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The Music

The Corn Exchange, Brighton, 27 October 2003

It seems quite fitting that Steve Lamacq, the man who once declared The Music as 'the best unsigned band in Britain', was introducing them on stage tonight for their headlining performance as part of the opening night for Radio One's Live in Brighton. Take particular note of the word headlining. Proof, if needed, that the Leeds four-piece have come a remarkably long way in a very short space of time. What's even more remarkable is that the band are barely out of their teens and yet their music has a certain maturity about it that many bands never achieve in a whole career.

The MusicKicking off tonight's performance with 'The Dance', the band sweep you off your feet in a wave of raw, freewheeling psychedelia, while frontman Rob Harvey puts his voice through the paces as he reaches vocal peaks which Robert Plant could only dream of.

Comparisons to Led Zeppelin aren't new to The Music, although none of the band claims to have ever really listened to anything by the former Rock gods. Watching Rob Harvey onstage, you could almost believe that he was the young Robert Plant - the voice, the long curly hair, even the slit-to-the-navel silk-screened shirt that he was wearing tonight. Songs such as 'Take The Long Road And Walk It' and 'The Truth Is No Words' further emphasis this theory with their chunky blues riffs, supersonics and melody-driven vocals.

Unlike Led Zeppelin however, whose live performances usually veered into the depths of rock n' roll obscurity with the rambling guitar noodlings of Jimmy Page (brilliant ramblings none the less) and twenty minute drum solos, The Music keep their heads firmly out of their arses as they grab hold of the audience's attention and refuse to let go. A host of new tracks such as 'One way in and no way out' prove that the band has set its sights way beyond the critical success of their debut album as well as providing the fans with an insight into which musical direction they might be heading. Above all, with songs such as 'The People' and the brilliant 'Getaway', The Music succeed in proving that it is possible to make guitar music that people can dance to. Everybody, myself included, was dancing. And I mean really dancing.

With thirteen tracks being performed in total - and only a handful of those being either new or rarities - I suppose The Music could be accused of out staying their welcome on stage tonight, flogging their debut self-titled album for everything it's worth. Then again, with songs this good, who can blame them?

Rick McEwen