Yet another fabulous show at the Fulford Arms would be the third time I have seen the beautifully boomtastic Millie Manders and the Shut Up at this very same venue. This was also a pre-Halloween fancy dress night where some rather scary costumes were on display. Personally, I donned my scary clown mask, which scared one punter immensely, although nowhere near as much as the person dressed as Michael Myers did. Incidentally, I know who dressed as Myers that night! But before I tell you what MMATSU were like I must speak about the rather stunning support acts. First up it was Eryx London, who rather weirdly are not from London, but Nottingham. Their set was, in a word, incendiary. In a few more words it was akin to the smashing of atoms using Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir. “U Don’t Like Your Girlfriend” was a highlight among many highs for me. I suspect this bunch will go on to much greater things, they seem to have the talent to do it.
How do you follow a band as on fire as Eryx London, well it seems you follow them with Bristol’s own, Cosmic Ninja! This band is loud and passionate and not afraid to speak out for what is right. I love that their website has an ethos section, where among other things they mention that they are “members and allies of our LGBTQ+ community” and “We recognise our deaf community and have participated in SIGN GIGS in our local city“. The latter is something really special which I never knew had been done before. It was a funky, punky, and frenetic set with no let-up in energy. “Parasite” is an incredible song. Another great band on a magnificent bill!
But the icing on the cake for this wonderful show put together by Steve “Ska” Laurence of Northern Ska Face Promotions was an electrifying set from Millie Manders and the Shut Up. Millie is an extremely, talented and powerful frontwoman who knows her audience perfectly and displays an aura of empathy and support for every one of her fans. Millie is clearly passionate about her music, but also supremely passionate about life, injustice, mental health, the environment, and many other things. Their music has a huge social conscience. The band, as usual, were stunningly tight and well-rehearsed and Millie’s vocals at times evoked memories of Pauline Black, but Millie’s range is phenomenal. Many people might describe Millie Manders and the Shut Up as a ska punk band, that might have been true in their early days, but now they are simply a great rock band who regularly defy inclusion in any specific genre box. Highlights tonight were “Poor Man’s Show”, “Not Okay” and the mighty “Panic”. If this band is not yet in your life then give your head a big wobble and sort it out!
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