For those who think only bands on this side of the pond churn out good jam/groove music, there is an English band, Moom, to prove you wrong. It's debut album was reviewed here a couple of years ago, and the group is back with a second disc called Bone Idol. It sounds more stimulating than ever as this five-piece has a visionary musical view that juxtaposes jazz-fusion with a splash of psychedelia, owing much to the Grateful Dead and even Frank Zappa. Swirling keyboards, soaring harmonies and mellow but inventive guitar leads permeate this disc. Best cuts are "Petrol" and the very Dead-meets-Pink Floyd-like tones of "Gideons Pier". Even better is "Ship to Harbour", which features some gorgeous lead guitar and moody harmonies. All told, this is an exhillarating album that is steeped in vareity and quality. Hopefully, this band will not suffer from being on the wrong side of the Atlantic for this genre of music. You won't be disappointed.
Moom is a new four piece (but whos that fifth guy in the picture?) from the UK, that many might enjoy. Vital and energetic, they combine some strong elements of the Canterbury sound with the laid back spirit of the Grateful Dead, a little west-coast funk a-la TOP, and disregard for allegiance to any particular style (or clever avoidance of the proverbial pigeonhole). Yes, these guys are all over the place, and because of that it may take a few listens before one realises precisely whats going on (this writer is still figuring it out!) There are few of those standard overused progressive typicalities this is a song oriented band that is far away from the whole neo-prog scene, yet delightfully interesting and captivating in their own way, nonetheless, Canterbury lives! Certainly would like to hear a lot more bands with this much verve. Recommended. PT
After seeing this band live, I said that I could not wait to hear them on vinyl. I was not to be disappointed. I suppose that they could fall into the category of those groups loosely described as typically English. A sense of tranquillity immediately sets as soon as you begin playing this, and hearing some of the gorgeous melodies. It really is a delight. There are so many highlights that it would be unfair to pick out one track above the rest. Similarly it would be unfair to single out one of the band members, as this is a true group effort with each musician playing his part well. Simply a very excellent debut.
"Toot"(Delerium DELEC CD/LP 035) is the first disc from Northamptons Moom. Described by their record company as of the Caravan/Ayers/Help Yourself school, they claim their own influences to be the Dead, Miles, Zappa and the Softs! A very musicianly band in the sense that people like Egg, National Health and Henry Cow were is destined perhaps to be admired and respected rather than the next big thing; but if you like the arty, abstract keyboard-based (and slightly weird) English approach, Moom may well be your saucer of soup.
Many bands working the topical space-rock axis possess retroactive elements, but in Mooms case theres respect for and a desire to eclipse aspects of one of the UKs most beloved progressive rock subgenres: the Canterbury scene. Moom are the offspring of Hatfield and the North as seen through a 90s paisley veil, with the same finely wrought-chops, wealth of satire and instrumental whimsy. But Moom trip-out more often than their Canterbury cousins: the swimming organs and rippling guitars on "Sally" suggest dances on plasticene corners rather than Saturday nights in a tiny, smoke filled pub. Toots after-effects leave you wonderfully warm as well as fancifully free.
Northampton based band Moom who were formed in 1992 have a distinct Canterbury sound fusing psychedelia, progressive and jazz, with strong similarities to Caravan, Soft Machine, Egg, Grateful Dead and early Pink Floyd. "Toot" is their first album and full of sophistication with superb keyboards, drums and guitar together with some crazy lyrics, spacey parts and didgeredoo on "The Higher Sun". Long progressive jazz improvisations and psychedelic ballads also feature on this Robert John Godfrey produced album. Beautiful music. Highly recommended. Available on both vinyl and CD.
