Unimaginitve name aside, The Music were an exciting and initially promising band that looked headed for superstardom. Their self titled 2002 debut album was a critical success, reaching number four in the UK album charts.
Follow-up second album Welcome To The North was also well received, but drug and alcohol problems for lead singer Robert Harvey meant that The Music disappeared from the radar for a few years, and doubts were cast over whether they would ever play again. Harvey recovered though, and they returned in 2008 with the album Strength In Numbers.
But with much damage already done, Harvey announced in 2010 his decision to leave the band, and a series of farewell concerts were organised for August 2011.
I managed to scramble a pair of tickets for their final ever show, and my girlfriend and I made the short trip to Leeds to wave goodbye to The Music.
The crowd was energetic, and the band’s arrival on stage in their hometown was greeted with a chorus of cheers and chants of “Music! Music! Music!”.
Launching into early classics The Dance and Take The Long Road And Walk It, they were impressive, with Harvey clearly enjoying himself every bit as much as the fans who sung along to their favourite numbers.
The early part of the set was a thunderous and frantic opening, consisting of upbeat, high tempo songs with buzzing guitars and deep bass lines.
There was some respite as they slowed things down with the inclusion of softer tunes Human and Too High, though Drugs seemed to be a poor inclusion on the set list, with Harvey struggling to hit the high chorus notes that make it such a brilliant album track.
Despite that blip though, the quality was turned up again with a blistering version of Getaway, and an epic main set closer; the instrumental Walls Get Smaller.
As it was the last ever show, The Music treated those in attendance to a slightly longer set, with the inclusion of B-Side Jag Tune that was well received, and then a sensational rendition of Bleed From Within.
And so it came down to the last ever live song performed by The Music. “This one is for those people who said we would never make it” bellowed Harvey defiantly. Few in the crowd could have been displeased with the way the curtain came down on The Music, with a mind blowing sing along of The People, sung by Harvey with all the emotion and pride of a man who really had experienced every high and low possible on his incredible ten year journey through the music industry, but who had never forgotten his roots.
In front of his adoring home crowd, Harvey embraced his band mates after their pulsating set, and left the stage in the same way as he had entered; with the cheers and whistles of thousands ringing in his ears.
This was a sensational performance from a band who, despite all their troubles, had remained loyal to their dreams and repaid those fans who had supported them all the way with a quite brilliant concert.
The Music will be sorely missed on the British music scene.
The Set List:
– Main Set –
Take The Long Road And Walk It
The Truth Is No Words
Welcome To The North
Strength In Numbers
Walls Get Smaller
– Encore –
Bleed From Within