Live Review: Mutoid Man – Manchester

Live Review: Mutoid Man - The Bread Shed, Manchester
9th September 2023
Support: Haggard Cat
Words: Matthew Williams

It’s a warm September’s evening and you can sense a feeling inside the Bread Shed in Manchester, that the crowd are about to witness something very special from American trio Mutoid Man, who are on a short visit to these shores.

But the place was warmed up ably by the rather excellent Haggard Cat, with the Nottingham hardcore punk duo turning in an extremely lively, if somewhat short set, perhaps due to Tom Marsh’s kick drum pedal breaking during the opening track. They have lots of energy when they get into full flow, and as singer and guitarist Matt Reynolds urges the crowd to “come forward”, lots of headbanging is taking place and the crowd liven up a bit.

They are clearly enjoying themselves on stage, with the white flying V glistening in the lights and Matt rips across the stage playing riff after riff, and with such excellent songs as “First Words”, “Amateur Dramatics” and “Fucking TV”, they know how to work a crowd as they give a very energetic performance, with Tom’s kit getting an absolute hammering on times.

Before they begin their final song, which I think is “American Graffiti”, they mention that it’s been a dream come true supporting Mutoid Man, and then with one final burst of chaotic and frantic energy they are gone, but definitely not forgotten.

And what ensues for the next 60 -75 mins is something that anyone in the venue will never forget. It all begins with a period of heavy drum and bass blasting through the PA, which drummer Ben Koller joins in with before Stepehen Brodsky and Jeff Matz enter the stage.

The almost religious like ceremony begins with the effortlessly played “Setting Sun” and with the bass sound high in the mix, it is made to look so simple, with the trio sounding amazing, and after the first few songs, the crowd are starting to get involved with Brodsky shouting out “it feels so good”

With the pedigree of this band, they make playing live look so simple, but yet it almost criminal that they are playing small venues across the country, as their back catalogue of songs, alongside the sublime new album “Mutants” makes for a setlist of supreme quality. Songs like “Melt Your Mind”, “Kiss of Death and “Date with the Devil” are all extraordinary, with the heaviness of the drums coming though, crowd surfers, head bangers all over the place, raising the temperature so much, that even Brodsky has to complain about the “lack of air conditioning” in our venues, in the nicest way possible way of course.

As they slow down the pace with the ridiculously brilliant “Bandages” they then rip through the next part of their hit packed setlist, with songs exclusively from “Mutants” with “Call of The Void” my own favourite “Siren Song” (how amazing is this song by the way) and “Broken Glass Ceiling” which ended with an exceptionally heavy end section.

With the end rapidly approaching, they treated the crowd to a stunning rendition of “Scavengers” from their first record “Helium Head” and after rapturous applause, the trio are summoned back to play one more and with chaos ensuing, they finish on full throttle with the epic “1000 Mile Stare”.

It was a night of epic proportion and one that will definitely live with me and the others in attendance, for a long, long time.

Photo Credit: Matthew Williams

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