REVIEW: Mona, The Leadmill

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AS well as its excesses, rock ‘n’ roll also boasts some stunning extremes.

Take this Nashville-based band – the night before they played to 250 people in the Steel Stage room on Leadmill Road they were opening for fellow southern-raised rockers Kings Of Leon in front of around 50,000 at Manchester’s Old Trafford cricket ground.

It sounded as though Mona had kept the same amplification as they emerged without a set-list for a show with songs surely built for stadiums.

“Set-lists are stupid,” said singer and preachers son Nick Brown. “Sometimes you’re not in the mood for that song.”

Mona are at times Leon-esque in their sound, not least the likes of opener Lines In The Sand, dispensed moodily before the feisty Teenager got audience feet stomping.

With whiffs of U2 ‘s sonic aspirations about it, the band’s debut album has been slated by some critics for blatant commercial strains, but live Mona are the Jack Daniels-slugging real deal, clearly imbibed by the day job of delivering extremely catchy but gritty rock nuggets as nature intended, Listen To Your Lover among those standing out from a mostly muscular selection.

With a raucous take of The Cranberries classic Zombie part of the encore, this could well have been one of those nights people will talk about when Mona are quite possibly stalking stages much, much larger than this.