Seeking shelter from the typically wet and cold
British springtime weather, I headed up the industrial
metal staircase to the top floor of Cardiff’s
Clwb Ifor Bach. There I was greeted by Canada’s
Moneen and their pleasantly noisy sound check;
cementing in my mind that we were in for a very
raucous session. Practice over and we got straight
into a chat about crab-core, swoopy fringes and
the world they want to leave behind. Intense.
Outside on the cobbled side street, the queue
was gaining mass in the rain that showed no sign
of subsiding, but could do nothing to dampen any
gig goer’s spirits. As the bodies filed
inside and made their way to the upstairs venue
it became apparent just how vast an audience the
two bands from across the pond have following
them; Goth types, skaters and kids with massive
afros were the mere tip of the iceberg. Before
Moneen have even come onto the stage, the crowd
instinctively move stage side. They are in for
a treat. And they know it. Walking onto the only
slightly elevated stage was the seemingly meek
and mild Kenny Bridges (vocals and guitar), Erik
Hughes (vocals and bass), Hippy Hughes (vocals
and guitar) and Steve Nunnaro (drums). Then it
Smashing percussion, heavy bass lines and sublime
melodies made the cut for what was an eyeball
shakingly good affair – just ask the front
row lad whose face got attacked in the first song
by the hyperactive frontman hurling himself into
the unsuspecting crowd.
Whether you were new to Moneen or an old hand
to the Cannuck’s brand of ‘alternative’,
it was impossible to keep still when the band
themselves thrashed, moshed and skidded around
their plot. Especially when monsters like Hold
That Sound looted your ear drums of any sensitivity.
All these fun and games came at a price tonight.
Hippy’s guitar paid the price when it literally
snapped in half three songs in with no back up,
no safety net. Think you can’t play on broken
strings? Think again. The dreadlocked axeman continued
to play the entire set on a guitar held together
only by the strings, strap and a well placed leg!
Slowing things down with You Wait Too Long invited
the mob to take a breather and reflect on the
antics that had gone down so far; the way Kenny
Bridges launches himself around and grinds his
guitar on any cornered surface draws a picture
of man seemingly on the edge of a mental breakdown.
And we love it.
One track-breather over. Afro-battle banter done.
Hippy surrenders his guitar for a single drum.
Makes his way into the audience and pummels the
life out of it working his way around the floor
to the top of the merch stand and back again.
Ending festivities on Passing Of America whipped
a frenzy and left the floor rife with dribble
spots as the excitement of the set mixed with
the anticipation of Emery took over all bodily
All in all, Moneen rocked hard with their anthology
of the poignant, frail, diverse and more precise
than a wisp of snipe.
Moneen 5/5 eyeball-shakingly good stars.
Emery 4/5 stars
Review By Jessica Acreman