❉ This impressive Tour Movie Blu-ray package is a must-have addition to any Mesh fan’s collection, writes Ange Chan.
Dependent Records are about to release the long-awaited live Blu-ray/CD Artbook of Mesh’s Touring Skyward on 28 January 2022, and We Are Cult were lucky enough to have been sent a preview of what fans can expect to receive as part of this unprecedented and exciting package. Fans will have backstage access from pre-show soundchecks through to after-show shenanigans and everything in between. There are exclusive interviews with the band members, and also with fans sharing their own personal stories about how they discovered Mesh and what the band means to them.
For the uninitiated, Mesh are a four-piece electronica band from Bristol who have been touring and producing albums for over twenty-five years. Although they have a loyal and established fan base in the UK, they are much bigger news in Germany and Sweden than in their home country, where they are frequently at the top of the European Alternative charts, and their concerts are often sold-out affairs. This is one of the reasons why the video content has both English and German subtitles.
So, what can fans look forward to as part of the whole package? There will be a high-quality Blu-ray which consists of live footage from the band’s Touring Skyward tour in 2017, recorded at shows in Cologne, Hamburg and Konigstein, boasting over 26 tracks, plus bonus material. There is an accompanying 2-CD package of the live concerts, and an artbook of ‘never seen before’ photographs by Guido Braun.
The video teaser opens with a virtual reality sequence which completely buys into the Mesh brand. It’s very cleverly done and sets the tone for the rest of the video. The first live clip on offer on the teaser video is Kill Your Darlings and cuts to an enthusiastic crowd at Hamburg. You completely buy into the live all-immersive experience and find yourself, singing along and moving to the music, reminding you of happier times when mass gatherings at concerts didn’t have the underlying threat of catching a serious virus. The tracks chosen cover the whole of Mesh’s back catalogue and it’s great to hear some lesser remembered tracks as well as the more popular recent ones.
Richard Silverthorn spoke about how some of their video concepts came about; “One evening whilst we were preparing everything for the upcoming Looking Skyward Tour in 2017, Mark called me and asked me to meet him at his house as he wanted to do some filming. When I arrived, Mark wheeled out two old Raleigh Chopper bikes. These were on every cool kid’s wish list in the 70s. We then spent an hour riding around his street filming ourselves. This footage was edited and combined with some embarrassing photos of us at different stages of when we were kids ourselves. This was used as the video backdrop for the Traps We Made on the tour. The song itself takes you on a journey of thought-provoking reminiscing of mistakes we made in our youth… When we were young.”
The live clips are interspersed with speaking vignettes from each of the band members, giving insights into how they were formed, their individual roles within the band, and what Mesh means to them. It gives a balanced insight into the way the band functions and why they are so successful in their electronica genre. Mesh possesses a rare staying power which has seen them through the years, unlike many of their contemporaries who have been consigned to the realms of synthesizer history. The footage also offers all important fan insights, behind the scenes footage, and never seen before pieces to camera making it a must-have addition to any Mesh fan’s collection.
There’s a special symbiotic relationship between Mesh the band and their fans, and similarly between the fans themselves… Mesh fans are a rare breed; a completely accepting crowd of people who very quickly are bonded over their love of Mesh’s music. Many friends have been made personally, through Mesh’s music. There is a regular event called ‘Wear a Mesh T-Shirt Day’ organised by superfan Paul Masters, where fans take photos of themselves wearing various Mesh apparel. The clips are stitched together to the background Mesh track Friends Like These, and it’s a great way of forming and bonding of friendships with like-minded fans. The more observant among you may spot yours truly among the various Mesh friends! Due to the pandemic there has been a slight hiatus of this popular event, but an online Friends Like These event took place this month (Join the Facebook group (Wear a Mesh T-Shirt) to find out more).
At the time of writing there is no news of any live shows due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Large events are made impossible by the uncertain nature of how the virus is impacting countries across Europe and the UK. This package is therefore all the more welcome in the absence of any impending shows. The frustration of not being able to tour is felt large with the band, and they are just extremely grateful that this package is able to be released for the fans.
❉ ‘Touring Skyward’ by Mesh is released on 28 January 2022, and features a limited edition artbook, Blu-ray with 3½ hours of live footage, two audio CDs featuring 23 live tracks, 60-page photo booklet: http://lnk.spkr.media/mesh-touring-skyward
❉ Ange Chan is a Freelance Writer, having produced two novels and six volumes of poetry. A prominent contributor to Me and the Starman (available by Cult Ink on Amazon) and lifelong lover of music, Ange is also We Are Cult’s Social Media Administrator.