Ben Kweller and Oh Mercy

Saturday 11 Apr – the Metro

The gig started off with Oh Mercy, a band from Melbourne. This is not a band I’d heard of, but like all things I was willing to give them a chance. I’d lost interest in the first 10 minutes. Mediocre is really the best way of describing them…their only saving grace was a song at 30 mins in after the lead singer told the front row to stop talking. You know it’s not good when the front row isn’t listening. Their songs are melodic, just they miss that punch to really drive them home. The song at 30 min in had this punch; if only the rest of the set had this they’d go a bit further. To be fair to them, there solos remind me of a middle career Blur, which isn’t a bad thing just that they didn’t get anywhere beyond this. Otherwise they just looked like a teenage garage band. For the most part, their lead singer let them down. The vocals where lost is the general volume from the other band members; you could hardly hear what they were singing about. In the end I just switched off from listening to them like the rest of the crowd. I have to agree with the review done by, I don’t really fancy their chances either. They did finish by saying that last time they played in Sydney, someone nicked all their gear; maybe someone giving them a hint perhaps?

This really made me a bit worried about the Ben Kweller set that was coming up. Where Oh Mercy really that bad? Was it just that the sound techs just didn’t do their job properly? These thoughts where quashed with the first ten seconds of Ben Kweller coming on. Suddenly there was stage presence, life and obvious fun which has been missed from the previous band. Reinforced by the playing of “Walk on Me” and Boom we were in Ben Kweller goodness. The set consisted of songs from Sha Sha, On My Way, Ben Kweller and the new album Changing Horses. All of these played solidly, got the audience behind them and singing along. Simply awesome to watch, listen and sing along too.

For me, the best part was when Ben played “Family Tree” from the Sha Sha album. This was the first ever Ben Kweller song I heard. I was buying music from a shop called “Fopp“. This doesn’t exist any more, which is more of a shame, as it housed some awesome and different music. Things that the Virgin Mega Store or HMV doesn’t normally stock It was also cheaper too. Thankfully HMV saved it, only if there are now 8 shops in the UK. Still, the Sha Sha album was playing. I can’t remember what else I was buying at the time, but I said I’ll take what’s playing too. Turned out it was the last copy in the shop. The shop assistant wasn’t too happy about it, but that was my win here. It then resided in my car and was a regular in the cd player. Until coming to Australia, I didn’t hear any more Ben Kweller. It was no existent in the UK, no one really listened to it. That’s not what I found out when I got here. So to be able to hear Ben Kweller live, playing the first song of his that I saw was pretty awesome for me. All in all a great show from Ben and just makes me want to see him live again.


~ by monkeypushovertree on April 11, 2009.

2 Responses to “Ben Kweller and Oh Mercy”

  1. firstly, get your spelling right. secondly, you have told us all you’re incapable of separating good live sound from good songs. thirdly, since you’re an idiot, keep to yourself, don’t blog.

  2. Truth hurts eh Thomas?

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