Moriarty Live at Oslo, Hackney

Named after Jack Kerouac’s notorious ‘On The Road’ character Dean Moriarty, this group of French based childhood friends create an impressive modern bohemian sound using a wealth of weird and wonderful instruments. Their debut single ‘Jimmy’, which sounds like it was recorded around the turn of the 19th century, was a success throughout Europe and launched the band internationally.

Live, the band combine entrancing sounds of guitars, harmonica, banjo, Jew’s harp, bass and a load of other random instruments, combined with lead singer Rosemary’s intoxicating voice,

There’s nothing that makes me more happy than going to see a band play live, and the quality of their performance is better than the recorded counterpart.

Walking into Oslo to see the support band, most of the crowd were sat down, giving a lovely relaxed atmosphere which suited the first acts vibe, who was also a french performer.  Naively I didn’t think the venue would get very busy, but after a cigarette break I returned to the upstairs room to find it fully packed out.  Moriarty definitely have a loyal following and I’m so grateful I got to see them in such a small venue.

The boys of the band came on first, leaving the crowd waiting for the leading lady, Rosemary.  The chemistry between her and her band of french men has to be noted, but the whole ensemble blend wonderfully, each having an integral part to play.  Sometimes I see bands, and one of the members will just seem like they’re not adding to the experience – not in the case of Moriarty.

Leading with ‘When I Ride’, the set then led into one of my favourite songs (which I’ve also featured on the After Nyne playlist) ‘Long Live The D(evil)’ which was an utter pleasure to see live.  The fifth song in the set, ‘Diamonds Never Die’ lent a sultry element to set, which went hand in hand with the romantic vibe I was getting from a. the band being french, and b. the french contingent of hardcore Moriarty fans that had come out to support them.  Rosemary asking ‘Most of you a francais right?’ to responses of ‘OUI, OUI, OUI’ made me realise this.

The crowd warmed up after a few songs, but I have to mention the crowds lack of rhythm.  Fair play everyone was very enthusiastic, but I have never heard a group of people so unable to clap in time with a song, and also carry on with it even though it obviously wasn’t working.  I thought this might have only lasted for one song, but literally every time the band initiated clapping, over half of the audience got it wrong.

Amazing set from the band, but I definitely think that Moriarty need to give their adoring fans a lesson in rhythm.

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