Last night was a fantastic night for live music in the West Midlands. I could try and dress it up but there’s really no need to. I will get into the main review of the opening set from Martyr De Mona in a minute but I just wanted to give a shout out to the Black Country’s own Liberty Lies. I had heard some of the band’s music before but I had never seen them live, but my God they made an impression. Front man Shaun Richards absolutely dominated the stage; they were awesome from start to finish and had the audience in the palm of their hands for the entirety of their performance. If you get a chance to go and see them then take it, they will be worth the entrance fee and then some I promise you.
Apologies for going off on a bit of a tangent but one of the main reasons why I set up this site was to shine a light on unsigned artists and bands that may be flying under the radar so if I see something that good I think I owe it to you to bring it up. Anyway, speaking of awesome rock bands from the Black Country… this brings me onto the reason why I was in Wolverhampton last night; Martyr De Mona.
Last night saw Martyr De Mona return to the scene of what must be one of the highlights of their musical careers. Back in April I was in attendance as the band launched their latest album Impera to a packed house with a performance which people were talking about for weeks after. It’s safe to say that my expectations were pretty high as the band emerged from the darkness and onto the stage.
The band opened the set with one of their older tracks ‘Eva.’ The absolute hard hitting, rawness of the track makes it perfect to open with, there’s no way that your attention can’t be drawn towards the stage as the wall of noise begins to cascade down. The little drumroll at the start of the following track ‘Influence and Persuasion’ still brings a smile to my face and last night was no different. It was the first song that I ever heard from the band and the crowd absolutely lapped it up, the monster guitar solo from Ant Rickett being the highlight.
For the final time on the night MDM then dipped into their back catalogue and produced a killer rendition of ‘Am I Sorry.’ Again, like the opener the track is short on subtlety and high on pure unadulterated raw energy. The rhythm section thunder through the track like a freight train,and it wasn’t just me who was impressed either. There was a big crowd in attendance and to a man, woman, and child heads were bobbing along to every track. Without slowing to even draw breath the band then flew into ‘Impera,’ a track characterised by the characteristically soaring vocal from front man Louis Hale and backed by a primeval scream from Josh Wooldridge.
One of the things that I found impressive on the night and I know that it might seem trivial in the grand scheme of things but the band really didn’t talk that much between songs. Don’t get me wrong there was plenty of interaction but I’m fed of bands trying to fit in a chapter from War and Peace in between every track. There’s just no need for it at all.
‘Gravity Breaks’ is my favourite song from the current album and the crowd just came alive for it last night. When I reviewed the album I remember using the word anthemic when talking about this tune and it’s just made for the live stage. The huge drums from Ashley Leatherland provide the perfect platform to clap along and the crowd didn’t need asking twice. It was definitely one of the highlights of the night.
Penultimate track ‘Nothing Sacred’ took me totally by surprise as it seemed a hell of a lot heavier than I remembered it! Not that this was a problem to me or anyone else stood watching. The band had really grown into the performance as things had gone on and the audience had equally gotten more and more involved. The curtain was brought down on what had been an extremely enjoyable set with the epic ‘Suffer Unto Me.’ The song featured more twists and turns than an EastEnders Christmas special, and as the last note swept over the room the four men received the kind of ovation normally reserved for headliners and they certainly deserved it.
There is nothing better than having high hopes before a show starts and then watching the band really deliver. You can tell that they really work on their performances and the result is a professional, slick and massively entertaining set. The West Midlands and the Black Country in particular are forever being crapped on by people not from the area but one thing is for sure, we know how to produce kick ass rock bands, and Martyr De Mona are living proof.