Muna @ Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen 28th March 2017

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MUNA come all the way from Los Angeles and consist of Katie Gavin, Josette Maskin and Naomi McPherson. This trio came to my attention the moment they were added to The Great Escape’s line up last year, there was a buzz around them and they definitely didn’t disappoint. 2016 saw the release of The Loudspeaker EP and a year later they unleashed their exciting debut LP About U.

Tickets for this headline show at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen were literally like gold dust. I was actually rather fortunate as I decided to skip the o2 presale as I preferred to get them from Dice on Friday (to avoid booking fees). Unfortunately despite me being on the page at 9am all the tickets had been sold. A moment later I scored a from Ticketweb. Days later they announced a second date at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen which again sold out in a flash.

Fast forward to the 28th March, the show was spectacular but I really could have done without the stress. As per usual with Hoxton the doors opened later than intended, to speed things up the security guard stamped everyone with a ticket so they could get in straight away. As expected people with E tickets/ guest list had to wait until the box office opened. Now here is when this turned into a stressful situation, the box office opened around 30 seconds after doors which in my opinion is pretty poor. I myself had an E ticket so seeing people flood into the venue was disappointing considering I was one of the first at the venue. People get there early because they want to be right at the front watching their favourite band perform right in front of them, now this delay basically denied this from happening.

Aside from all of that this was one enjoyable evening, Muna were on fire and the delectable set compromised of a cover, 2 newies and the entire About U album. Things kicked off with the delightful I Know A Place. Smothered in plenty of synth pop goodness, this delectable anthem was a complete banger. Those tasty lyrics were so infectious, the verses were upbeat and then you had the explosive chorus  “I Know A Place/ I Know A place we can go/ Where everyone gonna lay down their weapon/ Lay down their weapon/ Just give me trust and watch what’ll happen/ ‘Cause I know/ I Know A Place we can stay/ Where everyone gonna lay down their weapon/ Lay down their weapon/ Don’t you be afraid of love and affection/ Just lay down your weapon” . All in all the joyous I Know A Place was an uplifting piece of perfection which Katie Gavin faultlessly delivered. So Special was a being a bittersweet breakup anthem. I found this number to be rather smooth and dreamlike. Katie’s vocals were flawless and plenty of pop vibes oozed from this entrancing number. The lyrics were delectably delicious “Cause i’m all dressed up/ Good you think that i’m beautiful but it’s not enough now i know i’m not so special cause i’m all dressed up/ Good you think that I’m beautiful/ But it’s not enough/ Guess i’m gonna find another bride/ Guess i’ll see you in another life” and the melody was incredibly upbeat. Promise was an enthralling tune with lyrics which had me hooked and a funky beat that had me jumping up and down on the spot. Promise was a luscious synth pop cut which oozed plenty of feel good vibes. Gavin’s hypnotic vocal tones were sublime and the lyrics were incredible. My favourite part had to be the chorus “Why do I/ Why do I do it/ You wanna/ Hold my hand I make a fist/ A false Promise/ And even if you said you would forgive me/ I don’t know if I could ever say I’m sorry”. The epic Outro was so spine tingling and this then lead into End Of Desire. At first this succulent song started of extremely smooth then the chorus packed a fierce punch “Are you taking me to the End Of Desire?/ Are you taking me home?”. The other two members of MUNA were Brian Jones on bass and Scott Heiner on drums. Actually the usage of the drums gave each number that extra edge. Still this was a captivating cut aided by contagious lyrics which had me moving on the spot. Winterbreak was a gentle mid tempo song which left me mesmerised. The lyrics actually made you picture a sad story of being in love with someone but it’s a love you cannot reconcile. Katie’s funky vocal delivery was smooth like butter and Winterbreak had been perfectly crafted with catchy story telling lyrics “Oh, baby I think we both know/ This is a love that we won’t get right/ Still if you said that you wanted/ I know I’ll always have one more try/ Oh, baby, I think we both know/ This is a love that we won’t get right/ Still if you said that you wanted/ I know I’ll always have one more try”. All in all this was a luscious mellowing song which left me spellbound. Once over it was then time for 2 sparkling new cuts, first up was Loser which they were performing for the very first time. Now this was a glorious song packed with plenty of synths and lyrics which left me in a trance. After it was time for a bit of In My Way and this was a blissful piece of perfection. Katie’s vocals were top notch then both Josette’s and Naomi’s harmonies were HAIMesque. In hind sight In My Way was an epic song which (with Loser) gives us a glimpse of what to expect from album 2. Around U was a fast paced jam which left me completely engrossed. The light lyrics were phenomenal and the vocals were rather sweet. Plenty of rock pop vibes oozed from this wondrous cut. “Something massive happened here/ But you can feel it in the atmosphere”. Next up it was time for Everything, now this was a mesmerising number aided by whimsical lyrics and Katie’s superb vocal tones which packed a punch. After was a spectacular cut which resonated plenty of rock vibes plus the beat had me moving on the spot. If U Luv Me Now was a slow paced ballad which did tug at my heart strings “There’s me in the corner/ Making a mess of it/ Don’t you love me now/ There’s me at the table/ Hiding from my lovers in my eyes/ Don’t you love me now”. This delicate song was delivered faultlessly and Gavin’s vocals were spot on. For some reason this song reminds me of Robyn’s Dancing On My Own. Once over it was time for the only cover of the evening and that song being Evaanescence’s Bring Me To Life. This was literally electrifying and Katie delivered Amy’s parts with plenty of gusto. She even sang Paul McCoy’s parts. Crying On The Bathroom Floor  felt like a throwback to the 80s with those twinkling synths. Words fail me when it comes to this tune, COTBF was a blissful cut packed with exquisite lyrics which left me entranced. The evening then came to a close with the majestic Loudspeaker. This 80s tinged tune was a glorious one aided by Katie’s whimsical vocals. The harmonies were tight and this was a dreamy hypnotic cut with delightful lyrics which left me captivated “So if I feel real good tonight/ I’m gonna put it high on the loudspeaker/ And if I feel like crying, I won’t hide it/ I am a loudspeaker/ I am a loudspeaker/ I am a loudspeaker”. To sum things up Loudspeaker was a fun song and it was one which made me smile.

All in all this was an extraordinary evening witnessing a band who I love perform right in front of my eyes. It was ashame that I wasn’t right at the front but I kinda had a decent view in the end (it’s always a pain when you have someone taller standing in front of you). It was a pleasure to witness the album tracks live and the Evanescence cover was literally sensational. Then the new songs were mind blowing making me look forward to Muna’s return trip to the United Kingdom.

SET LIST

I Know A Place
So Special
Promise
Outro
End Of Desire
Winterbreak
Loser
In My Way
Around U
Everything
After
If U Luv Me Now
Bring Me To Life
Crying On The Bathroom Floor
Loudspeaker

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