The range of moods and tones helped to keep the production fresh, and reflected the multitude of talents at this duo’s disposal.
Mellor was supported by his mute, musical companion Dan Steele, a Moby-like figure who remained silent throughout the performance but for the melodies of his guitar-synth-laptop sound corner. Together, they produced intensely atmospheric song-poems that married their two mediums admirably.
The show was – flatteringly, I know – akin to Joyce’s Ulysses, each section relating to a different part of the body and shifting between the intellectual and corporeal poles of what my student days have taught me to describe as ‘the human condition’. The range of moods and tones helped to keep the production fresh, and reflected the multitude of talents at this duo’s disposal.
Only occasionally did I feel that Mellor treaded the waters of sanctimony; more often I felt mesmerised by his observations and perceptiveness of everyday life, challenged to question my own narcissism in an age where it seems endemic. Sometimes I cannot stand the prophetism of spoken word poetry, the sense of being lectured – however lyrically – by the self-righteous, but when you feel as provoked as I did, as moved to self-doubt, you know that the artist has touched on something worth talking about.
Steele fluffed up a couple of notes – including, most unfortunately, the last – but it mattered little in an environment where the audience and artists themselves existed in a state of near-perfect harmony. His performance was otherwise virtuosic, offering a wonderfully intricate and expressive counterpart to the poetry that took centre stage. It was, all in all, a terrific production, and I urge you all to see it.