Live Review
Brixton Academy

With his trilogy of albums completed, it would have made sense for Mark Oliver ‘E’ Everett to fill tonight’s set with tracks solely from those albums, as a summary of the journey through desire, loss and hope that the records represent. Instead, him and his hirsute helpers blast out a mammoth set replete with covers, re-makes and, yes, hits.

Opening the set on his own with a couple of quieter, more despairing songs, which showcase his visceral, one-in-a-million vocals (‘End Times’, ‘3 Speed’), E then calls upon his trusty band to rock the cider cups out of people’s hands with punky renditions of The Lovin’ Spoonful’s ‘Summer in the City’, a Ramones-esque run through of ‘I Like Birds’, the gnarly, lupine grunge-folk of ‘Dog Faced Boy’ and a surprisingly funky cover of George Gershwin’s ‘Summertime’. E, dressed in an all-white jumpsuit, trademark sunglasses and a bandana, looks like an urban terrorist but exuded a frivolity that’s almost blasphemous considering his often outright bleak material, but it makes for a versatile, engaging spectacle. One of many highlights is one of his most well-known songs ‘Mr E’s Beautiful Blues’, mashed up with the riffs of ‘Twist and Shout’ – a cheeky move, but like almost everything he does tonight, it works.

By Matthias Scherer


Originally published in issue 21 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. September 2010