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MOOM

Canterbury Scene • United Kingdom


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Moom biography
Founded in Northampton, UK in 1992 - Disbanded c. 2001

Moom started off as a coalition of members from other bands. Andy Fairclough, Greg Myles, and Jim Patterson had previously been in a group called Medicinal Compound, and Kristian Hartridge was playing with the group Blim, based in Birmingham. In 1992, Hartridge relocated to Northampton, and at this time Rob Falmer and Toby Kay joined the group and Moom was formed. Rob Falmer left the band after several gigs, and in 1993 the group had saved up money to record some material. The studio in which they were recording was owned by Robert John Godfrey (The Enid), and with his help they recorded and mixed an entire album in only nine days. These sessions resulted in the tape Helicopter Tortoise Collection, which didn't manage to bring the band much publicity.

With the help of Robert John Godfrey and the Enid, the group was chosen for a slot in a festival in London, in 1994. This festival earned the group a feature article in the magazine Progress, at which point Delerium Records gained interest in the group and their music. The members of Moom sent the company a copy of their early tape, which resulted in the album Toot being formed from the best tracks on the tape. The group has since recorded a second album, Bone Idol, released in 1999. Over the years, Moom has played as a supporting act for groups as varied as Porcupine Tree, The Enid, and Jefferson Starship.

Moom is recommended to fans of Hatfield and the North, Frank Zappa, and the Canterbury side of fusion, being heavily influenced by the sounds of the original Canterbury scene.

Biography provided by Jon Hilty (SaltyJon) based on information from Delerium's website.

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MOOM top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.23 | 18 ratings
Toot
1995
3.21 | 25 ratings
Bone Idol
1999

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MOOM Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Bone Idol by MOOM album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.21 | 25 ratings

BUY
Bone Idol
Moom Canterbury Scene

Review by DangHeck

2 stars The 1999 sophomore and final release by UK's Canterbury-inspired[?] Moom, Bone Idol, which starts off with a surprisingly twangy spacy Fusion on "I, Structure". It unexpectedly reminds me of jam band Widespread Panic. Most notable to me is the bass playing. Melodic and complex. The more modern, funky Fusion elements remind me specifically of Dopapod, formed in Boston some 9 years after. Perhaps [but not really] where I first hear something like 'Canterbury Sound' in this is on "Rusty Can", but Kentish quirk is not anything like this sort of silliness... I'm not into it.

"Non-Specific Highway" feels a bit more confident. The vocals are not a highlight, but the melodies are nice. More twangy guitar over cool, fun playing. This is truly the first bit that sounds like Kent, most reminiscent of the free, hippie vibe of Caravan. Another fun track is what follows in "Petrol", which strangely reminded of George Harrison early on. But if he was more daring.

"Gideon's Pier" feels like some more modern Jamming. Twangy Dead vibes galore. This will appeal to a... very special kind of Canterbury fan...

"Ship to Harbour" (hello, Brits haha) is soft and sweet. As well as the soloing itself in the second half. "What's a Little Sunshine" didn't have much to offer me (decent solo at the end).

"Rooftops" on the other hand has some great rhythm to start. The vocals and the lyrics... not so great. Weird, but not charming haha. I disliked it for a different reason entirely, then. It's followed by the acoustic "I've Been Grown". It existed. And that's how they 'end' the album, hidden track aside?! I'm not so sure...

"Woodland" is said hidden track, a boisterous UK Jam, for sure. Things pick up in the second half for the better. But nothing could have saved the weaker tracks throughout to really pick this album up. Too bad. I'm working backwards, so we'll see how their first is (some day; I'm in no rush).

True Rate: 2.5/5.0

 Bone Idol by MOOM album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.21 | 25 ratings

BUY
Bone Idol
Moom Canterbury Scene

Review by Beautiful Scarlet

3 stars It's four years later, has Moom perfected their sound?

Bone Idols song are a bit shorter then the debuts which a definite plus, the arrangement is a bit denser with less focus on guitar and more attention to the keyboard which is good. On the other hand the vocals continue to be bland Everyman vocals, now turning into that generic male modern prog voice instead of Richard Sinclair imitation, meh. The guitar lines have also gotten better, they flow with music better, no longer seeming like barrage of pointless notes. Still, the music is pretty repetitive, arrangement has improved but I don't think composition has.

