LIVE: Useless Eaters w/ Thee MVPs – The Shacklewell Arms, London 31.03.2015

Overhearing mutual gasps of “That was… so… good!” and “Oh my god!”s after a show is a pretty good sign in anyone’s book. The lack of adjectives that seem to appropriately describe the brilliance of headliners Useless Eaters only emphasise the necessity to see them for yourselves. But hey, I’ll try and explain the unexplainable live show until you do.

Things kicked off with support from London band Thee MVPs, who delivered a highly energetic set, despite half the band being jetlagged after a series of shows in the US. Highlights came from tracks ‘US Airways’ and new Sopranos inspired ‘Big Pussy’, however their set finale ‘Wandwaver’ was the real showstopper – catchy, lively and caused me to nearly get my eyes taken out by people dancing… Need I say more?

A quick cigarette break later and Useless Eaters were on stage, immediately reeling the crowd in. This was the first time I’d seen the band live, and despite loving the distorted and (at times) anxious soundscapes on record, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The conclusion? Few bands are as mesmerising and hard hitting. Standout songs included the sharp, spiky “Dungeon” and ominous psychotic number “Hidden Fees”. The hypnotic riffs and threatening undertones of the set were both inviting and sinister, Useless Eaters create a strangeland where nothing is quite what it seems.

Despite experiencing every bands nightmare partway through the set – dreaded sound issues – and resorting to keyboard loops while it was being resolved (“Shit! Have some techno while we sort this!”) they tore the place to shreds when they returned. Furiously played and so loud that palpitations were inevitable, the band and crowd were simultaneously in their element, and it was all over way too soon.

Daisy Taplin