The Palace Theatre in central London saw Moby take to the stage with a 9 strong band to perform for the first time an acoustical set of his back catalogue. An idea that may be seen as brave considering some of his more pop-centric and house related numbers. But when you look at music (especially his most recent album) then it makes perfect sense.

Moby sits front and centre sat with an acoustic guitar for the better part of the evening. Occasionally he gets up to have a play on the piano, duties that he shares with one of his co-vocalists. And he has two co-vocalists. One for the moodier, softer, and ultimately sadder tunes, and another for the more bombastic and powerful material. Both ladies carrying the weight of the songs off pitch perfectly. In fact they are simply quite astounding at what they do. But both being quite meek at the same time (One even apologising for ending a song incorrectly – to which Moby chastises her on stage for the apology which really wasn’t necessary).

But let us not forget the Bass Cello, the two violinists, the peddle guitar and a truly fantastic drummer on stage with them keeping all the right moments together and each having their moments to shine throughout the night.

Moby himself is in very good humour – always self deprecating, always ready to through a pun in at the end of a number to liven the mood. At the mid-way point of the show they break up the two hour session with a 20 minute or so Q&A which the audience had the opportunity to contribute to on the way in. Thankfully the interviewer picked out some of the more relevant questions (as British audiences can sometime ask some really daft questions from time to time), but it seems the majority are very much of the intimate nature which Moby has no problems addressing in his full honesty.

Those not in the know discover that after doing a show in Birmingham the night before he literally hoped on a bus for a few hours to then do a 2 hour DJ set at Ministry of Sound.; which might explain why he is so dressed down this evening.
The Q&A ends and the rest of the band re-enter to then get on with an even more impressive second half where they tackle some of the new and old material, as well as the occasional cover song to which then encourage the crowd to participate in, certainly keeps Lou Reed Fans very happy. Taking a “Walk on the Wild Side.”

Moby forever talks and is aware at the length at which he does, but is never a dullard to listen to. He manages to juxtapose the even on a continual and ever interesting basis. The quiet and thoughtful is tempered with the loud and resounding. The sombre and depressing is lived with the wakeful and invigorating.

It all ends in an elongated finish – followed by a one track encore which gets a house ovation, and it’s one that is well earned. Safe to say then that Moby can do some soaring work with acoustic sets and should probably do it again in the future.

Released: Mon 16th Nov 2009