Live Review: Moja, The Kazimier, Liverpool

Posted on 7 January 2010
By Amy Roberts
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Moja, The Kazimier, 05.01.10

Fucking global warming. You turn up for work in the morning thinking there’s only a small amount of pissing snow about the place, and before you know it it’s 3pm, the city centre is gridlocked to fuck, you can’t get home and the World quite possibly (and hopefully) is taking it’s final nose-dive into climax.

However, this is Liverpool and a bit of pissing snow and a complete and utter lack of public transport doesn’t stop anyone from going out. Even the highly probable occurrence of sauntering arse over tit on black ice, and getting battered by snowball-packing local scallies (and they know how to pack em so it really fucking hurts) isn’t enough to stop us.

And thank Christ, because every bone breaking shiver and public humiliation on ice is worth it to have seen Moja live.

You’ll be forgiven for not knowing a single bloody thing about them, a two piece from Japan who’re only just beginning to create an audible buzz about them. But sweet Christ they’re good.

Drummer Masumi Sakurai, in particular, is a wild, feckless, she-devil on the skins. Her hair thrashing forward like a burst black cloud continuously throughout the slightly short-lived but intense set. Her arms move so fast they’re barely visible – it wouldn’t be unfair to suspect that she’s been exposed to some kind of gene modifying Space rock that’s mutated her body to levels of superhero stature. It’s quite the super power to have.

In many ways Sakurai feels a lot like the front of the band. There’s a deeper lyricism and potency to her performance than there is to fellow bandmate, bassist and vocalist Haruhiko Higuchi. He carries the set well, sure, and his skills on the bass are not to be sneered at, but its Sakurai that you can’t take your eyes of for a second.

The set is explosive and terse. The Kazimier is bloody freezing, and Moja are exactly what the joint needs in order to create enough audience kinesis to keep it above the minus temperature. A triumph of post-rock distortion that veers surreptitiously and subtly towards dance on occasion. There’s elements of drum solo jazz exquisiteness too that rails tunes beautifully off the path you expect them to go down.

Penultimate song ‘Hello’ is forgivably jarring at times, going on for at least 3 minutes longer than it needs to with a chorus that is horrifically similar in lyricism and anthemic repetition to that tune U2 had out a few years back. You know, the one that they used to advertise i-pods with and felt like getting fisted by Bono himself every time you heard it. But still, Moja are so endearing and fucking brilliant anyway that you couldn’t care. It’s just a pleasure to be in the audience witnessing them.

When the set ends, it’s all far too soon. Like a love affair that finishes in the same bed and evening that it all began. The cold’s outside waiting and the World didn’t end. If they could have played for even just half an hour more, the walk back home would have been made all that little bit more bearable. But nevermind.

In short, Moja are well worth getting involved in, and you should do it soon before the NME gets onto them and ruins the whole thing by labeling them up as the new Japanese White Stripes.

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