November 11, 2002
- The Khyber – Philadelphia, PA
|| The Music
by John Theobald
The Music is a band that I have been excited
to see for some time. After being turned on to them by another antiMUSIC
reader I have been anxiously awaiting their US tour.
The Music’s sound is hard to pin down exactly.
Sometimes lumped in with the “garage revival”, probably for their haircuts,
this classification does not do the band justice. More complex and rooted
primarily in psychedelic rock and dance, not the early punk sound favored
by so many of today’s up and coming bands, The Music’s work is poles
apart from the garage revival brat pack. While distinctly retro, The Music
is anything but a stripped down band. Applying creative and ranging vocals
over dense, dance infused, guitar rock The Music’s sound is rich, full
and polished. Apart from being decidedly retro they are also distinctly
British, which makes their sound both reassuringly familiar and refreshingly
Currently a virtual unknown in the US,
Leeds, UK natives The Music are opening for both The Vines and Coldplay
on their upcoming tours and should be on the verge of more widespread success.
The small intimate feel of The Khyber provided an excellent venue to experience
this young British band that will be returning to Philadelphia next month
to support at the considerably larger TLA. The crowd out to see The
Music on their headlining club tour on this Friday evening was the regular
indie-music, vintage jacket set, “I saw them when” contingent, The Music
should give them something to talk about.
Chicago’s OKGO provided support.
My only prior knowledge of OKGO was from their current buzz-bin single
“Get Over It,” a catchy radio-friendly pop-punk tune that sounds something
like AAF meets Jimmy Eat World. This first impression did not leave me
overly excited. To my pleasant surprise OKGO came through with a quite
enjoyable show. Despite their MTV ready appearance and pop-punk leanings
I did not find myself snaking away to the bar during the set, as often
is the case during opening acts. While not stunningly original OKGO’s set
left me pleasantly surprised. Closing with “Get Over It,” the aforementioned
hit song, which was far more popish and upbeat than the rest of their set.
Energized, the Khyber’s generally subdued crowd and provided a good upbeat
end to a quality set of straight up rock tunes.
From the moment The Music took the stage
their talent were apparent. Full-on energetic psychedelic Brit-rock with
an obvious debt to the Stone Roses at a power clearly ready for a larger
room was the order of the evening. Powerful vocals easily carried
though the pounding and complex yet melodic electric guitar and heavy baselines.
Shaggy haired front-man Robert Harvey’s high pitched wailing vocals with
the occasional scat-ish breakdown and effectively placed falsetto were
complemented by an energetic stage presence throughout the show.
The Music’s songs, a sort of hyped-up Stone Roses with an element of dance
and good dose of Pink Floyd psychedelia, seemed to flow into each other,
giving the show cohesion and providing little down time.
The Music's Robert Harvey
The Khyber’s crowd of somewhat uptight
indie-junkies was clearly rapt with the band but seemed to miss the experiential
potential of such music. Throughout the show I had the feeling that
The Music’s sonic flow and energetic beats virtually commanded dancing.
The Khyber is a rock club not a dance club however and the crowd for the
most part watched, perhaps contained by the tight quarters, indulging only
in the occasional head bob. Perhaps as The Music play larger venues
to less serious crowds in upcoming months their shows will inspire the
levels of bouncing and uninhibited flailing they ought to. On this night
I think the Philly rock intelligista was more bent on absorbing a great
new band by taking it in rather than experiencing it fully.
The Music’s performance surpassed my high
expectations for the show. While their recently released eponymously
titled debut is fairly hard to come by on this side of the pond at the
moment, opportunities to see them live in support of The Vines and Coldplay
will provide ample opportunity to see this excellent young band who are
loaded with potential in upcoming months. Overall ACE!
The Music's home page for more on the band and their new album
The Music's debut CD and listen to samples.
a friend about this page