zaterdag 25 oktober 2014

Moss live. Het Paard van Troje, The Hague 24 October 2014

Photo: Wo.
'She's got a secret' is the best farewell song Moss has. "A sea of noise", as my girlfriend described it, washed over us. With the bass guitar as the lead instrument, playing that fantastic riff. It should have been the very last song and not the ending before the encores. The song has it all. Power, mystery, drive and that typical Moss beat. Let me come back to that later.

It's too bad that I did not start shooting photographs before the show. That would have given me the opportunity to show you the Moss group sweater. I'm afraid that it won't be a hit like Sophie Lund's Nordic sweater, but you never know. Someone has to set a trend.

Let me grump just a little, before I go into the review itself. What is it with announced starting times at pop venues? It starts at 20.00 and one evening nothing happens until 20.45 or even 21.15. Yesterday we were there around 20.45 and the support act had already left the stage, with Moss staging its stuff. Sorry Alamo Race Track, no review.

Moss is touring after it's fourth album. As I wrote  on this blog (, in my opinion it's Moss' best to date. Unfortunately this did not show in attendance figures. There being circa half a year between the release and this tour perhaps explains why the venue was not a sell out. (Lucky for us, as we were able to get tickets at a late stage.) Listening to Moss play live, it's a mystery to me. This band is really good.

Photo: Wo.
On the basis of its four albums it was hard for me to predict what to expect. On record Moss' music is sometimes hard to digest for me. The sort of music I have to be in the mood for, but always recognising the quality of and appreciating the experiment behind the songs. The band was on my list to go to. I'm still not sure whether I saw Moss or Do the Undo supporting Johan in Haarlem circa 2007-8. Even it was Moss, the band cannot be compared to the band it was then at the time of the release of its first album. At the time of 'Ornaments' (, album number three, the band went more into what I call none-songs, songs that are stripped of essentials and are more and more serene moods. 'We both know the rest is noise' is aptly titled as Moss found the correct mix between atmosphere and songs and, yes, noise. How does that all translate to the stage?

Photo: Wo.
As a mean rocking machine. As a band that is able to work with dynamics within songs to an extreme. As a sound that rolls over you like the sea, shakes you around a bit, retracts and let's you loose again, just before it gets life threatening. Just like the sea is capable of. And on top of all that: that Moss beat. Not one songs seems to have a straight forward rock rhythm. That makes Moss songs harder to digest for the general audience, but the more interesting, without going as far out as e.g. a band like Zita Swoon or De Kift. Most of the time melodies remain free flowing over the rhythms and sounds. The trick is that the rhythm often goes into double time, setting the song off on a rock course and the audience into dancing mode. Perhaps that was the biggest surprise to me, that a lot of Moss' songs are so danceable (and played a little faster than on record). The result is Moss, the rock machine.

Photo: Wo.
Another extremely pleasant factor is that all four band members sing, making great harmonies together. Including counter melodies and all in 'Unilove' e.g.. Frontman Marien Dorleijn has a rather high voice, that suits this music fine. The support of the three band members make it special. Singing even higher at times.

Concluding I can say that I had expected a good show, but where I expected a serious, somewhat subdued show, I was surprised by how hard this band can rock at all the right times. The long instrumental interlude convinced, the subtle lightshow, minus 'She's got a secret''s stroboscope, finished it all off nicely. Moss presented me with one of the best shows I saw this year to date.


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