Mark Mulcahy, Sussex Arts Club, Brighton

The best voice you've never heard

If reputations ensured riches, Bostonian Mark Mulcahy might now be living in a gilded palace of sin rather than opening this brief UK visit with a low-key date in Brighton. "If it wasn't for Miracle Legion, there might not have ever been a Caramel Jack," the local support band tells us in both a tribute to Mulcahy's 1980s group and an attempt to break the record for damning with the faintest praise.

If reputations ensured riches, Bostonian Mark Mulcahy might now be living in a gilded palace of sin rather than opening this brief UK visit with a low-key date in Brighton. "If it wasn't for Miracle Legion, there might not have ever been a Caramel Jack," the local support band tells us in both a tribute to Mulcahy's 1980s group and an attempt to break the record for damning with the faintest praise.

But, as is mentioned every time you will see the name Mulcahy in print, others have been equally enthusiastic: Thom Yorke considers Mulcahy's "the greatest voice I have ever heard", while Nick Hornby devoted a chapter of 31 Songs to "Hey Self Defeater", from his 1999 debut solo album. Yet still the Hornby hordes and the Radiohead heads stay away.

For those who cherish neglected legends, though, tonight is the perfect chance to see Mulcahy performing songs from his latest neglected opus, In Pursuit of Your Happiness. There is a clever, sometimes 10CC-like tendency to his lyrics while that voice ranges from a Laneganesque roar to a Jeff-Buckley-like soar. But while that particular young man was beautiful and doomed, Mulcahy is all too human. His long, frizzy hair makes him look like a pre-Pamela Billy Connolly and his overall demeanour is more Bill Bailey than Buckley. In an industry obsessed with image, such things are never going to help your chances.

Lost in his own glorious songs, Mulcahy's eyelids flicker while his jaw looks ever on the verge of a yawn. Sometimes, in the world of neglected legends, we do just as well to pursue our own happiness through records and reputations.

Bush Hall, London W12 (0870 600 100), Wed

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