Mice Parade @ Corsica Studios, London 13.10.10

Tonight’s musical arrangement, a meagre 6 by measure of Mice Parade’s usual number, take their place on quite possibly the world’s tallest stage (easily over 4 ft) and slip readily into one of their most achingly beautiful tracks ‘Recover’.

Oct 13th, 2010 at Corsica Studios, London / By Clementine Lloyd
Mice Parade Rhythmic hand claps forming the backbone, the muscle created through the sturdy plucks of the acoustic guitar, turning into the sinew of fiddly riffs every other bar. In this moment, the beautiful strains of Caroline Lufkin’s pure and impish voice peeks out from underneath Adam Pierce’s deep and solid timbre, and it is a truly marvellous feeling to be there with them. The small room full of coloured lights plays upon the awed faces of every individual, all wrapped up in the performance already.

A man of few words on stage, preferring to let the music speak for itself, Adam chimes momentarily, telling us a short tale of an accident they had whilst on the road to Brighton the previous evening, before unveiling to us a new song inspired by said incident. Sparse, with lyrics, it recalls a more instrumental time in the long years of Mice Parade, with a lovely chaotic feel that is lent from the tale they have to tell.

With a deliberate and real concentration that stems from an honest passion for what they do, the artists on stage are tight and yet fluid as they celebrate each track. Moving into ‘Sneaky Red’, a crisp drum beat threads through lyrics full of pathos and acceptance, “So many ways we took the fun out of our whistling ways”. The perky pace and voice like molasses exemplifies the feeling that is so prevalent throughout all the Mice’s productions, like being in a train and watching the foreground zip by so fast whilst images in the distance trail past so slowly. With Adam’s composition, skillfully worked through by the artists, sounds will whip past, while others blow gently by at a snail’s pace. It makes for interesting listening, and by the time we reach another from the new album, In Between Times, we are flying. This being one of Caroline’s more forward songs, leading on vocals as she does, there is an amazing dual presence in the calming nature of her voice with an upbeat Chilean style riff cut through by Adam, now performing extravagantly on drums, cultivating the sense of a wider freewheeling world.

Ending with a dreamy, almost sultry ‘Days Before Fiction’, it seems that this was used as an outro intentionally to wind us down before we head out into the cold night. The Mice certainly know how to end a show, exiting the stage one by one whilst the others play on, leaving just one solitary guitarist cutting a lonely figure. As the last chord rings out, and a massive round of applause erupts, he graciously holds up his hands in thanks as he too leaves the stage. This would usually be followed by a torrent of bodies pushing towards the door, but in this climate, Mice Parade have left us in a fugue of good vibes, leaving us within nothing to do but mill around whilst the choice songs we have been privy to this evening worm their way into our skulls, without any intention of leaving.