October 21st, 2005
The Met, Bury, UK
Photos by Lee Giles (taken from the Molly Bloom website)
At the end of their lengthy instrumental encore
Molly Bloom vacated the stage to rapturous and
sustained applause. The crowd continued to demand
even more as the house lights were lit. Molly Bloom's
unique brand of music had won over many more
admirers during the course of their set at the sold
out Bury Met.
I had last seen Molly in 2004 operating as a three
piece band featuring S.Dundon on flute and vocals
Tyrion (Terry) Moses on acoustic guitar and Derek
Smith on Mandolin and bass. I had left that concert in
awe of their performance. Before setting out for the
Met I wondered if such a memorable performance could
be matched or exceeded. I was not to be disappointed
The concert at the 'Bury Met' marked the return of
Molly Bloom to their home and was a much
anticipated sell out event. For this concert, Molly
Bloom had reformed as a five piece band to be
reunited with players who featured on their debut
album Molly Bloom. Danny Ashberry (keyboards and
accordion) and Christian Jacobs (drums).
The gig began with smoke effects, taped music and
visual images projected onto a screen above the stage.
The use of these effects had the desired result
providing an atmospheric back drop to the emergence of
The opening number was surprisingly the unrecorded
Dare ya. It had many of the ingredients that make
Molly's music so satisfying. The secret of Molly's
success is that they can use aspects of conventional
song structures, for example a hugely sing along
chorus in Dare ya, but yet make each composition
totally unique with, virtuoso playing, inspired flute
riffs and changes of style and tempo.
Choosing an unreleased song as an opening number
typified Molly's exciting approach to their music. The
set was to include a further seven unreleased and
unfamiliar songs. It was refreshing to witness a
band that was confident enough in the strength of
their compositions and was prepared to put so much
unreleased material into their set.
The remainder of the songs performed were
familiar having appeared on the Molly Bloom CD.
There were many highlights during the performance. The
strongest compositions on their debut CD, sounded
even better live. These stand out songs If,
Bullets and Blood. featured accomplished
performances from all members of the band. In
particular Dundon's flute playing added superb
His breathy flute technique in Bullets was similar to
the style made famous by Ian Anderson. Dundon's
excellent flute work was a feature of many of the
Guitar player Tyrion Moses kept a low profile at the
back of the stage. His playing was flawless and was at
times breath taking to watch. He played an acoustic
guitar which was linked to various effect pedals and
devices. The sounds he produced underpinned and added
depth to all of the bands compositions.
He was easily able to play in a rock distorted
effects driven style and within the same song
adding beautiful acoustic guitar lines. This was
particularly evident in the Leonard Cohen influenced
song Bullets during its slow introduction and
Molly's music unusually often features the
accordion. The playing and contribution of
accordion player Danny Ashberry was appreciated by
all. Ashberry and Dundon alternated as the focus of
attention of the band sharing vocals when necessary
or as solo vocalists. Both sang well and were dramatic
in their approach to performing. This gave the show
a further dimension.
Visually the band was very exciting to watch. Bass
player Derek Smith often took centre stage and
his nimble playing was matched by his energetic stage
presence. I enjoyed the instrumental Molly Bloom
where the rhythm section were outstanding This
Jethro Tull like song featured some great interplay
between accordion and flute.
This outstanding concert ended with the crowd pleasing
50,000 camels. The audience sang along to the words
which were projected on the screen above the stage.
After receiving a standing ovation the band
returned to play a unreleased instrumental piece
that I could only describe as symphonic prog
similar in style to something Solaris might have
written . It was superb.
At the end of the gig the band asked the audience to
buy their CD so that they might go into the studio
to record the new compositions heard.
It is a sad indictment on the music industry that
bands with as much talent as Molly have no recording
contract and as such are totally independent and self
financing. I hope that the tickets sold, CD sales
and interest generated by this gig and will help to
enable Molly to get into the studio soon. Judging
by the favourable reaction of the audience at this
gig any new recording will be eagerly snapped up.
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