Muse / JJ72: Barcelona Sala Bikini

Too many rock poses and not enough RAWK as Muse hit Spain...

Whilst in other parts of Europe it seems that if these young fellas from
Muse fancy a cigarette there are several outstretched arms ready with lighters, here in Spain the band has achieved a similar level of hype but not the same adoration. They’ve come to Barcelona tonight amidst poor press reports from their Madrid gig last night and criticisms of pulling too many

rock poses and overplaying their status. Yet Muse, along with fellow

youngsters JJ72, have managed to almost fill the Sala Bikini.

JJ72 throw out a few well-rehearsed punchy punk moments on ‘October Swimmer’, ‘Long Way South’, ‘Algeria’ and ‘Formulae’ (a new one), followed by some touching falsettos on ‘Desertion’ – with just little Mark Greaney whining over the keyboards while the others nip off for a tab. In their more raucous moments they intentionally invoke elements of The Sex Pistols – this is fairly obvious. Whether Johnny Rotten and Co. would be as impressed with the over-produced, over-sexed and over-paid trio isn’t quite as clear.

‘Muscle Museum’ flips the crowd’s switch with trills of recognition as Muse launch into their 100 minute set, complete with TOTP-style lighting and big fans to give them that ‘just stepped out of the helicopter’ look. A swirling, developing ‘Fillip’ leads straight into ‘Unintended’ and

‘Showbiz’, all of which get a good few seconds of attention before the crowd begin to look to their watches for more information about this new Britpop sensation from London, England.

The band’s EP track ‘Uno’ raises a cheer from the foreigners present, as do ‘Cave’, ‘Sunburn’ and the closer ‘Plug In Baby’ – just as huge balloons are launched into the public – much to everyone’s amusement. A few new tracks are littered throughout but, without introduction by the hosts and by lacking the catchy, cheer-a-long essence of their earlier numbers, were difficult to determine.

Muse will shine one day, this much is clear. But the overpowering lights, poses and self-importance will only tarnish what it is they have.

James Pearse