The Mystery Lights


New York’s The Mystery Lights grace Manchester’s Night and Day Café on a brisk evening signifying the end of the summer but the kick start to the usual autumn plethora of gigs around the city.

They are currently mid-way through a mammoth two-month tour of Europe that’ll conclude at the end of October for their new album Too Much Tension, which is the main focus of the set. However, it is smoothly interspersed with tracks from their self-titled 2016 debut release.

They dive head first into ‘I’m So Tired (Of Living in the City)’, which ignites an energy-fuelled hour of 60s-esque garage and psychedelic rock with keyboardist Lily’s prominent Mellotron sounds and precise-yet-beautifully complex basslines from Alex. Every song has the raw power that is to be expected from a garage band but is still composed fantastically with every instrument blended to ensure that they are each blasting out a unique and indisputable sound.

After a small introduction, the first three songs which include ever-popular ‘Follow Me Home’ and ‘Flowers in My Hair, Demons in My Head’ from the band’s 2016 record are melded into one another to create a constant, driving burst of melodic noise, really drawing the audience in and leaving them gasping for breath thanks to the radiating energy and heat being flung forwards from the stage.

The set, overall, is a very well worked amalgamation of both of the band’s albums with songs seeming to effortlessly blend into one another despite the different times of release. Highlights of the set including tracks such as ‘Melt’, ‘Too Tough to Bear’ and ‘Someone Else is in Control’ from the 2016 and 2019 albums respectively.

Due to the fact that the band tour relentlessly across the world and despite only having two albums as a result of this, their delivery is a fantastic display of professionalism and tightness with each song being conveyed with constant and frenetic intensity from leader singer Mike Brandon.

As well as this, there is not even a hint of fatigue which often plagues bands on these vast European tours which again is refreshing to see, backed up by the frequent smiles between members which really gives an idea of how much the band are enjoying their current endeavours, which are set to continue across the US after the European leg has ended.

As a final flourish, the band erupt one last time with a cover of ‘122 Hours of Fear’, originally by The Screamers, which has become a key anthem for the band over the last year before sensibly and quietly – a large contrast to their actual presence – leaving the stage and ending the set. As mentioned, a refreshing aspect is seeing a band enjoy their craft which is something The Mystery Lights are not afraid to show. With the lengthy tours across the world, they are rapidly gaining a larger fan base which is unsurprising given their raw but melodic sound and constant drive of pure energy.

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