Death to Meursault – so long it’s been good to know you
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I’m still not sure how to deal with this news and I don’t really know what to say but I do really want to be self-indulgent and tell this story.
After being around my entire Edinburgh music lifetime Meursault as a band are calling it quits after one last show on the 13th August at The Queen’s Hall. One odd twist of fate involving the band changed my life’s trajectory in quite a dramatic manner. It was April the 3rd 2009 and myself and my girlfriend at the time had just gotten into The Midnight Organ Fight a few months earlier via the recommendation of a course-mate. Due to being exposed to absolute trash indie I had pretty much written off anything outside of rock/metal for a while so liking Frightened Rabbit was very much a departure from my usual listening. We desperately wanted to go see them play at The Bowery that night but had been too late and the show was sold out. Sat in The Standing Order we were resigned to going to see Edinburgh play Cardiff Blues at Murrayfield instead. Out of the blue I decided that rugby would be dull and it’d be worth missing what would turn out to be a 16-3 victory for even the slimmest chance of seeing Frabbit.
We hurried back to Newington towards the tiny basement venue underneath the bigger auditorium which they’d soon be able to fill at least 20 times over. As we faced an agonising wait to possibly be let in to the show I met some people I’d later become friends with (or at least spot at gigs for the foreseeable future) for the first time – not that I knew their names yet. By eventually being let in possibly out of sheer pity by the guy on the door who I only just recently found out was JP a potentially passing interest in going to a gig outside of my musical comfort zone of Every Time I Die, Battles and Holy Fuck was turned into something much more lasting.
In turned out that Meursault were supporting and this was my first exposure to them despite multiple efforts. I had ignored several recommendations for me to listen to Meursault prior to this gig by the aforementioned course-mate and the guy who did sound at The Bowery who told me to listen to them upon hearing me listen to Frabbit in the shop I worked in just around the corner. At the time they were just so different than anything I had ever been exposed to. They had the energy and presence of any heavy band I had ever seen but the lyrics and melodies of stuff like Frightened Rabbit which was still very new to me. On the way home from that gig I genuinely couldn’t decide whether Frightened Rabbit or Meursault were better but it didn’t matter really, what had started by being forced to listen to Floating In The Forth for the first time and getting home from that gig at The Bowery my eyes had been opened to all sorts of new music.
Over the following months I got into all sorts of new music including my first trip to Sneaky Pete’s for Three Blind Wolves supported by The John Knox Sex Club who were a band I wasn’t quite ready for but have since grown to adore. I even had the most awkward conversation when Neil who I didn’t know at all at the time popped into the shop whilst I was listening to Pissing On Bonfires/Kissing With Tongues when “wait, you’re that guy I’m listening to?” garnered the response of “yep” followed by a dash out the door. Most importantly though I attended my first Oxjam festival later that year and the following year I joined Fresh Air after flirting with the idea in 2007 but giving up because I felt my music taste was too narrow to fill a show with – two things which have shaped my career path and social group more than anything else.
I sort of owe everything I’ve become to Meursault who I might not have ever seen if it weren’t for Frightened Rabbit and JP so the utmost thank you to them and everyone who’s been any part of Meursault over the past 6 years and I really hope whatever Neil does next isn’t shite.
Top 5 Meursault gigs*:
5) Homegame (2011)
4) The Bowery with Frightened Rabbit (2009)
3) Oxjam (2009)
2) Hidden Door Festival (2014)
1) Something For The Weakened album launch at The Queen’s Hall (2012)
Top 10 Meusault songs**:
10) William Henry Miller pt.2 (7″ version)
9) Dull Spark
8) William Henry Miller pt.1
7) New Ruin
6) A Fair Exchange
5) General Term
3) One Day This Will All Be Fields
2) A Walk In The Park
1) Lament for a Teenage Millionaire (2012 version)
*Queen’s Hall on 13th August withstanding – Edinburgh’s equivalent of LCD Soundsystem’s final Madison Square Garden show.
**Red Candle Bulb would be in there if I was sure it’s actually a Meursault song.