Live at Leeds University Students Union, Leeds

We arrived at Leeds University Students Union more than a little excited to see MONO. Once inside the building we descended the stairs to the basement and entered a small, dark room. Although we had initially been disappointed that the venue had been changed from the Brudenell Social Club, it was undeniable that the new venue set the scene perfectly. We grabbed a drink and joined the crowd. First on was Helen Money, a Cellist from Los Angeles. Not dissimilar to likes of Sunn 0))), Nerosis and Sleep, the sound was raw, heavy and thoroughly addictive. It was really refreshing to see an instrument so often associated with classical music being used to create this sort of noise. Neither of us had heard any “doom-cello” before but will certainly be listening to it again!! After a short break, MONO took to the stage. Without a word they picked up their instruments and launched into their set.  This was Emma’s first MONO gig and having seeing them twice before, I had warned her that seeing them live is a completely different experience, blowing any recorded material out of the water (even making listening to them on the way home a tad disappointing!). The sound was phenomenal. Rarely do you see a live performance where the band is so tight and flawless. The music was emotional, drawing you in using the traditional post-rock quiet loud structure. Our highlight was “Ashes in the Snow” from the 2009 album, Hymn To The Immortal Wind, but really you could have chosen any song from the set. Listening to MONO recorded is an amazing experience, however for any fan of the genre, seeing them live is a necessity!! You really won’t experience MONO in full until you have seen them live.