The U.S trio bring their quirky and adventurous rock to British shores ahead of the release of their next album Guy Walks Into a Bar…
It’s not until you’re waiting for the act to take to the stage at Hare and Hounds, splayed up a wall clutching a pint, that you remember that the bands have to make an awkward pilgrimage through the audience and up some stairs to take their place behind their instruments. Whilst the ethereal vocal of Tyler Parkford drifts bodilessly through the room of the Birmingham venue, Mini Mansions – joined on this tour with Queens of the Stone Age’s beastly drummer Jon Theodore – weave through their fans with “umms”, “excuse me”s and “thank you”s. It’s the first time that the band have toured the UK this extensively since the release of their previous album The Great Pretenders in 2015, and with a handful of stellar singles aired from their imminently dropping third cut Guy Walks Into a Bar… in the past twelve months, it’s high time their found themselves back on Blighty soil.
Preceded by riotous psychedelic duo Sons of Raphael and local Birmingham lads Sugartheif, Mini Mansions crank through their collection of hits and fan faves – both old and new – with zealous aplomb, a laser beam precise force to be reckoned with. Despite the flailing limbs of bassist Zach Dawes and fellow QotSA alumni Michael Shuman, the pair somehow managed to never miss a key despite spinning like frenzied whirling dervishes. Tracks such as ‘Death is a Girl’, ‘Midnight in Tokyo’, ‘Monk’ and ‘Gummy Bear’ take on a whole new life in person, intensifying their left-field intricacies and vocal harmonies to achieve their toe-tapping, floor stomping potential.
Elsewhere, it was the slightly more reticent numbers such as ‘Works Every Time’ and ‘Vertigo’ tap into bittersweet reflection from contrasting angles, the personal musing of the former mingling with the cinematic guise of the latter’s Hitchcockian namesake. With their ushered vocals, shameless riffing and pulsing basslines, it’s no wonder that these are delectable crowd-pleasers, however it is the double whammy of ‘Honey, I’m Home’ and ‘Mirror Mountain’ that make for the most engaging showcase of the gig, off-kilter keys and jaunty rhythms descending into whorls of noise to bring the night to a bombastic end.
Mini Mansions’ album Guy Walks Into a Bar... is released 26th July on Fiction Records. See them on their current UK tour at the following dates.
16th May – Esquires, Bedford
17th May – The Portland Arms, Cambridge
18th May – The Waterfront Studio, Norwich
20th May – Picturehouse Social, Sheffield
21st May – The Forum, Tunbridge Wells
22nd May – Islington Assembly Hall, London
24th May – Dot to Dot Festival, Manchester
25th May – Dot to Dot Festival, Bristol
26th May – Dot to Dot Festival, Nottingham
27th May – District, Liverpool