I The Mighty haven’t been seen much on our side of the pond as of late, save for an appearance at Reading & Leeds Festival. They’ve now returned to UK shores almost a year after their tour with emo legends Bayside for some headline shows of their own.
It’s about time too; the band released their excellent fourth album ‘Where The Mind Wants To Go/Where You Let It Go’ last year, and as UK fans have only had a smattering of chances to hear the new material live, you’d expect tickets to sell like hot cakes. Surprisingly, it seems to be only a small crowd that’s descended on Boston Music Rooms tonight.
Noisy duo Delaire, The Liar  consist of vocalist/guitarist Ffin Colley and drummer Joey Brayshaw, and have the unenviable task of trying to warm up the meagre crowd, but, whilst they might not have much to work with, they give it a good go anyway, sounding like a minimalist Touché Amoré.
Colley flings himself around the stage like a madman, and the material itself is great – emotive, complex, confident slices of punk – but unfortunately they struggle to keep the attention of the audience, who seem more interested in the bar. Keep an eye out, though; they sound like they’re only just getting started.
Kier Kemp (of Fearless Vampire Killers fame) has his own solo project, Inklings . Striding out on stage rocking a side fringe and sunglasses, he’s lost none of his stage presence, which is more than can be said for the rest of the band, who look bored throughout the whole set.
It’s hard to blame them though, because the songs themselves are difficult to get excited about. Dull anti-love song ‘Single Life’ is instantly forgettable, though otherwise mediocre ballad ‘In Case It Works’ is redeemed slightly by a strong vocal performance from Kemp. Generally though, it could probably be a lot better than this.
No surprises then that I The Mighty  don’t have much competition tonight. They open with a gorgeous performance of the stunning ‘Degenerates’, with Ian Pedigo‘s unmistakeable spindly guitar riff. The now considerable crowd clusters around the stage, eager to get as close as possible to frontman Brent Walsh and co. as he croons every disarmingly relatable lyric of the opener before the poppy hook of ‘Pet Names’ kicks things up a notch.
Whilst the tracks off their latest album still feel shiny and new, some of their older work is undoubtedly equally as bright. ‘The Lying Eyes Of Miss Erray’ has an impossibly catchy pop-punk style chorus, and heartfelt ballad ‘Slow Dancing Forever’ could send a shiver up the sturdiest of spines. The colossal ‘Psychomachia’ is a particular stand-out, with bassist Chris Hinkley‘s backing vocals blending seamlessly with Walsh‘s.
There definitely is something a bit special about their newer work, though. You’d have to be a corpse if you didn’t find yourself dancing to the groovy ‘Chaos In Motion’, and single ‘Silver Tongues’ goes down an absolute storm before the crowd emphatically demand an encore (the band oblige, digging out oldie ‘The Dreamer’ much to the fans’ delight).
It feels like a privilege to see this band in a venue this intimate, because, if there’s any justice, they’ll eventually be playing stages far bigger than this one.