case, I think you probably would also have been more impressed by the 2007 show…it’s a pity you missed it!

I have both of the Cribs albums and love them both. I know what you mean about Marr not adding so much to their sound. I don’t hear that much of a difference between the two albums. In fact I’m impressed that they managed to avoid “second album syndrome”.

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