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Moongoose/Odeon, Liverpool ONE

Audience mesmerised by the frontman - who's the, er, backdrop

Published on July 10th 2012.

Moongoose/Odeon, Liverpool ONE

Pics by Darren Aston

A CINEMA is not the first place that you would expect to see a live music gig - and certainly not one of today’s modern compact cinema auditoriums.


Back in the 1950s and 1960s, when cinemas were more like theatres, complete with a stage, it was not uncommon for bands to perform. Indeed The Beatles performed at The Embassy Cinema, in Peterborough, in 1962.

I am reminded of the opening lines of the Theme From S-Express ‘Enjoy this trip, enjoy this trip and it is a trip’. This is a sensory assault of sight and sound and I am captivated by it

Move forward 50 years to 2012 and Liverpool band Moongoose have taken live music back to the cinema with ‘Organic Technology: Reaction Music 2’ which had its live premiere at The Odeon, Liverpool One, on Monday 2 July.

According to Dave ‘Yorkie’ Palmer who is the mentor of the band, and a man with a long history in the Liverpool music scene, the reason they chose The Odeon over somewhere like FACT was because they felt that a performance at the latter would be perceived more as ‘art’ and the idea was for it to be accessible on all levels without a preconceived label.

Moongoose are not the only musical entertainment for the evening as support is from special guests Dave Jackson & The Cathedral Mountaineers. Dave Jackson, like Yorkie, also has a great pedigree having performed with The Room, Benny Profane, Dust and Dead Cowboys and the performance includes selections from his current CD, Cathedral Mountain, along with some oldies. The set is acoustically driven with two guitars, keyboards and drums. Dave has a great voice that captivates and charms and is accompanied by a bevy of girlie backing singers and they are right on the button.

There is a brief interval before Moongoose take to the stage during in which time there is a lady with her tray in the aisle, but no ice creams just CDs.


Moongoose comprises Yorkie on bass, Paul Cavanagh on guitar, Alex Griffiths on guitar, Marc Jordan on keyboards and visuals, Daniel Spiers on drums and special guest Andy Diagram (James, David Thomas, Spaceheads, The Pale Fountains, Diagram Brothers) on trumpet.

The title ‘In A Recurring Dream’ flashes onto the big screen as the music starts… a burbling synth punctuated with a gong like stab… the band are pretty much in darkness below the screen and one’s attention is held by the images - moving, melting and merging, swirling, exploding and fading away.

The overall volume is no louder than the soundtrack to a movie, which is exactly what it is.

A band performing in the dark with no spotlights lends itself to a cohesive performance. There are no prima donnas seeking the adulation of the audience, and playing to an accompanying video backdrop leaves no room for self indulgent meandering solos which means the band perform as a tight unit closely following the music score.

We slip into the next track ‘When Shadows Fall’ closely followed by ‘And From My Window I Look Down On Skyscrapers’ the tune that introduces Andy Diagram. He picks up his trumpet and treats us to his sublime talent with a soaring solo that starts muted at first before rising to the forefront of the track weaving its magic along the way with a vague reminiscence of Mark Isham.

I continue to be mesmerised by the big screen images and spend little time paying attention to the band and that, as I understand it, is how Yorkie and co intended it to be with the visuals taking the place of a vocalist; telling the stories of their ‘wordless songs’.

Dsc_0387Each track is announced merely by the title flashing up and each alludes to your imagination even before the images and music start.

The title track is next followed by ‘At Silver Blades’ which at under two minutes is a jaunty tune with a hint of fairground accompanied by visual recollections of skating on the ice at Silver Blades in Prescot Road, sad to say, the ice rink was demolished some years back.

I am reminded of the opening lines of the Theme From S-Express ‘Enjoy this trip, enjoy this trip and it is a trip’ as this is not like a normal concert it is a sensory assault of sight and sound and I am captivated by it.

Unlike the many rock concerts which include big projections behind the band’s performance (and showing my age I am reminded of Nektar, Arthur Brown’s Kingdom Come and Hawkwind) the big screen here is the main part of the show and not tucked behind the band as an afterthought. It is a brilliant concept and executed perfectly.

Review by Chris Currie presenter of The Late Zone on 7 Waves 92.1  

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AnonymousJuly 10th 2012.

This was a cracking performance. Shame they couldn't have done it in FACT though

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