It is said that the good wines age well, and one could say just the same about Mudhoney. They practically look like the same guys of 20 years ago. Like Dorian Gray, but without the burden of selling out their souls. They’re not Chardonnay. Not at all.

Their insanely invigorating gig at Manchester’s Ritz shows how healthy a mud bath can be from time to time. The real godfathers of grunge enter the stage punctual and greet the crowd nicely (“Good evening ladies and gentleman…”). The audience shakes and the floor trembles from the very first song, ‘Suck You Dry’; then they get ‘Into The Drink’ and shout out ‘I Like It Small’, in a powerful military-punk parade. The tearing distortion it’s not just on Steve Turner and Mark Arm’s guitars, but also on this one’s rough voice, full of gorgeous growls and soothing rips. After such an energetic opening, mud gets thicker with ‘Broken Hands’. (Off the record thought: God, we have talked so much about Nirvana and all the massively known grunge bands…)

With ‘Poisoned Water’ and ‘Get Into Yours’, the Seattle born and bred band seduces an already loose audience. Old school and younger generations go mad on the mosh-pit. “Get me out / Let me in/ I’m losing myself again!!…)” This catchy chorus seems written by some naughty schoolboys, maybe the same ones who long time ago started a joke-band called Mr.Epp.

Mark Arm greets an obscure ‘Sonic Infusion’ with a stunningly synthesized “Wow!” and goes deep into the decadence of the underground in ‘Beneath The Valley of The Underdog’. Without any sign of ceasefire, an electrifying wave of raw punk comes with ‘FDK’. The mosh-pit extends its range and… Are there even some piercing groupies on the floor?

After performing 100% muddy hits such as ‘Flat Out Fucked’, ‘Sweet Young Thing Ain’t No Sweet More’, ‘JRRT’ and ‘No One Has’, it’s easy to understand the meaning of Mudhoney, as they display a perfect combination of the guts of punk and the filth of grunge. After all, knowing how to dance in the mud or levitate upon quicksand it can be quite advantageous, as well as great fun.

Arm, Turner and bassist Guy Maddison line up and sync with drummer Dan Peters. Suddenly and fortunately, they perform their massive hit and the crowd shouts fiercely its mantra all at once: “Touch-Me-I’m-Sick!!!”.

As soon as Arm starts singing guitar free, he turns into a contortionist showman who furiously performs ‘I’m Now’, ‘The Final Course’, ‘Asshole’, ‘Hate The Policemen’ and ‘The Only Child of the Widow From Nain.’

After this dirty walkabout, the band briefly exits the stage, leaving the audience breathless, asking for more. And of course, there is more. Mudhoney reappears and Mark Arm toast with his beloved wine, just to dedicate a song to the only type of wine he hates: Chardonnay. They reward an out of control crowd with a few more songs including ‘Who You Drivin’ Now?’ A couple of fans try a reverse stage diving.

“Maybe we are iconic to a small group of people”, answered with irony Mark Arm in an interview with Omnibus Press, when he was asked why Mudhoney hasn’t become more popular (not even in the underground scene). Well, shame on all those who once introduced the protoMudhoney Mr.Epp band as “the worst one in the world”. Shame (and mud) on you.

Mudhoney  Official | Facebook | Twitter

Amaia Santana

Good karma brought me here to Manchester, my second home, where you can stay healthy (despite the weather) and young forever, as you can breathe live music in every corner of the city. I do believe in the healing power of music (rock is my life vest) and I'd be so glad to share my passion with you rockers of the world!