Moses Boyd @ Headrow House 05/03/2020

Moses Boyd, the two-time MOBO award winning drummer and producer, played at Leeds Headrow House on Thursday the 5th of March. He came to Leeds off the back of touring around Europe earlier this year, on a tour that celebrated his latest album, Dark Matter, released in February. Boyd is part of the current emerging UK jazz scene, bringing influences from other genres such as dance into his music.  

The gritty nature of the album was certainly reflected in his performance, but his performance was far from a replication of the album. This was because of the improvisation by each band member (on the keyboard, saxophone, and guitar), who were clearly playing with uninhibited freedom. The highlight of the performance was from Boyd himself who single-handedly captivated the audience with an extended solo. Seemingly with ease, he was able to switch beats, leaving the audiences heads bouncing, even at the point when he was playing so quietly that it seemed almost impossible to hear him. 

Boyd let his playing do the talking, only introducing himself and the band halfway through the performance. The first half of the show had a masterful intensity, with nonstop playing and overwhelmingly chaotic interludes between songs, which was capable of giving the audience goose-bumps. Credit also has to be given to the dazzlingly light show, which added to the edgy atmosphere, leaving the artists barely visible for the first part of the show and the audience totally immersed in the music. The second half continued with soulful grooves and solos. 

Boyd finished off his set with his most popular song  ‘Rye Lane Shuffle’ from his previous album, which was met with the largest response of the night from the crowd. The song topped the performance off in fitting style, merging jazz with dance and improvisation to take the track to a new level. 

Matthew Scates