By Eleanor Stammeijer (@ElStammjam)
27.11.15, Tape London, London
It’s no secret that seeing live music is an experience that, no matter how hard you try, cannot be replicated on-record. After reviewing his latest release Wings earlier this month, I had high hopes for Mozez’s album launch show.
Tucked into a corner of Hanover Square, Tape London was the setting for tonight’s event. Predominantly a nightclub, the venue clearly focusses on making the bar area and surroundings the most appealing, with seats scattered throughout. First up was the double bass grooves of Sian Evans – because who doesn’t love a good double bass? There’s little doubt that Sian’s voice is fantastic, but the mix favoured the reverb-drenched bass, overpowering her voice during some of the quieter moments. The vibe between the band was also rather puzzling, with Sian and her guitarist full of energy compared to the cooler bassist and drummer. Two very unflattering, out-of-place yellow spotlights serve to kill the atmosphere further. Overall, an interesting opener.
It only takes a moment for Mozez to repair the wonky atmosphere left by Sian Evans’ set. It’s always wonderful to see a whole band completely enjoying a performance, immersed so completely in the music that it’s difficult not to admire them. There were a few harmonies added in the opener ‘Feel Free’, and I was disappointed that there weren’t more live harmonies throughout the night. As expected, Mozez’ vocal control was impeccable, and the music had the whole crowd bobbing their heads along to it. I think my favourite thing about Mozez as a performer is the fact that it wasn’t all about him being centre stage. It seemed like a real effort was made to keep the rest of the band in focus; more often than not Mozez would move to the side of the stage and turn to face the rest of the band. His movement around stage was so natural that it didn’t distract in the slightest from the overall performance.
The set was strong, a charismatic delivery of each and every song. Although I enjoyed tracks like ‘Run River’, which had been my favourite when listening to the album, it lacked the depth in a live environment that the exceptional production on Wings had leant it. In future, I feel Mozez could really benefit from having a few other vocalists onstage to support in songs such as ‘Run River’ to create that rich vocal. After seeing him perform some of his songs acoustically a few days previously, it’s easy to tell that Mozez’ voice is powerful and gripping, but with some vocal back-up onstage the sumptuous layers we hear on the album could be realised.
‘Wings’ and ‘Mirror Mirror’ were my personal favourites of the night, where the whole band had complete command of the audience, all beautifully performed. ‘Mirror Mirror’ was especially impressive; although it had one of the least dramatic vocals, for me it was the most engaging with a beautiful blend of blues. I’m positive that the chemistry between the group is what made the set so lovely to watch, and it made it fun to feel a part of it. If you have the chance to see them perform, I couldn’t recommend it highly enough.