Gig Review: Mitch & Mike Gordon @ Howlin’ Wolf Whiskey Bar

by Callum B. Downes

IMG_0866Set like manikin dolls behind the shopfront window of the Howlin’ Wolf, the bow-tied duo hoisted their acoustic guitars beneath the admiring gaze of a young Elvis, hanging upon the wall. The rowdy window shoppers, however, were not seeking a dose of retail therapy, rather a night of groovin’ to the unique sounds of Mitch & Mike Gordon’s latest EP.

Crammed in amongst a maze of lounges, stools and wine barrels, the expectant audience were duly treated to a grand feast of musical excellence, kicked off by the EP’s funk filled opening track, “Biochemisty”. Driven by unusual, jazz inspired chord progressions, the energetic rendition had the crowd up on their feet in an instant as they reacted to the effortlessly smooth vocals and feel good guitar hooks.

The stage was now set for the two brothers to display their well renowned concoction of soul pleasing harmonies, funky rhythms and awe-inspiring guitar solos. It’s a recipe that their fans have come to cherish during the Howlin’ Wolf’s infamous open mic nights, where Mitch & Mike have become the backbone of the resident band, which grace the makeshift stage every Thursday night. Their performance tonight raised that bar ever higher, as lead vocalist Mike exhibited incredibly skilful melodies that complimented the flicker of candlelight among the audience.

After busting out a few of their typically fun loving and seductive tunes, the pair instilled a sombre mood of reflection with their heartfelt performance of “Requiem For An Angel II”. Silhouetted against the lights of a projection screen, displaying a beautiful collection of family photographs (in tribute to their late Mother), the pair captivated the hearts and minds of the onlookers, fighting tears as they gave a spellbinding performance that I’m sure she would have been proud of.

The boys brightened things up again with a banging take on some Justin Timberlake tunes, which saw most of the crowd screaming the lyrics at the top of their lungs in fervent nostalgia, reminiscent of awkward high school discos. Minus the sloppy hook-ups and condemning parental supervision.

Following their final song, an encore was fittingly demanded and they eventually gave in to the whiskey-fuelled cries for more good times. With an extensive repertoire of covers up their now sweat drenched sleeves, the pair busted out a selection of Michael Jackson and other pop classics, much to the delight of the now frenzied audience, who almost took over the stage with their mediocre impressions of the moon walk and loose interpretations of the ‘sloshed’ robot.

Capped off by a blessing from God in the form of a free drink deal with the purchase of the EP, their show shall go down into the hallowed parchment of the Howlin’ Wolf history books. Check out http://www.facebook.com/mitchandmikegordon for tour dates and download their brand new EP on ITunes if you like what you hear.

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