Sunday, December 03, 2006

Men Women and Children / Kill The Arcade / Montana Birmingham Barfly Saturday December 2nd 2006

Wow. Top 10 gigs of all time alert. Woo woo the cops. This was a seriously special gig.

Montana (yet another fantastic local band) kicked off things by playing a set that wouldn't have been out of place at Woodstock. They have a long haired guitarist who might just be one of the best I've ever seen in 18 years of gig going, a vocalist that combines a bit of Anthony from the Chili Peppers, a bit of Robert Plant from the Zep, a touch of Jagger and his own phrasing that somehow seems like a natural development of all the above. If this band were around in 1974 they would be flying the globe in their own jets.

Kill The Arcade had a hard act to follow and didn't quite blow me away as much. But it was still a strong, powerful set and on any other night they would've made more of an impression.

Which leaves Men Women and Children. After hearing Lightning Strikes Twice in New York and Dance in My Blood last year I knew they were a cut above most other bands around. The album backed this up. But live...well I can't think of anyone else who could top them. Every single member of this band puts 100% into their performance. They obviously know their musical stuff (I'm sure I caught the bass player tuning up to Money by Pink Floyd! Good choice fella) and have managed to create a kind of funk/disco/rock/metal/rap hybrid of music that puts some of the best moments from the past 40 years of music into a big blender, adds loads of other great new ingredients and serves it up piping hot.

If I'm starting to sound like a teenager who's just been to his first gig rather than a 36 year old bloke who's been gigging for half his life then that's how this band makes you feel. I defy anyone not to love them. If they played this music all over the world it would stop wars, cure disease and make people dance in the streets. It's THAT good. We had the good fortune to meet the after the gig and, to top it all, they're bloody nice people who genuinely seemed to enjoy meeting fans and appreciated everyone who came out to see them. Pretty much every second was a highlight, but respect due to a band that don's hard hats with miners lights on them then leads a conga through the crowd.

Hopefully there may be the chance to interview the band in the future - watch this space - in the meantime go out and tell your friends, buy the record, become their friend on My Space, go see them live...they will restore your faith in humanity.

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