The Music: live review

Gareth Kelly catches The Music's last ever London gig at the Brixton Academy, as they whip the audience into a frenzy with a hit-packed set.

Anita Awbi
  • By Anita Awbi
  • 5 Aug 2011
  • min read
The Music are one of those bands that may have very well passed you by, having released only three albums in their 12 year career.

It was the 2004 album Welcome to the North that really got them noticed and, for me and in particular, the track Freedom Fighters.

Other than a few festival appearances I haven’t had the chance to see them headline, so when it was announced earlier this year that they were to disband and play their last London show at Shepherd’s Bush Empire I had to grab a ticket.

But not long after the show went on sale they were upgraded to play at Brixton Academy, proving that they have a much underestimated following and are indeed a band that will be sorely missed!

Last night’s support came from The Whip; a band that looked a little lost on the Academy stage and were probably in primary school when The Music first appeared on the scene, but they certainly set the right tone for the evening.

The gradually-increasing crowd had a bit of an encouraging swagger as they came in, but any support act would have had a difficult time as the evening was only really about one band.

Within 10 minutes of the support finishing the atmosphere changed incredibly, and the venue was full to the brim with faithful followers all chanting ‘Music music’ at the top of their voices. I’m sure there wasn’t a single Southern accent amongst them, and the venue really took the feel of an old Leeds gig from a decade ago, rather than now, in the heart of Brixton. But that just made for a better evening, and as soon as Harvey and his band took to the stage with their song The Dance, the place erupted into a mass of pogoing partiers!

The 15-song set gave only a couple of moments for rest with hit after hit following each other, including the likes of Freedom Fighters, Welcome to the North, Too High and the epically catchy The People.

My personal highlight came in the last 10 minutes while the band were performing Bleed From Within - three members played drums on stage, and the real tribal feel of the percussion, with everyone using up their last little bit of energy, meant it really did end on a very high note indeed.

This may have been their last dance, but I think all in the room would have joined me in saying ‘Long live The Music’.

Words: Gareth Kelly

The Music, Brixton Academy, London, 4 August 2011