Mitch Benn & the Distractions
100 Club, London
26 October 2005
Mitch and his lovely Distractions (inc. heavily pregnant wife) rolled into a cool London town to deliver a two-set gig chock full of ole’ favourites and new ones from his recent album Crimes Against Music.
It was damn near s.r.o. by the time the musical funnyman hit the stage for his first set. The 100 Club is a wonderful venue to see Mitch’s brand of musical satire. There is not a crap seat in the house. (Be forewarned its a cash-only venue these days.)
When we chatted last, Mitch warned me, or rather promised me, that this latest release was a bit “darker” than his last few. It is certainly a bit more biting in its satire. So pointed is ‘Waving at the Poor’, a song that questions whether or not everyone who participates in things like Live 8 are there for a good cause or merely their own, that one group of people sitting in front of us left in some disgust.
Other highlights from the new CD are the Scandi-metal IKEA about Vikings with pre-packaged furniture, the country-tinged ‘This Ain’t You’re Country Anymore’ and the wonderful ode to the late John Peel ‘A Minute’s Noise for John’. There was much singing along and cheering from the audience…who did their best to keep the band from leaving the stage forcing em’ to two encores of some of their best known stuff including the infamous ‘Crap Shag’ and ‘Crap Shag: Slight Return’.
I can honestly think of no better way of spending an evening out in Central London. Mitch is not only one of the funniest men in the UK but he is also a bloody awesome guitarist. A Tom Lehrer for his time methinks. Tash and Kirsty are an incredibly tight backing band to the man that is Mitch. I have seen this lot as many times as I have seen Maiden now and like Maiden they never give bad gig. If you ever get a chance to see em’, run don’t walk, to get yourself a ticket. There are few gigs that are this good and or this much bloody fun.