Mudhoney, Koko, London, September 2005
You have to love Mudhoney. Whilst Pixies broke up, then reunited years later, Mudhoney never stopped recording & touring, and probably outlasted almost every other American 90s harder rock/punk band ever tarnished with the label ‘grunge’. I always thought these guys were more sludgey and punk anyway… so how the hell they were lumped in with the icky emo metal of dross like Alice In Chains, or the adult MOR of Pearl Jam is beyond me. Their ‘comeback’ was evidenced here last year when they played the Big Day Out in Auckalnd. This gig at Koko (the old Camden Palace) was part of a series of concerts under the Don’t Look Back banner, where legendary bands were invited to play their seminal albums live, in totality… then go nuts. They were run by teh promoters of All Tomorrow’s Parties and in 2005 included shows by The Stooges, Cat Power, Melvins, Gang of Four, The Lemonheads, and Belle & Sebastian. This show was for Mudhoney’s Superfuzz Bigmuff and their early singles. Though in true trainspotter style, I think the order of the album was slightly reversed, or corrected, because apparently the album masters were originally pressed/issued in the wrong order. I met Jay, Matt & Vince in the pub right across teh road from the venue after work for a pre-gig drink. “Oh, hey… what do I owe you for the ticket?” I asked Jay. “Um. What ticket? You were getting your own, you said.” Frack. He was right. And I did get my own ticket. Where was it? My mind instantly pulled one of those out of body mental zoom-outs from my position in NW1, up into the air, to an immense hieght, looking Google-like down on London. It then panned South East, and zoomed in like a spy satellite on our flat in Deptford Bridge SE1, through the roof, x-ray styles to lock on to my Mudhoney ticket, in teh top drawer of my bedside table. “F***!.” Guzzle pint. “I'll be right back.” Fastest commute & counter-commute I ever pulled in London. So fast they were still in the pub. Idiot. Anyway, such adverse conditions and superhuman efforts always make for an increased enjoyment factor. I just wanted to have a good time, without being hassled by the man. Hell, we all wanted to get loaded! Oh, it was good. Moshey, headbanging, swamp rock with lots of screaming. Good clean fun. Musical tidbit for this day as to be ‘In ‘n’ Out Of Grace’. “Jesus take me to a higher place!”. And if you doubt that Mudhoney still have ‘it’, give last year’s album Vanishing Point a listen.