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 The Music  
   w/ OKGO 
November 11, 2002 -  The Khyber – Philadelphia, PA 
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 different.

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! 

More on 

Visit The Music's home page for more on the band and their new album

Purchase The Music's debut CD and listen to samples.

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