GIG REVIEW: Mouses @ Eagle Inn
Teesside duo Mouses returned to Manchester this weekend for a raucous show in the claustrophobia-inducing confines of the Eagle Inn, Salford. Local acts Hover Bored and Gud Guts kicked off the evening with well-received support sets which packed in plenty of grungy goodness, setting the tone for the headliners.
Mouses, comprised of guitarist/vocalist Steven Bardgett and drummer Nathan Duff, have been on a roll over the past couple of years. Bagging a coveted spot at Reading and Leeds Festival, headlining Stockton Calling Festival and touring all over Europe all in their back-catalogue of achievements, it seems that the two-piece are going from strength to strength with Mouses current tour seeing the band dispensing their patented brand of not-to-be-missed frenetic garage rock up and down the country. In keeping with the unreconstructed setting of the gig, the set itself is raw and loose with plenty of room allowed for improvisation & crowd interaction – a factor exemplified by a pre-show request for an ABBA track being honoured with an interpolation of ‘Dancing Queen’ into the band’s 2016 single, ‘Hollywood’. Nathan later pounded out an impromptu drum solo to fill the dead air whilst Steven changed a snapped guitar string – little things like this from the grungy headliners highlight their playful (and professional) manner.
Tracks from Mouses ‘ highly-acclaimed 2016 debut ‘The Mouses Album’ made up the majority of the short, but ferocious, set alongside two new tracks ‘Illusion’ and ‘Nostalgia’. The new songs represent a refinement and development of the typical Mouses sound and went down well with the receptive Salford crowd. After storming through fan-favourites including ‘Poison’ and ‘Green’, the set came to a climax with ‘Worm’ and its blistering, repeated broadsides against organised religion. At face value, this may seem an odd way to end a gig, but it is the perfect summary of everything that Mouses are as a band: off-kilter, quirky and willing to tackle societal orthodoxies head on.
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