GIG REVIEW: Mona
Nashville rockers Mona were back on these shores for a short period of time and played at The Lexington in north London last week – a venue that was some considerable way smaller than that which they are used to.
Recent upheaval and changes in record companies and personnel seem, to me at least, to have prompted some considerable change in how they approach their stage activity and presence.
I first saw Mona play when their debut album was released and they were touted as one of those ‘next big thing’ bands that will likely achieve world domination. The trouble was, again just from my perspective, that their swagger (and, let’s be honest here, downright arrogance) left many feeling that this was all a bit too much, too soon. While confidence can be acceptable when humour surrounds it, Mona appeared to ignore their audience completely and, to some degree, assume that audiences were the same the world over. I’m delighted to say that this has changed.
Their London outing saw the band freely-mingling with all, both before and after their set. Singer (and absolute focus of their live performances) Nick Brown seemed like a new man. Friendly, engaging, self-deprecating and keen to ensure that all band members were equally appreciated, he probably couldn’t hear himself speaking as the gig was about to start and the crowd were already ‘singing along’… even though not a note had yet been played.
The song writing quality remains unchanged – simple, catchy, filled with emotion and possessed with the sort of hooks and tunes that you know you’ve heard before (so seemingly-familiar and enjoyable as they are) even though, from my perspective for the final time, I have certainly not heard them all before.
I left convinced of two things – that change can produce the most profound and stunning positivity, and that I am most-definitely a fan of this band for some time yet to come. What a great night.