Mitchell Museum / The Rosettes / My Domain – The Doghouse, Dundee – Sunday 20th May 2012

A little over 12 months ago, when MPT last spoke to Mitchell Museum, they seemed to be surfing on the crest of a wave created by the success of the sparkling debut LP ‘The Peters Port Museum Service’ – with work apparently well underway on LP number 2. Yet a matter of months later the band appeared to have imploded. A return visit to the City of Discovery at any time looked unlikely.

Yet a few weeks ago came the welcome news that the band had regrouped after hiatus the length if which would have gone unnoticed in other circumstances. Last night’s Doghouse show was therefore only the band’s second performance of the year after a show at Limbo the previous evening.

At barely 30 minutes and only 8 songs long, the show was an understated masterclass. Yet with 7 new songs (none repeated from last year’s show at Dexter’s), Mitchell Museum demonstrated an appetite to pick up where they left off last year and move in new directions.

For there’s a notable change of tone from previous MM shows. No Scottish band has better epitomised this blog’s title more than Mitchell Museum in recent years but this time out there’s a new maturity on show with the pace far less frenetic than previously. The consequence is a sound which is far less hyperactive giving more space to the tunes to breathe, particularly on set closer ‘The Claws’ which features some nice harmonies.

And the approach seems to suit each of the new songs whilst the only old song ‘Warning Bells’ is given something of a similar makeover of emphasis, less urgent than previously perhaps certainly, but only reminding you what a great song it is.

All in all it’s an exciting, but also slightly surprising, return and one that suggests that their new direction is going to be just as rewarding as the old one. Looking forward to catching them again soon.

The only disappointment of the evening was the paltry turnout which was at a level to give Dundee a bad name for out of town bands.

The show was opened by My Domain, a three piece who were resolutely NOT your typical Dundee band lifting a lot of inspiration from mid 70s prog. Peculiarly they played a couple of unfinished pieces, one instrumental and another allegedly more than a snippet but they had bags of confidence and were proficient enough to carry off the multi faceted songs.

I missed a chunk of The Rosettes who seemed to essentially a 2 piece garage band (although the drummer sat out one tune.) What I saw of them was good fun though.

Mitchell Museum setlist

1. Red Water  2. I Will, I Won’t  3. Glasshouse  4. Warning Bells  5. Good Morning Sadness  6. Clockstopping  7. Hunting Traps  8. The Claws

A demo of one of the new tracks played last night:

Mitchell Museum interview coming up in the next couple of weeks.

A few photos from the show here.