Mischa & his merry men – review

A big old lucky bag of fun

I've been wanting to see Mischa and his merry men for some time - of course the problem is when you look forward to something you can often be disappointed. Would I be this time?

Chaplins is a great venue, I seem to be spending more and more of my time there as they put on fantastic acts but one downfall is that the cellar bar stage is a bit cramped if you want more than three people on it. How would a band of merry men cope?

And so it was that I journeyed off with Mrs Gigsandbands alongside to experience the eclectic delights of Mishca Weston-Green.

Of course it was probably difficult to project a huge amount of presence with that many musicians sardined onto a tiny stage, that having been said Mischa gave it a damn good go, ably supported by a largely revamped line up.

What we got was a massive sound with guitars,drums, bass, trumpet,vox, violin and keys. The eponymous Chris Payne provided the keyboard and occasional vocal and I was left wondering if there's anything he can't play. I'm tempted to present him with a mouth organ and see how he does.

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Packing onto the tiny stage from the first chord it was clear that my evening wasn't going to be wasted and as they moved from 'Peace and Love' into 'Rothschild Dynasty' there was an energy that I particularly enjoyed after a hard week at work.

What we then got was a lucky bag of a set with great original numbers mixed in with covers treated as originals and twisted like a chomp bar made into a curly wurly (they're not as big as they used to be)

Mischa's energy and enthusiasm on lead and vox almost sidestepped the message in many of their lyrics and I'd heartily suggest checking out their songs on a music site nearby in internetland.

I enjoyed very much the insertion of 'Ring of Fire' and the message in 'Comedown' and the previously mentioned 'Rothschild'. I wasn't sure about 'Creep' given that it's one of my personal favourites and ended up sound a bit 'Chas and Dave' but we need to be open to new things right?

There was a fair bit of looking at each other between songs, probably due to the newish nature of the line up but this shows the dichotomy of performer and audience - performers know when they've gone off plan, audience don't and it doesn't impair the enjoyment at all. Neither did it on Friday as we loved the set and my favourite was (as an old horn player) 'Bands that saved my life'. Mrs Gigsandbands was immensely impressed and she was sober.

All in all Mischa and His Merry Men gave it a damn good go. We really enjoyed the night. I'd deffo recommend them and if they appear near you on their forthcoming tour then go along and support your venue.

If you want more photos then check out our gallery

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