Mum are an Icelandic electronica-based band, who have been consistently critically acclaimed since their debut album, ‘Yesterday Was Dramatic, Today Was Okay’. And yet, they seem to have been consistently reduced in the eyes of many to a poor cousin of Sigur Ros.

Granted, Sigur Ros are an exceptional band, and Mum share something of their hypnotic qualities. Yet, I would be astonished if the two bands were compared if they had not happened to be from the same country.

On record, Mum's music has become increasingly sophisticated, and though many still hold an affection for that debut, there is little to dispute the fact that they have become more ambitious as they have aged. But that development pales in comparison with the transformation of their live show.

Lucky to play in a small-ish venue that somehow manages to feel very grand when it is full of people, they now use the dynamics of their music to create a captivating live show, ably assisted by an extensive cast of backing musicians. What were often delicate songs on record became epics live, as the band extended songs and even found an aggressive side to their music that I had entirely missed.

I last saw Mum when they closed the 2005 All Tomorrow’s Parties festival. Their music was magical then, too, but not this good. On stage, they seemed a timid bunch, and were happy to let the music speak for itself. Now, they seemed keener to ensure that nobody missed how good the music was.

Perhaps the festive spirit had got to the band, perhaps they have just got better, but this concert was far better than I expected. On my way out, I heard one person say, "Best gig of the year". Not an entirely unreasonable assertion!

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Commenting On: Scala, London, 11/5/2008 - Mum

ie London, England

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