The Bodega, Nottingham


In 1998, Mineral most likely broke up thinking that their existence meant too little to ever warrant a significant comeback, but fast forward seventeen years and the news of their reunion has signified the return of a defining band in indie rock. Having never even set foot in the UK during their historical four years together, the band make amends with their first venture to our fair shores to restore their legacy and respond to the towering expectations placed upon them.

Interestingly enough, tour support Solemn Sun have their own tale of rediscovery, as the band once known as “Jim Lockey and the Solemn Sun” recently made the immensely brave decision to scrap their former identity that saw them touring with Frank Turner and performing across the festival circuit, to focus on a sound that reflects their current musical path. As the venue gradually fills, the band exhibit their distinctive brand of atmospheric indie rock, laced with darker elements stemming from delay soaked vocals, broad cymbals and electronic sample sounds. Although front man, Jim Lockey, finds himself fighting to steady his pitch due to obvious illness, any empathising spectator can see past this to experience the true quality this outfit possess. Performing material from their relatively fresh debut EP, their set may ebb and flow at times, but particular highlight ‘I Saw’ sends chills down my spine. Their fusion of deep drums, crusading riffs and an intense atmosphere throughout underpins an exciting future ahead of them. Once the band have finished treading the waters and discovering their winning formula, I predict that we’ll see them dominating the larger stages in no time at all. Solemn Sun are set to blow us all away, just wait and see.

Considering that I was only two years old when Mineral first formed, it’s a fairly mind blowing concept that they stand before me today. Emerging to a star struck audience, the silence says it all…after 21 years of their music existing, Mineral have finally reached the United Kingdom. Their sound has been greatly influential to the majority of the bands currently revelling in the unexpected indie-emo revolution of late, and tonight they aim to prove that their role in their genre has never been more important. Although frontman, Chris Simpson’s vocals struggle to consistently match the designed pitch, it’s become common knowledge over the years that the bitter, emotional anguish of their genre is best delivered in an uncontrollable and desperate manner. The vocals may be painful to listen to at times, but there’s a feeling that every fibre of reality in their material has stayed present today, allowing every chord, drum pattern and vulnerable vocal to retain their purpose and convey the fragile emotions of each brittle anthem.


Strangely, the band keep conversation to an absolute minimum, with several intensely awkward silences filling the song transitions. Despite their social ineptitude, the band manage to deliver driving riffs and euphoric, desperate choruses in an impeccably tight display. It’s hardly the most upbeat soundtrack to the start of the week, as their brand of melancholy indie rock eventually starts to grow tiring by the end of what seems to be a fairly lengthy set. In short, Mineral have shown that their inspiring past has remained true to the indie rock genre, yet their one dimension of bitter emotion translates as a fairly dull affair in the flesh; simply because they lack the conviction to excite. Admittedly, some of the crowd may have been having the time of their lives tonight, but ultimately there were only a few moments that I could define as exceptional. Mineral have the material of an all-time great and the live instrumental delivery to match, but until their conviction and desire to perform becomes evident, they will seemingly crumble under the immense expectations placed upon them.

Mineral Set list
Five, Eight, & Ten
A Letter
For Ivadell
Sounds Like Sunday
If I Could
Waking To Winter
& Serenading
Love Letter Type Writer
Parking Lot


Words and Photo by George Fullerton.

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