In between Reading and Leeds Festival appearances, Mindless Self Indulgence turned up to Birmingham’s Barfly for an exclusive guest-only set for Kerrang Radio. MSI needed no support bands to get the young crowd warmed up as the place was brimming with excitement about their imminent performance. Instead Kerrang Radio’s Keith, presenter of Friday night’s ‘The Dirt’ Show played a varied alternative DJ set of old and new tunes, before he took to the stage to introduce the band.
Just the sight of Lyn Z, Kitty, Steve Righ? and Little Jimmy Urine crawling down the stairs towards the stage got the whole room to erupt. Then the unmistakeable riff of ‘Shut Me Up’ sent the Barfly into chaos. This is a band that doesn’t just go out and nonchalantly play their songs, they fully commit, bring high energy and completely submerge themselves into the crowd. On occasions literally, as both bassist Lyn Z and front man Jimmy Urine surfed and crawled across the crowd with not even the first song finished. Jimmy also made himself a member of the audience by leaving the stage and peering over people’s heads to get a good view. He then climbed a metal joist and asked the crowd ‘Where am I?’ before starting ‘Stupid MF’.
Half of their 18 song set consisted of tracks from their new album ‘If’. Songs such as ‘Lights out’, ‘On It’, ‘Pay for it’, and ‘Animal’ got a good reception as arms waved and bodies jumped. The screams from Jimmy and Steve Righ? in ‘Mastermind’ and ‘Bomb this track’ were raw and the riff and bass of ‘Issues’ stood out. Another stand out song, ‘Bitches’ was executed with high quality using heavy beats and bass. High tempo drums throughout the gig set a fast paced performance that rippled into the crowd as they danced to every beat.
This energy was echoed by the extravagant performance of Jimmy Urine. He was always on the move, dancing the funky chicken, and launching himself onto the barrier almost being dragged into the crowd every time. Jimmy certainly takes centre stage, elevating his lean body above everyone, his spiky hair giving extra height. Hushing the crowd, he insisted on being the only one allowed to sing their new single ‘Never wanted to dance’ then later offered to share vocals with the front row on ‘Faggot’. His non-pc and sometimes slightly offensive banter between songs adds to the fun-loving no nonsense nature of the band. However some may not find this appealing. They ended with ‘Straight To Video’ (which I hummed long after the gig had finished) before Jimmy was left alone to dramatically mime Mary Poppins’ ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’, with a cane in hand.
With Jimmy’s drama and humour, Steve’s pouts, Lyn Z’s engaging eye contact and Kitty’s constant smile, they all build up a great rapport with their audience. Their songs are a quirky alternative mix of punk and electronica that are very entertaining. The fast paced tempo of the vocals and electro beats could be enough for some to be left with their heads spinning. However as the majority of people stayed behind to get autographs, I’d say that not many complaints would be voiced about this show. They demonstrated that with a technically strong performance of catchy songs and a massive visual impact, MSI are a creative and enjoyable live act to watch and well worth looking out for.
Review – Karen Trenbirth
Photos – Karl Bright