Bob Mould @ The Liquid Room, Edinburgh, 16 Mar

The former Hüsker Dü and Sugar frontman, Bob Mould brings his irrepressible energy to Edinburgh tonight thumping through track after track

Live Review by Max Sefton | 20 Mar 2019

From spending the 80s on college radio with Minnesota rockers Hüsker Dü, to his melodic 90s power trio Sugar and almost two decades as a critically respected solo artist, Bob Mould is not one for slowing down. Tonight he brings this irrepressible energy to Edinburgh’s Liquid Room, gripping his trusted Stratocaster with practiced ease and thumping through track after track, often lunging into the next song before the feedback from the last one has faded away.

Clad in a red and blue checked shirt, he interweaves songs from both of his famous groups, with solo highlights and half a dozen tracks from this year’s excellent Sunshine Rock. On drums and bass, Jon Wurster and Jason Narducy are one of the best rhythm sections in the business, lending tracks new and old a punchy energy and plenty of low-end heft.

Early on in the set Mould and co dispatch the low-slung bass of Sugar’s A Good Idea, before segueing into Hüsker Dü’s I Apologize and the power-pop rocket Hoover Dam, making clear just what an effect these songs have had on the acts who followed in their wake. In a Free Land sets the scene for Against Me!’s riotous self-expression, while Dave Grohl wishes he had written a song as good as New Day Rising.

Even if his bark is a little rougher than it used to be If I Can't Change Your Mind is an absolute blast, displaying his gift for melody in spades, while Makes No Sense at All sees Narducy and Mould trading vocals as crunching power chords shake the room.

In steamed up glasses, Mould beams at the audience and clasps his hands together. Here’s hoping he never slows down.