It’s one of those rare occasions where I hand over the reviewing side of things to my compadre Mr Mouse. Our chums at the Band on the Wall provided him with the opportunity to watch well regarded band The Mouse Outfit at the venue on Thursday 2nd June.
Now as you may be aware I don’t normally dabble in the hip-hop/urban side of things but Mr Mouse tells me this lot are very good indeed so here’s a quick overview and his thoughts on the gig.
From the bio on their website:
The Mouse Outfit was founded in 2008 by Paul Hooley (Chini) aftter James Defty after they met at an audition in Manchester. They formed a band and began producing music with a number of local musicians and vocalists. Defty started a jam night, in order to meet local talent, called ‘In the Loop’ (where rappers would freestyle to live breaks from The Mouse Outfit band) They began crafting a live show with hip hop and funk breaks combined with original grooves. The band started gigging locally and around the UK with various changes in line-up. Chini was a teacher at a music college in Manchester and noticed a talented student drummer Adisa Allen (Deese) who joined the band in 2010. After uploading a track to BBC Introducing they were asked to perform a session at BBC Maida Vale studios for the Mark Lamarr show on BBC Radio 6. Another of Chini’s students, Ian Garland (Pitch) joined in 2011 as a beatmaker. Pitch had been working with Dr Syntax and he soon started working with the band as well. ‘In The Loop’ regular Sparkz was asked to feature on a track and after recording several singles he also became a regular member of the live show. In 2012, Defty and Chini also began producing music videos after working with a local filmmaker Tom Doran. Defty took a greater interest in video and began filming and editing a stream of music videos. Chini continued producing music with local rappers and musicians and recording them in his studio over his own beats and beats from Pitch and the result was ‘Escape Music’ their debut album released in May 2013. The Mouse Outfit has remained independent and Defty and Chini continue to manage all aspects of the band including tours, merchandise, social media and promotion.
Mr Mouse reports as follows
Arriving at the BOTW there are people queuing and milling around the door signifying that a Mouse Outfit performance is to be regarded as an event to be celebrated rather than a run of the mill gig. I take myself into the concert area to check out support act Cul de Sac, they’ve attracted enough interest from people to feel a rapport with the audience and display enough good moments to encourage dancing feet and that an eye should be kept on their progress.
And then the main event , the six piece Mouse Outfit band take the stage and are joined by the first frontman of the evening Sparkz , immediately the effect is electrifying as the band swing with a touch of the Duke Ellingtons and Groove like the JBs. “Blaze it up” is an early set high-light and the packed crowd are swept along in the heady rush. Sparkz is joined by the Legendary Dr Syntax and the energy levels go to another level “We ain’t going nowhere” has enough propulsion to shake the room , Truthus Mufasa, Black Josh, and Fox all join the expanding and fluctuating front line with no let up in , song quality , energy or personality. Indeed each brings a different individual flavour to the fore , lyricalligraphy joins in for “Know my Face” it is spellbinding . “Shak Out”, and “Air Max” are other highlights but in all honesty singling out individual tracks does this outfit a disservice because there is no dropping of quality from Start to Finish. It’s a non stop party and a great atmosphere prevails , smiles are everywhere , the Mouse Outfit are a cut above the rest and tonight has been a special night.
No pics or vids from Mr Mouse so here’s a sample of the collective ……