Surrounded by balloons and backed by a handmade sign, Muncie Girls take to the stage of The Lexington with a borrowed bass to celebrate the launch of their superb debut album ‘From Caplan To Belsize’. No frills but lovingly hand-crafted, the band’s first sell-out headline gig in the capital is a focal point for everything Muncie Girls have been working towards for the past few years.
From the rattling one-two open of ‘Respect’ and ‘Gone With The Wind’, Muncie Girls attack their set with urgency and animation. It’s an energy that simply doesn’t let up. Older tracks ‘Revolution Summer’ and ‘Kasper and Randow’ are still vibrant and still demand a reaction while the likes of ‘I Don’t Want To Talk About It’ and ‘Balloon’ are already fully-fledged classics. Less than a week in and the room already know every word.
“It’s about power,” Lande explains before ‘Learn In School’ alongside the encouraging, “no one is going to teach you anything but that doesn’t mean you’re dumb.” Its observational, “there’s so many of us and there’s so few of them,” coaxed into a rallying call to arms. Later ‘Gas Mark 4’ twists from frustration to reflection.
The lessons and confessions that dance about the records are replaced with a common understanding onstage. It’s more a conversation down the pub with your mates than a one-sided exchange, and that give and take between the audience and band further amplifies Muncie Girls’ message of community.
A one-shot encore of The Ramone’s ‘Pet Sematary’ comes with the unfounded warning, “Remember you asked us to play this. No one film this or remember this please ‘cos I’m going to fuck it up,” but it, like the rest of the night, sees Muncie Girls on the highest of forms.
Muncie Girls have been building up to tonight in the relative safety of the underground but, keeping good on their promise to create, they’ve become the leaders of a new gang. It genuinely feels like change is afoot. The balloons’ll deflate and float away but Muncie Girls are here to stay.