Drew Kirby and Matthew Anderegg
Drew Kirby on guitar with Matthew Anderegg on drums in the background.

You can read about a band and their music, hear their songs on the radio, and still be completely wrong about what you get when they get up on the stage to do their thing… Sometimes that’s not a pleasant surprise and more than once I’ve found myself half way through the second track looking around the crowd of smiling, contented faces to see if there’s anyone else who, like me, is suffering from that horrible dawning that long built-up expectations have begun the inexorable process of being thoroughly dashed. 

Patric Morales
Now this is pure genius… (and apparently not too sticky!)

I am happy to say that with Mothers, that the complete opposite was true. I thought I’d done my homework and really wasn’t sure this gig was going to be my cup of tea, but two events meant my tipping point towards a far happier and more contented evening was reached surprisingly quickly. Firstly, whilst chatting by the side of the stage before soundcheck with the thoroughly nice chap that is bass player Patrick Morales I watched as with deft and well-practiced skills, Patrick fashioned a perfectly functional (and apparently not unhealthily sticky) guitar strap from parcel tape (he’d unknowingly released his actual guitar strap back in to the wild somewhere in Brighton the previous evening), and secondly the moment lead singer Kristine Leschper unleashed during the soundcheck. I choose the word “unleashed” carefully… Kristine has the kind of voice that is guaranteed to make the magician in charge of the aural alchemy that is the sound desk smile from ear to ear (and had a pretty similar effect on me too…). Kristine’s vocals are incredibly powerful (ie: her microphone does not need turning up), yet delicate and precise equally capable of delivering wistfully introspective lyrics or a soaring intensity that commands the crowd’s attention. Stir in the drumming of Matthew Anderegg which can cleanly switch gears from subtle and nuanced to something altogether far less delicate and much more heavier and insistent and the crashing waves of sound drawn from the guitar of Drew Kirby and Patrick Morales’ bass and, in short, you’ve got something really quite special and completely absorbing, with the set reaching a real crescendo in the last couple of tracks.

Kristine Leschper
Shooting manual focus from the side of the stage directly in to the lighting rig to silhouette Kristine Leschper. Metering off the lights creates the contrast in the shot, but that fries the tiny electronic mind of my camera, so focussing has to be done the old fashioned way… Quite chuffed I got the shot!

So, despite initial my misgivings (or perhaps to be more fair, a C- on my pre-gig homework), stand-in guitar straps (which, word has it, just made it through to the end of the set without disintegrating), and a kick-drum that was doing it’s best to creep away from the drummer at every opportunity, Mothers delivered a great performance that I really enjoyed. Definitely a band to keep an eye out for in the festival circuit this summer…

Rough Trade East 27/02/2016

More photos here…




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