‘New Wave’ was certainly a dominant genre in the 80s, taking punk rock, mixing it with aspects of modern culture and incorporating it with electronic/experimental music, mod, disco and pop. From Blondie, Duran Duran, David Bowie and Boy George to flamboyant fashion styles, men wearing make up, skinny ties, spandexs and quirky musical gear matching the genre. Thankfully the crazy fashion styles moved on but the glittering sounds of new wave is still current in the scene today and one Bristol band that has certainly caught our eye is alternative pop four piece Moon Club.
Shimmering electric guitars, tingling synths, groovy bass lines, vibrant vocals and a dash of psychedelia – Moon Club offer a totally unique sound in the Bristol scene and even though the band are in their early stages, they’ve shown a lot of promise the past couple of times that we’ve seen them live. The band composed of David Woolford, James Laing, Alex Cotterill, Jon Brawn have finished recording their debut self-titled EP and will be launching the record this Saturday at The Birdcage.
Coming at four tracks of techni-colouring goodness, from the cool bass lines in Cut You Down, the bubbly jingles and skittering percussion in We Used To Be to the flickering electric guitars in Save The Liar layered with David’s soulful vocals all make for a shining debut. Goodbye To Goodnight is the standout with the alluring harmonies, tantilising synths and touch of female vocals which adds that extra gloss to the band’s sound.
Verdict – 4.5/5
Having listened to the EP, we caught up with Moon Club ahead of their launch show this weekend to discuss how the band started, their sound and musical influences.
For people who aren’t familiar, can you tell us a little bit about Moon Club, where did it all start?
We are a Bristol based alternative pop band, and we guess it all started about 4 years ago when Dave was at university in Southampton. It started as lead singer Dave being sat on the dole after Uni and wanting a new project.
Dave had all this free time on his hands and recorded some of the early material like ‘Keep You Safe’ and Woman’s Harm to Brutish Charm’. This was then put out on Soundcloud under the name of ‘Run With Wolves’, which was a solo project. But he never wanted it to be a solo project he always saw it as a group. It was only when Dave moved back home to Bristol that the band came together through close school friends Alex Cotterill, James Laing and Jon Brawn.
We’ve seen you guys live a couple of times and it’s great to finally see the release of your debut EP, congrats! How do you guys feel about the new record?
Extremely proud! We’ve worked on this record for the best part of a year, and we are finally happy that everyone gets to hear the first Moon Club EP.
The songs that are up on Soundcloud were mainly recorded by Dave in his bedroom, but this will be the first EP where it’s a joint effort and you get to hear that Moon Club sound in all its glory.
The album artwork totally resembles your fluorescent sound, what inspires you and how has it shaped your sound?
As a band we are all interested in a huge and eclectic range of music and each one of us has a polar opposite taste in some aspects, but what it boils down to is we all have a appreciation for good pop music whether it’s The Cure, Chic, The Police, Peter Gabriel, anything that’s got a hook or a groove.
We aren’t ashamed to be ‘POP’; we still think it’s important to have a hook and a melody, something people can sing a long to.
Your music is certainly reminiscent of new wave in the 80s and refreshing to see in the music scene, who are your main influences?
Jon: James Lavelle, Talking Heads, Massive Attack and Midland.
James: Pink Floyd, Metallica, and House Music.
Dave: Prince, David Bowie, The Cure and Peter Gabriel.
Alex: Prince, Talking Heads, and Fleetwood Mac.
EP launch will be taking place this Saturday at The Birdcage. We think the vintage-style venue suits perfectly with Moon Club’s glittering new wave sound, don’t you think?
Absolutely, we think the interior is unique and different unlike a lot other venues. This was one of the main reasons we wanted to use the Birdcage for our EP launch.
This will be your first headline show, any surprises in store?
This is actually our 3rd headline show but we feel this is one of the most important to date, we think this is the first time we would of properly headlined and we are extremely excited.
There’s definitely some great music coming from both Aztecs and Why We Love, are you looking forward to playing alongside them this Saturday?
Of course! We’ve played a few shows with the Aztecs boys and they’ve always been huge supporters of our stuff not to mention they’re a great set of lads.
As for Why We Love we played a show with them for UATM and were instantly impressed and it was sort of a no brainer that we wanted them to open the night for us.
For people who are seeing you live for the first time, what can they expect?
We are usually quite an animated group of people, Dave does these awkward hand movements and flails his arms, while James can never stand still, he has to dance to everything and always gets the comments at the end of a show, while Jon and Alex have to play the most complicated stuff and look dead sexy doing it. (hahaha)
Definitely some great bands coming up from the Bristol music scene. What other sounds are you listening to? Who’s your favourite artist at the moment?
We are apart of UATM, which is a really great way to see the Bristol talent that’s emerging.
Dave: I’m really loving the new Bombay Bicycle Club album it’s really weird I’ve never liked them for some strange reason, but then I listened to the new album and sort of got hooked.
I’ve also been going over David Bowies back catalogue, which is always amazing.
James: Midnight Magic, Oni Ayhun, Gregory Porter and blues legend George Benson
Jon: Tom Tom Club, Lone, Flako, and Kid Kanevil.
Alex: Paul Smith and Wild Beast.
What has been the strangest or funniest moment during a gig of yours?
We had an odd experience when we got told it was perfectly fine to use Bipolar Sunshine’s back line gear, only to turn up and be told that we couldn’t use any of it because as the guitarist said, ‘it was new’, luckily the sound engineer saved our skins.
The general atmosphere of that gig taught us a lot about how to properly interact with other bands and how there should be a mutual respect, which I think was lost on him (Bipolar Sunshine).
Lastly what’s the rest of the agenda for 2014?
We have been asked to do a live recording gig at The Grainbarge, which is really interesting, hopefully some festival dates, and a lot more gigs.
We will start writing more stuff and start recording another EP, and we are going to try to arrange a small tour.
Great to catch up with you guys and we’ll see you on Saturday! A top night of music awaits so come on down and get your groove on to the sounds of Moon Club at The Birdcage!