REVIEW gig Old Subbacultcha Old Subbacultcha

M+A Bring Their Hits And Ivy To Hoxton

Following last weekend’s bank holiday festivities in Notting Hill, the carnival atmosphere crossed London in time for M+A’s sell out gig at Hoxton's Bar & Grill on Thursday - just with fewer stabbings and less queuing.


Before the enthusiastic Bar and Grill crowd, the Italian three-piece put on a set as fantastic as it was loud. And it was really, really loud.

M+A’s website has their talents listed as ‘vocals’ and ‘instruments’; a simplistic concept that carries itself across into the group’s music and live show. The instrument merry-go-round in between songs is never ending, as is the wall of percussion that rolls throughout every one of their songs.

The fact that M+A aren’t your conventional band kind of makes it difficult to describe their sound, but a vague labeling would have it as synth-pop. The catchy electronic hooks of M83 are combined with the airily quaint choruses of Phoenix – the continental approach is in full flow.

Separated from the audience by a wall of plastic ivy, singer Michele Ducci delivered his distinctive vocals across two microphones; one showing off his high pitch, and the other dropping it down an octave or two. At first this seemed gimmicky, but as the hour-long set wore on it delivered a refreshing, if not bizarre, element to the show.

Tracks from These Days were received well by those in attendance, with ‘B Song’ and ‘Down the West Side’ particularly standing out as impressive pop hits. In true Orwellian fashion, M+A was flashed in huge letters behind the group as they performed – the assault on the senses stretching further than just those on your ears.

A lot of M+A’s preceding publicity has stemmed from their winning of Glastonbury’s Emergent Talent competition to play at this year’s event. The emergence definitely didn’t go unnoticed, and now the same is apparent with the group’s development. Interest is growing in their highly reputable live shows, and it doesn't show any sign in holding up anytime soon. Written by Luke Forshaw