Live Review: Melic ‘An Hour to Anywhere’ album launch party at London’s Bush Hall – 1st August 2013

By on Friday, 9th August 2013 at 2:00 pm
 

The hottest day of the year is hardly an ideal time to be seeking out new vaults in the cavernous network of thick-walled Victorian venues that appear en masse across the geography of London’s venue scene. Throw in 350 impassioned fans – dancing and throwing hands skyward – and you’ve ignited the furnace. But, it was worth every baking moment to witness the launch of Melic’s debut album, ‘An Hour to Anywhere’, under the ornate plasterwork and sparkling chandeliers of west London’s Bush Hall.

A unique foursome from the far away peaks of New Zealand, Melic have been intriguing fans and critics across the capital with their singular fusion of influences since 2008. And, emerging from a turquoise fog of wandering bass lines and ambient synth, their latest single ‘Nowhere I’d Rather Be’ (originally released in February 2012) was immediate evidence that their years playing the London circuit have enabled them to forge a live show dripping in energy and invention. Driven by powerful chords from singer and guitarist Mark Hitchcock, twinned with the now ominous synth lines of Romy Bylin, it builds into a hook-laden barnstormer that has the crowd in raptures.

It was then in to ‘Better Off Before’, a song with a feel of catharsis to match the vindication of a debut album launch; it has an air of stadium grungers Pearl Jam sanitised by mellow digital chords, with an epic guitar solo to boot. ‘He Was a Fighter’ was the strongest signal yet of the band’s versatility, drawing together a driving acoustic intro, a vocal style with elements of Jimmy Eat World and Chris Cornell’s Soundgarden, and a smooth sax line that somehow epitomises a cosmopolitan skyline.

There was an air of folk era Bob Dylan as the tousle-haired Hitchcock donned a harmonica frame for the intro of ‘No Escape’. Drummer Andrew Coogan laid down a techy beat mildly akin to Radiohead’s ‘Lotus Flower’ which added a fresh angle, and the song built in waves of haunting sounds. The first of what Hitchcock would later aptly describe as a “Melic Moment”: a funk-laden bass interlude from the former’s brother Steve Hitchcock – drifted into the more ethereal ‘Inhaling Butterflies’, before ‘Followers’ introduced a chorus infectious enough to rival their opening track. ‘Cemetery’ was a carefully constructed moment of melancholic magic, whilst two numbers that unfortunately failed to make the cut on the album, ‘Double Drum’ and ‘Downward Spiral’, went a long way towards enhancing Melic’s credentials as an anthemic, big venue band.

On the subject of things missing, set list absentee ‘Pacific’ (a short trumpet orientated interlude that ties the album together in much the same way as ‘Pretty Little Ditty’ on Red Hot Chili Peppers’ ‘Mother’s Milk’) is one track off the new album that’s well worth a listen. A neat call-and-response between the sax and trumpet with a pulsating bass line entitled ‘Raspberry Jam’ was a second “Melic Moment”, and most likely a contributing factor to the aforementioned absence, ensuring the set does not sail too far into the uncharted waters of the jam.

There was visceral disappointment amongst the crowd as Hitchcock announces that ‘The Chase’ – with a touch of gypsy punk in its gradually quickening acoustic intro and “um-pa” rhythm – would be the final track of the night. But, this energy was turned in moments to action as the entire crowd boils into a writhing mass of dancing figurines.

Their protestations afterwards were relentless, but did not fall on deaf ears as Melic returned for an encore of old fan favourite ‘Ting Tong’. Despite the strictly disco rhythm, an element of Gogol Bordello-style anarchy remained in this last offering. And, as the band passed around lead duties whilst thanking the assembled faithful, it was easy to see how such loyalty was inspired as to raise the roof and the mercury on such a sweltering summer’s eve.

They played out on Fleetwood Mac’s immortal ‘The Chain’, which seemed to draw an appropriate rock analogy between two bands who – despite an admittedly wide range of disparate influences – blend into a sum far greater than their individual parts.

Melic’s debut album ‘An Hour to Anywhere’ is out now on Beatnik Geek Records.

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14 Responses

2:02 pm
9th August 2013

Live Review: Melic @MELICBAND ‘An Hour to Anywhere’ album launch party at London’s Bush Hall – 1st August 2013: http://t.co/NjL9fh6cS5

2:07 pm
9th August 2013

RT @tgtf: Live Review: Melic @MELICBAND ‘An Hour to Anywhere’ album launch party at London’s Bush Hall – 1st August 2013: http://t.co/NjL9f…

2:07 pm
9th August 2013

RT @tgtf: Live Review: Melic @MELICBAND ‘An Hour to Anywhere’ album launch party at London’s Bush Hall – 1st August 2013: http://t.co/NjL9f…

2:14 pm
9th August 2013

Live Review: Melic ‘An Hour to Anywhere’ album launch party at London’s Bush Hall – 1st August 2013 – There Goes… http://t.co/otaUctGkfv

2:18 pm
9th August 2013

‘A hook-laden barnstormer that has the crowd in raptures’ @tgtf Review @MELICBAND Album Launch 1/8/13 Bush Hall http://t.co/mZmd1YTLjs

3:37 pm
9th August 2013

RT @tgtf: Live Review: Melic @MELICBAND ‘An Hour to Anywhere’ album launch party at London’s Bush Hall – 1st August 2013: http://t.co/NjL9f…

5:16 pm
9th August 2013

RT @tgtf: Live Review: Melic @MELICBAND ‘An Hour to Anywhere’ album launch party at London’s Bush Hall – 1st August 2013: http://t.co/NjL9f…

5:16 pm
9th August 2013

RT @Djoga: ‘A hook-laden barnstormer that has the crowd in raptures’ @tgtf Review @MELICBAND Album Launch 1/8/13 Bush Hall http://t.co/mZmd…

5:33 pm
9th August 2013

RT @Djoga: ‘A hook-laden barnstormer that has the crowd in raptures’ @tgtf Review @MELICBAND Album Launch 1/8/13 Bush Hall http://t.co/mZmd…

1:34 pm
10th August 2013

Live Review: Melic ‘An Hour to Anywhere’ album launch party at London’s Bush Hall – 1st August 2013 http://t.co/iIsZCLpSn8 via @tgtf

5:41 pm
12th August 2013

RT @tgtf: Live Review: Melic @MELICBAND ‘An Hour to Anywhere’ album launch party at London’s Bush Hall – 1st August 2013: http://t.co/NjL9f…

7:01 pm
13th August 2013

@MELICBAND album launch party blog is live on @tgtf: http://t.co/usxMJadqPg. Thanks to the band and @BGRecords!

7:04 pm
13th August 2013

RT @tgtf: Live Review: Melic @MELICBAND ‘An Hour to Anywhere’ album launch party at London’s Bush Hall – 1st August 2013: http://t.co/NjL9f…

7:07 pm
13th August 2013

RT @parkinson_b: @MELICBAND album launch party blog is live on @tgtf: http://t.co/usxMJadqPg. Thanks to the band and @BGRecords!

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