I’ve just got home from seeing Mercury Rev at the Glee Club in Birmingham – it’s long been one of my favourite venues and to see Mercury Rev there was truly something special. I’ve seen the band once before, at Green Man festival in 2014 (I think, possibly 2015!) – they blew me away then and they did the same thing tonight. It was described as an ‘unmissable night’ and ‘an intimate, acoustic evening featuring many of the stories and songs surrounding the Mercury Rev’s heartbreaking 1998 classic ‘Deserter’s Songs’. Performed in the fragile ‘whisper and strum’ way they were originally written, this promises to be an extraordinary glimpse into the forces that nearly destroyed a band and the strange events leading toward a most unexpected return.’ Usually these kinds of descriptions are over the top or just plain not true – for a while every vaguely folky dude with a guitar was described as the ‘new Nick Drake’ and I don’t think that was ever the case. This time though the description of the event proved to be valid – I’m still on a bit of a high from the gig, but it was an almost transcendental experience.
I’m often not a huge fan of the talking bits in between songs, but Jonathan Donahue’s chat was funny, smart and insightful – he also has a lovely speaking voice which I could have listened to all night.
Because I don’t have a working phone (still!) I wasn’t able to take any photos or videos so a) you’ll have to take my word for it that it was brilliant and b) I’ll leave you with this youtube video. (Also it’s now after midnight, so technically the 11th December which means it’s hospital day, so I should stop writing and start going to bed!)