Man of Moon at Tut’s, 6/5/16

Man of Moon has had so much press and radio coverage recently that it’s difficult to find complements for them without inadvertently quoting someone.

Celebrating the launch of their new EP, The Medicine, tonight they are on fantastic form.

Through a very thick fog and blue lights they perform signature track ‘Sign’ to open, a song which has received a lot of well-justified attention and is the highlight of the high-aiming EP.

The blue fog gives the band an edge that I’ve never seen at Tut’s before, maybe because they are a two-piece and have plenty of space on stage, but I feel as if I’m observing two solid pillars of stone being battered by the sea.

The music has that kind of effect; some kind of harnessed force of nature.

The crowd drawing tighter I recognise a few faces from home in Edinburgh, having played on the Edinburgh scene for a short while, I have been aware of Man of Moon for a few years and actually remember watching lead singer and guitarist Chris Bainbridge record with another project in a studio next to us at Jewel & Esk College back in the day.

I remember thinking he was capable of making big, imaginative sounds with a look of calm on his face, a look he’s wearing on-stage now.

It’s a great privilege to have the chance to watch the development of artists from the off-set, and looking around me I can see there is a set of us who have had that chance and are here tonight, all, I think, having come out of the various Edinburgh secondary schools; Broughton; Holyrood; Porty; St. Tam’s.

These long-standers are in a minority however, the place being completely packed, I’ve no doubt, with ever-growing fan-base they are acquiring.

The set runs so forcefully, conducted by sensational drummer Mikey Reid, a man possessive of drive like the hooves of a Berber stallion, with a strict (almost uncompromising) and trance-inducing 4:4 time signature.

Allusions are being conjured of musical epochs past, a cover of Django Django’s ‘Waveforms’ shows us the band’s ability to interpret complicated music of a different genre.

I should quickly mention that in a number of reviewers’ haste to categorise Man of Moon’s music they have come to some strange conclusions.

Man of Moon are not playing krautrock, though there are some similarities in the song structures they are using, their effect lies in the use of powerful chords, loops and melodic vocal lines, which, while influenced by that genre are in a new line of thought and distinct in these circles to this Edinburgh duo.

As the end of the set approaches, I feel as if these two guys are playing for their lives, a sense of world-weariness lingers round the edges of their concluding track ‘The Road’.

Stepping out onto St. Vincent Street the breeze smacks of a biting drum-line but gives way to gentle, lilting two-part harmonies.

Words: Patrick McCafferty

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