The second night of their tour dates this month saw Marmozets come to Southampton. The set began with New Religion, followed by Habits, two tracks from the latest album Knowing What You Know Now. From here on, the list flitted between titles from the new LP as well as debut album The Weird and Wonderful.
Lead singer Becca MacIntyre’s stage presence, combined with the way she acknowledges and interacts with the crowd is just superb, rarely standing still and with enough energy to put some of the best athletes to shame as she utilises the whole space. At one point, she entered the pit, stood on the barrier and sang with those fortunate enough to be right in front of her.
The rest of the band musically complement Becca’s vocals perfectly and are so in sync with each other it’s obvious they have gigged together for a long time. A nod, a wink or a wry smile is a usual tell-tale of what is going to or should have happened, but these guys were on point and it was almost impossible to notice anything going awry.
Jack Bottomley (lead guitar) and Sam MacIntyre (rhythm and backing vocals) in the main stayed at their posts, occasionally turning and sometimes moving toward the other members, but unlike many other seasoned guitarists I have seen, they looked up from their instruments and out into the group of fans, taking note of those in front of them – something others often seem to forget or choose not to do.
Will Bottomley (bass and backing vocals) was more active, making his way back to the raised platform housing the drum kit and interacting with the dynamic Josh MacIntyre, who, in all honesty, should have ‘Animal’ on the front of his kit instead of the words ‘LOVE IS’ and picture of a heart written in red tape.
Most of the gig Josh remained semi seated, keeping perfect time while shaking his head (and the rest of him) to the beat and thrashing the living daylights out of the skins and symbols. At one point in the set I thought perhaps his drum stool had broken, as he launched himself skyward several times yet managing to hit the drums and keep in time on the way back down.
He did venture out from behind his kit – the usual wall of security between a drummer and the rest of the world! – and headed down into the pit to embark on an impromptu meet and greet, reaching out to touch hands and show the love to some of the dedicated fans.
One of my personal favourites from the latest album and on the night, was the fourth song on the set list Start Again. The intro leads you into a false sense of security, expecting to hear the dynamic sound and voice we have grown accustomed to. At around a minute into the song all the accompanying instruments, bar a guitar, drop away and we are briefly offered an insight into Becca’s vocal talent in its purest form. We all know this lady can sing, but this track showcases her gift without question.
At the end of the main set they had no choice but to return for an encore due to the cheers and screaming which then escalated to near hysteria as they returned with Major System Error. The final song was a fittingly titled Captivate You. The audience didn’t want to accept the band had finished, as they kept chanting, but eventually conceded and took the hint once the roadies removed several crucial items of equipment from the now musician-less stage!
A great band, a great gig and a great night.
Review and photos: Ant Penny