It was good timing to have been able to, on the same day, review Pete Doherty‘s upcoming debut solo album, Grace/Wasteland, and then later that night – last night – to go out and see Mongrel play live at the O2 Academy (was Zodiac; Carling Academy) in Oxford. The connection between the two is that Pete Doherty‘s fellow Babyshambles bandmate Drew McConnell plays guitar in Mongrel.
I didn’t say enough in the previous review about how much I enjoyed Drew McConnell’s bass on Doherty’s album, but now I get another opportunity to say how talented a musician he is. I was a little disappointed that he wasn’t playing bass last night, but it was interesting to find out that he’s an excellent guitarist as well. He did strap on the bass for one song – which was great – I think it was “Menace”.
This of course isn’t to take away from the other Mongrel band members – frontman Jon McClure from Reverend and The Makers with his mohawk in check, was fun to watch on stage, and I liked the band’s indie/punk/dub/funky hip hop mix with cool vocal melodies alongside Lowkey‘s clever rap style.
Other members of the group include Andy Nicholson (Ex Arctic Monkeys Bassist), Matt Helders (Arctic Monkeys Drummer), Joe Moskow (Reverend and The Makers), and female MCs Pariz 1 and Tor Cesay added a touch of class to the set.
Mongrel is still on tour in the UK – I highly recommend their live show.
Mongrel. A coalition of the willing. A force of nature based on musical artists who want to say something about the world they live in and be free of the merry-go-round of make record release make record release. Attached to the old fashioned notion that it’s cool to care about the world you live in made popular by the punks and the 60’s counter culturalists before them we got together and made a record from our own pockets to make a stand and put our sword in the dirt.
Bringing together people from different parts in the world of different musical styles, Mongrel merges the UK indie music scene with a hip hop community ignored for the large part by the wider media – tackling themes shied away from by mainstream musicians.
Mongrel on amazon.co.uk
For tour dates, music and more, go to:
By: Jenny May – BandWeblogs.com