93 Feet East, Brick Lane, London
Formed in 1997, on hiatus for the better part of a decade, Mandala have finally produced a debut album – Midnight Twilight, very warmly recommended and good enough to get me to travel 150 miles for this gig – and played a showcase in London to celebrate.
While the album itself is impressive enough, live you get a different angle on the band, which is how it should be with any proper rock act. This is power trio stuff with a nicely psychedelic edge, featuring excellent musicians who used their chops in the service of songs rather than noodling.
Much of the energy comes from Will Spurling, a whirling dervish of a drummer, propelling the band along with a performance that is a show in itself. Holding things down alongside him is Francis Booth, a bass player with a melodic edge straight from the McCartney school. Out front is singer and guitarist Rhys Marsh, the man behind the increasingly impressive Autumnsongs Records label and a likely usurper of Steven Wilson’s crown as the busiest, and most trustworthy man in contemporary music.
Robbed of the textures they had on » Continue Reading.