Moon Hooch [Live]


I have hated Jazz ever since I worked in a chocolate shop where they would play an Ella Fitzgerald CD on a loop everyday, all day. I don’t know whether I hate Jazz just because it is Jazz or because it brings me back to a time where every other song I would be slipping another chocolate past my lips, thus ballooning up to a large, convex, spherical shape. Either way, the music genre of Jazz had left a sour taste in my mouth- and it wasn’t just the bitter aftertaste of the chocolate I was constantly guzzling.

Moon Hooch are a Jazz band. They consist of three young guys who met at The New York School for Jazz and Contemporary Music - two saxophonists and a drummer.

They started their set with a bang, playing their instruments in an intense and eccentric manner. They have an oddly warm and comforting aura on stage; one of the saxophonists’ looks much like my geeky friend Owen (sorry Owen), a gentle face that would look familiar to everyone.

Moon Hooch describe their music as “Cave Music”- House Music but more raw and primitive - House in its most organic form. When you first hear the music, they sound more like a Jazz band on LSD, but after allowing yourself to be engulfed by the distinctive drum and emphatic sax notes, you can see where they get that description from.

It’s actually quite wonderful to see just a boy with a baritone sax produce music that you could hear whilst clubbing at Fabric. It is music that is so processed and modified you could never imagine it coming from a pure source. It’s the musical equivalent of seeing a cow being slaughtered and manufactured in to a McDonald’s cheeseburger right in front of your eyes. Refreshing, reassuring and inspiriting- like you could take a huge bite from the cheeseburger and not feel an ounce of guilt or worry you might be eating horse innards!

However…a bit like approaching the apprehended sliced gherkin in the Maccy D’s cheeseburger, Moon Hooch added in a slice of vocals. With random, queer lyrics through a microphone with an echo effect such as “We are all dinosaurs, nothing matters” over erratic jazz notes, saw what was an invigorating set take a U-turn in to watching Jez from Peep Show living out his wildest music dreams. For non- Peep Show viewers, it just turned in to an odd, abnormal scene with a voice echoing random words.

Amidst all the confusion of this sudden change on stage, a naked woman came out with a full bush and hairy armpits. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for an extra layer of fur, especially during the winter months, but a woman on stage in her birthday suit to prove a point about “social norms” seemed unnecessary and irrelevant. But it certainly kept to crowd interested.

Moon Hooch are unbelievably talented musicians who do not have to add in dramatic social messages or even vocals to their music- they can rest on their charisma and incredible instrumentals alone. You can’t say that for many bands.

Moon Hooch have definitely added a new fervid layer to Jazz music, making it accessible and exciting for a younger generation. I never thought I would ever download a jazz song onto my iPod but Moon Hooch have me converted with their catchy and soulful number Milk and Waffles.

This piece has turned out to be fairly food based (It must be hunger, as I am currently on a diet for the millionth time in an attempt reverse the effects of the chocolate shop days), but I am going to end with one more food-based quote “You’ll either Love or Hate Them!” (That’s Marmite by the way).

By Charlotte Louise Long