Moon Duo’s first visit to Norwich was an event I’d been looking forward to and felt just in the mood for. They attracted a decent crowd and opening for them were Norwich’s LOM. Bill told me beforehand that they weren’t anything like Moon Duo but to be honest they weren’t much like anyone else I had seen before either. Starting the set with two clarinets and a sax to some atmospheric backing tracks and gadgetry with wonderful projections going on backstage it was all highly creative, experimental and interesting. There was a film score feel to it, indeed I felt for much of the time that I was in a kind of Tarkovsky soundtrack and this is no bad thing. It was quite hypnotic and a couple of times I found myself suddenly back at the gig from wherever it was my brain had been taken to by the trio onstage. The final number was most fascinating of all, Bill, Ed, and Jason all on guitar for this one with Bill playing his with a violin bow. Amazing stuff.
The previous night we had a belter of a gig from fellow Californians Marty O’Reilly and the Old Soul Orchestra and San Francisco’s Moon Duo took to the NAC stage to much anticipation and excitement and launched straight into a set of about 75 minutes of spacey, psych krautrock. Actually a trio for live gigs, Ripley and Sanae were joined by a blisteringly good and precise drummer keeping that relentlessly hypnotic beat going throughout. Coupled with their projections the effect of the repetition and pace was extremely trancey and hypnotic, I again found myself under the spell. The only things holding me back from being fully immersed in the experience as I’d have liked were the constant thought that a recently lost friend would have absolutely loved this gig, and a naggingly painful leg that wouldn’t let me forget it!
The Arts Centre seemed to be about 3/4 full and everyone looked to be having a great time, the band appeared to be as well. Not much dialogue between songs and it may have broken the spell if there had been but did they did mention their enjoyment of their first Norwich visit. Moon Duo weren’t quite as loud as I expected them to be but they provided some terrific musical escapism and hypnotic repetition, sometimes reminding me of Suicide, Spacemen 3, Spiritualised and the shoegazing movement.
Many thanks to Norwich Arts Centre
all rights reserved (c) shashamane 2016