Four whimsical adventure mates are running on the highway that crosses the unreal sands of grey and pink belonging to the most classic Caravan landscapes; sporadic toots give new sparks to fleeting progressive memories, or recall the charming gesture of Mister Fantasy, opening the gates of the palindrome weird Land of Imaginary: Moom, district of Nottingham, but it could easily be the county of Canterbury as well: Music unbound from the passage of time, pure emotion softly unwrapping on the ceaseless pulse of syncopated rhythms at the Border of Dream. Jim Patterson, his bass as slipping as an eel, its tone so wide and sweet, loaded with ingenuity and with jazzy mess; his alter ego Gregory Myles, champion of percussive "horror vacui", erasing every sign of pause from his pentagram and producing himself in a series of breathtaking breaks; this is definitely the most interesting rhythm section to have appeared in the British underground since a few years, a thanks to them. A.Faircloughs liquid keyboards and K.Hs nimble plectrum have an easier task in defining the characters of a debut album which has unbelievably waited for two years before being issued. Now, its up to you if you prefer to get lost on the routes traced by the helicopter tortoise tracking "The Void is Clear", where Richard Sinclairs imprinting is little away from plagiarism, or getting down at the "Waiting for the Sphere" stop, weird puppet from the 60s Traffics theatre; its as well worthwhile falling in love with "Eye", purplish organ for a Zappa-esque frenzy, or spin-drying ones senses in the high frequency "Babbashagga" psychodrome, or even rediscovering in the tachycardic pulse of "Sally" nows progressive emissions breaking an elastic n' funky backbone into pieces. Theres plenty to meet everybodys tastes, one for the lovers of folk ballads fermented in seething Hammond vapours and one for the acid heads used to have their night sight kaleidoscope-shattered by means of a didjeridoo, but now try to discover these last ones alone, and if you want to discuss the subject more deeply, see you directly in Moom.
A sound which goes back to the mid-sixties. The Wild Flowers, the predecessors of Soft Machine, carried it for the first time into the hearts of fans. Caravan, Kevin Ayres, David Allen and also Soft Machine made the music perfect, which is named after the county from which all these musicians came Canterbury style. Over 20 years later there is only one group which saved this mild, mystical psychedelic rock into the 90s playful, simply elegant keyboard mystique, mellow guitar improvisations, beautiful vocals and a jazzy rhythm group, lovingly modernised and made perfect, beautiful to dream to.
Moom hail from Northampton, where about five years ago Andy Fairclough (keyboards), Greg Myles (drums) and Jim Patterson started a band called Medicinal Compound. This trio got reinforced in 1992 by old schoolmate Kristian Hartridge (guitar, vocals) who played a few years with Blim in Birmingham, and Toby Kay (strange noises). Moom was born and the group gigged a lot, playing amongst others a festival in Wales and a residency at the local Psycks club. By late 93 Moom had saved enough money to finance some recordings and it took them just nine days to do the cassette "Helicopter Tortoise Collection" in the studio of Robert John Godfrey (of Enid fame) who also did the mixing. The tape sold well to fans but still nobody outside of their local area knew about them. Through the Enid connection Moom managed to get a gig at a London festival in 1994 and as a result the band were featured in the progressive rock magazine Progress. Richard Allen of Delerium read about them, got hold of their tape and soon offered them a contract for the album. "Toot" is a collection of the best tracks from the aforementioned tape, displaying stunning skills of musicianship that evokes names like Caravan, Kevin Ayres, Help Yourself and even Miles Davis. This is a versatile LP indeed, containing tracks with a Canterbury sound (the Caravan-like "Sally" and "Waiting for the Sphere") and a lot more as well: "The Higher Sun" sounds like an old Kevin Ayres track, "The Void is Clear (I say)" is brilliant, typically British, humorous prog rock with a political/social edge, strong reggae rhythms and a burning lead guitar, "Eye" takes us back to the Californian sixties with its Santana-like West Coast vibe, while the real piece de resistance is the long "I Cant Remember the 60s(I must have been there)", about 13 minutes of psychedelic rock with cynical lyrics and a definite Allman Brothers guitar ring. And there is still a lot more, especially if you buy the CD version that contains an over 10 minutes long bonus track: "The Crocadillian Suite", more Canterbury sounds (in three movements). An impressive debut by yet another new English quality band. Investigate and enjoy this bright kaleidoscope of different rock styles.
