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The Kings Of The Indie Footstomp

by Roger Young / 19.10.2009

Looking like the bastard child of some Polynesian god and Magnum P.I. Marty is all smiles and screams as he, chin cocked, posing swagger, foot on monitor, screams the end of one of the City Bowl Mizers tracks. The kids in front hardly stop moving in time to erupt in cheers before the next frenetically paced song is pumping out all guitar and drums and keys, the crowd is surfing constantly and jumping and behaving like punk rockers on MDMA. They’re here for the party, they’re in the party pit receiving fellow Mizer friends from the sky as they climb the speaker stacks and somersault and rally the stage to take the mic and sing the words along with Marty, the ring leader, sometimes 3 extra at a time.

City Bowl Mizers

A Mizers party is a Mizers party; you might as well accept that. And the Good Tmes album launch at Jubilee Hall is a Super Mizers Gig, five hundred faithful at least, packed into a hall that sometimes gets only four hundred for five times that many bands. It has all the elements that this very young crowd always bring with them. Mostly early twenties, divided between those that dance all night and those that don’t have the stamina. And here is the thing, those that do have the stamina are fueled directly by the Mizers themselves, by the open invitation to climb on stage and dive, by the manic frenetic energy of the songs and by the good natured openness washing off stage.

The sound is always loud at a Mizers gig sometimes making it seem like all their songs are the same song, a great song, but all the same one, sometimes a little slow at the beginning sometimes a little slow at the end, but always that fast tempo shouting wailing middle bit that drives a crowd mad.

City Bowl Mizers

And I’m standing there with a friend watching all this and he says to me pointing at the speaker stacks, “I’d never let my kids do that” and we get into a grumbling conversation about the pacing of the set and how the songs all sound the same and how no one is here for the music, that no one is listening and this is an album that will not sell. But over the course of the next day I am pleasantly surprised by the amount of people I bump into who are listening to Good Tmes and loving it and, yes, recorded there is definitely more of a difference between songs.

Marty is on stage trying to open a bottle of cheap champagne and failing (“Those pictures are going on failblog he announces after”) the kids in the crowd so lost in the surf that they hardly notice until he gets it open and sprays it onto them. There is a vitality and an undeniable joy at a Mizers gig. Sometimes to me it seems like they are more concerned with the party than the music, but then again all the kids know the words if Marty goes off key or blanks out. I wonder how they will be when they start getting bigger crowds, playing at venues that separate them slightly from the audience. Will the energy cross that small gap, or will they have to start bringing nuance and pacing to their sets? Until then I am happy to be the bearded guy at the back who doesn’t quite know what the fuck he’s missing out on.

All images © and courtesy Mark Reitz

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