Review: My Life Story at the Wedgewood Rooms, Southsea

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It must be twenty years since I first saw My Life Story at the Wedge. Back then they were barely able to fit the 12 members onto the tiny stage.

Now, they’re stripped back to a five-piece, but they still manage to create a big sound and when the opening bars of Sparkle reverberate around the (sadly half-empty) Wedge, I am taken back in time.

There’s no denying that Jake Shillingford is an exceptional frontman. His voice is superb and he is still limber enough to pull off his trademark high kicks.

The problem is that, as a five-piece, the unique orchestral-pop sound of songs like Emerald Green, Mr Boyd and Motorcade is reduced to generic indie.

The voice shines through but something is missing. Unsurprisingly songs from the third album recorded, mostly, by just four band members, sound the best.

MLS have enough songs to play for hours so I felt the set of 45 minutes was a mite stingy. I’ll still be buying the new material but I will always have a special fondness for the big-band version of MLS.