Bob Mould / Neko Roshi - Live in Southampton (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Bob Mould / Neko Roshi

Live in Southampton (2016)

live show

Valentine’s Day 2016 saw Bob Mould cap off his successful February tour of the UK at Southampton’s Engine Rooms venue.

Slow service at the restaurant we went to for dinner before the show delayed our arrival for the opening act, Southampton’s own Neko Roshi, and we were only able to pick up half of their set. A fun alt-rock band with some catchy tunes, listeners would be well-served to check out their music. The crowd wasn’t very into them, and I think that was mostly due to poor advertising on the promotor’s side, as there was little to no information about supporting acts for the show and no one knew what, or who, to expect. I would also argue that the crowd was definitely there to see Bob Mould- Hüsker Dü and Sugar t-shirts permeated the crowd, along with a smattering of Bob Mould apparel- and couldn’t care either way who was opening.

When it came time for Mould to take the stage, along with his current “supergroup” of Jason Narducy (Verboten, Verbow) and Jon Wurster (Superchunk, The Mountain Goats), the crowd exploded as they broke out of the starting gates with a speedier and more aggressive version of Sugar’s “Good Idea, “ followed quickly by “Changes” from the same album.

In fact, the quick transitions with little break in between set the tone and tempo for the evening, and the musicians did not disappoint. Proving that age is just a number, Mould (55) was just as energetic and spry as the youngest member, Narducy (45). As they jumped around onstage, all the while Wurster was sporting his trademark grin, enjoying every minute just as much as the audience.

Although old and new songs were played, including several exciting new tracks from Mould’s forthcoming album, ‘Patch the Sky’ (available Mar 25), it seems a large portion of the songs (almost a fifth) were from the Sugar release ‘Copper Blue’ and were, expectedly, crowd favorites.

Overall the energy, fantastic songs, talent of the musicians, and the overwhelming energy exhibited on stage made for one hell of a show. Powering through 20 songs at a pace that would make musicians half their age pause for a breather, the band didn’t let up for a moment.

Despite a few venue-related shortcomings including poor acoustics, and (my opinion) that Mould’s guitar was not loud and clear enough (or, more to the point, overshadowed by all the bass), the show was a resounding success. £25/$36 per person seems a bit steep for two acts, but that appears to be the going rate these days for a chance to see punk rock royalty who, despite the decades behind them, are still fully in the middle their prime.