Next weekend I’m going to see Mishka Shubaly play a live show at Derby’s Hairy Dog. Mishka’s quite a new discovery for me but I’ve got a feeling that I’m going to find a lot to love within the gig.
For starters, Mishka describes his songs as a “collection of depressing, alcoholic, nihilistic songs”. That’s exactly the sort of tune that gets this voyeur going. I’ve given his album, Coward’s Path, a few listens now and, each dab has left me with a new buzz. Alt-Country is a genre well known for pushing the boundaries of despair but Shubaly squeezes even more drops of misery out of the form.
‘She turns off the light in the bedroom to make it easier to pretend I’m somebody new. Baby, I don’t blame you for pretending, for I’m pretending I’m someone else to.’
It’s undeniably dark stuff but laced with a delightful black humour. It mightn’t be for everybody but I’m scarily drawn to a man who imagines ‘your plus one at my funeral’. “Who’s gonna walk you home when I’m rotting down below?” sings Shubaly in his deep, anguished, booming voice. You might not hear a more heartbreaking love song in 2016.
We might also meet Shubaly in a grumpy mood. Press releases indicate that he’s no fan of Donald Trump so what’s happened in the last week must be playing on his mind.
“I feel an unusual kinship with the English. Like you, I find Donald Trump terrifying and America worth mocking, even on a good day. I enjoy the fine foods available at your Tesco Express restaurants. And I feel so well-loved there, it’s almost like the English have an intimate familiarity with drinking problems, depression, and a pervasive sense of personal failure.”
I’ll be sure to report back after the gig but here’s a list of the tour dates just in case your own appetite is fuelled. The poor chap seems to be up and down the country like a yo-yo. He’s going to know our motorway networks pretty well by the end of November.
15 Nov – Ring ’o’ Bells, Bath.
16 Nov – Gwdihw, Cardiff
17 Nov- Scarey Canary, Stourbridge
18 Nov- Gryphon, Bristol
20 Nov- Hairy Dog, Derby
21 Nov- Underground, Plymouth
22 Nov- Toast, Falmouth
23 Nov- Rowbarge, Guildford
24 Nov- Henry Boons, Wakefield
25 Nov- Gulliver’s, Manchester
26 Nov- Slaughtered Lamb, London
27 Nov- Latest Music Bar, Brighton
Yeah, you really should take a chance on Shubaly.