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Plug These Babies In! 10 Deep Cuts Muse NEED To Play Live

Wednesday, 27 September 2023 Written by Simon Ramsay

Photo: Nick Fancher

There’s no denying Muse’s albums have become more eclectic, experimental and, as a result, divisive over the last decade. But whether or not you’ve embraced the Devon trio’s ongoing evolution, or feel they’ve lost their way, Matt Bellamy and co. still have a huge arsenal of high calibre songs ready to enrich their spectacular live shows. So many, in fact, that these 10 rarely or never performed gems could easily slip into the set list for their forthcoming UK and Ireland tour without too many quibbles.

Exogenesis: Symphony Pt. 2 (Cross-pollination)

We’d love Muse to air their three part Exo-Genesis Symphony in its near 13 minute entirety, preferably with an orchestra, but if beggars can’t be choosers this never performed median movement from ‘The Resistance’, about astronauts venturing into space to ensure mankind’s survival, will definitely suffice. Bellamy’s always feared mucking up Cross Pollination live, so there’d be a certain heart-racing thrill watching him strive to nail the intricate classical piano intro, and challenging vocal gymnastics, of a quasi-classical epic that perfectly balances mournfulness with hope. 


The very first song Muse released, way back in 1997, in thrall to Garbage’s debut album, this dynamic explosion from the ‘Newton Abbott Demo’ EP blends Shirley Manson’s gothic atmospherics with a thrashy Nirvana chorus. Featuring a few lyrics that would be resurrected and refined on Time Is Running Out, Twin unleashes the kind of powerful primitive attack that sounds like youthful exorcism in all its pained, anti-heroic glory. 


Why this lead single from the Marmite synth-rock melange of ‘Simulation Theory’ hasn’t been performed live is a mystery we can only attribute to that tour’s complex production aesthetic. Its parent album may be patchy, but Blockades’ retro-futuristic synths and bombastic guitars combine in such a storming histrionic way that, mixing Chopin, overdriven rock and vintage Muse elements, made for a perfect sonic fusion the whole record, sadly, couldn’t live up to.

Hyper Chondriac Music

Not dissimilar to Radiohead’s Exit Music for a Film, this hypnotic slowed-down version of Hyper Music, an absolute face-melter from ‘Origin of Symmetry’, initially appeared as one of Bliss’s B-Sides. As Bellamy’s melismatic phrasing and quivering vibrato, in tandem with a beautifully sombre soundscape, discloses the brooding despair that fuelled such vitriol-drenched lyrics, you’d never guess such a deeply soulful rumination was, somehow, informed by a book about the combined laws of nature, physics and mathematics in the 10th dimension. 

Jimmy Kane 

Although you’ll never find an inferior bassline anywhere near a Muse song, even by Chris Wolstenholme’s flawless standards the funky riff that impels this ‘Newton Abbott Demo’ / Uno B-Side is so cool and contagious even someone with rigor mortis might rise up and boogie like Jagger as it takes hold. A little jazzy, a touch grungy, slightly trippy and featuring a filthy cocktail of sleazy vocals and squelchy guitars, it might not be their best or most beloved song, but did we mention that bassline? 


One of Bellamy’s favourite songs, about a near perfect sexual experience that can’t be forgotten, this Starlight B-Side exemplifies just how in ‘the zone’ Muse were during 2006’s ‘Black Holes and Revelations’ sessions. A space age cosmos-hopper propelled by another killer melodic bassline, and boasting a superbly flamboyant laser-gun harmonic guitar solo, Easily has only been played once during an intimate by request charity gig in 2017. So the time is nigh for an encore or two.

Map Of Your Head

If Muse fancy dialling down the grandeur for a little respite during their show, both sonically and visually, this intimate folky acoustic B-Side from New Born could offer a lovely change of pace. There’s something charmingly inviting about its deceptively sprightly major key aura that, blending sweet-as-honey music with nihilistic grievances, will make you want to give Matt a big old hug.


Having only been played a couple of times in their early days, unleashing this sizzler from the band’s first EP would have old school Muse aficionados salivating like puppies in a sausage factory. Wearing anachronistic ‘90s indie-pop influences all over its angst-ridden sleeve, and therefore able to add a different element to the band’s modern set, Coma’s debt to ‘The Bends’-era Radiohead is palpable.


If you’re wondering why this outstanding composition from the ‘Black Holes…’ sessions never became a signature hit for the band, it’s because Matt kindly/foolishly gave it away to Adam Lambert instead. Riding forth on a melodramatic melding of operatic piano and fuzzy snaking distortion, before quieting into a vulnerable classic Bond theme, elements of Shirley Bassey, Elton John and Queen are spun together into a theatrical kaleidoscope of epic emoting. 

Falling Away With You 

Sporadically teased over the years, this Jeff Buckley-inspired jewel from ‘Absolution’ has never been given the full airing such an endearingly melodramatic number about the ambivalence of lost memories deserves. Although Matt’s previously said it was difficult to nail live, but may be attempted one day, Muse forums are flooded with fans who’d happily sell their family home, and pivotal body parts, to witness such intense, tear-jerking sentiments up close and personal.

Muse Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Wed September 27 2023 - DUBLIN 3Arena
Fri September 29 2023 - MANCHESTER AO Arena
Sun October 01 2023 - LONDON O2 Arena
Mon October 02 2023 - LONDON O2 Arena

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