MEW @ Capitol
w/ Closure In Moscow
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
In Perth touring with their latest album Visuals, we were expecting a whole life’s work in about an hour after a wait of 20 years to see legendary Danish band Mew. You just knew this is going to be a special show.
Following a proggy opening set from Melbourne weirdos Closure In Moscow, faces are tightening, teeth clenching and eyes are squished in eagerness of what’s about to happen. Some go out for cigarettes and others head down the road for a quick beer before heading back for the headline act. Lights flash and that random music plays in the background, the sort before a show to set a mood that has no relation to the bands aesthetic. Capitol isn’t full but it’s an intimate crowd of individuals who have probably waited too long and will have an “I can die happy now” moment after they play.
One lady is already in transit rocking an 80s inspired hair cut, white punk singlet, a sweater tied around the waste and one ear pierced all the way round. Eyes closed tapping her sneakers on the sticky floor. The die hard fans are already on the front line filling the room with not just the usual excitement but with an ambiance of anticipation; they’re ready for a show but they’re also ready to show Mew just how much they care about their presence. And with no fuss the band casually walk on stage, just wearing the colour black for their first ever show in Perth.
Visuals literally delivered the visuals. Above the stage on a massive screen presented eye-gazing and telling stories of crazy and weird things; videos of cats in solider outfits playing violins, dolls and teddy bears, sparkles, animals and humans. Visuals is the only thing that makes sense now, why call it anything else? The stage is bursting with art forms and although the men of Mew are in black, their music is full of colour.
The only way to describe singer Jonas Bjerre on stage is like an angel, so soft and gentle, so high and unreal yet powerful and radiant. It’s this combination of their live show and his angelic nature that make Mew so unique.
The crowd are in awe, mouths wanting to spit the words out before they are sung, bodies moving with pure excitement and arms wrapped around swaying bodies. The guys in front tapping each other on the shoulder every five seconds so they can sing in sync and acknowledge they both still know all the words, one of them embraces his girlfriend, he is so incredibly happy in this moment. It’s one of those nights you look back on in five, 10, maybe 20 years and smile.
Playing a combination of old and new, it was clear to see how far Mew had come. They end playing both Carry Me To Safety and Nothingness and No Regrets, two perfect examples of how time has created such a distinct sound and style for the group. Johan Wohlert (the most passionate bass player ever) helped end the performance, saying Perth was the perfect way to end their journey.
Photos by Q