Mini Mansions + Sons of Raphael @ The Hare & Hounds, Birmingham, UK – 9th May 2019

Review by Charlie Tennant, photogrpahy by Robert Barrett

Swaggering through their suave suits, Mini Mansions balance their smooth coolness with pure energy at Birmingham’s Hare and Hounds.

Opening with a promising ‘This Bullet’, fresh from their 2018 EP, ‘Works Every Time’, Mini Mansions establish themselves as a band ready to connect with their audience through their blissful music. And that’s not surprising, despite being in a smaller venue, the trio all have deep roots in music from their respective projects, including playing keyboards for the great Arctic Monkeys (Tyler), bass for The Last Shadow Puppets (Zach) and again bass in Queens Of The Stone Age (Michael) – and the aural result truly does feel like the love child of all of their individual toe-dips in the larger scope of music.

Moving on to newer number, ‘GummyBear’, the track that announced the act’s 2019 return following their 2018 EP release was fun and comical with that opposing sense of sentiment and emotion in their lyrics – a genius and very familiar effect that proves a great success.

One of their greatest tunes is ‘Vertigo’, which is a collaboration with Alex Turner, Arctic Monkeys’ leader. There is a feeling that the audience is hoping for a surprise tonight, but it is Michael who will sing his verse. And he pulled it off with an immense degree of certainty and swagger whilst the rampant flurries of ‘Bad Things’ and ‘Honey, I’m Home’ were chaotic and heavenly to the ears. By the end of the set, it is clear that the psyche-pop Californians mean business and demonstrate an emotional and personal approach to live performance.

Mikey tones it down for a moment, a chance to reflect brings a brand new Mini Mansions track to the Hare and Hounds tonight. The band begin a slow, romantic number, ‘I’m In Love’, it is everything you could ask for, and more. Beautiful harmonies on top of layers of immense sounds send the room into a state of awe and love.

After an hour of luscious tunes, the band declare their departure with their song Mirror Mountain. Sober and professional, Mini Mansions have offered a new musical experience as good as expected. And for me personally, have uncovered a truly new area of music I’ve not heard before. We all faced a band that is not just about their roots in Arctic Monkeys, Queens Of The Stone Age, or The Lost Shadow Puppets, but this band itself has real headlining potential in its own right and I believe I speak on behalf of the other fans when I say we hope more records are to come.

The night began with the new psyche rock sensation plucked straight from London, Sons of Raphael. Often compared to Suicide or Hawkwind for fans of this genre, this unusually connecting duet composed of two brothers Ronnel and Loral Raphael who are just 18 and 22, throw intriguing and puzzling sonics influenced by 80s post-punk. Just two guitars and a drum machine are enough for these lads to demonstrate a flawless charisma and unique persona on stage. Sons of Raphael seems to have a bright future ahead.


This Bullet
Death Is a Girl
Midnight in Tokyo
Any Emotions
I’m In Love
Works Every Time
Hey Lover
Bad Things (That Make You Feel Good)

Honey, I’m Home
Mirror Mountain

(The original version of this article was first published on Gigjunkies

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s