Fibbers, York

9 May 2014

Who are the Moulettes and why should you care? That's really hard to answer. I don't know what to call their music, because it isn't like anything else. They don't sit in any convenient category. But they might just be my new favourite band.

There were two worrying things about this gig. The first was that I got there just as the doors opened, and there was nobody in the queue. More people trickled in slowly through the support acts, so by the time the Moulettes came on there was a respectable crowd. But it was nowhere near packed — and Fibbers isn't a big venue, it's a small, standing-only club.

The second problem is that a lot of the audience were (shhh, whisper it quietly) young people!

This doesn't happen at the gigs I go to! Even when I see a young band (as this is), it will be the kind of band that attracts people my age, obviously.

But it wasn't all young, so I didn't feel entirely out of place. In fact, it was probably the most diverse audience I have ever stood amongst.

And I think this is why I'm struggling to describe the music. Because the music is as diverse as the people it appeals to. It's not rock, despite having drums and electric guitar. It's not folk, despite having acoustic guitar and fiddles. It's not classical, despite having cello and harp. It's not jazz, despite having stand-up bass and sax.

There are six people on stage, all of them sing, and most of them are multi-instrumentalists (some of them play two instruments at the same time, for example the drummer plays guitar while he's drumming, yes, seriously, it's got to be seen to be believed).

And the music is... ah, no, I'm stuck again. It's like... acoustic... classical... prog... something.

It's the most astonishing set of crazy, mixed-up, beautiful harmonies, complex rhythms, at one time two of the band are drumming in different time signatures while the rest are playing atonal violins and cello with lyrics that might have been written by Jon Anderson, then the next song is just three voices harmonising the most sweetly beautiful melodic pop song you've ever heard, and then there's an electric cello solo, and the drummer is playing guitar and drums at the same time!

Can you hear that sound? It's my mind expanding.

Go here and watch them. It's the only way you'll understand:

Moulettes web site (videos).

The only negative of the night is that they played barely more than an hour and hit the venue curfew before they could do an encore. A fault of putting three bands on the bill, I think. I could have happily watched them for another hour.

In fact, I will, next Friday. I'm going to see them again. And I expect to go a LOT more times.

Because this wasn't just the best concert I have ever seen, this may be the best new band of this millennium.

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