In central Wolverhampton lies an unassuming government type building, if it wasn’t for the hundreds of people crowding the surrounding areas, one could easily assume it to be council offices or something. But no! It’s a professionally outfitted entertainment venue! Unexpectedly so for some, as one usually expects as part and parcel of most rock venues sticky floors or worrying smells, but not in Wolves. It’s a classy joint, that made going to a gig a night out- instead of what can often be a frustrating evening that you tolerate to catch a glimpse of your fave band.
To add to the joys of the venue, MT were on stage and playing whilst the latter half of the audience arrived, so no waiting about- but for MT fans or prospective fans, that also meant that they could have been missed by some, but luckily we dropped in just in time to see this funky quartet grace the stage. MT apparently stands for ‘Many Things’ and I think that is relevant two-fold, as it literally does stand for that, but it also infers the meaning further. The band themselves bring many things to the table, they have such a unique sound, which in the highly-saturated modern music scene is a massive achievement. Their sound is like a crazy retro pop, someone described it as the backing track to the finale of an 80’s movie. Vocalist Michael is the eternal showman. Entertaining to the nth degree- jumping, pirouetting and interacting with the crowd, you couldn’t watch him and not smile. The atmosphere in the room however, wasn’t great- but that could be down to the cavernous room, the massive gap between the stage and the audience or most likely the lack of stage lighting for their performance, it definitely wasn’t down to the band or their tunes.
Support number two started pretty swiftly, up to enthral us next was London’s King Charles. King Charles is a solo singer/songwriter who blends glam rock, psychedelic folk and indie pop all into the pot along with his unmistakable look, which lands him somewhere between Adam Ant and Prince. His performance was subtle and reserved and professionally honed. His sound probably isn’t for everyone, but he has a sound that is his. Sounding slightly more towards his rock influences live than on record, the tunes were nice and played with a finesse of precise musicianship. Apparently writing and singing since age 17, KC has been working away hard, persevering, and it seems his hard work is starting to pay off.
Panic! At The Disco’s forthcoming arrival had the place in a stupor. Three audience members had passed out and given up already. The crowd was surprisingly a massively mixed bag, from middle aged parents with their kids, to groups of older ladies gripping their handbags, to goths, punks, and teenaged girls. The night was sold out, and it was obvious almost everyone there was a genuine Panic! fan.
One by one the band came on to the stage, to deafening squeals and rapturous applause, and without wasting any time -wham- straight into the first song. This routine went through almost the entire set, hardly any spoken words were uttered, no initial ‘Hello’, no introductions (which were needed as only one of the band is an original member) and no ‘Goodbye’-before the encore, they didn’t even feign a goodbye, so why bother even pretending? You’ve got a 23 song set list, just play them all, enough of this tom-foolery.. More so, while on the subject, where’s the rock and roll gone? Encores are meaningless unless they are spur-of-the-moment, don’t bull shit us into thinking we’ve got a treat because you’ve gone off and come back on, they just want a break on our time! Well I say enough of that shit..
Anyway! Back to Panic! To be honest, had Brendon have talked more, perhaps this review would be saying ‘they’ve gone pure pop- look at the fans, look at the venue- he was talking to the crowd like a DJ at a childs party’.. So hypocrisy is rife, but a few more words, perhaps an intro to some songs would have been nice, he does have a lovely talking voice..fans come in the hopes of interacting with their icons, especially these young girls who come with hearts full of love, that a smile, a wink or a hello could mean the world to. If you just wanted the tunes, you could stay home and listen to the record.
Having said ALL that, the night was enormously enjoyable. The musicians play flawlessly, Brendon’s voice is insane and he’s a fantastic showman.