Live (Bigtopp / Mr Kamikaze / The JB Conspiracy)
There was definitely a party atmosphere at The Wedgewood Rooms for the launch of Mike TV’s debut album and things were already busy before the first band took to the stage.
Bigtopp opened the night with a bouncy ska sound with a fantastic brass section. The front man did a great job of each song as well as keeping the audience on side throughout the set. This band were so good, in fact, that I even forgave them their comedy-cover-version of the ‘Fresh Prince of Bel Air’ theme. They were followed by Mr Kamikaze, who were a reasonable enough rock band, although being sandwiched between Bigtopp and The JB Conspiracy, who were both tighter than a rusted bolt, did show up their relative looseness – especially when the drummer got caught in a time-skew. The final support slot was taken by The JB Conspiracy, who had even more brass than Bigtopp and yet another singer who could get the audience eating out of his hand. They had some great songs and plenty of variations on the ska theme.
With the album to present to us, Mike TV mixed old and new in their set to great effect, leaping up onto stage in black shirts and primary-colour ties reminiscent of Allister on the Drive Thru Invasion a few years back. Our first taste of the album came from ‘Single’, which is an awesome track from the opening riff, right through to the pleasing verse, trademark pop anthem chorus, and harmonic guitar solo.
It wasn’t just the guitar section that benefited from the new-look four-piece line up, though, as every band member contributed to the vocals, with Domb leading and Jhon, Riff, and Rich adding harmonies and interplays to constantly enhance the songs.
They finished up with a surprisingly successful bit of audience participation in ‘Salamander’. It really showcased their multi-vocal abilities. They disappeared to rapturous applause and re-emerged for their encore in the slogan-T-Shirts that appear on their album cover.
In their previous guise as Pickled Dick and in their current guise of Mike TV, these chaps just never fail to entertain.
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