On Saturday night, my friend and fellow blogger decided to drag me to see a band at a pub called The Office. The band were called Mugshot and were surprisingly…er, surprising.
With the opening of the gig reverberating with the intro of Metallica’s Enter Sandman, I was reserving judgment against whether the lead singer would be able to keep up with the instrumental talent that the rest of the band seemed to so effortlessly emit. And with his first words, he managed this. Flawlessly.
Enter Sandman’s extraordinary guitar solos were matched note-for-note by Mugshot’s lead guitarist. It set a high president for whether their following pieces would be able to live up to this opener.
But with the second and third songs being Time is Running Out by Muse and Raidohead’s legendary Creep, they proved more than capable. Even if the leads vocals weren’t up to Matt Bellamy’s range.
U2 and a very rock version of Live and Let Die by the musical deity that is Sir Paul McCartney followed. Spectacular. This band was very old school - made even more apparent that the members were all very middle-aged.
By this point in my eyes, they could do not wrong. This was the moment that I chose to nip out for a very rushed smoke.
I returned to them playing Dani California by the Chili Peppers. Here, the lead vocals kept up with the tempo of the verse lyrics absolutely perfectly and added their own quirk to the chorus. Lead guitar flawlessly shredded out the final outro salvo with incredible precision.
With the next song being U2’s Vertigo; they kept up the goosebumps. Hello, hello!
I must say that by now, I was starting to get the feeling that Mugshot were big fans of Bono and his crew.
Unfortunately, with a heavy heart and much begrudgement they had a break for 20 minutes, and I had to catch my last bus home.
Their whole sound was crisp and clear and unlike with a lot of unsigned “pub” bands, their sound levels were spot on. The music didn’t drown out the vocals, and the bass guitar wasn’t so quiet that a mouse sneezing would have been louder. You really got the impression that Mugshot really enjoyed what they did, and that they put massive amounts out practice into being able to perform with such perfection.
And now, as if by magic, we move from a superb performance, to a truly shocking performance from a band who really should’ve known better (it’s almost as if I actually planned this transition).
As I’m sure that a few of you are aware, there was a massive American sporting even on last night. The Super Bowl is what I can only describe as the FA Cup Final in Britain. Except bigger - much, much bigger. It just oozes everything there is about America. The commercials, the atmosphere, the dramatic commentators, the fake grass they were playing on. It was the Steelers vs the Packers. I have no idea what this means, but I was rooting for the Steelers because I noticed that the Packers had a bloke on their team who had a long ginger perm; and kind of looked like a girl.
When I first started watching, I was more clued up on how the universe worked, but honestly, by half-time, I was really getting into it and really starting to get an understanding for the rules of American Football and why it is such a big event over in the US.
So yes. The Half-Time Show. I really was expecting something truly fantastical for an event of this magnitude - but we got a painfully terrible performance from The Black Eyed Peas instead. They were out of tune, totally unco-ordinated and they seemed so completely flustered. Even a cameo appearance from the guitar legend himself, Slash, couldn’t make it better. By the time Usher gracefully dropped from the sky for his 30 second slot, it was just lost.
From a massive band like the Peas, I would really have expected more. I found it honestly disappointing to watch - even Fergie wasn’t looking that attractive.
I would rather have watched Mugshot play there than the Peas.