I have been missing out on something. Until recently, that is.
My brother recommended a music band to me after reading about them in a local paper. Previously, I have dismissed his recommendations because they are usually way off the mark but this time, for the first time, he was right on the button.
The band is Missing Andy. They’re a five-piece (Steve, Alex, Rob, Elliot and Jon) from Essex who have actually been around for some while. They’re all committed, accomplished musicians with an energy to match. They have dipped their toes in TV, a music talent show on Sky in which they came second. The band have some regrets about doing the show but to me, it’s a sign of how committed they are as a band and how confident they are in their own songs. And, let’s face it, missing out on first place in a TV talent show is hardly something to be worried about is it?
The show is well behind them now and since then they have released their first album, Generation Silenced. The song my brother recommended to me was ‘Money’ which I tracked down on You Tube. On the strength of that one song I bought their album. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve done that and the other tracks on the album have not lived up to the billing of the first one. It’s hardly worth getting the LP or CD out (showing my age there).
I don’t think I’ve ever said this before but every single track on the album is a track that could be a single in its own right. On my first listen (and there’s been dozens since then) I heard so many different influences from bands who know how to knock out a tune. Oasis, Arctic Monkeys, Blur, The Jam, Madness - they’re all in there. I don’t know whether this is a conscious effort or just a natural by-product of their talent. But it doesn’t matter - Missing Andy have their own inimitable style.
They’re a stylish bunch too. Well dressed, fashionable with Mod overtones. They all come from a working class background and, as evidenced by their lyrics, have a down to earth attitude about life and the hands it sometimes deals us.
The main thing I had been missing out on though was seeing them perform live. My brother and his girlfriend were the first to see them in at Koko in Camden. Towards the end of last year, they saw them again at Barfly in Camden but this time took my 14 year old daughter (it was a FREE gig for 14 years old and over). The band appreciate their audience and their fans and after the gig had no hesitation in mingling with them posing for photos, chatting and signing autographs (Steve, it won’t be long before she has a poster of you on her wall. And thanks for showing her the chords to some of your songs).
Not long after it was my turn to see them live. At Trillians in Newcastle. And I wasn’t let down. I had planned to watch them from the bar whilst supping a pint and tapping my foot. I am 46 years old after all. But I couldn’t resist. After belting out ‘Money’, the song that started it all, I made my way to the front and started jumping around like a 14 year old again. Luckily, my daughter wasn’t there to be embarrassed. It’s a feeling I haven’t had for a long, long time - dancing and shouting out the lyrics as they rattled through stomping track after stomping track; ‘Scum’, ‘Dave’, ‘Made in England’, ‘Rain on My Parade’, ‘In A State’........ and then, just as I could almost take no more, they topped their set list off with a cover of The Jam’s ‘A Town Called Malice’.
There was no encore (the venue couldn’t allow it) but it didn’t matter. As usual, the band returned to the bar and mingled with the audience willingly posing for photos and signing posters and CDs. I’m not sure whether they know but I bought them all a bottle of Stella each and placed them on their table just as a token of my appreciation for a great gig. After all, I didn’t want to come across and a puppy eyed, star struck teenager.
I’ve since seen them again at another gig (actually a German Beer Festival that was raising money for Help for Heroes) and once again their set was top notch.
This band are a class act; musically, lyrically and live. The deserve to be bigger and have a lot of success and I’m going to keep on spreading the word until they are.
They’re recording their second album as we speak and are on the verge of something big. Only last week they were briefly in the Top 10 of the iTunes Rock Album Chart - between Bowie and Red Hot Chilli Peppers.
I reckon it’s a sign of things to come so make sure you don’t miss out.