- 05 Mar 20
"They all had money, and shotguns, and they all ate kebabs!"
"Does humour belong in music?" Frank Zappa asked, back in the Eighties. I had a mate years ago who used to play Zappa on repeat, I certainly don't remember laughing. That being said, the answer is "of course it does!" What is the point of music at all if it doesn't raise a smile? Those in need of a tuneful pick-me-up are directed to the seriously salubrious surroundings of Dublin's Bloody Mary's (Sat, March 7) and Galway's Roisin Dubh (Sun, March 8) for the return of Mik Artistik's Ego Trip.
What can I say about Mik that I haven't already? Nothing, so good luck. What's that? That won't do? Balls... Ok, there's a press release here that says Mik's music is "pitched somewhere between Ian Dury and John Copper Clark" which is, I think you'll agree, high praise, but it's warranted in this case. Hot Press first ran into Mik at the Electric Picnic in Marty Mulligan from Mullingar's Word tent. We danced! We sang! We drank a lot of cheap beer! We had a bloody good time! We thought Mik was daft as a brush when he started off, but his sweet tales of everyday life in Leeds - as well as gear like 'Plastic Fox!' that is so far out there it's nearly coming back around the other side - won everyone over. Charming fellow he was too.
Then he pitched up in the Grand Social for a sell-out show. He threw straws - calm down, they were 100% recyclable - in the air! He stepped down into the crowd! He had a funny hat! He was great! Things have changed though. Iggy Pop heard 'Sweet Leaf Of The North' and named it as his song of the decade. Since then, it's been all champers and young ones for Mik and the band. They won't even talk to us anymore, offering the old "I have to wait outside for the limo" excuse the last time I tried to cadge a pint. Lousy bastard. The ego had landed.
Anyway, back to the press release. It says here that "Mik Artistik is a genuine maverick in these bland times". I shall professionally put aside personal enmity and nod in agreement at this one. Mik is genuinely unique and this is your chance to find out why the likes of Iggy, Lauren Laverne, Gideon Coe (and me) have been raving about him. If you're still on the fence, Bloody Mary's figure head John Brereton has promised a free drink to anyone carrying two copies of the latest Hot Press under their arm*. You can't go wrong!
(*complete bullshit, but worth a shot)