The Castle & Falcon
Review by SdM
What a difference 300 days make. 7200 little hours. The last time The Mysterines played at The Castle & Falcon approximately 30 people turned up. This time however it was a sardine-like sold-out. With no album released during that time it’s reasonable to assume that this is due to a combination of word-of-mouth and people catching a listen on 6 Music or some-such. That makes total sense as once heard The Mysterines quality is hard to ignore. Energy, attitude, verve and tenacity wrapped in a brace of killer tunes, topped with a million dollar voice the cream of L.A rock would kill for.
A side-note perhaps but lead singer Lia Metcalfe looks every inch the rock star. Arriving on stage wearing a blue suit and sparkling diamond framed sunglasses she possessed all the smart, stylish bravado required to carry it off. There’s a sense of knowing playfulness with it all too: sunglasses on means ‘I’m here to give you hell!’; sunglasses off mean, ‘I’m here to rock!’. You don’t mind which.
There have been some other subtle and not so subtle changes over the time too: there is a new drummer and a bloke who stood to the left of the stage adding some excellent guitar noodling adding a further dimension to The Mysterines sound. The driving bass energy of ‘Who’s Ur Girl’ powered into the set taking an already excited and expectant crowd into a frenzy. The spiky ‘I Win Every Time’ and defiant ‘Resistance’ kept the temperature rising. ‘Loves Not Enough’, much like the sparkly sunglasses, shone through the wistful despairing and cast caution to the wind.
A drop-tuning of the lead guitar heralded the opening low grind thumping of ‘The Bad Thing’ – the Atlantic crossing sound of the band is at its most apparent here. The symbiosis of band and audience increased with a stellar performance of ‘Take Control’ and ‘Keep On Bleeding’. The anthemic chorus of “I just love to hate you!” from ‘Gasoline’ was a fitting way to close the set. The boisterous celebration of verbally sticking one on your nemesis is a cathartic release. The crowd were baying for more!
Another, and also very welcome, change to The Mysterines was an encore. On that previous occasion Lia and bandmates walked off stage to similar raucous cheers and applause but teasingly did not reappear. It was wonderfully cheeky and so rock-n-roll, and, admittedly, it added to the whole I-don’t-give-a-shit attitude. But this time Lia graced the stage once more and played a stunning acoustic version of ‘Still Call You Home’.
With her band mates returned to the stage the encore was completed with a blistering rendition of ‘Hormone’ finishing up a hugely impressive set by any measure. Just where The Mysterines will be in another 300 days’ time is anyone’s guess but if this show was anything to go by, it will be bigger and better still. Keep this particular drummer though.