Lovely to pop into the St Moritz Club and be greeted and hugged by Max Mitch. This lovely chap is the man who was a permanent fixture of Alley Cat Denmark Street. Max was the last music promoter/DJ standing on our historical music street and I’m so pleased he’s still holding his torch extremely high! Max is now regularly putting on nights and djing at the St Moritz every Saturday.
Better still it was great to see the talent that is Joe Moss performing solo with bass guitar and electronica backing live loops. His music is an alternative mixture with solid textures finely laid over synth and smooth bass that enhance his solid vocals.
It was a real treat for Joe to invite us over to his gaff in Islington for a cuppa at Katsute100 (meaning ‘old times’ or ‘once’) Japanese tea rooms. Scrumptious tea and green tea crepe cakes (to die for!!). We also had the privilege of meeting Joe’s cat Keith who in my opinion is one of the most stunning rock n roll cats I have ever laid my eyes upon.
Joe tells me “I originally started in a rock band that eventually parted ways which eventually led to me meeting a Taiwanese girl Mi-Shan who is a keyboard player. We decided to become a duo and I guess you could call this my happy accident”.
”We basically decided to take the music in that direction as that’s what the two of us could do together. So her contribution was the keyboards. Instead of going to look for another guitar player and taking it back to a more conventional guitar based rock band we took the risk of going out there on our own to see where it would lead us with what we just had.”
I asked Joe what were his thoughts of two piece bands and their impact “You can create a lot of clarity within a song through that context. It’s also a lot more unusual too. On the other hand you can have a huge band but they don’t always bring such a huge sound even if there is a lot of them. The synth concept that we had was we didn’t want it to be too synth or too electronic but to still keep a rock aspect to it with my bass so that’s why I use synth loops and various effects on the bass to give it some of that weight.”
Joe writes all of his own material. He incorporates his set with fairly old and new songs. Each piece for me has an exquisite timelessness which takes you on a electric/rock futuristic journey. Joe’s music has been played on the dance floors of Japan and I can imagine the Japanese loving his music and his style. Everyone at St Morritz enjoyed his set and Rizer will keep you posted with his up and coming gigs.
The music he plays is clear and concise. His outlook on life is caring and he shares the same passion as Rizer that music in London must be kept alive through independent outlets and everyone/venue/promoter/artists should be coming together more and more and making a statement. Let’s not let these greedy property developers rape London of its identity especially in the arts. As Joe quite aptly points out “the developers have been raring to get their teeth into Denmark Street for years. It’s a last bit of old shabby London that people have been waiting to pick over the carcass of!” Rightly said Joe and thank you kind sir for a lovely afternoon!
Words Celine Hispiche
Photography Jeff Moh