Moses Boyd @ Nice 'n' Sleazy, Glasgow, 4 Mar

In support of the recent release of his debut solo album Dark Matter, Moses Boyd hits a sold-out Nice ‘n’ Sleazy with exuberant lashings of his superbly intoxicating electronic-jazz fusion

Live Review by Bethany Davison | 10 Mar 2020
  • Moses Boyd

Even before the release of this year’s Dark Matter, south London-based drummer Moses Boyd has been viewed as a frontrunner in contemporary jazz. In his innovation as both producer and musician, his artistry is continually elevating, flourishing with as much vivacity as the capital’s jazz scene.    

With just over an hour of almost uninterrupted, free-flowing instrumentals largely taken from Dark Matter, tonight Boyd and his band indulge in a divine performative freedom that embellishes the evening with a mood of highly engaging, high adrenaline jamming, seeing time lose itself in their musical tapestry.

While at points towards the beginning of the set Quinn Oulton’s sax seems a little off, the rest of his performance is flawless, and ultimately invigorates the crowd’s at-times limited responsiveness. A few indicative words from Boyd throughout the set accelerate this, underscoring his propensity as band leader. The touring band, composed of sax, keys and guitar, feel more like a specially curated ensemble, bouncing off one another ecstatically, while each independently exhibiting their own talents.

Twenty minutes of full and immersive performance leads Boyd into a roughly eight-minute solo, walking in with a delicate dance of snare and cymbals, and exploding into a euphoric full-kit display. When met by the rest of the band there's a sense of elation on stage, Boyd’s expression bringing a constant, infectious cheerfulness. 

Taking a brief pause to introduce his band before launching back into the set with the same unadulterated energy as the first half, it's a wonder the crowd aren't more energetic than they are. Apart from one member of the front row entirely lost in the music, the room feels dormant, though gratuitous and engaged nonetheless. A real sense of community is felt towards the back of the room where people are standing on seats just to try and catch a glimpse of the band.

Answering the habitual yells for "one more tune" Boyd’s solo-drumming is once again met with a fully dynamic soundscape that seals the evening in euphoria. If his recorded output isn't impressive enough, what he brings to live performance is simply epic.