This review was written the day after I attended the Mindless Self Indulgence gig on Friday 26th of October, I was still totally hyped up from it so if it seems like it was written by a 14 year old girl who's had too much sugar and cider, that’s because it’s probably what the gig made me feel like :) (Please note I hadn’t had any sugar or cider that night!)
I feel like I came pretty late to the Mindless Self Indulgence fandom boat, only really properly getting "into" them a few years ago but it would seem that they haven’t become old news as judging by the average age there (In a supposedly "Over 14's" concert), I felt potentially ancient. But really, I didn’t give a care, I fucking enjoyed myself! I feel like I've been to too many (“grown-up”) gigs lately that involve the crowd shuffling their feet and bobbing their heads slightly!
The younger crowd had some benefits, I could see over some of their heads for a start, but as I was standing there, mourning the loss of my youth, I was struck by how great it was that so many kids were there, who are listening to some music that actually might mean something and aren't listening to chart shit and bloody Justin Bieber (which Jimmy sternly pointed out, "You're not here to see Justin Bieber so go fucking crazy".)
There's just so much I love about MSI. I love music that's high energy, a bit mental and out of the ordinary. I appreciate punk but prefer listening to American "pop" punk (NOFX, early Green Day) and I feel like MSI fill the gap between that stuff and metal (System of a Down for example), with a little rap thrown in for good measure (their cover of Bring The Pain is legendary.) They're fun, don’t take themselves seriously but still manage to produce life-affirming stuff (especially for kids, bullied kids, the weird kids, the "faggots"). Jimmy Urine likes to encourage the fans to tell the band they suck while constantly insulting the fans back. It's not nasty, it’s like a theme tune for what feels like a lost generation of children, especially in terms of music.
But there's so much more to MSI beneath the harsh exterior (and multiple songs about bad sex). There is not one but two women in the band...I know, astonishing right? Pisses me off but music is still very male centric and the majority of bands are still all men. Kitty is the drummer, and a bloody fantastic one at that. Lyn-Z has been the bassist since 2001, originally from Dunoon Scotland and is also an artist. These women are gorgeous, talented and watching them still mystifies me as to why I don't see more women on stage. Jimmy Urine, the lead singer is fascinating as he plays his stage persona very well but underneath that is what seems a very intelligent and astute man, who's now in his 40's and still runs about stage like a hyperactive kitten.
The show last night (In the Garage in Glasgow) was full on, it was fast, it was fucking spectacular. The supporting bands were hit and miss. The Dead Betas were first on and definitely a band I will be listening to more, obviously heavily influenced by MSI you could see the absolute joy on their faces that they were supporting their idols and they were fantastic. The second support were Taking Hayley, a floppy haired pop rock outfit that seem like the kind of band I thought had all but disappeared in the late 2000's. Twice they said "this song is a bit heavy" and I wanted to throw my shoe at them. More time spent on music and less time on hair styling might help out this band.
Then to the many high-pitched screams of teenage girls came the main act. It's been a long time since I've seen a band who obviously just love being on stage and making music. The crowd interaction was fucking fantastic too, note for future bands- a little brushing up on the knowledge that the Scottish generally hate the English (in a loving, joking way of course) is a good way to get instant fans! Yes its shallow and immature, but the screams of joy when Jimmy started talking about how much he liked Irn Bru was amazing! He's mental on stage, jumping from one end of the stage to the other, eventually stripping off to a fishnet top thingy and covering himself in a few Glaswegian girls make- up. He also attempts to be a guidance teacher at one point making everyone pledge to not become musicians or entertainers and to become lawyers (scared of future competition or just good advice?). The spirit of MSI is very hard to put it all into words and just like this review, it's all over the place! They're mental, fucking hilarious and actually make a performance out of being on stage.
They make sure to play all the favourites ("Never Wanted to Dance", "Shut Me Up", "Faggot") but don't save them for an encore like some pretentious bands, they intersperse these with mostly songs from the most recent album (from 2008) "If", but still playing some from the first album "Tight" which was released in 1999.
And while hanging around at the end, I noticed Jimmy signing and talking to every single kid that was waiting for them (which was about half the total crowd) and didn't stop until they had all been seen to , about fifteen or twenty minutes worth, a definite indicator to me that they really do give a fuck. Mindless Self Indulgence are definitely not to everyone's cup of tea but somehow that makes them even more attractive to me (although that might just be the Green-haired 19 year old me talking), if you're a fan of stuff that’s a bit different and off-the-wall, check them out! I'm proud to call myself a MSI fan, (just as much as I am a Bloodhound Gang fan, or a Daft Punk fan or a Pink Floyd fan) and I don't care if that makes people look down their noses at me, I am a fan of musicians who enjoy their work, like knowing they're basically inspiration for a generation of children who don't have much guidance right now. I like it when music can just be fun and make me sing and jump about like a 14 year old again!
MSI have a new KickStarter project ongoing, some criticism seems to be aimed at an established band who are looking to fans to help them produce an album but when only asking $1 for the digital download of the album, in an age when too many people are downloading music for free and not really supporting their favourite artists, I don't think it’s too much to ask.
Mindless Self Indulgence might be childish but fuck me that gig was the most fun I've had in a long time. (When a girl was given a microphone and told it was the most important moment of her life and to say something special, she squeaked "anal sex"). That sums it all up really. Anal sex.
Words and photos by Ann-Margaret.