When you’ve got a 27 year back catalogue, how the hell do you decide what to play? Seattle legends Mudhoney’s answer? Play it all. Tonight we’re treated to a set that goes beyond a simple greatest hits, plucking caustic gems from each of their nine albums, the newest, from 2013’s Vanishing Point biting with just as much savage intensity as those from their seminal debut EP Superfuzz Bigmuff, which in turn sound so raw and bloody that they could have been written last week. This is no nostalgia-money fuelled reunion tour – this is a band that never gave it up in the first place.
It’s lapped up enthusiastically by a mixed crowd who vary from those who’ve been there since the beginning to those who hadn’t even been born, all moshing gamely throughout the 90 minute set, though the most enthusiastic receptions are saved for classics like ‘Who You Drivin’ Now’, ‘Here Comes Sickness’ and of course ‘Touch Me I’m Sick’, which is belted out so enthusiastically by the audience that at times Mark Arm’s vocal is barely audible.
Discarding his guitar for the later part of the set, Arm is free to prowl and jerk around the stage, raising the energy levels further, and by the time he’s snarled his way through a brutal encore-closing ‘The Money Will Roll Right In’ the front row has thrashed itself into an indistinguishable tangle of sweaty limbs.
27 years in and Mudhoney are showing no signs of slowing down any time soon, on tonight’s evidence don’t expect that to happen any time soon.
Review & photography by Paul Maps