Live (Kyoto / Daughters Courageous / Stout)
Forget Ferrero Rocher, because when My Mantra decide to throw a party, the last thing on their shopping list is a glued pyramid of chocolate to make sure everyone feels like they were really spoiling us. In fact, with three of the area’s leading bands in support, all leading up to the storming set of songs from debut album ‘Seven’, even the most discerning ambassador would be forsaking his usual evening nibble in favour of a bottle of Becks and a damn good mosh in the company of My Mantra.
First on were three-piece Kyoto who warmed the crowd up with their sophisticated psychedelic sounds. Taking ideas from Led Zeppelin and bringing them up to date with RHCP and Queens of the Stone Age influences, the lead singer confidently showed off a remarkable and impressive vocal range. Special effects complemented the varied set, enveloping the audience in powerful sounds – if you closed your eyes you’d swear there was double the number of people up there. Creative, highly-able musicians, leaving you with the impression that if you’re planning on coming back as a guitar in your next life, bass or lead – you’d want to be played by Kyoto.
Daughters Courageous were instantly engaging and appealed to the more indie-rock minded. Parts of songs were soaring, melodic, and atmospheric – think Thirteen Senses, The Delays, and Bloc Party, while the general vibe was energetic, rocky and slightly off-the-wall – think Muse, Nirvana, and Mars Volta. Whether there’s a market for Daughters Courageous is unquestionable. You may soon be selecting them on the pub jukebox; dancing to their likable rhythms in Lennon’s; and watching them rock on your telly.
Stout erupted onto the stage and proved that they’re the musical equivalent of marmite (and as we know, anyone with any taste adores marmite). Groupies and moshers alike went nuts as they played their immensely diverse set; but not as crazy as the band themselves who apparently forgot to take their medication before the gig. Captivating from start to finish, they were clearly enjoying themselves and even chucked in a bit of improv – unless playing the guitar with their mouths is a regular stunt?
Despite the aggressive fervour, the tunes were climatic, melodic and catchy. Taking inspiration from punk, indie, rock, and thrash, it would be impossible to find a decent cliché to sum up the uniqueness of Stout (although, I for one, could eat them on toast, in a sandwich, or straight out of the jar).
After the three tasty appetisers, came the main course – My Mantra. And what a feast! With the stage in darkness, the tension built until the crowd were literally a wreck of nerves and excitement, then the first thumping riff of ‘Down Around You’ blasted out and it all went off.
Happy to sing and scream the lyrics to ‘Trading Punches’ and ‘Wasted’, My Mantra’s keyed-up fans had obviously already got their hands on a copy of the new album ‘Seven’. Ever the zealous frontman, Dunc, clung to a glass of red wine as he clambered and posed on the equipment, flinging his guitar around like a prop. With testosterone flying left, right, and centre – I half expected him to rip off his shirt and start beating his chest Tarzan-style. Good job he refrained or the hyped-up fans would have caused a stampede.
Belting out menacing rock metal alongside catchy choruses, accessible lyrics, and hummable riffs, four-piece My Mantra are capturing seasoned rockers as well as converting fans of all other music genres. Not only do they know how to throw a great party, they have the capacity to bring rock music to the masses.
The album ‘Seven’ featuring the forthcoming single ‘Bleeds The Same’ is available from FM Music, HMV Southampton, and My Mantra’s website.