Overall this album is a step in the right direction, I think Moom showed legitimate improvement, alas they called it quits after this [(pretty sure they didn't become Japanese and start releasing singles lol) there's a Japanese artist filed under their Spotify]

If one wishes to try this band I recommend this album over the debut, yes it's less Canterbury esque now that the vocals have changed but it's become more authentic. These guys were clearly more comfortable in a more rocking style, the music grown some confidence. If you like psych or pop prog rock then don't forget Bone Idol ^.^

Canterbury Sound Score 2/5

 Toot by MOOM album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.23 | 18 ratings

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Toot
Moom Canterbury Scene

Review by Beautiful Scarlet

3 stars So apparently these guys described themselves as Grateful Dead Meets Soft Machine.

Gotta say the they may wear a Canterbury Scene skin (more caravan/Hatfield) but the music itself is more Grateful Dead, this is particularly evident in the instrumentals. My god the instrumentals on this album suck. They just go on and and on and on, just unending guitar jamming over bare bones rhythms, so dull. The keyboards may as well not even exist all they do is hold down some notes while guitar rambles. I think this is quite at odds with the Canterbury Scene, a sub genre known for its spectacular keyboards, aka fuzz tone organs. Additionally, a janky flow between sections is nowhere to be found, the songs are long but don't really change. Furthermore, tracks like Astrognoght sound like the Rolling Stones, like rock. The Jazz is nowhere to be found, neither are the classical/avant- touches. Sounds like The Litter but with British accents.

Overall the album is okay, I think it is more Progressive Psych and would appeal to fans of that. For me it's too sparse, pretty much the entire time my ears are begging for the keyboard to do more then the bare minimum. The band underplays so bad it's insane, 10 minute long songs without any buildup because everyone plays like their finger are wet paper and the singer tries so hard to copy classics all I can hear is how devoid of inspiration Moom is.

Canterbury Sound Score 3/5, they try and the vocals may be meh but their on point for a lot of the album and their using more or less the right instruments.

 Toot by MOOM album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.23 | 18 ratings

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Toot
Moom Canterbury Scene

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars The story of this English band officially starts in 1992, when guitarist/singer Kristian Hartridge got back to Northampton, after spending sometime in Birmingham, to meet with old friends Andy Fairclough (keyboards), Greg Myles (drums) and Jim Patterson (bass), at the time playing with a band called Medicinal Compound.With Rob Falmer joining on guitar and Toby Kay on wibble noises they spent their saved money to the recordings of a cassette in 1993.They visited The Enid's Robert John Godfrey local studio and the cassette was titled ''Helicopter tortoise collection''.The band then made a gig in London, gaining some fame in magazines and drawing interest by the Delerium label.As a result their 93' cassette was relaunched in 1995 in CD and LP formats under the title ''Toot''.

Moom had desbribed themselves as a THE GRATEFUL DEAD meet THE SOFT MACHINE ensemble and they made quite a nice statement, as in ''Toot'' they combined some sweet psuchedelic and acid tunes with soft jams and lovely jazzy plays, which always have a certain 70's atmosphere.You wouldn't call them actually a full-blown Prog band, they were more of a Psychedelic Rock group with strong jazzy components, keeping tight links with the Canterbury scene and the smooth, jazzy lines of CARAVAN and HATFIELD AND THE NORTH.You should also add some strong Funk aesthetics in the process plus some of the late-60's Psych/Pop moods of the early Canterbury bands.The superb vintage attitude comes not only from the band's main influences, but also from Andy Fairclough's exclusively analog keyboard equipment, comprising of a clavinet, an organ, a Rhodes piano and a Moog synthesizer.First few tracks of the album are rather smooth with mixed funky, psychedelic, jazzy and poppy vibes, sweet melodies and a strong British flavor in vocals and sounds, occasionally becoming energetic through some sporadic interplays and jams, especially via Fairclough's great keyboard themes.After the half the album becomes very progressive with a pronounced jazzy and Fusion approach,, leading to long tracks with extended instrumental fests and a richer sound overall, while the band never moves away from the elaborate style of Canterbury/British Psych music.The two long cuts feature also some of the best guitar work executed by Kristian Hartridge in the album.

