Memory Man – The Green Room, Perth – Thursday 24th September
Ever since hearing ‘Felix Baumgartner’ on the Vic Galloway show at the tail end of last year I’ve been keen to catch Memory Man live. Last Thursday night at the Green Room in Perth finally provided the opportunity.
Thursday was also my first visit to the Green Room. Initial impressions were favourable – the pub itself is quite nice and the live room is separate through the back. It’s a decent sized space as well with the stage filling three quarters of the back wall. All in all it’s a nice set-up but there are a couple of idiosyncrasies, most obviously that the limited amount of seating in the room is actually along the right wall level with the stage (and under one of the PA speakers.)
With the show scheduled to run until nearer midnight I wasn’t too disappointed to find out that Memory Man were opening the show although inevitably that meant that the crowd wasn’t as big as it might have been. But a few punters did trail through to watch them – then promptly planted themselves in the seats under the speaker.
To the music. With Paul’s guitar very much to the fore in the mix, the show was never going to be anything less than gripping.
The recent E.P. ‘Lost Lovers’ is great but the band didn’t open with any of those songs. Instead they chose one of the handful of unrecorded tunes sprinkled through the set, ‘53’. A fantastic opener, it was probably their rockiest tune of the evening.
‘Felix’ was probably the highlight of the ‘older’ tunes but hearing the others in the more direct live setting threw a slightly different light on them and did them no harm at all.
Of the other new tunes it was the epic ‘Rust’ that was the stand-out. Whilst it was slower than the rest of the set it did build to a spectacular, widescreen finale.
What is apparent from the show is that Memory Man have the tunes to more than back up the four songs on ‘Lost Lovers’. In fact, on the evidence of this set alone, Memory Man already have the songs for two thirds of a potentially great album and that’s not always the case for bands in their position. It seems a pretty good place to be.
One final point. It’s always a sign of a good show when you want to play the records again. And in the last few days I’ve done that several times whilst songs from the E.P. have also been on regular rotation on the internal jukebox. Which rather makes the point that Memory Man songs are as hooky as hell.
If there was a gripe about the show it was the sound perhaps because of the odd placing of that speaker. But it was disappointing that Stevie’s vocals were not higher in the mix ending up slightly battling the other instruments rather than soaring above them as they do on record.
However it’s fair to say that none of this spoiled the show for me. On the contrary it has whetted the appetite to see Memory Man again, hopefully in slightly more favourable sonic circumstances.
Memory Man played:
1. 53 2. Felix Baumgartner 3. Theodore 4. Rust 5. Salzgitter 6. In Praha 7. Taking Back The Flag
Apologies to Paradise Fund and Enemies of the State for not staying for their sets but gigs finishing at midnight on a school night simply aren’t my thing anymore!
Photos from the show here.
Here’s a couple that didn’t make that set: