BPREVIEW: Mutes @ Hare & Hounds 13.03.19

Words by Ed King

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On Wednesday 13th March, Mutes headline at the Hare & Hounds – with support from Robert Craig Oulton. Sofa King were originally scheduled to perform but had to pull out of the gig – so look out for someone possibly filling in.

Doors open at 7:30pm, with tickets available for £6 (advance +booking fee) – as presented by FOMA. For direct gig information, including links to online ticket sales, click here.

There’s probably a music journalist handbook out there that would help me with genres and comparisons, one that is updated every year to keep the lexicon cutting edge. I mean, seriously, who coined ‘trap’ music…?

But one of the joys to this job is the constant evolution, especially when it comes from an arena of intelligence and not some attention/chart grabbing pretender.

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Enter Mutes, closely followed by a list that will include My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth, a couple of curveballs and an apologetic recognition as to the list itself. Sprinkle some clever metaphors, make a reference to Sub-Pop, throw in an opiate analogy and – if you’re feeling brave – a joke about revolving doors and band members. Mwah…. we mean it with love.

But it’s been just shy of two years since the James Brown led ghost in the music machine (…stir in some existential philosophy) released No Desire, the somewhat bold and beautiful debut album from Mutes. And now they’re back with Round Two. The as-of-yet unnamed new album (in the public domain at least) is set for release sometime soon, we think, we hope, but there is one single already dangling like the proverbial carrot – check out ‘Swallowing Light’ below, being performed live at the Hare & Hounds back in July 2016.

Now the more observant of you will note this is nearly a year before Mutes’ ‘dichotomy of extremes’ debut album came out, sans ‘Swallowing Light’ – so questions, questions, questions…

Now if we were to jump a gun or two, heaven forbid, it could mean that the ambient swirls and prolonged rabbit holes of No Desire have been set aside for the simple ball kicking grunge rock that Brown & Co can deliver so well. Which would be no bad thing. Or it could mean the sophomore LP is a reworking of some tried, tested, loved and live tracks from the Mutes back catalogue – with some new nuggets thrown in. Or it’s a coincidence, or an accident. Or it’s all a ruse and the rest of album two is a spoken word diatribe about penguins.

But with an album promoting gig at the Hare & Hounds on Wednesday 13th March, you’ll probably get a sneaky peak and hopefully some clarity soon enough. Or not. But you might. In the meantime, I’m going to dust down my Roget’s Thesaurus and frayed copies of DIY, so I can be rhetoric ready for when the album does arrive.

The rest of you can keep yourselves busy with the link below, or click here to check out what happened when we danced this dance before – including an interview with James Brown about what brought No Desire to the table. Enjoy. And save some mental space for the next Mutes album, coming soon on FOMA Records. TBC…

‘Swallowing Light’ – Mutes

Mutes headline at the Hare & Hounds on Wednesday 13th March, with support from Robert Craig Oulton. For more direct gig information and links to online ticket sales, click here.

For more on Mutes, visit www.mutesuk.bandcamp.com

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For more on Robert Craig Oulton, visit www.facebook.com/RobertCraigOulton

For more from FOMA, visit www.wearefoma.bigcartel.com

For more from the Hare & Hounds, including full event listings and venue details, visit www.hareandhoundskingsheath.co.uk


NOT NORMAL – NOT OK is a campaign to encourage safety and respect within live music venues, and to combat the culture of sexual assault and aggression – from dance floor to dressing room.

To learn more about the NOT NORMAL – NOT OK campaign, click here. To sign up and join the NOT NORMAL – NOT OK campaign, click here.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this feature – or if you want to report an act of sexual aggression, abuse, or assault – click here for information via the ‘Help & Support’ page on the NOT NORMAL – NOT OK website.