As this is my first review I apologise in advance for my ignorance on the finer points of music. However, I do know what I like and I was extremely pleased with this album. Plenty of melodic guitar play (slightly reminiscent of jazz) on almost every track and I was particularly impressed with the "mini-moog". This group certainly can play their instruments but it did seem to blend a little too easily in parts into the background. The lyrics on the other hand I think are exceptional and very refreshing to hear a group who dont take themselves too seriously. "The Void is Clear" especially typifies this. Plenty to listen too but I found that track 10 "I cant Remember the Sixties (I must have been there)" jumped continuously on the CD player. I did however get to hear it on another player and was happy it did play correctly as I first thought it was a very abstract piece of music symbolising music from a particularly nasty acid trip. Thanks to Terry Craven for allowing me to review a good piece of music instead of the "Dollar" LP which still resides in his record collection. Definitely worth a buy and listen to over the headphones. PL
Moom are a Northampton based five piece, who recorded "Toot" back in 1993 with the Enids Robert John Godfrey at the production controls. Shades of pastoralness inhibit a cut like "Astronought", while elsewhere they put in an inventive performance that approaches jazz-rock, wigged out psych, and Canterbury flavoured prog-rock. Thankfully they avoid clichés well and never come over as tired old revivalists, delving into the retro-book instead, giving the whole of "Toot" a thoroughly contemporary atmosphere.
Id heard much about this album that was being touted as being in the same spirit of classic Canterbury music. But for so long, Ive learnt to be sceptical about such claims, and it seems I was right to be so! Okay, Moom do play a 70s type fusion rock, light and wordy, with a touch of psychedelia, but their comparison to the likes of Caravan, Kevin Ayres, or Egg is purely superficial, in that Kristian Hartridge occasionally resembles Richard Sinclair (and that is Richard Sinclair nowdays I mean with his deeper voice and less articulate manner). Moom are not a bad band though, with much invention and eccentricity of their own, and are also clearly a 90s band paying homage to a classic era of 70s progressive music. Really they should be judged for their own creativity, which here seems a might crammed and muddled in tracks that all too often dont really whip-it-out enough. A few tracks do get the room they deserve however, and this is where they shine. A promising debut, hopefully theyll develop and blossom.
"Progress" Issue 5 centrepage stars Moom came to the attention of one of the UKs medium-sized labels via our live report and review of the bands self financed cassette album "Helicopter Tortoise Collection". The label contacted Tiz asking her to invite the band to send their tape for consideration. Happily, Moom went on to be signed by the label! We understand a CD version of the album (retitled "Toot") is expected to be released around mid-June or so.
Do you like Soft Machine? Gong? Caravan? What? All of them? So go and buy this CD before its too late. The brilliant work reanimating the magical spirit of the 60s No sequencers! No overdubs! No hyper-mega-distortion! Only Hammond mini moog piano some unidentified flying sounds I also cannot remember the 60s but they definitely must have been there.
Welcome to the first DUSTPIPE of 1996,
folks. This time around, theres a bit more structure to
these ramblings, and I aim to start and finish on a high.
Laryngitis kept me away from MOOMs gig at the London Astoria on 19th December. Their album, "Toot" (Delerium DELEL CD 035) has rarely been off my deck these past few months, and thanks should go to our mates, Richard and Ivor at Delerium for signing the band to their ever expanding, evermore cool roster of psychedelic acts. Formed in Northampton in 1992 by guitarists Kristian Hartridge and Rob Farmer, and Toby Kay (wibble noises - yeah thats what it says here on their press release), Moom eventually settled down to a line-up that saw Greg Myles (drums), Andy Fairclough (keyboards) and Jim Patterson (bass) join up alongside Kristian and they soon cut an album, "Helicopter tortoise Collection" at the local studio (owned by, groan, Robert John Godfrey, he of the Enid fame yup, well spotted Uli!). Released only on cassette, the LP was little more than a local hit until it fell into the hands of those visionaries at Delerium, who relaunched it on CD/vinyl in the summer of 95 as "Toot"!
