Title: Michael Ball stole my moped (The ballad of Montpellier)
Keywords: bristol electronic experimental jazz free jazz improvised music jazz new jazz doom hard jazz intense nightmarish speed stoner Sherborne
I’m not sure who Michael Ball is, but I presume he is the guy depicted on the front cover of this album. I guess googling Michael Ball will broaden my knowledge and answer most of the questions in a few seconds, yet I feel it’s best to listen to this live album without knowing this mister Ball, as I had the slight hope that the actual performed music would provide me with enough answers to find out who this Michael is and why he stole the moped of the two guys of EUH! Even though thieves of mopeds aren’t very popular in my book, but guess what? The music on this album didn’t make me hate Michael Ball at all, as without him doing such a act of a crime (stealing a band’s moped) there would probably not have even been a album like this.
A album that as a live performance felt actually quite composed and sorted out, as if it had been planned or written in the stars. A beginning, a middle, the end.. almost as if it was a theatre production written out to be played on broadway. Don’t get me wrong; this felt really improvised as it was and is going from one adventure into another.. (probably actually telling the entire story of how Michael Ball stole this moped in music form) it also felt as if they exactly knew what they where doing.. as if they had somehow planned these chapters of their story, something probably done to not create any false alibis or wrong occurrences in how this theft had went.
According to my own imagination the story must have gone a bit like this: Michael Ball, steeling EUH’s moped but EUH! had seen it happen and had set in a chase to get back what had belonged to them. You could hear them chasing the moped with their music, you can hear car alarms or perhaps police sirens, screeching wheels making skit marks on the road and eventually Michael Ball being cornered and trying to go for a desperate escape out of EU! their determined claws to get what had been taken from them; not only the moped, but also their respect.
Ball can clearly be heard making a run for his life, speeding his legs through tiny alleyways as he left a broken moped behind while being traced by the duo who are out for revenge. Once EU! got him cornered, the life for Michael Ball looks pretty grim; we can hear him scream through the music, sounds of ‘please forgive me & I won’t do it ever again’.. but the two members of EU! can’t be stopped, they beat the thief up with experimental jazz & noises that will make not only the ears of this Ball bleed. But at the end as EUH! was playing groovy funky drums on the body of the battered thief, they stood up and embraced each other for a friendly celebration: somehow Michael and EUH! realized that all three of them loved not only this moped so much that it was worth going through the hassle , but they also all shared a similar love for making music & you know what? Love changes everything!