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Mindless Self Indulgence - KOKO, London - November 29 2013 (Live Review)

Tuesday, 03 December 2013 Written by Alec Chillingworth

This bill is something of a weird one. Headliners Mindless Self Indulgence are the undisputed kings of carnal madness, blending rap, metal, punk, rock, hip hop and all manner of oddities into something that looks awful in theory but, in reality, is pretty bloody good.

It's a shame, then, that opening act the Dead Betas never really manage to grab the audience's attention. Tunes such as Heroin recall 'Grey Britain'-era Gallows, which isn't a bad thing, but most of the band's tunes fall on deaf ears. They're dressed in school uniforms and they leave the stage to something worse than booing – polite applause.

The Red Paintings have no such problems. Setting up behind a curtain, the Australian art-rock crew emerge in Oriental get-ups, flanked by models painted harshly white. Oh, and the models are wearing big ant heads.

The band themselves are just as captivating as the artists painting behind them. Frontman Trash McSweeney bashes his guitar like Rocky Balboa on a rampage, letting his croon flow beautifully alongside the live violin and cello.

And then they drop Mad World. Staying true to Gary Jules' cover for the first section, the band then attack the classic song with their own unique, proggy twist. It's amazing. Finishing things up with the sprawling The Revolution Is Never Coming, the Red Paintings wipe the floor with KOKO – jaws are on the floor.

Mindless Self Indulgence receive a humongous, bone-rattling cheer as they take the stage and vocalist Jimmy Urine laps it up. Clad in white suit and sunglasses, he shouts “son of a bitch!” before launching the band straight into Witness and Shut Me Up. His vocals are a wee bit off-kilter for the first few tracks, but, then again, the audience are more than making up for it, screaming every word back at him.

At one point he decides to 'phone the Queen' and it all gets a bit weird. But then again, you couldn't expect a bog-standard gig from a band with a song called 2 Hookers An Eight Ball, could you? Bassist Lyn-Z pulls out all the stops, rolling out her ridiculous back-bending trick while smashing her way through the classics.

Tracks from new release 'How I Learned To Stop Giving A Shit And Love Mindless Self Indulgence' such as Ass Backwards and Fuck Machine ooze with hip-hop sensibility, while the crunch of It Gets Worse is a straight up rocker. The band plays with conviction, causing the new tunes to go down just as well as stuff like Never Wanted To Dance and Stupid MF.

An hour and a half goes by frighteningly quickly, ending with Urine miming Vera Lynn's We'll Meet Again. That just about sums up Mindless Self Indulgence. Bizarre, completely in a class of their own and mindlessly self indulgent. Glorious.

Mindless Self Indulgence UK & Ireland Tour Dates are as follows

Tue December 03 2013 - WOLVERHAMPTON Wulfrun Hall
Wed December 04 2013 - MANCHESTER The Ritz
Thu December 05 2013 - BRISTOL Anson Rooms

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