THE GRAND, LONDON
THE weird thing was, it felt just like coming
home. Weird, because Sugar are so
obviously brand spanking, shiny new. That
familiar moon face, that pained fallen-angel
voice, the erratic enraged-moose charging
across the stage, the bittersweet
powerchords crashing through the night,
and the fact that this time Bob Mould has
found, in bassist David Barbe and drummer
Malcolm Travis, two musicians who are
Tonight, there probably weren't any|
quizzical voices asking "Huskie who" but it
won't be long coming. The way Bob Mould
shapes words and puts them inside a tune,
wraps it all in sub melodies, then sprays
everything with God-given guitar genius to
make it all good enough to eat. You want
22-carat passion, go and see Sugar.
The forthcoming album "Copper Blue"
must have been played in its entirety tonight;
whatever, the opening handful of gems,
"The Act We Act", "A Good Idea", and
drivers, not passengers. Two
musicians who know what the
f***'s going on. The birth of a
band, the rebirth of Bob
Mould. Love it.
Last time around, when Bob
Mould was still battling
demons a few years back on
his "solo" albums
"Workbook" and "Black
Sheets Of Rain", was a
nightmare. Seeing him play
live was akin to a psychiatrist
charging admittance at his
office door to watch people
having nervous breakdowns.
'This time Bob Mould has found,
in bassist David Barbe and
drummer Malcolm Travis, two
musicians who are drivers, not
passengers. Two musicians who
know what the f***'s going on.
The birth of a band, the rebirth of
Bob Mould. Love it'
"Changes" showed how|
Barbe and Travis are at one
with Mould's musical
worldview. Then came "If I
Can't Change Your Mind",
three minutes of blazing
meteor flawless pop
perfection. Later, Barbe takes
over vocal duties with a
vengeance, which is okay cos
he can sing fine, and it's a
treat just to watch Mould lose
himself in six-string fury. And
he smiles more now, even if
stage banter is virtually nil
we have to make do with a
The problem then well, there were many,|
not the least of which was Virgin Records
but the main problem was this band called
Husker Du, and the fact that in their day they
were the Best Band In The Galaxy, at least.
And the fact that, as a follow-up, Bob Mould
didn't have a band as such; he had these
blokes who stood onstage with him and did
all the right things, yet spiritually they may as
well have been in the next town.
good-natured crack about a five-second|
parking limit for stage divers. No more song
titles, not until the raging encore of "JC
Auto", in which Mould is screaming "I'm not
Jesus Christ! No! I'm not...!"
Not quite, Bob, not quite. Tonight, all
manner of ghosts were laid to rest. Go buy
"Copper Blue" next month, and find out how
spoilt rotten you are.