Going to a Moulettes gig is always a bit more special than going to a gig put on by most bands. Seeing a band live ought to be a bit more of a performance – if a band just stand there and run through their record, you might as well save your money and listen to the cd from the comfort of your sofa. The fact that this gig is at a theatre is a good start and walking into the venue, with the stage imaginatively decorated with an oversized tree with buttons for leaves and a mechanical cloud hanging, sets the scene for an interesting night.
Support came from the incredibly talented flautist Laura J Martin. She’s not from Brighton, so I going to move on quickly, but before I do I’ll say that if you get the opportunity to see her play live, then take it up because you’ll regret it if you don’t.
Being a theatre, the stage curtains closed between acts. No one wants to see roadies moving kit around and gaffer taping leads down. It’s best to keep the mystique, especially if you’re a magical band like the Moulettes. Before long the curtains opened to reveal the group, who seem to be growing in numbers every time I see them play. In addition to existing members, they’ve also recruited Jim Mortimore (who also plays bass with sometime Moulettes collaborators The Muel), and Faye Houston (who you may have seen singing with numerous other Brighton bands). The set was comprised mostly of tracks from the bands forthcoming album The Bear’s Revenge, with only a handful of tracks from their debut. The new songs sit perfectly well alongside the old, but are more developed and less contrived – the band members swap instruments (which now include timpani!) and vocal duties are shared. Musically, the sound is richer and less contrived, and Georgina Leach’s fiddle playing now matches Hannah Miller’s cello to extraordinary effect. As if that wasn’t enough, halfway through the set they were joined on vocals by Arthur Brown, of Crazy World of… fame, who didn’t hold back although sadly wasn’t sporting his famous flaming helmet.
Set closer was the new single Sing Unto Me. Did I mention that they have a new single? And that the gigs (they played on Thursday too) were the Single Launch? It’ll be out May 28th, with the album following a few weeks later (although you could have picked them up at the gig). The band return for a reluctant encore before the bidding us farewell, the curtains literally closing on a top night’s entertainment.