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The Mystery Lights, Dingwalls, London

  • Written by  Chicken Titz


Last Thursday my chicken tits and I had three different gigs of interest: Mice Ön Mars, Froth and Mystery Lights. I'd almost decided on the second option (at Studio 9294) when 'Traces' by Mystery Lights shuffled through on Spotify, if you go and blast it on your headphones I think you'll find heading to Dingwalls was my only real choice, that and dancing to it live as illogically as possible.

I had some time between work and the gig so probably should've gone home to deal with a ridiculous pile of laundry I'd been crafting into a life-like version of myself. It was an experiment to see if anyone would notice when I swapped 'it' out for 'myself' at work if I'd still get a payslip at the end of the month. Science folks. After a real shit shift though all I wanted to do was chill somewhere dark and drink, drink, drink so I went straight to the venue. The security lady who checked my bag left my bag half open and I'd be unaware of this until I tried to reach for my wallet later but instead unleashed a tampon avalanche all over the floor.

The opening band of the night (Malady) sounded exactly like what I needed for my state of mind at that moment: pleasant melodies with contrasting strong vocals and some loud aggressive drumming. The singer and bassist's body language indicated they could have a 'more than just friends' thing going on but it didn't feel lame. In fact it was very adorable, they really looked like a modern version of Lafayette and Jeannie from Hair (1979). They all had a nice stage presence but an equally hideous taste in footwear, the shoes (which were ugly AF) I couldn't stop looking at.

Now I'm going to skip the second band completely and instead offer you a review of the very nice couch I escaped onto during their performance. Feel free to imagine whatever reason I had for this.

THE COUCH by the bar at Dingwalls


Chunky fake leather, a couch you'd find in any second hand furniture shop. Like the cat-bus in Totoro, it swallows you into its bouncy seats, but without the inconveniences that come with fur and being taken to the other side. It was unbelievably clean and non-sticky for the type of venue and people around, but it was also dark so hey, you know, let's just all be happy there weren't any UV lights in the vicinity. Overall though extremely comfy, almost fell asleep, would sit again.

Finally the time for The Mystery Lights descended upon us, my friend and I dragged our corpses from the amazing couch to the front of the stage, slightly to the right in order to avoid the dirty mosh that was about to take place (which got us anyway).

Half of the band were already on stage getting their equipment ready and seemingly wondering where the rest of them were. The singer brings out a bottle of tequila (half empty already) and carefully places some keys on a speaker, then just starts playing around with his guitar in order to rush whichever member of the band was still at the back taking a shit or doing a line. They start off like thunder, screaming guitars and loud-ass drums. People slowly started waking up from the previous performance and even my corpse friend was shaking his corpse head to the music. The singer (Mike Brandon), with his cute face and fluffy hair jumped around like a poodle on speed, leaving barely any space for the guitarist who seemed to have time-traveled from the '80s and straight out of highschool. A skinny long-haired Mac DeMarco is hitting the drums in the background with an empty expression on his moon shaped face, pretty much the same as the keyboard player. She did smile for half a second though, my friend managed to capture the moment in a photo but I was too slow.

Their performance was short yet full of energy and very engaging. They went through most of their recent record Too Much Tension!, including the very popular 'I'm So Tired (Of Living In The City)' and my absolute favorite 'Traces' (which I hope you're listening to right now).

By the time of the encore, the girls pushed by the mosh behind them had spilled their drinks on the pedals, which the sound guy kept trying to cover with towels. Guitar strings were broken and backpacks were drenched (including ours), everything was covered in either booze or sweat. It couldn't have been any other way. 

The Mystery Lights have got a whole bunch of live dates across UK and Europe so make sure you catch them in town before you regret it, I suggest you wear comfy shoes and show up ready to shake them bones and sweat. Hoping they return to London sometime soon.

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