Live Zone

Mother Mother, Crawlers, O2 Academy Leeds, 28th February 2024



“We’re all family here”, implores Ryan Guldemond as he addresses the front, the back, the balcony of this great venue in Leeds. It’s true, there’s a real togetherness among those who have come out midweek and packed out the 2,300 capacity O2 Academy.


Of course, it’s true in more ways than one. Guldemond shares the stage with his sister Molly, along with the rest of the band: Jasmin Parker (vocals and keys), Ali Siadat on drums, and Mike Young on bass. They’re on the road supporting their latest album, “Grief Chapter”, a more melancholy offering compared to their previous back catalogue.


The brilliant Crawlers get things underway, setting the bar – and the energy – pretty high for the evening. The Liverpool rock outfit, fronted by the hugely charismatic Holly Minto, deliver with power and attitude that the crowd bounces off, and elicits piercing screams at the end of each song.



Ryan & Molly


Mother Mother emerge as the screams continue, and give us two dozen songs, new and old during a predominantly high octane 90 minutes [set list bottom of the page].

As Ryan explains, their new album draws on themes of death and mourning.


But it not a sombre mood though, far from it, in fact. There are huge highs in the show that perfectly demonstrate how Mother Mother have been connecting with their audience over the years, and this new work allows them to reach out and broach more mature, serious messages with their young audience.

The staging throughout is impressive. Light sequences are dynamic and perfectly portray the attitude of the music. Platforms at the front of the stage allow the Guldemonds and Parker to rise above the standard level of the stage, towering above the audience, and also more accessible for those who were packed in at the back of the venue.

Ryan & Molly

During an acoustic section, the whole band heads to the front of the stage, a single large spotlight illuminates them from the right side of the stage. It’s atmospheric and lends that part of the show a real intimacy.

The closing of that acoustic section allows Ryan the opportunity to address the crowd as an intro’to “Wrecking Ball”, extolling the virtues of pursuing your dreams and not letting anyone tell you that you can’t. “You’re right. They’re wrong. Follow your dreams”.

It’s a noble message, but it has the air of an American high school graduation address. I’ll hold my hands up though and say that I’m clearly not the target for this band, who have blown up massively through TikTok in recent times. I’m also probably a bit too cynical!

Ryan & his sis

But undeniably, the band know just how to strike the right chords with their much younger, new-found audience, and it’s a rapturous reception throughout the set.


Musically, it’s an accomplished performance, with Molly and Jasmin’s vocals lifting Ryan’s lyrics and giving a rich sound.

There are strong guitars; powerful visits to the front of the stage from Ryan as he played out some strong solos. “Bit By Bit” is spiked with arresting guitar stings and “Explode” is exactly as advertised!

There are nice covers, or rather interludes, within some of the songs. Pixies’ “Where Is My Mind” fits seamlessly into “The Matrix.” And it’s one of these arrangements that provides the highlight of the set for me.


Their 2008 track “Hayloft”, which really connected with new fans on TikTok, is paired perfectly with Lana Del Ray’s “Video Games.” The repeating refrains of the chorus are yelled back at the band as Molly and Jasmine stand on their respective platforms, either side of Ryan, with their energy peaking right at the end of the main set.

Jasmin takes on the Lana Del Ray cover, sung back equally enthusiastically by the crowd before the whole thing crashes back into “Hayloft” to round things off on a genuine high.


If they’d left it there, it would have been the perfect ending. As it was, “Grief Chapter” as the opening to the encore was a bit of an energy sapper, and although there were hundreds of phones aloft to catch the final song, “Burning Pile” (another TikTok hit), it felt like the explosive tide of positivity that roared and screamed from the audience at the conclusion of the main set was lost somewhat.

Mother Mother – Molly (left), Ryan & Jasmin (right) with Mike Young on bass and Ali Siadat on drums

As I said though, I’m not the target (a member of bar staff told me it had been “Pepsi all night!”) and it’s safe to say that this was a performance and an experience, that the crowd wanted and loved.

Ryan & Jasmin

If you’re looking for a night of solid performance, engaging, dynamic staging and the occasional pep talk for a teenage crowd, then Mother Mother’s show is a place where you’ll feel like part of the family.

  • Nottingham, Cardiff, Brighton & Birmingham shows remain on the UK leg of the tour before a European trek.

Words & Photos: Huw Williams





Set List:

Nobody Escapes
Arms Tonight
Hayloft II
The Matrix
Back to Life
Bit By Bit
Sleep Awake
Acoustic Medley:
Dirty Town
Little Pistol
It’s Alright
Oh Ana
Wrecking Ball
The Stand
Hayloft (with Video Games)

Grief Chapter
Burning Pile




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