It’s not often that you can go out and come back three hours later having decided that a band was amongst the best you’ve ever heard. At Newcastle’s wonderful Head of Steam pub, Meursault did just that to me when, in a surprisingly under-filled room, I heard one of the most heartfelt, wonderful sets of my life.
The band were wonderful, performing a largely acoustic set, but the focus always fell on singer Neil Pennycook, whose startling ability to transform his incredible voice from a pummelling howl to delicate falsetto is never more impressive than when you see him up close. In a set this complete highlights are hard to choose, but a stripped-down ‘A Few Kind Words’ changed from the irrepressible electronic bounce of the original into a sort of warped anthem, whilst ‘A Small Stretch Of Land’ asserted itself as one of the most heartwrenchingly beautiful acoustic tracks I’ve ever heard.
After the handclap-heavy ‘William Henry Miller Pt. 1’ drew the gig to a close, I left with a fixed grin, ringing ears and an unshakable belief that Meursault are one of the most intriguing and downright astonishingly good new bands Britain’s produced for a long while.