PREVIEW: Misty’s Big Adventure / Hare & Hounds, Dec 24th

I’ve got one for you.  What do you get if you cross; jazz, lounge, psychedelia, two tone, pop & punk?

I don’t know.

Misty’s Big Adventure made a name for themselves being ‘weird’, or ‘avant garde’ if you live in Moseley. Named after a story in The Magic Roundabout 1968 annual, always a good start, Misty’s was formed in 1996 by Gareth ‘Grandmaster’ Jones and Sam Minnear, whilst still in their tender teens. A brave move. Secondary school must’ve been an interesting experience.

An accomplished 8 piece ensemble, Gareth Jones – Misty’s surprising front man, sings ‘in a deadpan, maudlin style, accompanied by lively guitar, keyboards and brass players’ (a description stolen from their Wikipedia page), whilst a demonic blue faced Bez baffles audience members in forced participation. Are the crowd happy? Excited? A little scared and confused? It’s sometimes hard to hear over the tailors of the emperors’ new track suit, vomiting out subtexts and reminding you that ‘I saw them when…’

But love them, loathe them, know them or fear them, Misty’s have a deserved reputation for originality. Plus they’ve worked hard and done well. Releasing 8 singles and 9 albums since 2003; their portfolio has maintained ferocious independence, accumulated even more ferocious support and featured on ITV’s reality show ‘This Is David Guest’. Now there’s a couple of things to be proud of.

Regulars on the festival and European tour circuit, a badge of tenacious success, Misty’s have remained loyal to the Birmingham music scene. A scene that can more often than not be wrought with ego and jealousy, especially with a Glastonbury under your belt. They don’t cite celebrity fans, although they have them (Frank Sidebottom is one of their MySpace friends, does this count?), they don’t purport a turning point importance, although you could argue this in many a Birmingham pub back room, they just seem to get on with the job. Of being ‘weird’, or ‘avant garde’ if you live in Moseley.

Originally championed by The Catapult Club, Arthur Tapp’s live band brainchild and part savior of Birmingham’s independent music scene since the early 90’s (sycophantic but true), Misty’s performed the last ever gig at The Jug of Ale in 2008. Now they’re back on Tapp’s bill, playing the coveted Christmas Eve gig at the Hare & Hounds, Kings Heath.

Cesilia Oriana Trequista will be there for the Birmingham Review, to see what the jingle hell’s going on.

Misty’s Big Adventure play the Hare & Hounds on Dec 9th, for info & tickets visit

For more on Misty’s Big Adventure visit

For more on The Catapult Club visit