Music Reviews

“Short And Not So Sweet”- Live Review: The Mysterines @ Rough Trade

Alex Tearle

The Mysterines are an alternative-rock band from Liverpool. Their latest album, ‘Reeling’, came out on 11th March 2022. On 13th March, the band played a concert at Nottingham’s Rough Trade venue. Alex Tearle attended the concert, and reviews.

After listening to The Mysterines’ new album, ‘Reeling’, I was incredibly excited to see the band perform live at one of the most intimate and entertaining venues I’ve ever been to. The Mysterines act like headliners, but lack the charisma or appeal of a main stage act, making me reconsider my previous article.

The Mysterines were beyond fashionably late (and unapologetically so), but were still met by appreciative cheering from an excitable crowd. This tone was not echoed by the band however, who were silent when they picked up their instruments, as if about to perform aboard The Titanic rather than to a room of adoring fans.

The band all sounded excellent, but there certainly was something missing 

The band started by playing Dangerous, one of their newer singles, a sonically perfect performance, exactly as it was on the album. This didn’t drum up the audience at all however, all of whom essentially sat and silently watched the gig, applauding at the end of each track like parents at a bad school play. The band all sounded excellent, but there certainly was something missing in the live performance. The “endearing swagger” the album had through headphones didn’t translate well into a live performance at all, with the band seeming bored throughout their excessively short 30-minute set, which permeated through to the audience.

Though they were not on stage for long, the band played flawlessly. Every instrument was perfectly tuned, the solos were exceptionally performed, and the basslines were substantial and satisfying. This being said, the setlist the band chose felt weak. The Mysterines seemed to stick to their more western sounding songs for their live performance; a shame, when I think about how great some of the more alternative songs might have sounded in such a small venue.

An uncharacteristic lack of personality

It was clear the audience were uninterested with this performance, quickly losing focus and applauding with less and less vigour after each track. It seemed the band felt no particular love for their fans either, rarely interacting with them, and offering only a few words before starting up again, showing an uncharacteristic lack of personality. This was my biggest criticism of the evening – their interactions made them seem incredibly uncharismatic and tired, as if they were bored with us.

I accept that the band are incredibly busy at the minute, and are undoubtedly swamped with work and press appearances, but it felt as if they’d rather be anywhere but Rough Trade that night. This was particularly confusing as, when I met the band after the show, they seemed far more excitable and friendly, perhaps relieved their performance was over. I think this could have been due to the audience however, who looked more akin to the band’s parents than fans. It felt quite strange being the youngest person at the gig, and the audience seemed to react to the overly cold attitude of the band with one of their own.

Though musically exceptional, the show itself was not nearly as exciting as the album; a flat and uninspiring performance that was a complete contrast to the fresh and inspirational sounds of the album. There wasn’t any one particular reason for this, more a conglomeration of factors that felt as if they had embarked on a box-ticking exercise that night. I think The Mysterines would have been far better in front of a younger crowd, with a bit more sleep and a better setlist. I would still recommend The Mysterines, but I feel they would be far better at a bigger and louder venue, with their usual energy and prowess that would showcase them in the spotlight I know they belong in.

Alex Tearle

Featured image courtesy of Alex Watkin. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.

In-article image courtesy of @themysterines via No changes were made to this image.

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