Mono Cafe Blue, Bristol
Friday 12 September 1997
Scheduling their debut gig as a promo job in a bijou Bristol bar, however, may have been a mistake. You wanted the kitsch discotheque scene from a Swinging London movie starring Sammy Davis Jr and Tony Curtis; what you got was a lot of liggers swigging free lager at the bar, with the performance of the band as a sideshow. Even to call them a band is to swing the lead a bit, as Mono represents that very Nineties pairing of the shady back-room knob-twiddler and the photogenic chanteuse, with main man Martin Virgo skulking at the keyboards while singer Siobhan De Mare has to command the front of stage all by herself. There was a band of sorts - a fairly anonymous trio of guitar, bass and drums - but most of the music seemed to come direct from Virgo's console. Fortunately, De Mare both sings quite beautifully and has enough charisma to make the lager boys disappear into a Funeral in Berlin-style fog.
They played the album, more or less, and while the boys in the band smoked fags and looked cool, De Mare supplied just the right combination of sex and vulnerability. On the best songs, you could close your eyes, listen to the sample from "Get Carter" or the floating melody of "Slimcea Girl" (their next single) and imagine that it was 1968 and you were Michael Caine. This is, admittedly, quite a specialised pleasure, but Mono provide a very affecting soundtrack all the same.
Mono's album `Formica Blues' is available now on Echo Records. The single `Slimcea Girl' is released on 22 September.
tv Review: Miranda Hart and co deliver the festive goods
tvReview: Older generation get hot under the collar this Christmas
comedy Erm...he seems to be back
tvReview: No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa
tv Gymnast Louis Smith triumphed in the Christmas special
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
- 2 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 3 British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
- 4 Vagina canoe artist defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
- 5 The Queen’s speech 2014: Recap and Twitter reaction to Game of Thrones reference
EastEnders Christmas special, review: Brilliant Danny Dyer glues you to your seat
Felicity Jones on being Stephen Hawking's wife in The Theory of Everything: 'I didn't want her to be a saint'
Game of Thrones season five: First preview clip shows a beardy Tyrion, a moody Cersei and a distressed Arya
Doctor Who series 9: Jenna Coleman staying on for whole season as Clara Oswald
The Interview finally gets US release after Sony hack and terror threats – but reviews of North Korea satire are mixed
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader