Dark Moon live review - London Fields Brewery, London

Psychedelic saviours entrance the East End

Dark Moon on stage in London
(Image: © James Sharrock)

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Tonight is Dark Moon’s debut album launch, and, as the fates would have it, fellow trippy travellers Purson are playing nearby in north London. Psychedelia, though, is the stuff of abundance, and this fashionably hidden-away venue is already starting to fill up – both in terms of bodies and general air of expectancy – by the time TOUT [7] gather under the various gongs bedecking the stage. The unprepossessing violin-tinged five-piece go for the seductive approach, their pastoral yet cinematic sweeps recalling Dirty Three placed on a gentle motorik bedrock. Background music perhaps, but it’s an ultimately mind-opening experience.

For a band so new, DARK MOON’s [8] ability to draw you into a spacious and fully furnished 360º world is a rare feat. For all her presence, occult-symbol-bedecked frontwoman Lola Ulalume is more medium than haughty high-priestess, setting off gongs to the exiled reverie of Honour, before Dusty Dreams’ mantric groove locks on and takes on a new tribal weight. Tonight, the chemistry between Dark Moon’s ritualised if blues-steeped rhythm section and the ethereal atmospheres becomes a mesmerising experience, be it the gong ceremony of Rainbow Bridge, I Fly’s propulsive ascent into the aether, or a cover of Tomorrow Never Knows. The journey starts here.

Jonathan Selzer

Having freelanced regularly for the Melody Maker and Kerrang!, and edited the extreme metal monthly, Terrorizer, for seven years, Jonathan is now the overseer of all the album and live reviews in Metal Hammer. Bemoans his obsolete superpower of being invisible to Routemaster bus conductors, finds men without sideburns slightly circumspect, and thinks songs that aren’t about Satan, swords or witches are a bit silly.