MITSOO - WHO?
Due to my ever growing intrigue towards babes and machinery, I quickly signed myself and photographer Ainz up for a night of canned black labels and something poles apart.
I had received an email from Jon Monsoon earlier in the week, enquiring whether Alternative Eye were to attend the Mitsoo album launch on Friday at the Mercury - as he was compiling the guest list. The entrance fee was thirty rand; it sounded tempting. But, as I sat there thinking, two questions still lingered: why was Jon Monsoon being so nice, and who in the world were Mitsoo?
Thanks to Google, I quickly found out they were an all female punk band, and had been musically active for some time; so, due to my ever growing intrigue towards babes and machinery, I quickly signed myself and photographer Ainz up for a night of canned black labels and something poles apart.
Taking it from behind...the scenes, and settling in.
The gig was to start at 9; Ainz and I arrived at least forty minutes early. De Villier’s street was desolate, the entrance to the Mercury locked, we were bored - not to mention thirsty after a long, sober week. Fortunately, out of the corner of my eye I noticed someone stumbling and bumbling with an item of musical equipment into a side entrance. And, after following the offender into the dingy hole, up a flight of stairs, and through the backstage quarter, the two of us found ourselves scrambling into the Mercury Live.
All around us were people that looked like they were meant to be there, friends of the band types, dressed - or, at that point, getting dressed - for the occasion: eccentric outfits; smeared, brightly stained faces; some with corpse paint and blood smattered mugs. The venue itself integrated a cryptic, horror movie look and feel. It all seemed quite exciting.
The bar was not yet serving; a busy little bartender was busy stocking the fridge - and, to my panic, they had those awful canned black labels. It was okay, we still had foosball (in recent weeks, I have become rather attached to the game - and, at times, sadistically competitive). After finally discovering the coin slit, and happily managing to thrust in my coin, we were approached by a friendly zombie, with a blood splattered mouth and a few missing teeth. I regrettably made the mistake of asking for a kiss.
Three chord theory: reliving the past
The venue, which had earlier seemed like the dressing room of a Broadway Moulin Rouge, was filling up comfortably. The gender ratio was healthy amongst the audience, with the sweet smell of perfume, appreciatively, neutralising the odour of burped beer. To the left of the stage, a big screen aired behind the scenes footage of some Mitsoo music video. Three Chord Theory, masked in corpse paint, made their entrance. It all seemed very innocent.
I have seen several of their (TCT’s) shows throughout the year, and have never been disappointed, but never quite excited either. With their pithy old school sound that stays true to its roots, they have always provided a tight set and a first-class mosh– but, for my mind, offering little more. This night, however, I sensed a new found confidence that, coupled with the cheesy zombie theme and dark nuances, healed me sexually.
Velve were second up. After three songs, and feeling a little sleepy, myself and photographer Ainz decided to get some fresh air. Outside, we found Electric Fuck Pirates bassist, Brad, asleep on the pavement. Who had done this I thought? Was it Velve and their dreary contribution to alternative rock? Poor Brad, he was weak; and he probably only got through the first song. Eager to help, we measured him, and gave him a cassette tape inscribed with the words ’hair’. From the depths of his slumber, his ridiculous moustache lifted, and, if only for a second, he managed a smile.
Mitsoo: Clown man, and the adversity of the electric tits
Upon our return, anticipation had arisen. My male gaze was drawn to an army of female fans that had congregated near the stage, all clad in tight skirts and their sleazy cosmetics. But I soon became distracted; I needed Mitsoo; Alteye needed a story. Slowly, very slowly, I curved by head upward. And there stood the announcer offering his prologue. The moment of enlightenment was nigh.
Without further ado, four meisies, and their cheerleaders, boarded the stage. It was smoky lit. They came into focus slowly: Interesting hair and skin I thought. The spectators had sucked closer to the stage, and I was stumbling amongst them trying to get a decent vantage point.
Their first song kicked in, and it was not at all what I expected. I pictured noisy aggravating punk; they had attitude, but it was a smooth, muddy kind of attitude that said fuck you and have a nice day in the same meaningful breathe. The set in total was charming, and rested well with the context of the evening.
Mitsoo received a supreme response from their fans, who persuaded them to offer an encore. All seemed good and well, until Binky, a crazed clown man, came onto the stage with an angle grinder, and a chunk of metal - casting shards into the band and audience. It was wonderful.