MUMM-RA – Leeds Josephs Well

By paul

MUMM-RA + Amusement Parks on Fire

Bonfire night, eh? Nah. I’d rather get out of my room, away from my computer, and across to York, to see a band that I’ve kept half an eye on for about 18 months. Tonight’s show is a ‘Levi’s Ones To Watch’ tour, and without knowing the tour support, I turned up halfway through the opening band’s set. THE FALLING SPIKES ( are a little ‘miss’ on the ‘hit or miss’ scale for me. I have no idea what it was, but they’re passable at best at times, and at all others, very uninspiring, and I find myself nose deep in ‘The Fly’. (5)

AMUSEMENT PARKS ON FIRE ( on the other hand tick the box for ‘promising’ as they open their 5 song set, and at first, it takes a while for what’s going on to sink in. 3-songs in, and I’m pretty much won over. The vocals grow on you, and musically and structurally the band are strong. At times they sound like a less manic 65daysofstatic, just with vocals, and I’ve marked them down on my mental ‘Check them out later’ list. (7)

Standing around, fiddling with my phone, between bands, and looking around at the various types of people (there’s a broad range: student-types, 50 year olds, and a Pete Doherty wannabe doing the rounds), it made me think of how much Mumm-ra as a band as a success story. In May 2005, they were touring with co-hopefuls theriverclub, in toilet venues across the country, and come September, they were tour support for The Automatic, with a very well received EP released on Sony-backed Columbia. Now, they’re headlining a Levi’s Ones To Watch tour around Barfly venues. It’s not quite the Get Cape story, just yet, but if tonight is anything to go by, it might just be…

As Mumm-ra launch into a pacey opening song, the vocals are strong, the band sound brilliant, and it’s only a sneaky peak of what’s to come in the next 45 minutes. Playing through an 11-song set involving rubbing a balloon against your hair, and a duck, most of the material is unreleased, bar one EP song, and the 3 songs on the recent single release, but from one song to the next, the crowd reaction is superb. The harmonies in ‘She’s Got Your Eye’ particularly get my attention, and it’s excellent to see Noo working the crowd so well between songs. There’s too much chattering going on for my liking when the quieter parts are played, but a highlight for me despite this is the inclusion of ‘When The Lights Go Out’, as well as the harmonica, coming as a surprise at the end of ‘Star’. The set closes on the recent single, which ended up at number 45 in the singles chart, but with the influx of balloons from the band’s merch guy as they kick into their closing song, the additional promo might just do them a favour and bump them back up there. By the time the CD players starts again, and the lights come on, I’ve recognised a remarkable change in Mumm-Ra over the last 18 months, which has turned them into a well-oiled music making machine.

If you’re into your indie-pop-rock, or fancy checking out a new band, I don’t think you can go far wrong with these lads. ‘Out of the Question’ is available now on three formats. Do yourself a favour and buy it. (8.5)

(Unknown ?)
Song B
The Signal
She’s Got Your Eye
These Things Move and Freeze
Song E
This is Easy
Now Or Never
Star (?)
When The Lights Go Out
Clocks Tick Louder at the Dead of Night
Out of the Question