Sunday, March 2, 2014

One Weekend, two great gigs: The Orb Sound System/Moisty Atsushi

I managed to catch Dr Alex Paterson, aka The Orb Sound System, spinning some black magic plastic at Meow (bar) in Wellington last Friday night.

It was another one of those nights for a lot of old faces and friends, and the sold out gig had a pretty mean “in-awe” vibe throughout. Paterson doesn’t make it down to this part of the planet very often, and for a Friday night in the capital, he represents an irresistible draw at a great little venue.
Paterson was generous with the length of time he spent at the decks, and his sets were a mix of high bpm techno, Pink-Floydian ambience, and copious amounts of Lee Scratch Perry-led dub. He continually referenced his own Orb work – across all forms of its existence – and generally kept the crowd transfixed as he mixed and mashed his way through the night.

Support came from local heavyweights like Koa (Rhombus) and Redbird Jnr (did I miss Mu?), only adding to the warmth and sense of occasion I felt for seeing so many longtime-familiar faces out and about. It was a really good night, and another small box ticked on any music bucket list I might (or might not) have made …
Sometimes though, it’s the gig you least expect that ends up being just as exciting as the long coveted one. That purely spontaneous in-the-moment set you’ve stumbled across by accident.
On Saturday night I had one such experience, staggering late doors into Laundry on Cuba, where a Japanese guy, one Moisty Atsushi, a young performer apparently enjoying a solo sojourn from regular crew Atsushi and the Moisties (ahem), was playing to a busy and for the most part fully engaged crowd.   
Moisty’s party trick is dressing in a full body “onesie” and playing acoustic rocksteady, ska, and cod reggae. He might not be the most talented guitarist I’ve ever seen, and some of his vocals need (a lot of) work, but I’ve yet to see a more passionately performed live cover of ‘Pressure Drop’ in my puff.
As the owner of a very self-deprecating sense of humour and an innocent childlike stage banter, Moisty might just about be the most er, “enthusiastic” artist I’ve ever seen ... constantly cajoling the audience to “singalong and dance” between songs, and proving as infectious a pick-me-up as anyone could possibly find in the post-midnight hour.
More generally, Laundry on Cuba, with its good vibes, ramshackle appearance, and regular commitment to ska/roots/dub themes, looks like a very decent (relatively recent) addition to the Wellington live music scene.

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