Moon Duo Live at The Joiners, Southampton, 11th June 2016


I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that Moon Duo were coming to The Joiners and immediately grabbed a couple of tickets some time back. In the meantime I have been to a number of gigs (Electric Moon, Night Beats, and Cary Grace, to name but a few) and got to the point where I was wondering when I was finally going to see an average show or experience poor sound, as every show I have seen of late was excellent in both the quality of sound and the performance. Thankfully Moon Duo elected not to buck this trend and we had a great night of full on Krautrock the really gave me a new perspective on the band.


We arrived early as I was after a copy of the Kikagaku Moyo / Moon Duo split 7″ tour single. Three mates asked if I could grab them copies and when I asked for four the merch guy could only find two, so I wonder if the luck that saw me grab the last tour CD-R at their last London show had held out, as there were none on display when I returned to the merch stall later either.


The support were apparently Burning House, and, very much in line with those other shows I mentioned, they were an interesting and entertaining band of the sort that I’d be happy to see on the bill elsewhere with their powerful, droning Telescopic (sic) sounds setting us up nicely for the main act.


Having bought my record I made a point of securing a spot right down the front, which afforded me the opportunity to take some pictures and dance myself silly as Moon Duo quickly found their stride and took us on a looping fuzzed out motorik journey, powered along by the incredible drummer, John Jeffrey, who, in making a riddle of the band’s name and making their drum machine redundant, has surely cemented his place alongside Erik Johnson and Sanae Yamada.


In a delightful maze of droning guitar riffs, swirling synths and mehanically tight drums with Erik’s voice gently intoning the words, time passed incredibly quickly and I couldn’t even guess at the set-list as I was completely zoned out throughout the performance, occasionally taking pictures when the light permitted, or mostly dancing with abandon to the compelling rhythms.


What started out as a side project for Wooden Shjips’ frontman Johnson has established itself as a superb band in its own right and, should the opportunity arise, you should make every effort to see them play!

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