Liverpool Philharmonic Music Rooms
3rd December 2017
Reviewed by Rob Harrison
The Moulettes start as they mean to go on with a gutsy beguiling song about octopuses, yes really.
Full on prog rock follows, another sea shanty methinks, complete with loud drums and searing cello breaks, very much in the spirit of King Crimson.
The Moulettes use the various activities of sea creatures as metaphors for life above the surface of the sea (that’s us if you are confused).
Musically they remind me of Talking Heads in terms of straight ahead rhythms over complex melody lines (well, some of the time).
Later on they throw in a bit of Mars by Gustav Holst for good measure, which is excellent too, and I’m sure there is a political analogy hidden in there as well.
But it’s back to the show folks and the song Parasite is really good, taking in eastern vibes. The band use this as a metaphor for the current climate of hatred of outsiders or the other, whatever that might be.
As we proceed through the gig we are given glimpses into the world of the Moulettes with strange old films projected behind them. One is of an early film of a diver on the bottom of the ocean floor looking like he was either drowning or exploring the hidden depths of the ocean.
It’s a strange vision indeed, and you get that sense of otherness and moving beyond the boundaries of gravity and interdimensional existence that the Moulettes seem to try to explore with their music.
Reading about them the big influences are Bjork and Kate Bush, so no coincidence there with the far out themes.
The band was formed by Hannah Miller from Glastonbury in 2002, and since has had various line-up changes and incarnations. It now consists of four multi instrumentalists to add the various layers and interpretations to their strange musical tapestry.
These are Hannah Miller (vocals, cello), Ollie Austin (drums) Jim Mortimore (bass) and Raevennan Husbandes (Guitar).
They encore with Kashmir by Led Zeppelin with more excellent cello playing by Hannah Miller. But the guitar work of Raevennan Husbandes shouldn’t go without a mention, as too the powerful drumming of Ollie Austin and the intricate bass work of Jim Mortimore.
The Moulettes then, like the strange creatures that live at the bottom of the sea, remain mysterious and unclassifiable but beautiful too.