This gig could easily not have worked out well for me. Not really anything to do with how good Mojave 3 or their songs are, but more to do with me and other circumstances. I arrived just in time for the band arriving on stage, after hot-footing it from home. The dark shadow of the dead computer was still looming over me, and I left Mrs Growl at a friend’s house still trying to rescue the hard drive and jumped on the tube for the 15 minute trip into town feeling a bit selfish, and with my mind slightly elsewhere.
The Borderline on Monday was as stiflingly hot as you’d expect an underground cavern to be with the temperature outside in the high 20s. Then I remembered that Mojave 3 would be sans Rachel Goswell (due to her illness – see her myspace for more info). So no sweet BVs and harmonies then? And then there was the sight of Neil Halstead’s new moustache. What is he doing? Is he rocking the David Crosby look? Or just a big fan of My Name is Earl?
So, a bad start for me, but not for Mojave 3. Despite the absence of Goswell, they’re on fine form, and a whole lot better than the last time I saw them. I’m just impressed at how tight they are. The new bass player is good and clearly into the music (complete with amusing chicken neck movements). The sweaty pedal steel man is making some sweet sounds. And the drummer is fantastic too.
Some songs from the new album are aired, and go down well. Old favourites like Some Kind of Angel and Sarah go down even better. And even more recent tunes like Starlite #1 and In Love with a View are already firm M3 classics. Their breezy Americana sound is even more country on the newer stuff (and their looks – all trucker caps and plaid – match the sound), and although the tunes seems more suited to the open road than a sweaty basement, they still sound pretty fine.
The new album is released on Monday. It seems like a summer cert, especially if you are on the open road. Or maybe even a sweaty basement.
Before then, check out their new single Breaking the Ice (a 6 Music session version is here for your listening pleasure). And it’s worth checking their back catalogue too. Here’s Starlite # 1 from Spoon and Rafter.
And don’t forget my Mojave 3 poster competition! There’s still time to email me!
Download: Mojave 3 – Breaking the Ice (BBC 6 Music session version)
Download: Mojave 3 – Starlite #1
Buy Puzzles Like You from Amazon
There’ll be more pics on my Flickr page soon…