No mic stand is safe tonight. Mez is magnetic. The LIFE frontman paces the stage, proudly proclaiming “Ey ‘up, we’re from Hull…” before launching into the frenzied assault of Popular Music. It’s the biggest headline show yet for LIFE and the atmosphere is more electric than the nearby Kings Cross rail tracks.
This London leg of the LIFE tour was postponed in May, because despite the title of the band’s breakthrough second album, the nation really hasn’t been ‘A Picture Of Good Health’ lately.
At home in Hull he’s not a tourist…but tonight Mez Sanders-Green is a wide-eyed traveller informing us “London’s exciting!”, adding, “London is always exciting!”. Mez looks match fit and dapper in his black jacket and trousers. Moving with a faux Jagger swagger mixed with some strutting Jarvis stances, Mez clutches the microphone stand. Poised. The front row know what’s coming. During the angular punch of Hollow Thing where Mez announces “I look so good in black, I always do” he grabs the mic stand and begins angling it around like a Humber fisherman. We are the catch of the day.
The angler introduces his crew, “we’re called LIFE but that’s not what they call us in Hull!”, before pointing to his brother Mick on guitar, bassist Lydia and his “best mate” Stew on drums.
By the time the rousing refrains of Never Love Again reach a crescendo Mez appears to be playing peekaboo with the mic stand close to the monitor where he’s taped the handwritten lyrics to a new LIFE song. Then the space glam of Excites Me whirls by and the homage to laziness on Britpop throwback anthem Bum Hour gets the pit rocking.
Having highlighted and championed the role of the single parent choosing to end the set with Half Pint Fatherhood with a dedication to his son seems sweetly appropriate. There’s no encore – the mic stand couldn’t take much more. Just an announcement from Mez about the pillaging to come – “we’ll be at the merch table…because, well it’s near Christmas…”.
LIFE are definitely from Hull. We know this because Mez has told us this…several times during the gig. This contemporary Viking invasion is rather polite yet so exhilarating. 35 years on from another of Hull’s assaults on the capital – we know the score. London 0 Hull 4 was always the inevitable result tonight. LIFE affirming.
LIFE gallery (click on thumbnail for full image)