Mower @ The Monarch, London (5th August 2000)

Mower sound like the bad bits of Pavement and the good bits of Blur, with some Clash thrown in for good measure but played by a guitarist who looks like a cross between Adrian Mole and someone form your IT department, bass player who looks like your dad and drummer who looks, quite simply, mad. It's all catchy melodies in the quiet-loud vein, scratchy guitars, simple basslines and vocals that veer from singing to shouting and eventually screaming. Like nursery rhymes performed by a drunk with a broken guitar, more of which later. Basically ramshackle and mad enough to escape being mediocre. They formed a band, in their own words, to prove that even uncool people can be in bands. And they don't half stick two fingers up at the lipsticked and glittery world of Saturday night 'indie' clubbing. It helps having all your mates in the audience shouting 'Moooooeeeeeeerrrr' at every available opportunity - to the extent that you can't hear the quieter bits of songs.

Last time I saw them, they had a bloke dressed as Zippy dancing around the stage. I vaguely recall a big punch-up at the end, during which the unfortunate Zippy got his head kicked in. Luckily, they don't try to pull the same one off again. No - this time, they do a cover of Fraggle Rock, which is just as entertaining. And when they finish, they do what every band, especially one that looks as normal as this, should do - they have a guitar fight. The bass player and the guitarist collide, almost fall off the stage and the result is a broken bass and an injured frontman. Who then proceeds to not so much smash as drop his instrument, lifting it above his head and dropping it on the stage with an air of calm indifference and almost curiosity as to whether it will break.

In a nutshell, Mower are one of those bands who somehow manage to be both crap and ace at the same time. Can't wait for their next stage adventure. (Radiant Kovacs)

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