Do the youngsters care about politics these days? Could they be so moved by an art form that they would stand up, demand equality with one unifying voice? What would happen if something stirred that sleeping giant into action? These questions gnaw at me as post punk and psyched out art rock rail and simmer in equal measure on The Adelphi stage in Hull.
The Bent Moustache, formed around ex-Donkey/Dandelion Adventure frontman Ajay Saggar, are at the beginning of a month long tour promoting the latest album Pastures New Seasons Turn. As noted by The Quietus, The Bent Moustache would have been favourites of the late great John Peel (Ajay actually recorded a radio session with the man himself, as part of Donkey – Saggar is a bit of a legend in his own right as a soundman and mixer). The latest recording contains all the eclecticism and musical variation that John brought to the airwaves. It is an album that, very much, wears its influences on its sleeve, but when those influences include The Fall, My Bloody Valentine and The Membranes that’s no bad thing. The tour coincides with the Peel Day Celebrations and the band have stopped off at the renowned live music venue in the city, to challenge and charm the Monday night crowd.
Listening to the sharp choppy opener from the Anglo-Dutch five piece, we recall images of depression and social unrest, as punk turned to post-punk and Thatcher turned on working class Britain. Angry young men and women with generation defining ideas about social mores and values. Music that spoke directly to the sense of collective outrage and injustice.
TBM play a set crafted with songs of hazy psych fade away vocals, political punchy spoken word deliveries, combined with clarion call, high-pitched guitar and droning bass. The mood switches to something more introspective, as dream like swollen guitar licks, flash and flicker in the spotlights. Male-female vocals rising; Ajay’s face hidden behind a thick curtain of greasy hair, Julie neat and blonde with a vocal tone that channels early Siouxie – the snarling guitar pay off sates the wide eyed thrill-seekers…of which this writer is one. A highlight comes as Ajay swinging on the mic stand breaks into ad-hoc verse “looking for some greasy action in this nightclub down De Grey Street…” much to the delight of the regulars.
A hefty slab of guitar scree and scream heralds the end of The Bent Moustache’s Adelphi debut. Later the merch table will do a healthy trade as staff and punters alike leave clutching new additions to their prized vinyl collections.
The Bent Moustache are Ajay, Erik, Julie Jillis and Jaap the album ‘Pastures New Seasons Turn’ is out now on Wormer Bros Records.