I have been a fan of the Japanese post-rock band, Mono for quite a while now and have a few of their albums. They are currently touring their latest album “for my parents” which I own on lovely vinyl – though I have seen it yet as it was delivered to my nephew in New Zealand. I do of course have the download and while it is not my favourite album, I still love it and it got played an awful lot while I was on the truck in Africa.So, I was very excited to see that they were playing in London a couple of days after I arrived.
So, on 8 December I went to see them perform at The Village Underground in Shoreditch. I arrived at the venue about thirty minutes after the doors opened and was disappointed to see there was already a good sized crowd in front of the stage, which meant I was going to be a good five rows back, which also meant it would suck for photos. This was a lesson learnt, get to a gig on time. In fact a further lesson was learnt the following week when I decided to go and see another band, Male Bonding at a pub in Hackney – it was sold out! I am glad I checked first, but from now on I will book tickets first and then get there early.
The venue itself is fabulous, I would estimate it held about three hundred, high ceilings and brick walls with arched entrances to the bar area. I loved it. The sound was not too bad at the front, but very good at the back, it was sold out.
I bought a drink and made my way as close as I could get to the stage to see the support band, “Physics House Band. There were not really my style, like Mono they were an instrumental act, but too funky for my liking. Though the drummer was phenomenal.
Mono played for about an hour and a half and a mix of tracks off of “for my parents” and the previous album “hymn to the immortal wind”. They did not play either of my two most liked songs “com(?)” or “16.12”, but they did play “pure as snow” which is close behind.
Someone who got there before me, and had his camera in front of me all night, you can see him in some of my photos. I could not get a shot of the far guitarist as there were some tall people in the way, gutting. Not bad video though
It was all lit in red or blue with strong down spots so I shot everything in B and W. Being five rows back and to one side was pretty hopeless, and there was no way I was going to get any closer. I took a few photos and then put my camera away after Pure as Snow and went to the back and stood on some steps and just enjoyed the music.
They were really good, a great show !