When I was 16 years old, I went to see Mudhoney play in London. I was blown away; it made me wonder why Nirvana were getting all the fuss, whilst a band like this was getting, basically, ignored by the mainstream press. As the years went on, this started to become the norm to me; I just got used to it.
In a strange way, it worked out in my favour. While others were straining their necks to try and focus on the tiny on-stage specs of Metallica, or Pearl Jam, I got to see my favourite artists up close. I could actually see what instruments Mr Bungle used, or how Drive like Jehu played that cool bit in Super Unison.
16 years on, nothing has changed. All the good bands are relegated to playing smaller venues, and the popular ones still rip off their fans at huge corporate-owned-merchandise-machines, but it’s fine, I still get to see my favourite bands up close…like tonight.
I had heard that Mudhoney were really bad these days, and that I would be sorely disappointed. I don’t know how this rumor happened, or why, but nothing could have been further from the truth.
The band pretty much ticked every box in terms of songs I wanted them to play. Let it Slide sounded magnificent, Suck you Dry was as loud and fuzzy as ever. The newer material felt perfectly in place alongside the older classics, and Mark Arm’s Iggy Pop-like swagger later in the set was brilliant.
What really struck me, was the average age of tonight’s crowd. I’d expected to walk in and see a room full of 30 somethings clutching onto the good old Grunge days. Instead, the venue was full of moshing teenagers, and happy looking post-grunge punters, happy to see this great band playing music that is still as vital and meaningful as it was ‘back in the day.’