Meltybrains? Live in London


“Wait – you’re writing a piece about us? Oh god, please don’t include any of this…what are you even gonna call it? ‘Meltybrains? are dix’?”

The five boys of Meltybrains? are running amok in a small square in Dalston after their first ever show in London (this latter point being a fact which leads to several wry comments about their songs all being “UK exclusives” during the performance).  Rather than their jokey post-gig brawling and bizarre conversations appearing in anyway as damning as band-member Brian seems to fear, though, there is something quite endearing and charming about their tangible enthusiasm that night.  Indeed, much as I am always open to title suggestions that involve edgy misspellings, it would be entirely unfair to label this Dublin band as being “dix”, or anything of the sort – which I think is a particularly noteworthy claim given that the band dress entirely in white for their show, and have a proclivity to wearing “meltymasks”: all things which one might associate with the band in question being a little bit pretentious.

The opposite is the case though: there is a light-hearted playfulness to it all, and the masks and the white outfits just seem to add to the band’s wonderfully content, easy aura on stage, with pools of green and purple light flourishing over them as though they are splattered canvases while they craft their beautiful, otherworldly soundscapes.  At one point they insist the audience – who are just as delighted and passionately immersed in the music as the band themselves – join them in some choreographed dance moves to a sublime tropical-tinged, dancehall-esque number, moving into the crowd to make sure the attendees get properly involved.  That their lyrics include ridiculously great moments like “Listen to me speak, into this microphone / Meltybrains? is weak, would you like a scone?” is perhaps all that is necessary to prove that taking themselves too seriously is not something this band could ever be accused of.

I am normally somewhat loath to writing live reviews, but – having been meaning to write about this band ever since they were one of DWMD’s picks for the Glastonbury Emerging Talent competition, earlier this year – it was in seeing them perform that it struck me anew just how exciting this band are.  It is certainly one of the best, most engaging small-scale gigs I have been to in the past few years, with something immensely passionate evident in their playing – my friend was particularly taken with the way they all seem to have had their eyes closed and the way they’re all so palpably enjoying what they do.

With every recorded release too, it becomes increasingly clear just how fresh and strange their music is, with their jittery, fantastically intricate percussion and dazzling electric swirls of synth and violin, all topped with the aforementioned bizarre but entirely fitting vocals.

Meltybrains? are doing something special.  They are undoubtedly weird, but that’s what is particularly captivating about them: no one is doing electronic music quite like this right now.  And so, primarily because I can’t think of a more fitting way to end this, I will conclude that, in fact: Meltybrains? are gr8.

Check them out on the SoundCloud to further understand why I have so much love for this band.  I am currently particularly a fan of ‘Block Rockin”.

Photo by Eve North.

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