(Photo by Hannah Tottle)
If you had to single out one band who had improved and made their mark in South Wales this year then Al Moses would be that band. The first time I saw them back in January they weren’t at their best and the crowd wasn’t exactly enthused. However, by the summer they had found their audience and they played to a sold out crowd downstairs at Clwb. This time they had been promoted to the larger upstairs room and this too was sold out.
Opening acts Red Skyline are in their early days but show promise and the excellent Bandicoot from Swansea got the crowd nicely warmed up and are definitely a prospect for next year.
And then the dry ice appeared and the anticipation began and as the festive orchestral music welcomed the band to the stage the crowd erupted and didn’t let up for the duration of their set. With a solid rhythm section and two charismatic front men Al Moses don’t just create excitement they produce pandemonium. From the opening salvo of “Taxidermy” the band set the pace with hard driving beats, shouty choruses and a full on adrenalin assault. The band have their roots in classic British rock and it was no coincidence that the band paid tribute to the harder edge of the Beatles with a brief appearance of “Helter Skelter” and a brief burst of “Motorcycle Emptiness” by the Manics. There were some technical issues during the night but this was handled well by the band and did nothing to detract from the impact of the performance. By the time the band had finished playing their barn storming new single “I Want More” and the anthemic encore of “He Truly is the son of God” the audience was drained, almost certainly bruised but clearly ecstatic and Al Moses’ place as one of Cardiff’s brightest hopes for 2019 was well and truly secured.