A must-have for all lovers of 70's British Psych-flavored music and the Canterbury scene.Sweet musicianship with intense vocals, soft interplays and endless moments of jamming and jazzy semi-masturbations.Recommended.

 Toot by MOOM album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.23 | 18 ratings

BUY
Toot
Moom Canterbury Scene

Review by Guldbamsen
Special Collaborator Retired Admin

3 stars Hatfield resurrected!

When one thinks Canterbury, well at least when I think of Canterbury bands, I associate them with the 70s - preferably acts with either Dave Stewart, Hugh Hopper or Pip Pyle in 'em. So when I come across a new(ish) act that wields some of the same characteristics as this wonderful scene that I have come to adore like a long lost slipper, then I brace myself - I naturally set the bar high, even if that is a thing, that is bound to get me into trouble.

First of all, let me get one thing out of the way: If you're sitting out there with an abnormal quench for Hatfield & the North but have run out of cds to play - then throw away everything that's dear to you and place your order for this album straight away, because Moom are surely one of the few newcomers to the genre that successfully builds on that highly whimsical - yet eclectic sound of yesteryear. It is uncanny just how good this record makes you feel.

The vocals are very close to those of Richard Sinclair. They're smooth, gentle and lingering in all the right places. Okay maybe they don't exactly hit those same heights, but at least they wander loosely around some of those quirky and slightly bizarre lyrical themes as you'd hear in both Caravan and Hatfield. I mean, this album sports song titles such as: The Crocodillian Suite and the rather quaint I Can't Remember The '60s...I Must Have Been There. This is surely not music composed for auntie's funeral?

Here's some of my favourite lyrical moments, taken from the track The Void is Clear:

"Sausages sizzling in a frying pan, In jumps the bacon to do what it can, To oust the sausages from the pan"

and the one that keeps popping up in my head in times of immense pressure

"Strange to mention my helicopter tortoise collection, Get off my land before I fly away, Good woman, speak to me only with your breasts, And Sarah...Have you seen the pess?"

Luckily the Brit styled humour also seeps into the surrounding music. There's a distinct whimsical laissez faire approach to the guitar riffing, the funny and jumpy keys that at times portray a sound not unlike the school-yard girl with ponytails playing tick-tack-toe. For music that is supposed to be something serious and grown up, at least when you incorporate such spell-bindingly beautiful guitar solos as you'll find on here, the feel of the whole thing sometimes seem totally uncalled for, which is one of those things about Toot that I really treasure.

As all Canterburian offers, the music is based around a certain playful take on jazz fusion, although Moom can be seen as one of the more melodic entrepreneurs inside the genre. No National Health in sight people! They carefree jump from the nonsensical verses into crazy percussive bridges with the underlying bubbling organs, for then to break out in the occasional white boy reggae style. Yep I do hear some ska-like sections here, that not entirely unlike those you'll find in The Police's latter day material adds that fun boy attitude to the music - making you stomp, dance and jump like mad. Best to keep in mind that this music, above all, is about having fun!

On the other side of the equation, we have those few sections that grip a hold of your breath, wig and toes with the odd spine-tingling guitar solo - or perhaps the ethereal wonder of The Higher Sun that just grows wings at some point during the track - ending in some sweet vibrating from a reverberating didgeridoo. Just heavenly.

So why the 3.5 star rating, if everything is that well-played and put together(because believe you me, these guys can play - and to top it all off, they furthermore had help from The Enid mastermind Robert Godfrey with the mixing and other such studio fiddling)? Well, I might be a bit rough with these guys, but the remarkable parallels between them and the classic Hatfield & the North don't exactly score points for being original. Plus - there are places in this hour long offering that I personally would have cut - such as the last track, which coincidentally also is the longest with its 13 minutes. Again we're talking fine trimmings and minuscule tweeks, but combined it does rob them off that fleeting 4th star. A shame really, because the rest of it is loads of fun and right up my alley.

Thanks to saltyjon for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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