Mesh / Manuskript / Chaos Engine
Camden Underworld 20/11/99  

Since the release of their last album 'The Point At Which It Falls Apart,' it's been a good six months since Mesh last played London. Absence surely does make the heart grow fonder as the black-clad weirdos congregate en masse to pay homage to the current Godheads of the ever burgeoning Synthpop scene.
Before that though, we must first experience the charms of both Chaos Engine and Manuskript.

If success were relative to the talent, dedication and hard graft of any given band, Chaos Engine would surely be one of the biggest things ever. Sadly, they're not.
Despite going on-stage at an unhealthily early time, the Chaos crew assume the position and provide a shimmering focal point for all those that dared turn up early. Having updated a lot of their backing tracks to make old favourites sound even groovier than before, their energy and enthusiasm is contagious, they play a blinder of a set that culminates with a manic tekno-thrash version of Kim Wilde's 'Kids In America'. 

Following on from a display of that magnitude would normally be no problem for Goff funny boys Manuskript. Despite vocalist Mike being (as always) on top cheery form, the band are dogged by some hideous technical 'mares resulting in the guitars being mostly inaudible and ruining what would otherwise be a commendable set.
They concentrate on newer material from 'The Devil's Advocate' album, which, as good as it is, is a shame as they have such a stunning back catalogue to delve into, only playing a couple of older tracks. Thankfully the guitars are restored for the climax of their set, a groovy cover of Britney's 'Baby, One More Time', and they leave to many cheers, the crowd, like myself, preferring to give them the benefit of the doubt.

As the lights dim for Mesh, the place goes ape and for the next hour or so everything becomes a blur. With singer Mark Hockings on top form and the keyboards of both Richard Silverthorn and Neil Taylor producing a crystal clear sound, they play a set that's as equally as impressive as the last time they were in town. 'Trust You', 'It Scares Me', People Like Me', and many, many more are performed faultlessly, the capacity crowd singing along to each and every one and before we know it, they're gone.
They came, they saw, they were fucking awesome!     

gileZ Editor Of fashionably UNHIP