By Neil Kerr
There’s something special about The Mona Lisa’s, something different yet alluring. This Ballingry band is another one of Fifes’ finest new additions bringing us their “pretty rock and roll indie” music. Having only been a band for a mere eight months the sound created by this traditional five piece outfit is more accomplished than some bands with many years experience which impressed me the very first time I saw them a while back in Cabaret Volataire in Edinburgh, where they played a great set to an audience of young students who loved them and went wild to their sound. The guys, who knew I was going to that gig made a point of finding me when they came off the stage, which was a challenge as they had no idea what I looked like, however they found me and had a chat and I have to say, what a great bunch of blokes they are each and every one of them are fantastic guys and a pleasure to speak with.
That was just the first time I saw this great new band and I was Impressed, so impressed I decided to put their Debut demo “Wasted Time” in for our first ever Single Of The Week, and guess what….. They won it. So you guys clearly like them too.
Since then I have saw this band three more times and each time I have been quietly impressed by their enthusiasm, their drummer the excitable Cameron Gaudin Junior, starts “air drumming” about an hour before they go on stage, a quirk which I personally love and he is always first on stage when it is their time to be there. The rest of the band are equally enthusiastic if a touch more modest about it, a chat with these guys reveals their quiet enthusiasm and their want to please every audience that they play for.
One thing clearly apparent is The Mona Lisa’s aim to please, and please is what they do with their foot stopmin rock guitar riffs and their energetic frontman Kevin Murphy Junior, who proves almost impossible to photograph because of the rate he moves around the stage as he belts out his brilliant vocal, clearly consumed by the intent to give his all to the gathered music lovers. And the intent to please doesn’t end there either as the other three members of the band all do their bit with an equally addictive enthusiasm even though it may not be quite so apparent when watching their ice cool bassist Arron Graham, although for the keen eyed amongst you, his passion for what he does will be all too clear.
At another gig I caught the band Supporting Nick Mercer in a favorite haunt of mine, PJ Molloys in Dunfermline. Now this gig was just The Mona Lisa’s and Nick mercer, which in my opinion was a real mismatch of sounds, and brought in the wrong type of audience for the Mona Lisa’s genre, however the boys, as always, gave their all to the revellers that night belting out a brilliant set of their own music including, “Wasted Time”, “This time I’m no Fool”, “Devil In Disguise”, “I’m Not Done” which they have now released as their second demo offering, “Early Days”, “Pressure” and “Right All The Time”. These tracks are all unique in their own and allow the band to demonstrate their individuality as well as the two other guitarists, Blair Dow and Ally Galloway’s backing vocals and inspiring guitar skills demonstrating some great teamwork. In my opinion The Mona Lisa’s stole the show that night with their ability to own the stage and give everything they have for each and every song they perform.
After their set I spoke to some of the folk who never approached the stage but watched the performance from the bar area on a large screen and comments like ” Aye a braw sound like”, “We loved their energy” and “Shame they weren’t on longer” were amongst many good things said about The Mona Lisa’s from folk who said they had really came to see Nick mercer. A credit to the bands commitment to their work.
I have to say one bad thing about this band….. I just can’t get enough of them, so much so I am going to catch them again soon, next week in fact, where they will be part of an irresistable line up of acts all featured on these pages and I look forward to it too… Is that a bad thing? You decide once you have seen them, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.
Keep up the great work lads, and keep The Mona Lisa’s more than just “a cold and lonely lovely work of art.”
Check The Mona Lisa’s out for yourself with these links.