Multi-instrumental, multi-vocalist, multi-hatted acoustic outfit The Loose Moose String Band are known for their impromptu gigs in the unlikeliest of surroundings.
SevenStreets wouldn’t dare to attempt to classify their music – Kierkegaard (or was it Dick Van Patten?) did say ‘once you label me you negate me’ after all – but there’s a healthy mix of ‘bluegrass, old time music, country, rock’n’roll, rockabilly and western swing’ in there too.
There’s a little more to it than though, with a healthy scattering of chart pop given a unique makeover also present in the Loose Moose repertoire, including an intriguing version of Mental As Anything’s Live It Up.
Look closely and you might recognise a variety of notable Liverpool music visages under some unlikely disguises, and there’s no mistaking some serious instrumental ability amongst the fun.
Anyway, it’s Friday, it’s Summer. It can only mean one thing. Loose Moose gone done us a Spotify playlist.
Listen! And then read the Q+A. Or do both at once!
What is a loose moose?
When a moose is on the loose you should be careful! They’re powerful beasts and attack more people than bears and wolves combined – according to Wikipedia. That’s not like us though, although we have been known to be very wild.
What do you do?
The Loose Moose String Band is a collection of like minded music freaks from the streets of Liverpool.
Literally speaking Loose Moose is: Barry Southern on banjo; Chris Marshall on double bass; Nairn Gordon on guitar; Patrick Frost on fiddle; Alan Wright on guitar; and John Daglish on mandolin. Everyone sings.
We also swap instruments occasionally, and rely on the help of some good friends who we call on from time to time.
We line up with the traditional bluegrass instruments of guitar, banjo, fiddle, double bass and mandolin. We don’t just play bluegrass however, we’re also partial to old time music, country, rock and roll, rockabilly, western swing – and some more contemporary music from something called the pop charts.
There’s a bit of a supergroup quality to Loose Moose isn’t there?
You may well have seen most of us playing in one or more other bands.
We gravitated together from being at each others various gigs and playing at festivals together. If there’s music to be played then we’re up for it.
You’ve played some fairly eclectic gigs. Which have been the best?
We’ve played in pubs, churches, gardens, weddings, funerals – you name it, we’ve played it.
The Kazimier is always fun to play at, everybody has a good time, which is what we’re all about, but there was a corporate gig near Heathrow Airport that swore us to secrecy – and we’ve been asked to play at Bestival this year.
Playing the Liverpool Beer Festival this year stands out, and not just because of the free beer.
What’s with the 80s hits?
We’re all children of the ’80s in one way or another and it’s nice to provide a bit of recognition for the younger members of our audience.
It’s almost become a bit of a competition between us as to who can introduce a new one to the line up.
Any unlikely covers that didn’t quite make the cut?
We’ve still not successfully got to grips with Michael Jackson; we’re still grieving.
Do you take requests? We’d like Requiem by London Boys please.
People always ask us for Irish music for some reason, and we were recently mistaken for strippers at a retirement do in Manchester.
If someone requests a song we’re usually quite prepared to have a go as long as someone knows at least some of the words. Not to be picky but we prefer London Nights to Requiem.
Where do you get your clothes?
People often ask us this for some reason. Liverpool has some excellent vintage shops and an ebay search for western clothing will get you the Loose Moose look in no time.
You’re jamming in a New Orleans crayfish bar. Three musicians walk into the bar, order some shrimp, and ask to join you. Who, ideally, are they?
It would have to be Bill Monroe, the godfather of bluegrass; Earl Scruggs, who practically invented bluegrass banjo; and maybe Billy Ocean…
• Listen to the Loose Moose Spotify playlist
Loose Moose are currently resident in the Caledonia on Catherine Street and play every other Sunday. Catch them next on Sunday 15 August.
Loose Moose String Band on Facebook
Loose Moose on MySpace