Mikel Jollett of The Airborne Toxic Event

Mikel Jollett of The Airborne Toxic Event
Photo by TATE fan Anneke Peeters

By Keith

Editor’s Note: The following was submitted in response to The Airborne Toxic Event Fan Survey. I thought it was worthy of a post of its own.

Congratulations on all the hard work to produce such a thorough set of survey questions. However, one question is missing.“Why?”

Why am I so hooked by their music?

Why do I now listen to little else?

The answer for me is simple. They connect.

How do they connect?

Emotion. Raw emotion. The same reason ordinary folk are captivated and buy paintings off gallery walls.

Other groups of course do the same; they might have a distinctive vocalist, maybe write good lyrics or possibly play great music. But it is rare, and I feel fortunate, to find a group that excels in every aspect and are even better live!

Mikel, though perhaps not the most technically accomplished vocalist in the world (though I do love the gravel in his voice when it shines through), really lives the lyrics when he sings. Compare the pent up anger of “The Kids Are Ready to Die” with the tender rendition of “Elizabeth.” Singing his own lyrics, which often recall his past experiences, must help.

What really sets Airborne apart is the fact that they are not only all extremely talented musicians, but also exceptional composers. Turn up the volume as loud as you can get away with, forget the lyrics, and just listen to the way each song has been handled and the way the mood of the lyrics has been interpreted. Somber bass, rising scales… mind blowing, exquisite stuff.

I have reached retirement; well, kind of. (We artists have no white line to step over.) I know that capturing emotion in paint connects with folk. I was also lucky enough to be swept along by that tide of raw music by the groups of the sixties, being a teenager in England at that time; standing every Wednesday night with about 200 others in our local hall to see new groups such as The Rolling Stones, The Who, the Hollies, the Animals, the Small Faces, Geoff Beck, Clapton, etc., all singing, playing mostly covers.

A long day ago.

The flame of excitement of those heady days has been rekindled by the honest emotion in the songs performed and conveyed by The Airborne Toxic Event.


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