“God damn it, isn’t music great,” comes the breathless realisation of Becca Macintyre three songs into Marmozets’ headline show at Oxford’s O2 Academy 2. It’s an unrelenting lesson that the Bingley five-piece take great pleasure in teaching again and again throughout the evening.
The last time we saw Marmozets, it was during a sold out run of UK headline shows at the start of the year. Wide-eyed and triumphant, the band looked like they couldn’t believe their luck, but fresh from a run of international festivals, and with more before them, tonight they know exactly what they’re capable of.
From the spotlight-searching introduction of ‘Move, Shake Hide’, the band leads the room in a frantic, intense celebration of acceptance. The floor is swaying under the movement of the engaged crowd. Later on, Josh Macintyre will pass out backstage from the heat. Burning through a roaring ‘Is It Horrible’, the scratched ‘Love You Good’ and the quivering ledge of ‘Particle’, the band are still as gloriously awkward as ever but are wearing it with an newly-crystalised confidence. Marmozets own the stage with an assured step.
“Music, money and the world is a funny thing. We’re just trying to go the right way about it and we hope you guys can appreciate that,” reasons Becca moments before a pulsating ‘Vibetech’ once again turns crowd into united mass. It’s the first of a few comments angled towards the idea of selling out, but as the band air a two minute sneak peak of upcoming material – determined, lucid but with a wicked sense of chaos about it – it’s the only crack in Marmozets’ rugged charm. “Wait till you hear the rest,” grins Sam Macintyre.
With the end of a chapter looming, and recording penciled in for the end of the year, there’s a real sense that Marmozets are about to do something arching, transient and life affirming. Tonight, they’re already there.
Photos: Sarah Louise Bennett / Upset