Gig Review

Puddle Of Mudd
Manchester, Moho Live
23rd October 2011

Puddle Of Mudd    Soil
Welcome to the year 2002. Baggy jeans, chains, tattoos designed by your five year old, and scraggy hair is a must, football shirts are a strictly enforced, “No!” as one man young man was disheartened to hear. You must be drunk to enter and wasted to enjoy; which luckily every single person in Moho was.

As co-headliners the two bands have been alternating the main slot each nightand to the fans delight Puddle of Mudd are top of the billing in Manchester. First up though Soil.

The strange shaped and sized venue was rammed, bursting at the seams with the now ageing moshers of yesteryear. A large proportion of the audience was female which was refreshing to see at a gig considered by most to be ‘metal’, however considering the not too hefty sum of £16 was paid by most, many fans seemed to be sitting down or simply talking throughout the entirety of Soil’s set.

After so many years away, for both of these bands, it seems only apt that the first thing we heard was an opening riff of ‘The Boys Are Back in Town’ by Thin Lizzy and the anticipation was rife as Soil took to the stage. The 10th anniversary of their most popular and successful album to date ‘Scars’ sees the band reunite with the tiny Ryan McCombs, who is just about as vicious as he is tall. It was clear before the band started that the bass was just too loud, but it only became more apparent as they took to the stage meaning that the metal bands chunky, industrial, nu-metal sound was filtered through reverb and fuzz. While the large majority were rather subdued and happy to sing along to themselves, those who had fought to get to the front made it worthwhile. A section of hands were constantly afloat and happy to be feet away from their idols as the band straddled the barrier-less stage for over an hour. It was hit such as ‘Redefine’ and, obviously, ‘Halo’ which received the most audible response from the crowd, even the slightest mention of ‘Scars’ by Ryan was received with riotous applause.

The issue with Soil’s set didn’t necessarily appear to be them, as they were quite clearly relishing being back on stage together and Ryan’s performance was fiercely energetic; proven by his sweat afterwards, but their sound as a whole just wasn’t up to scratch. Their songs merged into one and technically acting as support for Puddle this evening at an hour their set was too long, this sense of lengthiness was not helped by a change over time that caused half the audience to regress to small children in a Benjamin Button like homage; luckily Puddle Of Mudd never possessed a skill for maturity.

Kicking things off in classic fashion was ‘Out Of Fashion’ and to the pleasure of every single person in the room the bands set largely consisted of tracks from Come Clean and they were delivered with the clean vocal poise they have been trying to live up to ever since. Now Puddle Of Mudd have never been a band to outshine anyone, but their set just hammered down how terrible Soil were and how never before has nostalgia sounded so good.

While the crowd this time round were much more confident with crassly shouting along, those who wanted a mosh were in the minority and the drunken slurs of Wes ‘skinny legs’ Scantlin didn’t make anybody more willing. While vocally he sounded fine and the tracks like ‘Control’ and a half decent cover of ‘TNT’ showed the band are still great at what they do, their effort level and showmanship was way below par. Apart from a couple of overly long songs their set seemed to be over freakishly fast; as if they couldn’t wait to get off stage, it makes you wonder just how well those new guys are working out.

The thing with watching a band like Puddle is that you know what you’re going to get and so you can’t complain too much when they deliver exactly what you expect, nothing more and nothing less, which is exactly what they do, but after eight years and one dreadful Download experience it couldn’t hurt for them to try and convince a packed house that they aren’t just continuing to coast by on the aftermath of grunge and a couple of songs.

Obviously you know what those couple of songs are as did everybody for about three miles either side of Moho, sadly Wes didn’t appear to know the words to ‘Blurry’ which was received loud and clear by the audience who sang it for him after a false start. While the lyrics might be shocking when you think about it, it’s a song that so many of us grew up with and it was pretty spectacular to hear live. If you’re sick of hearing that one, then you will agree with the band on the next joke song which to their dismay is now a fan favourite, it could of course only be ‘She Fucking Hates Me’. Closing the set this evening with no encore the band played through their least favourite song as the crowd stirred themselves into an adolescent frenzy of screaming rapture.

It was an evening of nostalgia and perhaps the crowd was too old to enjoy it, or perhaps they don’t like the songs they once played to death as much as the thought, but like many things revisited it was ever so slightly disappointing. While Soil and Puddle may both love the dirt on the earth’s surface they sound nothing alike and play a completely different show, but from a tour together hopefully they can learn what makes each band watchable and restore themselves to former glories.

Soil 2.5/5
Puddle OF Mudd 3.5/5

Review By Lauren Mullineaux

 Puddle Of Mudd

Wes Scantlin
Paul Phillips
Doug Ardito
Shannon Boone
Dizzi Devereux


Adam Zadel
Tim King
Ryan McCombs
Jon Wysocki

 Band Related Links
Puddle Of Mudd MySpace
Soil Myspace
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?