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THE MYSTERINES need no introduction. Emerging in 2016, the Merseyside quartet have accelerated through support slots for the likes of Royal Blood and collaborations with Paul Weller to tonight’s long awaited return to Liverpool for their biggest hometown headliner to date.
STONE were called to the occasion mere hours before they take to the stage. Enigmatic frontman Fin Power is a punk poet of sorts, evoking a Liverpudlian Mike Skinner with his provocative lyrics and sung-spoken delivery. At times, he wields his guitar like a machine gun, enthralling the audience with the tumultuous Leave It Out and latest single Let’s Dance to the Real Thing. “Stick this one on your playlist,” he yells.
Anticipation builds as the lights dim and The Mysterines appear under a scarlet stream of light. On the eve of Halloween, Lia Metcalfe exudes witchy vibes, dressed in a 70s-style black velvet ensemble that would put Stevie Nicks to shame. Her powerful PJ Harvey-esque vocals cut through the crowd, sometimes snarling and sometimes sonorous. Bassist George Favager dons a burgundy blazer and enhances each song with relentless rhythm.
They tear into Life’s a Bitch (But I Like It So Much), an exhilarating number showcasing Metcalfe’s cutthroat lyricism and abrasive guitar licks. The Mysterines are known for their heavy-hitting tunes, but this number quite literally turns the place upside down, with Metcalfe’s vocals permeating far beyond the walls of the venue. The sizzling stomper In My Head follows, receiving a rapturous response from concertgoers, who sing its anthemic chorus.
The Bad Thing, with its blues rock embellishments and droning melody, inclines the audience to nod in time, before it transforms into tumultuous riffs and a tightly wound drumbeat courtesy of recent additions, Callum Thompson (guitar) and Paul Crilly (drums). Old Friends / Die Hard plays out in a similar vein, sonically resembling something between The Doors and The Blinders.
The formidable four-piece play the title track from their upcoming debut album, Reeling, which is set for release on 11th March 2022. Recent single Hung Up packs a punch, with its scathing lyricism and grinding guitars inciting a riotous response. Meanwhile grungy fan-favourite Hormone embraces the first mosh-pit of the night. A chorus of concertgoers can be heard belting out its memorable refrain: “Youth / Is it my excuse?”
After a brief exit, Metcalfe re-enters the stage cradling an acoustic guitar for a spellbinding solo performance of Still Call You Home. Her sultry vocals supported by gentle guitar strums stir the room to a standstill.
The band close their set with the double assault of Death Don’t Have No Mercy and Love’s Not Enough propelling the crowd into a frenzy, as a rogue crowd surfer floats overhead. An electrifying energy pervades the building, the mark of a glorious return for Merseyside’s most exciting export.