LIVE – Thurston Moore at the Exeter Phoenix, 18/05/2015

The opening moments of Thurston Moore’s set at the Exeter Phoenix – the eighth date of his current UK tour – seemed shaky to say the least as the 56 year old Sonic Youth co-founder, having forgotten his music, meandered on stage only to amble straight back off again leaving a confused audience nervously twittering under their breaths. They needn’t have worried though. Proving that glossy showmanship and chucking yourself around the stage really doesn’t make a stonker of a show, Moore and his Psychic Neon Band were kings (and queens) of cool as they ploughed through a one and a half hour set of only eight tracks with all the endurance and consistency of seasoned distance runners. Dodging the monotony of a marathon Moore set up an Octathlon of events, as tracks like ‘Speak To The Wild’ – already eight minutes on the album – were lengthened to a subtly anthemic and unexpectedly catchy fifteen minutes, while the more melancholy ‘Aphrodite’ or the closing and comparatively punchy ‘The Best Day’ kept things varied. All held together by a central skewer of recognisable sprawling, warping rock guitar intervals and the droll wit of Moore himself, this gig proved that slow, steady and seasoned wins for a goddamn good reason.

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