Lo Moon - The Lexington, London , 14 November 2023
Updated: Nov 22
Mrs JO’B and I saw Lo Moon back in February, supporting Canadian band Metric at The Roundhouse. They were fantastic, and did well up on that big stage, with a pretty full room to play to. Frankly, they were better than the main act.
Tonight’s headline show is a very different proposition. The Lexington in Islington holds 200 and is an up and coming indie band staple. Lo Moon played here last Tuesday; this is the second of a fourTuesday residency they are playing here. A great venue to test new material and showcase old favourites to the loyal Brit fans.
When describing Lo Moon, reviewers use words like introspective, sombre, existential, capacious (really...some journalists are twats, they really are...), discordant, celestial…and they all usually point out that guitarist Samuel Stewart is the son of Dave Stewart, of Eurythmics fame and Siobhan Fahey from Bananarama and Shakespears Sister. Not a bad lineage at all, but the music bears little influence from either parent's musical careers.
Me? I can see a bit of shoegaze, a bit of Talk Talk, Temper Trap, The Blue Nile, and a growing dash of prog even? Definite Porcupine Tree/No-Man bits there....
Check out their Sound & Space playlist below - a nice mix of influences and a very chilled selection. I liked them a lot when they supported Metric, enough to go out and buy both their two albums and come and see them again tonight. The two albums, Lo Moon and A Modern Life are both great, though the latter is trying for more of a pop vibe, whilst the former is more interesting, more experimental, very Talk Talk does rock in places - no bad thing and definitely my favourite of the two.
This is the latest playlist curated by the band
Tonight's show is a curious crowd - pretty evenly split gender wise and a nice mid 30s crowd, with a fair splash of old fuckers like me. There are a fair few hats - no idea why I am commenting on that but there were. "Just the facts" reporting here at Back In Black(heath).
Throughout the gig, we keep an eye out for celebrity parents and their friends, but credit to the band for not cashing in that particular chit. Neither are to be seen and when the crowd call out to Sam, he looks embarrassed. They are sweet and modest.
The set is tight and focused. New songs, old songs, it's a great mix. Singer Matthew Lowell shares his inspiration for songwriting - the events of 9/11 and then hearing Springsteen play The Rising a few days later. He was hooked, that's how he wanted to communicate with the world. He likens the pandemic to 9/11 and recaps returning to a church he went to at a school back in 2001. The church is where he used to go to write and play songs and this visit in 2020 during the pandemic sought to recapture that. It produced Borrowed Hills, a song that will feature on their third, to be recorded / released album. This could be very cloying but it's not - it's heartfelt and honest.
Later they are joined on stage by a sax player from home - this is less successful, a bit of sax solo wanking is, at times, a little unbearable to be honest. But the crowd lap it up so what do I know? There is a fair bit of gurning on some songs too - they need to drop that. This is England. We don't do gurning unless we are an arse like Clapton.
But this very minor criticism aside, this was a great gig. The encore of Loveless and new single Evidence is fabulous. The latter is full on, unapologetic prog-rock. Mrs JO'B asks if they are playing the whole of their next album, such is the latter song's length. I explain it's just one song but in prog-world, that could indeed be a whole album...mercifully it only lasts 7 minutes or so (it's brilliant by the way, with some excellent Krautrock-style drums).
I am half tempted to try and get a ticket for next Tuesday, and will definitely be giving the two albums they have released spin. Lo Moon are to be recommended if you like Talk Talk, Blue Nile, Gilmour-era Pink Floyd...and dare I say it, a bit of Hogarth-era Marillion? Don't let that put you off...remember, I have issues and Mrs JO'B enjoyed it, so the prog is pretty dialled down.
Well worth checking out and Evidence will be on my 2023 Xmas CD playlist! Stay safe, and if you enjoyed this, please subscribe (see link below at the bottom of the page), x