Birthdays, London, November 19
A couple of hours before their first ever London show, Mac DeMarco and his band are curled up on the stage at Birthdays, stealing a few moments of shuteye. “We’re all hella jet-lagged,” Mac tells the capacity audience that squeezes in later. It doesn’t show. From the moment opener ‘I’m A Man’ hits its stride, unafraid of melding Jonathan Richman-esque songwriting with laidback ’70s funk like Hall & Oates, it’s clear that these boys are here to party. The hipster crowd take a while to get moving, but nobody can resist smokers’ anthem ‘Ode to Viceroy’ or ‘Cooking Up Something Good’, which we’re told is “about my dad smoking meth” and is surely crying out for a place on the Breaking Bad soundtrack. Mac guarantees the crowd an extended finale, and while ‘She’s Really All I Need’ isn’t the 25-minute Neil Young jam we’re promised, it does include an improbable and hilarious covers medley of ‘Enter Sandman’, ‘Blackbird’ and ‘Message In A Bottle’. One of those rare gigs where everyone leaves with a sloppy grin all over their face. It’s time to wake up to Mac DeMarco.
Kevin EG Perry