Sunday, 15 November 2009

gigsplurge 14: billy mahonie & mo-ho-bish-o-pi, june 2000

Billy Mahonie, Mo-ho-bish-o-pi & Silverback, Bullingdon Arms, 8 June 2000

At the time, GMS and a couple of friends were writing the music section for a now defunct "internet magazine". We got sent a lot of records to review, some of which were worth keeping, some of which were worth selling, some of which were by Lolly.

We booked this gig as a launch party--someone must have said "why not?" at some stage. The magazine never took off, but the gigs did: organising them, in conjunction with the team at the Bullingdon Arms, was surprisingly easy, and gigs tended to be better when you were allowed to name the headliners. The headliners of this particular gig tell you something about our state of mind at the time.

This series prompts questions about how music has changed across the decade. I couldn't say how much booking on the live toilet circuit has changed, as we only did this for around 12 months. It was entirely done with a landline and through addresses found on the back of 7" singles we liked. Other than that, I'd guess the principles haven't changed much.

Part of the agreement was that the Bully's in-house promoter, Mark 'The Sarge' Sargeant, could book one or two bands on the undercard--favours to mates, as our nights generally brought in a decent crowd, by the pub's standards. Silverback came via this route, and I can't remember a thing about them.

Billy Mahonie and Mo-ho-bish-o-pi were giving me hope about off-kilter British indie at the time. Along with Mclusky, they would have been ATP regulars if the festival's focus hadn't shifred Stateside. The Mahonie played lurching, bass-heavy, jazz-chords post-rock. They were the only band of their ilk that you could (sort of) dance to; small, tight, and kinetic where Mogwai had taken the genre big, expansive and elegiac. They should have succeeded and Explosions In The Sky should not. Mo-ho etc. played fast, shouty, Pavement frenzy, like Mclusky without the sick jokes and bile; good fun.

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