Bob Mould @ Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London
It's been 20 years since the release of Sugar’s classic debut, Copper Blue - and now the man behind them, Husker Du and more is back on UK ground for a rare show. Daniel Cadwallader reports
The legendary American song writer plays a rare UK show celebrating 20 years since the release of
Sugar’s classic debut, Copper Blue.
Bob Mould is one of those people whose influence on music stretches in so many different directions that you don’t know here to begin. In a career that has included pioneering punk act Husker Du, Alt-Rock masters Sugar, as well as solo success, Mould has influenced everyone from The Pixies to Green Day and written a few good tunes into the bargain.
Tonight is a celebration of Sugar, the alt-rock band he formed after the collapse of Husker Du, as well as a commemoration of twenty years since the release of their acclaimed debut album, Copper Blue.
Kicking off with album opener 'The Act We Act', it’s clear from the start that neither the songs nor Mould himself have lost any of their power since 92. Playing the album in it’s entirety, with no break
and no banter could have been a risky move, but Mould’s fans are all over it.
Classics like 'Helpless', 'Hoover Dam' and 'If I Can’t Change Your Mind' have everyone moving, while Mould’s distinctive vocals nearly drowned out by the sea of people singing his words back at him. At 51 He’s not as young as he was, but the grin plastered across his face throughout the set prove he loves these songs as much as he did the day he wrote them.
After the final track from Copper Blue 'Man in the Moon', Bob walks up to the mic and makes the simple statement; “that was the past, this is the future” - and with that blasts into a selection of tracks from his upcoming solo album. Laced with the little touches of melodic brilliance that have been his trademark since the very earliest days of Husker Du it looks like the new album will be something of a future classic.
Bob knows what the audience are after though, and after this unexpected treat of new material we get a full on blast of more favourites. The man truly has a back catalogue up there with some of the
greatest American songwriters. 'Celebrated Summer', 'I Apologize' and an encore of 'Makes No Sense At All' round up a perfect night for the punks.