The Middlenight Men Launch Issue # 2 In Gloriously Messy Style At The Underworld

This show at The Underworld in Camden was the launch night for The Middlenight Men’s second album, Issue #2, that came with support from Slackrr and Boss Caine. Being a Friday night in Camden this show started absurdly early, we arrived just after Boss Caine had started playing to a sparsely populated venue at 6:30pm. He was singing Grievous Angel in his grizzled tones as we arrived that took this Gram Parsons classic in a suitably dark direction.

The Middlenight Men @ Underworld

The Middlenight Men @ Underworld (Louise Phillips)
The Middlenight Men @ Underworld (Louise Phillips)

Trying to make the best of things while sounding tighter than the last time I saw him, Boss Caine was telling us what would happen to him On A Good Day that had some intricate guitar work and plenty of pained feelings. I think the next song was Ghosts & Drunks about more of the things that happen when you’re out and about in the town.

He closed his set with a song about inviting some strangers round for an after party and regretting it, as they didn’t share their drugs, dark memories of living the non-stop party life and surviving to tell another battered tale.

Next on were hard-working trio Slackrr from Southampton who, from the start had, a good bouncy EMO pop punk edge. The Current was the first song to stand out as Scotty Perry made clear how they were trying to look after us all. Holding On kept the band’s main theme of looking after your mental health to the forefront as Caitlyn Bower let rip on bass.

Lie To Me was full of hard-bitten sentiments while Louis’s drumming was frantically insistent. They bounced all over the stage looking for The Answer to just how early 2000s they sounded. Ebb & Flow had vocals shared between Scotty Perry and Cait Bowyer as they made clear they have played over 600 shows together a since 2019.

We Are here to help if you’re struggling. Scotty tells us that you can always get the help you need, but you must ask for it, as another speedy riff crunched out from his guitar while Cait bounced all over the place. Home was important to them especially having one to go home to when you’re not on the road the entire time. They closed a good fun set with recent single This Time that made sure we will be happy to see them live again.

  • Slackrr @ Underworld
  • Slackrr @ Underworld
  • Slackrr @ Underworld
  • Slackrr @ Underworld
  • Slackrr @ Underworld
  • Slackrr @ Underworld
  • Slackrr @ Underworld
  • Slackrr @ Underworld
  • Slackrr @ Underworld
  • Slackrr @ Underworld
  • Slackrr @ Underworld
  • Slackrr @ Underworld
  • Slackrr @ Underworld
  • Slackrr @ Underworld
  • Slackrr @ Underworld

Then it was time for the glitzy eight-piece The Middlenight Men to open with the bands theme song that was brash and saw the brass section giving it everything, as it became very clear that Heidi Cotton was going to dazzle us all night long with some sleazy guitar to battle with Nick Hughes. The six-piece version then insisted we are happy, as they sang about Bruno.

The Middlenight Men are one of those bands who never stopped moving, bringing power to the songs as inventive guitar lines fly at us, Nick Hughes helming this beast of a band. It was time to Fight Skyler as they re-enlisted the brass section, needing everything in the band’s armoury for this battle.

They went back to Issue #1 for brooding brawler The Fear that they got before ending up in Prison. When they insisted we should be there Baby tonight, it was a plea for some love to come their way which surely must happen when they put in as lusty as performance as this one. They stripped back to a five-piece for The Machine, well-oiled and tuned up this band really are. As the brass section returned, the sleazy cabaret edge was full force front and centre as the Sirens went howling across the Underworld.

The Kids We Want To Be had the full-on brass treatment as Heidi and Nick swapped licks before they found themselves down on their luck and Living In The Heart Of Hell suffering from all the effects of the Heroine Heights this almost made the lifestyle seem glamorous.

They are not the sort disappear too far before treating us to an encore. The six-piece version blasted through The Longest Goodbye that probably left them with time for another two or three entanglements before the end of the song, the troupe closing the night with Rat Star that only left us all wanting more from The Middlenight Men.

  • The Middlenight Men @ Underworld
  • The Middlenight Men @ Underworld
  • The Middlenight Men @ Underworld
  • The Middlenight Men @ Underworld
  • The Middlenight Men @ Underworld
  • The Middlenight Men @ Underworld
  • The Middlenight Men @ Underworld
  • The Middlenight Men @ Underworld
  • The Middlenight Men @ Underworld
  • The Middlenight Men @ Underworld
  • The Middlenight Men @ Underworld
  • The Middlenight Men @ Underworld
  • The Middlenight Men @ Underworld
  • The Middlenight Men @ Underworld
  • The Middlenight Men @ Underworld
  • The Middlenight Men @ Underworld
  • The Middlenight Men @ Underworld
  • The Middlenight Men @ Underworld
  • The Middlenight Men @ Underworld
  • The Middlenight Men @ Underworld
  • The Middlenight Men @ Underworld
  • The Middlenight Men @ Underworld

Live review of The Middlenight Men at Underworld, London on 3rd May 2024 by Simon Phillips, photography by Louise Phillips.

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