The Bodega Social
Nottingham, 29th March 2008
A Saturday night in Nottingham is not one for the faint-hearted, particularly when there are groups on Facebook saying "I've been to Nottingham and not been shot" people do tend to steer clear! On this breezy night however that doesn't seem to have put anyone off as The Bodega Social was filling up fast. On certain nights you can sense an atmosphere in the air and tonight was no exception, with everyone seemingly geared up to enjoy everything that was to be thrown at them.
It must be hard trying to compile a set list when you are headlining a sell out gig and yet still have no record deal. Let's face it a fair few people are not going to know the majority of your stuff and you don't want to bore them by being on too long. On the flip side though, with the likes of Mint Ive who do have a large hardcore following in Nottingham, you don't want the set to be too short and leave your faithful fans somewhat annoyed.
Earlier than usual the four band members take to the stage and with no messing about kick off by going straight into '52 Charges'. Instantly Mint Ive have got everyone's attention and they are hooked. Frontman Will Lillejord looks totally focused as he bellows out "I'm with you again, I'm with you again, I'm with you twoooooo teeeeeeeennnnnn". Without even noticing though, the rest of the band have already kicked off into '1984' which is actually one of the newer songs, but the Nottingham crowd give the same reaction jumping up and down and singing back every lyric (the wonders of MySpace).
Mint Ive continue the night in the shape of 'Rendezvous' and 'Murderous Intentions', the latter unrecognisable from its earlier, more limited acoustic roots. Drummer Dan Wright and bass player Joel Mulvany take a well-earned breather as Ollie Chetty showcases his talents on lead guitar with Lillejord with on vocals in what sounds like a perfect sequel to Interpol's 'The Lighthouse'. You can feel the intensity and it as if the whole of the crowd are leaning forward and forward just not to miss a thing. Then just as 'Murderous Intentions' comes to an end, the lights blind you and the whole band bang out the tune as one causing the whole of the venue to take a step back in awe.
In the shape of 'False Idols' it seems that lyrically Lillejord is singing what we all want to say and believe. As the night draws to a close Mint Ive have one last trick up their sleeve, the devastating chimes of 'Paint A Picture' bringing the set to a close.
It really is amazing to see the journey that Mint Ive have taken and how they have progressed as a band. No one would ever have expected songs like 'False Idols', 'Paint A Picture' and 'Fearing' to come from these guys eighteen months ago but they are proving all the doubters wrong, and it seems like it's only a matter of time before the record label A&R departments come knocking.