Melissa Auf der Maur, Support: Japanese Voyeurs & 2:54 @ Scala, London

Review & Photography by Sabrina Dersel
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Unfortunately, we saw neither hide nor hair of 2:54 as there was issues with entering the Scala tonight as guest list had been re-edited by an unknown party. Once getting in and getting a quick brew, we caught the second half of the Japanese Voyeurs set, which was full of power and energy. They’re a strange unit these lot, I still can’t quite work out the vocals and where they fit but they’re an interesting prospect and I would recommend checking them out – I will be at least!


On to tonight’s main event: Melissa Auf der Maur. She has been away from London far too long and hasn’t done a proper tour since the debut album run, way back in April 2004, to which I was blessed to have attended. Tonight she makes such apologies and promises to not leave it so long next time. Entering from stage right to the first track playback of new album opener “The Hunt”, the band look more assured and sturdier than the group of musicians that made up her band six years prior.

The air is filled with anticipation and eagerness to hear the sultry sounds of Auf der Maur. Isis Speaks followed by classic single Real a Lie get the crowd bouncing along. The place is fairly packed, maybe not to the rafters but there is a strong number crowd here. The lighting is also very good, nothing that you won’t see anywhere else but good use of it. Melissa commented on how intimate it is, with the crowd being within kicking distance from the stage. It’s all very cosy, like at the Mean Fiddler many moons ago.

The songs tonight sound superb, an absolute ten-fold improvement since the last time I saw them play. The tour tonight is in support of new album and short film Out Of Our Minds or OOOM. The set is weighted fairly between the two albums and also features a Sludge/Doom heavy rendition of Paranoid in tribute to the late Pete Steele, and as a special tribute to London, Good News which is possibly one of my favourite B-sides. She channels Glen Danzig for the rendition of Fathers Grave which is as eerie as it is hauntingly beautiful. Also communing with Alien’s for a piano sound that gave the signal for Stoner/Zeppelin song I Need, I Want, I Will. And telling us that tonight is for us, you get the sense that when she’s on that stage, there is not only her but some primal or spiritual essence that is also communicating through her.

The show finishes with When the Music’s Over by The Doors which caps off a thoroughly entertaining night. 5/5

Set list

The Hunt (Intro Tape)
Isis Speaks
Real a Lie
Lead Horse
My Foggy Notion
Head Unbound
Follow the Map
Out of Our Minds
Father’s Grave
Meet me on the Dark side
I Need I Want I Will
22 Below
Paranoid (Peter Steele Tribute)
Followed the Waves
Good News
When The Music’s Over – The Doors