Alex Harford Photography & Travel


Bob Mould Live at Manchester Academy 3 (and Sugar and Me)

Photo of Bob Mould live at Manchester Academy 3, May 2013

I grew into music in the late 90s with bands such as Feeder, Superdrag and Teenage Fanclub - three in particular I couldn't get enough of. I wanted to hear more of the same and inevitably looked to their influences, which led me to Bob Mould's cult legends Hüsker Dü and Sugar. Nirvana, and maybe even The Pixies, may not have existed if Hüsker Dü hadn't paved their way, but it was Sugar that did it for me.

Bob's doin' somethin' funnyJason Narducy and Jon Wurster live with Bob Mould at Manchester Academy 3, May 2013

Despite the odd few songs, I'd never appreciated Bob Mould's solo material as much as Sugar, so hadn't been inclined to see his band live (not knowing how much Sugar material he'd play, if any at all considering his massive back catalogue). That all changed when it was announced that Sugar's brilliant Copper Blue album would be played in full in London last year....only I had a favourite band these days, British Sea Power, were playing Open Season in full on the same night - this was an album whose tours I'd completely missed back in 2005. I chose British Sea Power.

So it was awesome to hear The Act We Act open the set at Manchester's Academy 3 for my first live experience of the Bob Mould blast of sound. The guitar sounded even more fearsome than it does on record, with Bob Mould's authoritative vocals rising above it. Wow!

The Copper Blue tracks continued relentlessy, with A Good Idea, Changes and Helpless, and only a brief pause by the band for Bob to ask "if it was loud enough." Hoover Dam, again from Copper Blue, was a perfect song to quieten things down with, perhaps even get out the acoustic guitar, but nope - it was just as loud as the others!

Bob Mould live at Manchester Academy 3, May 2013

I mentioned not quite enjoying Bob Mould's solo material as much as Sugar, but that changed last year with the release of Silver Age, the most Sugar-esque album of his solo career. My favourite from that album, Star Machine, followed, and sounded just as good as anything in tonight's set.

Jason Narducy, bass guitarJason Narducy (with Bob Mould) live at Manchester Academy 3, May 2013Jon Wurster, drumsJon Wurster (with Bob Mould) live at Manchester Academy 3, May 2013

At some point during the gig the vocals got lost behind everything else, and some songs, particularly If I Can't Change Your Mind and Come Around (from Beaster) would have benefited from an extra guitar.

Hüsker Dü tracks featured heavily towards the end of the set and in the encore, and my ears were still ringing 2 or 3 days later. It certainly was an experience I enjoyed on the whole; with the continuous onslaught of noise the only criticism I'd make. Even after one gig, I gather it's the Bob Mould way - he even left his guitar on a continuous loop in the gap before the encore.

Given the chance I'll see Bob Mould live again - in future I'd love to hear an acoustic Hoover Dam, and full-on Gift, from File Under: Easy Listening, which only had one representative tonight. I know it's unlikely, but I'd love a FU:EL anniversary gig too...

Photos taken with a Canon Powershot G1 X compact camera.


Back to top ↑

Related Amazon stuff

The Photographer's Eye bookCanon Powershot G7 X MARK II

Most Popular

Copşa Mică: Europe's Most Polluted Town

Remains of the Carbosin factory in Copsa Mica
"Dezastru," the only other person on the platform at Copşa Mică's train station said to me...(Abandoned - photo article)

Azores: Best Photography Spots by Island

Flores Island's most famous waterfalls at sunset
The Azores has a wealth of breathtakingly beautiful scenery. If you only have a short time on an island, these are the photo spots I recommend(Portugal - photo article)

Inside the Derelict Old St Giles' and St George's School, Newcastle, Staffs.

Graffiti and paint peeling inside the old St Giles' and St George's school building
Photos inside the (now demolished) old school in Newcastle-under-Lyme, plus history and memories from former pupils(Abandoned - photo article)

Inside Abandoned Semi-Detached Houses in Cheshire

Old comfy chairs and TV left in living room
A pair of houses, one apparently left at Christmas, but don't always believe what you see...(Abandoned - photo article)

29 Photos of Amazing Places in The Outer Hebrides (My Highlights)

A backwards S for Scarista Beach, Isle of Harris and Lewis
I was blown away by the Outer Hebrides - incredible beaches, mountains, historical buildings and galleries(Scotland - photo article)

Mailing List

Two randomly selected subscribers will get a FREE print (UK only). Maximum 1 e-mail a month sent. Details not shared with anyone. Separate from my writer mailing list.

Powered by MailChimp on Facebook:

  Like this page:

Unless otherwise stated, design and content ©2003-2024 Alex Harford. All rights reserved isn't it.

If you're referring to content on, you can use one image from on another website under the following conditions: an active link to the page the image is taken from is placed alongside the image, the image is not resized, cropped or in any way edited, the image is not hotlinked. Otherwise anything on this site is not to be reproduced elsewhere without my permission. Many photos are available to license. Thanks. :-)

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Photos: Home Travel Music Abandoned Animal Fantasy Buy Prints About/Contact

Writer: Writer Home

Alex's SEO Articles and Podcasts

Alex's Music Reviews Website