Mike Watt & The Missingmen - Nice 'n' Sleazy, Glasgow, Wed 12 Nov 2011
Warm response for intense showcase from Minutemen man
It's hard to write about Mike Watt. Not only is it hard to compress the man's personality and philosophies into just a few sentences, it would take several pages - chapters even - to fully document his work, collaborations and achievements. Yet, he plays on stages smaller than the average tour bus, night after night. Of course, that's never stopped him to date, rather it is the bread and butter of the self-proclaimed 'man in the van with a bass in his hand'.
Joined by Raul Morales and Tom Watson – his 'Missingmen' – the Minutemen/Stooges four-stringer stops by Sleazy's tonight for his first time in Glasgow since 2004, and is welcomed with an almighty response from a crowd that sound like they've been shuffling their shoes ever since. Overwhelmed, Watt, with full grin in tow, modestly introduces the body of work they're about to play, a 45-minute-long 'opera' entitled 'Hyphenated-Man'. A few seconds pass and the band clatter into life, blasting out first piece, 'Arrow-pierced-egg-man' with power, volume and vigour. For the next three quarters of an hour the three are pushed up front together, locked in tight, and flawlessly executing each dynamic from country-blues stomp to stripped-back verse, bled through with flashes of head-scratching rhythms and jarring discord.
It's an intense piece of work, one that sees Watt's influences laid bare and his skills as a bass player uncontested while the other Missingmen harbour some pretty mean chops of their own, maintaining a solid backbone amid the often frantic pace. After a brief break, a blistering encore that includes Minutemen classics 'Toadies' and 'Anxious Mo-Fo' rounds things out pretty much perfectly.