On Thursday at The Hobgoblin, Staines we witnessed some Welsh popinjay hotshot japes and jinks from a bunch of boys calling themselves ‘My Favourite Runner Up’. This guitar based combo sounds like an unfettered version of Blink 182. They are basically a bunch of unsophisticated pop-punk princes who churn out a pile of sherbety tunes and some jolly sticky-sweet melodies.
Unfettered by the normal conventions of musical connoisseurship, they gaily embarked on a syrupy journey that took us towards Robbie William’s “Angels” via Black Eyed Peas “I Gotta Feeling”. Imbued with a ravishing sense of their own self-worth and armed with a song-book of smooth lady-pleasing sweet-toothed cover-songs and an equal amount of self-penned siren-like serenades, this boy-band took to the small stage at The Hob, Staines with a gusto and enthusiasm that you could only imagine comes from an over-inflated appreciation of their own self-entitlement.
And when these brazen boys from Aberystwyth are not crooning their guiltless crowd-pleasing cheese, they also play their own effervescent and joyful thumpers. Songs like ‘Our song’ which is a sweet and sparkling confection of guitar sounds from Chris and Andy, and acts as a canvas upon which is painted a fairly basic tune. Or the song ‘What If?’ which has an indie sounding opening and then a flourishing feelgood build-up that makes a headrush charge towards an uncomplicated chorus.
‘Me and You (Falling Apart)’ is probably the most infectious and efficient MFRU song. Guitars sound almost like pipes, a Celtic influence is clear. The drums from Tom and the rigid bass from Lee add a tribal component. And the silky-smooth vocals from Chris are lightly laced with eloquent sadness. The saccharine sweet chorus may be a little cloying for the boys in the
The ladies were up and dancing to these power-pop players, whilst the male gig-goers sloped off for another pint and a turn at the pool table.
And that just about sums up the band. Engaging, sweet and happy they may be. But I cannot help thinking, cynically, that we have heard all this before.