Barfly session gig review (200006 NME article)

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This transcription may be inaccurate as we have not seen an original copy.

Muse have just ripped into 'Uno' and its breathy, psycho-slinkiness has been beefed-up, transforming the tangled fandango into a grrrrinding rock-out.

Young they may be but after more than a year on the road inexperienced they are not and it's quickly apparent that tonight they are sneering at the cynics and seducing the unconvinced.

They have fleshed out many of the songs on the over-plundered 'Showbiz' album, and are finally really raging against the tiresome Radiohead copyist accusations, which even they admit are not altogether unfounded but growing increasingly dull. They easily prove they can roll out the heavy artillery on songs like 'Sunburn' and the lightning-struck and thunderous 'Cave', which the nimble-fingered Matt Bellamy's stunning guitar playing saves from plodding mediocrity.

It would be a shame to sacrifice the piercing iciness and quivering fragility of songs like 'Falling Down' at the altar of the Rockbeast. But thankfully they haven't - yet. Matt's vocal acrobatics take him tumbling from Yorke to Brett via Bryan Ferry, and sound simply angelic on 'Unintended'.

Winding up the two-song encore, the slow-burn intro of 'Showbiz' builds into a devouring, all-consuming blaze and the moshing frenzy of kids down the front are nearing meltdown, asMatt launches into possibly the cutest example of stage- trashing the Astoria has ever seen.

He comes this close to stabbing his guitar into the face of his amp before throwing it to the ground instead, shoving his amp on top of it, standing on top and pulling surf poses, while bassist Chris Wolstenholme batters Dominic Howard's drumkit and the pair of them gamely attempt to trash it. Lanky young Matt is wobbling atop his overturned amp and while his band have proved tonight they can rock and roar and have developed a ballsiness their pristine debut album barely hints at, you realise he's still a sweet wee lad from Devon. Bless.

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