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Missing Andy @ Sticky Mike's Frog Bar - 16/12/11
Words and Pictures by www.heymancheckmyband.com
The name may well ring a bell. That’s most probably due to Missing Andy’s success on Sky 1’s “Must Be The Music” last year. Or it could simply be because you’ve been listening out for the rare Top 40 hit that isn’t simply a big name performing atop a shallow dance beat, but is instead music made and crafted, attempting to convey some sort of message. In the band’s own words “No one is speaking up for our generation.”
Vigilantism was however set aside for the support acts, the notable, and local, Tales Of George most definitely ensured that the crowd were warmed up for the headliners. With a front man who could well be the love child of the Kanes, Miles and Russell, and a sound definitely pushing the punk spectrum as opposed to the former’s pop, they provided an energetic yet accomplished performance that certainly left ears ringing and explained their underground popularity.
There was no break from the aural onslaught with Missing Andy launching straight into an impassioned opening duo. Lead (or mouth as the band refer to him) Alex Greaves looked very much the Brit-rebel, complete with green parka and hands clasped behind back, gallagher-esque would be an understatement, and there was something very British and nostalgic about the set as a whole. Sounds ranged from the jovial ska of “Dave” through to the anthemic escapism of “Kings For The Weekend”. Perhaps the only constant throughout the evening was the consistent showmanship, it’s difficult to pigeon hole these guys as anything other than performers.
“Scum” provided a paradox, jovial acoustic instrumentation juxtaposed with heraldic lyricism, if there were ever a more resigned yet blatant call to “stick it to the man” I’ve yet to hear it. Said paradox is perhaps indicative of the limbo in which the band exist. On the one hand determined to carry the torch for the “Generation Silenced”, with tracks such as “Way We Are Made (Made In England)” and “Call To Arms” leaving little to the imagination. Yet at the same time there’s never been a cheerier group of naysayers who can credit so much success to a mainstream talent show. Moreover it was when sharp observation was mixed with enjoyment and hectic musicality that the band were at their best. “He wakes up in the morning with an understated feeling of superiority… He takes a nice glance in the mirror to see just how pretentious one can be” is spoken word genius, couple that with a superbly infectious chorus and you get “Indie Kid” the undoubted highlight of the evening.
In a year that has seen the return of “The Protester” it is perhaps obvious for the marketing machine to paint Missing Andy as angry messiahs, but that’s somewhat untrue, and in fact a short sell. These guys played songs they believe in, and yes songs that at times carried a fairly flagrant message, but this was a performance, it was about music, release and fun, and what better way to show that than to close with a Madness cover, “Baggy trousers, baggy trousers, baggy trousers, baggy trousers…”
Date: Monday 9th January 2012