Its a fine summery affair, as English as the heart of an oak and perfect tripping music! Though, readers beware, the vinyl version is missing the wonderful "Crocodilian Suite", arguably the stand out cut, so in this instance seek out the CD! Although very British, the band exude a good-vibes aura reminiscent of the early 70s Grateful Dead in fact, if you want to programme the ideal backdrop to read this column, select their "I Cant Remember the 60s I must have been there" and let it flow straight into disc 2 from THE GRATEFUL DEADs "Hundred Year Haul" (Big Beat/Grateful Dead Records GDC2 4021) and I swear you wont hear the join! The Dead comparisons are neither lazy journalism nor wide of the mark Jim, Greg and Andy play in the infamous Dead tribute band, THE COSMIC CHARLIES (last seen supporting the Starship at the Shepherds Bush Bottom Line.
I actually started a list of things Moom remind me of the Canterbury scene (Caravan, Ayers etc ), the Welsh scene (Man/Help Yourself/Neutrons), some of the more rocky early 70s teutonic outfits like Nectar( I know they were welsh but ), Focus (no yodelling, but I kid you not!), the ubiquitous Frank Zappa, some of the recent Brit festival bands, even a bit of Sly Stone/Funkadelic! But ultimately Moom are Moom and in their way are as 90s as Oasis or Blur but with a different agenda theyve a cracking sense of self-effacing humour and a mustard-keen sense of experimentation, just like many of the above-mentioned combos once had!
Right now, theyre pretty much finished up with their new album which will feature a new member, Mark on second guitar, and which Delerium should be releasing about the time you read this. If youre not convinced by these realms of hyperbole, then check out "The Higher Sun", their contribution to Deleriums fab "Pick n Mix" sampler (2 CDs for the price of ½ a single CD), which also boasts brain warping stuff by the likes of Porcupine Tree, The Steppes, Omnia Opera and a galaxy of other fine grist
Yo no se donde ha salido este grupo. Supongo que del circuito de festival bands. Son totalmente nuevos, pero la repanocha de la repanocha. Brutal, genial, algo indefinible. Cercanos a Caravan y al sondido Canterbury, pero desprovistos de intelectualidad y llenos de una euforia indescriptible.Pontelo cuando estes triste. Mano de Santo.
Di tuttaltro genere e lopera prima dei Moom, qui siamo sullo stile del Canterbury-sound mutato da frequenti incursioni in territori zappiani e miles davisiani. Ce troppo piglio intellettualistico in questo "Toot" per farsi apprezzare, se non in sporadici frangenti. Un mezzo passo falso per chi scrive, di sicuro un disco apprezzabile e godibilissimo per chi naviga nel mare magnum del prog anni 60/70.Non certo noi di "Let it Bleed"!!!
El cuarteto Moom en su album Toot se imbuyen de cierto aire jazzistico o jazz-rockero, que por momentos transita de la psicodelia mas pura (The Higher Sun) al progresivo entendido en su forma mas amplia, incluyendo pequenos insertos reggae y ska a traves del album. Con un instrumental arcaico (dicho esto con todos los respetos) de Hammond y Mini Moog este grupo se situa en un lugar intemporal que a veces nos trae ecos del pasado y otras se nos antoja totalmente nuevo.
A psychedelic/fusion band who sound very seventies in a progressive way very Santana. Some of it hits the spot, some of it misses. If your into that fusion thing youll probably love it.
