Live reviews

Merz - 93ft East, London

What do ya' call a man who got signed to Epic for a quarter of a million, sold 3 albums then left the label, all within 18 months?......Merz, that's who.

Ah , the fickle music industry. Conrad Lambert is a victim of A and R bidding and the evil press. Whilst the album is a fantastic piece of lovelyness, it seems that he is the casualty of having his cake, then being vomited out of the biz himself. He should have been allowed another two albums before being cast aside. Now, he's doing the humble pie act and is deal-less but happier for it. After releasing a fantastic single in the shape of "Nightingale versus the Crow" on his own label, there's a new band behind him and a batch of new stuff to try out before the next deal comes along.

And so, to a cute little venue I made my way and managed to avoid the hideous support bands and walk in to "Blues Became" from the first album. This song, though not his strongest, was a cool seige into a rip-roring introduction to the new band. A warm mix between loops, samples and a band feel, it set the tone for the rest of the set. "Vain Boy" next up and the tight-as-TonyBlair-band shone through.
Conrad’s voice towered over the's one of those voices which you either love or hate, and those are the kind that last. Think Mozzer, Robert Smith and even Will-Bloody-Young...they've got it goin on, and its rare to find unique voices in pop these days. After "Nightingale" there was too many newies and slowies for the uninitiated, but with enough fire and brimstone in the rest to keep us all occupied.

My Leicester roots followed me here tonight with a suprising Merz band member in the shape of Naim from Leicester lovelies Dizzy Valise. He was playin’ keyboards and a bit of guitar.......bloody moonlighters.

Anyways, a smashin’ end to the set in the shape of "Many Weathers Apart" and off into the London air I minced. What’s next for Merz? Well, a voice like his should be signed bloody well soon, and the business called show would be a better place.

Parker Biro


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