Exclamation Pony and Mission of Burma at Bowery Ballroom
On a cold winter’s night in New York City, there are few things that can really warm you up. A hearty post-punk show by highly influential band Mission of Burma, joined by Exclamation Pony (new project of British rock‘n’roller Ryan Jarman) perfectly fits the bill. The event was held in Lower East Side’s Bowery Ballroom – a nice venue with a decent sound and convenient bars, and the great option of watching the show comfortably seated on the top floor.
The concert was opened by Exclamation Pony, brand new London-meets-New-York collaboration of Ryan Jarman (frontman of The Cribs) and Jen Turner (formerly of Here We Go Magic). Exclamation Pony entertained the audience with stripped down rock‘n’roll and quirky sartorial style, featuring Jarman’s extra tight hot red leather pants, Jen’s oversized white fur hat and a possible new logo – a pony and unicorn having sex – on the drums.
The headliners for the night appeared second on the stage. Mission of Burma, reunited in 2002, now includes Bob Weston on guitar, Clint Conley on bass, and Peter Prescott on drums.
The band was formed in Boston by Roger Miller, Conley, Prescott and Swope back in 1979 and shortly disbanded after issuing their debut record Vs. The original line-up achieved cult status during the post-punk movement with their Vs, and the band’s current incarnation seems even better with Weston.
The set list included classics like Dirt, New Disco and Max Ernst, as well as songs from their 2012 record Unsound. Surprisingly, the band didn’t play their all-time biggest hit That’s When I Reach for my Revolver, but it was still an excellent show. One of the best things about Mission of Burma’s performance, excluding their flawless technique, was that all of the members took a turn on the mic: one song was sung by Conley, one by Weston, and another by Prescott. On some songs the band was joined by a trumpeter and a saxophonist, and the audience saw Bob Weston playing trumpet as well. Called back on stage for an encore, Mission of Burma performed three more songs (amongst those Academy Fight Song) and left the audience happy and electrified. It’s great to hear a band like Mission of Burma, formed over 30 years ago, still rocking hard.
Photos: Cory Schwartz
Mission of Burma’s latest album Unsound is available from Amazon for $9.99.
Watch the official video for Mission of Burma’s 1,2,3 Party here
Watch Exclamation Pony in one of their very first shows (opening for The Vaccines) here