Intro: My third post is again connected to a supporting slot for The Twilight Sad and again highlights the benefits of arriving early for a gig.
It’s Saturday 12th December 2015. We are at The Barrowlands Ballroom, Glasgow and Edinburgh two piece, Man of Moon, comprising guitarist/vocalist Chris Bainbridge and drummer Michael Reid, take to the expanse of this world famous stage. It’s been temporarily shrunken to the size of a generous, yet compact independent music venue by the carefully placed strips of colour changing lights which we can only presume are an attempt to make this debut feel less intimidating. There was no need.
Still in their teens, Man of Moon are tonight supporting The Twilight Sad and they get the night off to a deep bass driven start, presenting the synthesized sound of ancient creatures of the deep and sending it resonating through the suspended floor of this near ancient venue, up through the soles of the audience’s feet and into the depths of what is hidden somewhere between the heart and the head of every one of the significant number of pre-Midwinter Celebration revellers, that have made the effort to arrive early to catch this duo’s debut Barra’s performance. Right on cue the ponderous, heavy beat is met with delicate but equally bassy guitar playing before a shoegazing vocal superimposes itself and then, in a moment of near take off, the start of this audio/visual journey is halted.
Tonight they, play support to fellow Scots and virtual dark that are The Twilight Sad. With a sound that teeters around the inner edges of the eye of a psychedelic storm, continually threatening to grab a hold of the listener and throw them spinning over the event horizon, their first offering promises much.
As vocalist and spokesperson for the band, Bainbridge expresses his personal thanks to everyone for coming along so early and to The Twilight Sad for giving them the opportunity to play this coming of age gig. A theme that will flavour the performance of the main act too, but this section of the show belongs to Man of Moon.
Occasionally interspersed with audio samples, a la Public Service Broadcasting and with lyrical references to boundaries, “meet me at the water’s edge”, MoM’s set transports the listener through a journey of exploration, helping them experience the out of body trip that all good music should provide. By mid set, this participant had drifted off into space as the electrically amplified bass guitar riffs and drum beats soaked into my synapses, reminding me of a similar experience I had when listening to the The Music, albeit a much more subdued but no less enjoyable occurrence this time around.
By the time debut single “The Road” is introduced, Man of Moon have proven themselves worthy of this prime time opening slot and by the end, with the swirling sounds and drifting smoke slowly receding, they receive a well-earned round of applause from an appreciative and temporarily satiated audience.
Get your audio telescope out and keep an ear out for these guys in case their orbit brings them past your present location. Hitch a ride if you get a chance.
Note: Looking back at my ticket collection and doing a little bit of investigative websurfing, I have confirmed that Man of Moon were supposed to play Sneaky Pete’s back in March 2015 in support of The Amazing Snakeheads, shortly before they announced that they were splitting, for good. Unfotunately they had to pull out explaining why I can’t remember seeing them, but neither event or none event seems to have done them any harm. Dale Barclay continues to make waves in the local music scene not least in support of his partner Laura St Jude whilst Man of Moon have gone from strength to strength and are presently touring the UK. Details can be found here. I’ve got mine.