Live: The Music – Brixton Academy 4th August 2011

Joel Frosh says an emotional goodbye to dance rock outfit The Music at their farewell gig in Brixton


Brixton Academy saw Leeds dance rockers The Music play their final London show on an emotional farewell tour that has visited Japan, Leeds and London. The four-piece have struggled to repeat the success of their 2002 self-titled debut album that reached number four in the charts. After a four year break between albums two and three, The Music had almost been completely wiped from the memories of British music fans. However, there are still small cults of fans dispersed around the UK who have stayed loyal, and the Brixton gig was testament to this.

The band’s live performances have always been one of their major strengths and tonight’s gig was no different; the constant rewarding dance drops created enough power for the entire venue to bounce. Despite ruining the epic chorus to ‘Drugs’ by singing it as a lullaby over a dance track, for the rest of the set Robert Harvey’s high pitched melodic yelling carried brilliantly and his confident stage presence encouraged the crowd to attempt to imitate some of his more experimental dance moves.

Reliving The Music experience made me realise how underrated Adam Nutter’s guitar style is. His consistent catchy riffs and creative use of effects pedals carry the band, and fill out the sound enough to render a rhythm guitar pointless.

Possibly the best song of the night was ‘Bleeding From Within’, where the guitar and bass were exchanged for a set of drums to make way for a three man drum jam. Even though the sound of added percussion has become familiar in indie bands such as Friendly Fires, The Music managed to use this gimmick creatively in the penultimate song of their main set, bringing a contrasting rhythmical sound that was as exciting to watch as to listen to.

What stood out throughout the performance was the genuine way in which The Music played their classic anthems and spoke about their journey, giving the evening a real intimate feel. Harvey took an appropriate amount of time thanking those who have helped the band along the years and made sure that the loyal fans knew how much they meant to the band. As fans left the venue singing various hooks from the set, a melancholy began to sink in with the realisation that The Music would no longer be lurking in the background of the music scene as the underrated band that should have been something more.

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