Live Music + Gig Reviews

Melys @ Dublin Castle, London

27 November 2001

Melys are an extraordinarily lucky group of people. When the record label they were signed to, Pinnacle, went bust a few years ago they were left with their own recording studio. They also experienced plenty of “corporate bull shit” and decided that they didn’t like it.

Not having a major deal does have its drawbacks after their 10pm main slot tonight they will be driving the X hundred miles back home to Betwys Y Coed, north Wales. The flip side of having to watch the pennies (because they are their own) is the freedom to produce and release an increasingly assured array of tunes through their own label Sylem.

They open tonight with I don’t believe in you. The mellow start lulls the audience into a false sense of security and there is chatting at the back. Suddenly Paul Adams guitar kicks in, Gary gives the skins a hiding and Andrea Parker’s voice manages to switch from saccharine sweet to chilling, icy bitterness. The chorus is projected throughout the room and the audience is thrown into stunned, attentive silence.

Melys are a cross between Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf. Gently stroking your forehead and then stabbing you in the eyes. They are as difficult to define using other bands, as it is almost impossible to pin down their influences. Twisted electronic pop, exhilarating songs with very dark, heavy instrumentation and bittersweet lyrics. Melys mix pop and electronica without making it sound like they got the recipe from that Jamie ‘Pukka’ Oliver.

They finish on the raucously cataclysmic Disco Pig, which sees bassist Richard Eardly beating seven shades of shit out of a beer barrel with a claw hammer. And then they are gone! the crowd bray for more but they are on their way back up the M1, like vampires trying to get to their beds before sunrise.

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More on Melys
Melys – Suikerspin
Melys @ Dublin Castle, London
Melys + Tin Star @ Barfly 144, London
Melys @ EuroSonic Noorderslag, Groningen