REVIEW: Misty’s Big Adventure @ Hare & Hounds, Christmas Eve ’11

Words & pictures by Cesilia Oriana Trecaquista

On an unusually mild Christmas Eve night, I set off to my local – the Hare & Hounds, with a certain amount of trepidation. I was going to watch and review Misty’s Big Adventure, a band with a huge cult following ‘round these parts, but one I had little knowledge of. In fear of expulsion from the B13/14 postcode; I wanted to like them.

The crowd were in predictably high festive spirits (or predictably high on festive spirits – Ed) and nicely warmed up by support acts Chinese Burn Society and Kate Goes. So when it was time for Misty’s to play, they needed no excuse to get their dance on – as unusual as it was. None, however, more so than from the strange blue-faced man dressed in an adult sized one-sie, with several protruding blue stuffed hands. Confused, I turned to the crowd for comfort. Those in the know told me he’s Erotic Volvo, Misty’s accompanying dancer.

The set began with the most upbeat song I’ve ever heard about depression, and although Erotic Volvo (E.V as he shall be known from here on in) was a somewhat distracting element, the rest of the band seemed so used to him that he became totally unacknowledged. Even as he got into the most ‘expressive’ of his ‘interpretive dance’. Had I watched the performance alone, I’ve been convinced he was a figment of my Christmas imagination.

Although I’m not normally a fan of ‘gimmicky’ or comedic bands, the song ‘Atonement’ stopped me in my tracks, with its beautiful melody and 3 part vocal harmony. Misty’s Big Adventure clearly has some impressive musicianship at work.

Affectionately referred to as ‘The Dumbettes’ by deadpan lead singer Grandmaster Gareth, brass players-sisters Hannah and Lucy Baines, along with keyboard player Lucy Bassett, downed tools to sing 60’s classic ‘Eygyptian Shumba’, with impressive harmonies. The audience loved it, but a personal highlight was the political/satirical role play between Nick Clegg – proclaiming, “I want a mince pie”, with David Cameron responding, “you can’t have one”. With E.V. adding vocals and an interlude of psychotic laughing. All very festive.

So after breaking my Misty’s Big Adventure cherry, I understand why they have the reputation they do. One that’s earned them support slots with The Zutons and The Magic Numbers.  And after a pub’s worth of Merry Christmas’ (a lot of familiar faces), and an irresistible  shimmy with E.V., I left the Hare & Hounds feeling totally uplifted – no longer watching over my shoulder for the band’s longstanding fan base. A deservedly dedicated group, and one I’m now sincerely a part of.

For more on Misty’s Big Adventure visit