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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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3.24 | 16 ratings
3.81 | 21 ratings
Bone Idol

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MOOM Reviews

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 Toot by MOOM album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.24 | 16 ratings

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
3.24 | 16 ratings

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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