Magna Carta Cartel + True Moon @ The Black Heart, London

Date: 10th March 2018
Review by Gabor Csete

I got to The Black Heart early on the day of the Magna Carta Cartel UK debut show so I sat at the bar having some stouts whilst I was waiting. There was a couple next to me and the lady didn’t really understand why the pub was extremely crowded, and so she asked her partner. He replied “a band called MCC is playing tonight, and they have something to do with Ghost.” Well, indeed they do.

There were rumors that Ghost included members of Magna Carta Cartel, Repugnant, etc… And whilst later it was obvious that Ghost’s vocalist – every Papa Emeritus – is Tobias Forge (he was in MCC and Repugnant too) the other members were unidentified. Until one day in 2017 when Martin Persner posted a video to YouTube in which he revealed that he was one of the Nameless Ghouls: Omega the guitarist of Ghost. In this video he told the story of MCC, the band which stopped because of Ghost… Until that day.

For me it was obvious that the first gig in London would be sold out, especially in a small venue like The Black Heart.

The support of the night was True Moon, a rock band influenced by post-punk bands. Their dark music was great and the vocalist lady’s voice amazing, but somehow it annoyed me. But it seemed I was the only one with this problem, as everyone seemed to really enjoy the gig. I am quite sure that we’ll hear more about True Moon and they will soon be playing in bigger venues.

After the first band I went downstairs to catch up with some friends, have another stout and use the loo. I arrived back upstairs minutes before MCC was even on the stage but still I had to squeeze in to the room.

The first thing I realised was that the sound wasn’t really good which was a surprise because it is usually good in The Black Heart. The second thing was: MCC’s similarities with Ghost. Not the music completely but small solutions. Plus – and not that I didn’t believe the words on the above mentioned video – Martin’s moves are instantly recognizable – although he seemed a bit shy – but only when singing: he even mentioned that he is not a vocalist. Anyway, him and the rest of the band are amazing musicians and you can see in every move and hear in every note that these guys are professionals.

Whilst Ghost has it own and well known image, it lacks in originality. With MCC it’s the opposite. The guys looked like anyone you might pass on the streets, but the music was outstanding: this was the reason for me to check out MCC on the second night as well. I don’t think they will return to The Black Heart. The next will be The Underworld, then The Electric Ballroom, and so on…