Irish shoegaze band Just Mustard are relatively new on the scene, having been around since the release of their self-produced and recorded album ‘Wednesday’ in 2018. The success of ‘Wednesday’ found them nominated for a Choice Music Prize that same year and following on from this success, they released their second album ‘Heart Under’ in May of this year. Poppy Read-Pitt attended their gig.
Unsurprisingly, this alternative group found their home at the Bodega – an intimate venue that will literally have you brushing shoulders with the bands that are about to go on, making it one of my personal favourites for live music.
My friends and I supremely misjudged the timings and managed to get there pretty early, but this gave us time to catch the support act White Flowers and grab a drink. After a summer of London drink prices, £6 for a double vodka coke had me weeping with joy before the music even began. White Flowers were a great warm up act, with their shoegazy, dream pop, post-punk fusion priming the audience well for the for the headliners to come.
Every mullet and wolf cut was bobbing along gently to the beat of Shane Maguire on drums and Rob Clarke on bass
After the support act, we popped out for a smoke and upon our return found the crowd has nearly doubled in anticipation of Just Mustard’s set. The upstairs performance space of Bodega was rammed with a sea of mullets, septum piercings and people who looked like they would look down their nose at you if you said you didn’t quite get the Cocteau Twins. I was in heaven. But, alas, I was there to review and not to pull.
Their music is ethereal, dreamy, slightly gloomy and generally focuses more on sound than on lyricism, so this was not your typical gig where everyone is bouncing up and down and singing along to the lyrics. That’s not to say there was no crown engagement, on the contrary every mullet and wolf cut was bobbing along gently to the beat of Shane Maguire on drums and Rob Clarke on bass. Similarly, Katie Balls ethereal vocals that are reminiscent of similar shoegaze/Irish rock icons like Dolores O’Riordan or Elizabeth Fraser carried over the crowd. The atmosphere was relaxed but engaged, with the crowd clapping and whooping enthusiastically at the end of each song.
Undoubtedly, the most crowd engagement came with their most popular song, Deaf. My personal favourite of theirs, after listening to it so much on Spotify and through headphones, it was brilliant to see it in the flesh. It seems that the crowd at Bodega felt the same, as when David Noonan yelled the line “I met the money monkey man, he told me what he’d say / He said he’d take on all my sin and walk it all away” there were cheers mid song.
They mainly played songs from their newest album, but there were a good few older ones in there too (most notably, Deaf and Frank) with each track sounding exactly like it had been lifted from my Spotify playlist and put in front of me. All in all, a great gig. Just Mustard were exceptionally enjoyable live.
Featured image courtesy of Alex Watkin. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.
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