Live Music + Gig Reviews

Bent + Mylo @ Cargo, London

26 August 2004



It seems the whole of East London has tried to cram in to Cargo’s main room with the aim of watching the much-hyped Mylo, and the feeling is one of standing on a crowded tube platform with a beer and some excellent music. The reality is different, though all these people are actually smiling, the place is jumping and the music touches the soul quite literally when the resonance of the bass woofers is found. Mylo’s half hour is an excellent showcase for his brand of ’80s influenced electronica.

Not as euphoric as his T In The Park performance, but still pretty damn funky. In My Arms is the best, the Isle of Skye man himself playing the guitar breakdown, and the closing Pressure and Destroy Rock & Roll end the set on a high. As with most dance outfits there’s not much movement on stage, and Mylo shyly shows his appreciation of the euphoric crowd, but there’s a good set of images going on behind and a positive, uplifting vibe.

With Eddy Temple Morris playing electronica versions of Sweet Child Of Mine and a questionable Franz Ferdinand/Frankie Goes To Hollywood bootleg the interim slot is a bit distracting, but once the baton passes from him to Bent we reach the focal point of tonight’s sell out.

Bent offer a very different spiritual high to their support act but are no less enjoyable. The duo wisely opt for the space at the back of the stage to give their three vocalists the platform, and they rise to the occasion splendidly.

Bravely opening with tracks from new album Ariels, a blissful mood descends on the crowd. Opener Coming Back is nicely done, vocalists RachelFoster and Kitty finding their range early on.

Rarely have I seen a band grin so much while performing. Simon’s excuse is that he’s pissed, which explains a dud intro and a later exhortation “let’s hear it for the computer!” but that only adds to the appeal. The mood darkens noticeably when Kosheen‘s Sian Evans sweeps on for her cameo. I Can’t Believe It’s Over is atmospheric but its serious tones take a while to sink in. Like a flash in the pan it’s gone into the night though, and breeziness resumes in the ample form of Steve Edwards singing Silent Life. Edwards’ performance is the most natural, unmannered of all the vocalists, and he looks totally at ease. He also has a superb voice, a real feather in the Bent cap.

Old favourite Swollen goes down a treat, as does an excellent cover of the Hall & Oates classic I Can’t Go For That, the highpoint of the evening, with Edwards centre stage once again. Rapturously received solos on trombone and theremin mask the amount of work Nail and Simon are getting through in their background positions, but they seem happy with the results.

The intimate Cargo room suits them better than Mylo, although by now a good 10% of the audience are outside soaking up the warmth of the summer evening. They’re missing out as it’s a rare occasion to see two dance acts that are so enjoyable live, and few would begrudge the two future success. It’s clear they enjoy bringing the music they make to the masses. Now where’s my travelcard?

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More on Bent
Bent + Mylo @ Cargo, London
Bent – Ariels