MARMOZETS are a young band from Bingley, West Yorkshire, who created quite a stir towards the back end of last year with their debut album, which blended several different types of rock music into one marvellous package.
The Weird And Wonderful Marmozets, which dips its toe into punk, post-hardcore, alt-rock and math rock, crashed into the UK charts at No 25, cementing their growing reputation as one of British music’s brightest newcomers.
Except they’re not new at all; they were formed and began playing live in 2007 when the five members – two sets of siblings – were still at school.
It’s little wonder, then, that the live set for which they’ve become renowned has become so tightly-honed. For a band not long out of their teens, they’re exceptional.
That’s the result of putting in the hard miles on the road, and taking notes from those they’ve played with; bands like Gallows, Funeral For A Friend, and The Used.
On a night when the British music scene celebrated its bland mainstream in the increasingly-predictable Brit Awards, it was comforting to see so many people to whom real music still matters.
The Riverside was packed for this gig, which was part of Marmozets’ second headlining tour, and it was clear they were preaching to the converted, rather than the merely curious.
Vocalist Becca Macintyre told the crowd: “I can’t believe so many people have come out to see us, Newcastle – thank you so much!” – and she and her band responded with the sort of coruscating live set they’ve become known for.
With only one album behind them, the set was, out of necessity, brief: it consisted of 12 songs, lasting barely an hour in total, but what an hour.
They started with the single Move, Shake, Hide, and had the crowd on their side from the start, with the band pumping out the riffs and Becca stalking the boards with a stage presence way beyond her tender years.
Her indie-girl-next-door looks are deceptive; at times she sings like an angel, but she also possesses the sort of banshee-like scream that Courtney Love or Brody Dalle would be proud of.
Album opener Born Young And Free was the standout moment for me.
More hardcore than lots of so-called hardcore bands, it showed that Becca can pull off those incredible vocals live as well as in the studio – if there was every any doubt.
By the time they closed with their best-known song, the Paramore-ish Why Do You Hate Me?, driven by its wonderful, insistent bassline, the audience was theirs.
I can’t believe so many people have come out to see us, Newcastle – thank you so much!Becca Macintyre
Then they were gone, but not before promising to come back soon. On the strength of this performance, it can’t be soon enough - and at a much bigger venue.