De met de hulp van Robert John Godfrey (The Enid) en Mike Pool tot stand gekomen CD Toot van de uit Northampton, Engeland stammende formatie Moom is een plaatje dat je meerdere malen moet beluisteren om het ook echt te waarderen. Niet omdat de musiek zo complex is, maar eerder omdat de composities heel makkelijk langs je heen gaan zonder op te vallen. Kun je dan niet beter ophouden met deze recensie, zult u zich misschien afvragen? Nee, want onder het ogenschijnlijk luchtige karakter zitten wel degelijk goede nummers verborgen. De vroege jaren zeventig sound die dit in augustus 1993 opgenomen album kenmerkt, is heel anders dan die van veel hedendaagse bands die zich ook door de hoogtijperiode van de symfo hebben laten inspireren. Moom heeft zijn wortels namelijk gevonden bij acts als Caravan, Nektar, Egg, Tangle Edge, Pink Floyd, Electric Orange, Gong en Kevin Ayres. Met de twee laatstgenoemde namen in het achterhoofd zal het duidelijk zijn dat ook humor een belangrijke rol speelt, zowel op musikaal gebied (The Void is Clear en Babbashagga) als in de songtitels (Astronought, The Crocodillian Suite en I Cant Remember the 60s I must Have Been There). Ruimte voor improvisatie is er eveneens volop, met name in de wat langere stukken. Naast bas en drums worden ook slaggitaar en clavinet regelmatig gebruikt voor de ritmische begeleiding, terwijl de solopartijen afwisselend worden gespeeld op gitaar, piano, Fender Rhodes, Hammond orgel en (helaas in wat mindere mate) Minimoog. Het vriendelijke, enigszins op dat van Richard Sinclair lijkende stemgeluid van zanger/gitarist Kristian Hartridge maakt het sfeertje van nostalgie en herkenning compleet. Het begrip "sentimental journey" komt weer helemaal bovendrijven.
I had never come across this band before tonight. In fact, I hadnt even heard of them, but I came away greatly impressed. Enough so, that I had to put pen to paper and let the world know of their existence. I hate comparing one group against another but my lack of command for the English language inhibits me in giving an apt description of how they sound by the music alone. So I can only say that came across as a "Caravan" meets the "Grateful Dead". Long jazzy tunes with terrific guitar and keyboard work including that Hammond organ sound Im not sure if any of the material played tonight will be included on their forthcoming debut album, which was apparently recorded during 1993, but I for one am certainly looking forward to hearing them on vinyl.
Q. How long have Moom existed?
A. Since 1992. Greg, Andy and Jim were playing around Northampton with a mainly instrumental band called Medicinal Compound, I returned after living in Birmingham for a year and began writing songs for my old friends. I joined the band and we changed the name to Moom.
Q. Are you pleased with the album and have you been surprised by the good reactions to it?
A. "Toot" represents our first year hanging out and playing together. Although in some parts it is musically undeveloped and limited in performances, it remains a warm and interesting album Its also a beautiful recording. Since "Toot" our skills both individually and jointly have grown.
Q. Does "Toot" differ much from its original cassette only release in 1993?
A. "The Crocodillian Suite" was left off the vinyl version for space. It was a case of lose one long song or two short ones. We went for musical diversity. The CD has the entire album on it.
Q. Do you mind being compared to bands such as "Caravan" and "Hatfield and the North", and have any of these bands influenced you?
A. Part of the reason is a press release thing, part of the reason is because my first attempt at vocals sounds a bit like Richard Sinclair in accent. None of us have really listened to Caravan or Hatfield but from what Ive heard I guess you could say both bands share a love for diverse musical styles.
Q. You all appear to be really competent musicians. Have you had any formal training or are you self-taught?
A. We are all self taught. We have invented our own musical language, this gives us our sense of adventure. As we think of new places to go we must push ourselves to learn how to get there. It is this which keeps us travelling through music and prevents us from becoming predictable and one tracked.
Q. Do you enjoy playing live?
A. We love playing live. Every time we play we do a different set and embellish old songs through improvisation. We promise a unique performance at every gig.
Q. Will you be venturing out of Northampton now?
A. We have played all over the country at festivals, pubs and venues. We have played numerous private parties and freak-outs. We've supported bands like "Here and Now" and "Merle Saunders". Weve probably played more gigs in London than anywhere else.
Q. Do you have any new music ready for future release?
A. We have enough material for at least two albums, we should be recording one of these very soon. Perhaps a live album would be good.