Venues – Local Gigs

Photos by Ian Nichols, montage by Amy.

“Four young girls in masks. Not something you see every day. But then again, Mooz aren’t your average run of the mill group. Talented, intelligent and packing enough punch to blow most outfits off the stage, this quartet are destined for dizzy heights. Just don’t label them a girl band. They hate that.” – interview in Decode Magazine, Bristol by Tara Molloy (c. 2001).

Mooz was born in 1998 with their first ever gig at The Louisiana. This gig (see review below) was amazingly awarded gig of the year by Bristol magazine Venue. During this time Bristol’s music scene was ripe and fruitful with so many unsigned, brilliant, creative and supportive bands all working hard to produce new music and showcase their unique sound. 

We made local gig of the year (click to expand)

“… to catch the fabulous Mooz … who in the space of one song become definite Bristol Sound highlights for a packed room. Slinky, minimal funk grooves a la Gil Scott Heron blur into piercing guitar abuse on beautifully written future-funk-punk tracks like ‘I’m not a Woman’ and ‘Man With Microscope’. The all-girl quartet swap between a variety of instruments including cellos and even didgeridoos to deliver a stunning set that recalls the aforementioned GSH as well as Talking Heads and Polly Harvey. That doesn’t really do them justice in retrospect but it might entice more to go check them out. A must-see.”  by Cris Warren, Venue Magazine, 1998 – Bristol Sound Week Weds 14th/Thurs 15th October.

Review of gig at The Cube, 2002 (click to expand)

Bristol was the place to be for music culture and at times felt like one big happy family! There was a huge amount of support for one another attending each other’s gigs and album launches etc. Artists such as Chikinki, Big Joan, Gravenhurst, Geisha, Caroline Martin, Rita Lynch, Morning Star, Bucky to name a few. During the early 2000’s Bristol was home to many live music venues including the Colston Hall (now called Bristol Beacon), The Fleece, The Cube Cinema, The Croft, The Louisiana, The Thekla, Fiddlers, The Folk House and the Trinity Centre. 

Ashton Court Festival (Bristol Community Festival) was like an annual showcase for up-and-coming acts and the magazine Venue was the main source of up-to-date gig listings and reviews. 

“One of my favourite ever gigs was supporting Horace Andy at the Trinity Centre in Bristol. We spontaneously decided to paint our faces before going on stage with a variety of make-up styles – geisha (Paula & Rasha), clown (Jess) to tribal (Amy), some of us with wigs. We boldly stood on the stage in front of a full crowd. Jess announced our first song “this one’s called PMT” and we burst into a chorus of rock-rhythm grooves and primal screams, shocking the crowd into opening their eyes and ears to what was evolving in front of them. Listen to us – we mean business!” – Paula

Mooz played shed loads of gigs between the years of 1998-2003 with possibly their most favourable venue being the Louisiana as it had the best sound, friendly sound technicians and intimate supportive crowds. Mooz’s final farewell show was in September 2003 at the Croft. Our all-time gig highlights include, Glastonbury festival 2003, Avalon stage, Edinburgh Fringe festival two years in a row, Radio 3 live session, Meeting Roni size at Glastonbury festival 1998 on the Sunshine stage and our album launch of ‘The Wheel that squeaks the loudest…’ at the Folk House in 2002. Playing in Egypt, touring in Greece with the greatness of the magnificence, Many Ashton court festivals, Cube gigs and playing among other all-female acts.