This weekend, I travelled back to my home town of Hull, with the intention of seeing one of my new favourite bands – The Musgraves - play live.
It’s not often I enjoy bands of the folk/pop genre, however there was something about The Musgraves I was instantly drawn to when I first saw them on The Graham Norton Show. When I found out that they were playing in what is also band member Lesley-Marie’s home town, I knew I had to be there.
Fruit is a venue located, naturally, in the old Fruit Market part of the city, amongst abandoned buildings down cobbled streets. Although having lived there all my life, I wasn’t privy to places like this until now.
I was allowed early access to the venue and even during their sound check, I could tell that The Musgraves were going to be a fantastic live band – flawless, even.
When the doors opened, the venue became scattered with middle-aged couples, which, for me, made for a better gig. This was a very welcome change from my usual scene.
The first band on the set were Creek Cats, a local country band. They were very fun and talented performers; I particularly liked it when the lead vocalist climbed on top of his band mate’s double-bass mid song!
Creek Cats were suitable support for a band like the Musgraves and certainly knew a lot of about the genre they were trying to re-create, despite being about as far away from the Deep South as they could get! Although I wasn’t a huge fan of the music, I did enjoy their song about alcohol – a must-have topic in a country band’s repertoire!
Such huge praise cannot be given to the second band. Called Young Jack – correct me if I am wrong - this was their first ever ‘proper’ performance. They had brought with them what seemed like an entire sixth form for moral support, blocking everyone else’s view entirely. I gave them credit for the fact that they had never played a gig before, but to me, they were nothing special.
They played their instruments with competence and seemed confident enough, more so than a lot of kid bands in this day and age. However, I hope that one day they play songs with lyrics that actually mean something to them, maybe then they will impress a room that isn’t just full of their mums, dads and potential girlfriends!
I welcomed The Musgraves like heroes saving me from the mediocre, as dramatic as it sounds. Their colourful appearance and impressive array of instruments was just as I expected it to be. From start ’til the very end, I was in love. As was the whole room.
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They played many of their original songs, such as So Sophia, Discover Me, Best of Me – which included an amazing keyboard solo - and Last of Me, closing with Fortune Teller. As well as this they treated us to their popular cover of I Need A Dollar by Aloe Blacc (which you can find here).
Their mixture of sounds made sure that everyone got what they wanted, and their cheerful, down-to-earth delivery was a massive bonus. They may not have been in the limelight for very long but they certainly proved their talent and were even able to get some quite conservative middle-class oldies on their feet for a good old shimmy!
Usually, if I loved a band, I would say something like, “this band will be massive one day” or, “this band will play arenas one day”. Yes, I think The Musgraves have more talent than any of the arena bands around at the moment… but the longer they stick to their northern roots and play intimate shows the better!
Their kind of music is meant for places like Fruit. It is a travesty that this band are not the type of band that will make it to super-fame, but at the same time this is a huge blessing for people like me.
As you will find out in my next post – in which I interview The Musgraves and talk a bit more about the band - their friendly nature continues off-stage and I urge you all to find this out for yourselves!
Their next gig will be at The Manchester Roadhouse on 26th April. Get yourselves down there and take some money for one of their limited edition, cheerful Musgrave Mugs!