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The times Review
« en: Mié, 09 de ſep del 2009, a las 14:17:12 »

The shop front of the local lingerie shop wasn’t the only one given over to the return of Teignmouth’s most famous sons. However, compared with the relatively rudimentary attempts by neighbouring outlets, Bare Necessities had gone to some effort. At the centre of its window display a sign read: “The boys are back in town.” Either side of it sat a full flush of Muse’s first four albums and a copy of the local paper, the Herald Express, its headline trumpeting: “Muse are coming home.” Hanging just above it all on a mini washing-line were three men’s briefs, such as an internationally successful male three-piece rock band might, presumably, wear.

The size of what Muse have become, set against the scale of the town where they formed, meant that only an sensational act of self-sabotage would have resulted in a less than ecstatic reception. Nevertheless, after the robotic glam-dram rock of their new single, Uprising, it was more in relief than delight that the frontman Matt Bellamy exclaimed: “Home, sweet home”. The unyielding machine-funk of their 2006 hit Supermassive Black Hole served as a reminder that Bellamy’s fondness for every oft-repeated conspiracy theory this side of the one about aliens in the White House is more than matched by his facility for a pop hook of gargantuan immensity.

Were that not the case, his group’s decision to play most of their imminent fifth album, The Resistance, may have been a tougher sell. Anyone who thought that Black Holes & Revelations (2006) scaled unsurpassable peaks of pomp-rock grandiloquence would have been put in their place by United States Of Eurasia/ Collateral Damage, a quasi-classical song suite that started off sounding like deranged Queen and climaxed with Bellamy at the piano playing Chopin’s Nocturne in E flat.

No less lacking in the scope of its ambitions, Unnatural Selection included an ominous church organ drone resounding from Bellamy’s keyboard before the drummer Dominic Howard and the bassist Chris Wolstenholme kicked off an explosive prog-punk burnout.

For one onlooker it quite possibly made for uncomfortable viewing. Almost ten years ago Vince Fusco, then the Mayor of Teignmouth, infamously ripped up the sleeve of Muse’s second single Cave after Bellamy dared to disparage the town in an interview. In an apparent “tribute” to Fusco the group reinstated the song into the live set — its dystopian fairground ambience oddly well suited to this usually sleepy seaside settlement.

But this was no night for recriminations. Briefly resting his voice for a playful sprint through Hot Butter’s 1972 instrumental hit Popcorn, Bellamy took the opportunity to take a good long look at his old stomping ground. When it comes to making peace with your hometown, there’s no closure like the sound of 5,000-odd fans chanting your name.

Tour begins on No
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