Trevor Moss & Hannah-Lou met as teenagers in 2003 at Goldsmiths College, New Cross, South London. Following in the footsteps of the likes of John Cale and Malcom McLaren, they would go on to become influential figures in the Brit-Folk revival.
They immediately began to write songs together, performing under the moniker Indigo Moss. After assembling a band under the same name, they cut their teeth at the legendary Nunhead acoustic club ‘The Easycome’, founded by The Hank Dogs, where they were spotted by Simon Tong (The Verve) and were quickly signed to his and Youth’s (Killing Joke) record label, Butterfly Recordings. After some recording sessions with Youth at the world famous Olympic Studios, they went on to record their debut album at Damon Albarn's Studio 13, produced by Tong. Touring with Albarn’s ‘The Good, The Bad And The Queen’, they enjoyed their first taste of the open road, hanging-out and somewhat bizarrely teaching a bit of banjo to Paul Simonen (The Clash) and Eslam Jawaad (The Wu Tang Clan).
Their debut eponymous album was released in February 2007 to widespread critical acclaim, receiving significant national press and radio play. They were ahead of the wave, spearheading what would go on to become called the new-folk revival, opening doors for others to pass through at press and radio with their reinvented traditional sound utilising banjos, mandolins and fiddles, which was at the time a rare occurrence on mainstream airwaves. Constantly informed that banjo music had a ‘glass-ceiling’, Trevor Moss was quoted many times in radio interviews proclaiming, ‘It likely won’t be me, but trust me, someday soon the biggest band in the country, if not the world, will be wielding a banjo!’
In 2006 Indigo Moss performed on the main stage at Secret Garden Party, between Arlo Guthrie and Lilly Allen, before having released any music. Main stage appearances at numerous festivals including Green Man in 2007, a rooftop performance atop the Royal Festival Hall, and an extraordinary show at Rennes Maximum Security Women’s Prison, were highlights in what was an intense yet short lived career. Indigo Moss disbanded in the summer of 2008 as pressures of touring and recording took their toll on a young band in the eye of an increasing storm. With two headstrong young artists intent on maintaining creative control of their music, one morning Trevor and Hannah woke up, now living in a single room above The Ivy House pub in Nunhead, home of The Easycome where it had all began, and decided enough was enough. They called the remaining members of the band, the management, the label, and informed them all it was over. They packed all of their belongings into their little red car and left London, and this chapter of their lives behind them.
Later that year they were married, and with a wealth of songs previously destined for the follow up Indigo Moss album, they continued performing, now simply as Trevor Moss & Hannah-Lou.
Around this time they founded their own acoustic club, ‘The Lantern Society’, upstairs at The Betsey Trotwood, Farringdon, desperate for somewhere up-town to play, in the style of The Easycome. As a tonic to all the intolerable open-mics, shameless showcases and stuffy folk clubs, they wanted to nurture an environment where players could come to create, rather than to promote, to be, rather than to be seen.
They began recording the performances, producing and broadcasting ‘The Lantern Society Radio Hour’, an hour long radio show featuring the very best acts live from the club. Presented by Trevor, with an approach described as; ‘Alan Lomax meets Bob Harris’, the by-product was the forging of a unique document, live from the frontline of a resurgent folk scene. The goings on from their humble wooden stage was sought out by the British Library National Sound Archive for preservation and storing for future generations, where it currently resides.
In the final days of the band they met Danny George Wilson, performing together at The Windmill, Brixton. Trevor stowed away and became a member of Danny And The Champions Of The World. Hannah-Lou would also become a ‘Champ’, touring extensively and featuring on the album, ‘Streets Of Time’ released by independent label, Loose Music.
Trevor and Hannah-Lou had long been fans of Loose Music, and now found themselves stable mates with The Champs, releasing their debut ‘Trevor Moss & Hannah-Lou’ album in 2010, co-produced by themselves along with Danny George Wilson and friend, Romeo Stodart (Magic Numbers).
During their time at Loose they began to nurture their home-made, DIY ethic, releasing a special limited-edition version of the album which included a handmade and stamped packet of tomato seeds, referencing the lead track from the album, ‘Allotment Song’, recalling the view overlooking the Peckham Hill Allotment Society, as seen from their window above The Ivy House. This DIY ethic would come to serve them well.
Unfortunately, without any possibility of making a further record for Loose, they were forced to look elsewhere for a home for the next album. Touring with Fionn Regan as members of The Champions of The World, and opening as a duo, they ran into Jeff Barrett, founder of Heavenly Recordings, home at the time to Fionn Regan. They began speaking about future plans and, despite initially saying Heavenly couldn’t accept any new signings, when Jeff heard about the pair’s plan in the pipeline for a tour of Tin Tabernacles, corrugated iron churches nestled throughout the darkest corners of rolling countryside, he couldn’t resist, and soon they signed the line for Heavenly.
Their album ‘Quality First, Last & Forever!’ was produced by long-time collaborator Richard Causon (Ryan Adams/Tom Jones), someone introduced to the pair by Danny Wilson, with further production by Dan Carey (Kylie Minogue/Bat For Lashes/Lianne La Havas/Hot Chip) and Adem. The album was released in June 2011. While promoting the album their low profile Glastonbury Festival performance in The Crow’s Nest, a small tipi on the outskirts of the site, earned them inclusion on the ‘Top Ten Glastonbury Shows of 2011’ list by the official festival review by Q Magazine.
The Tin Tabernacle Tour was the second in the run of unique, bespoke tours for which Trevor Moss & Hannah-Lou have become renowned. Their tour of village halls had previously earned them a double page spread in The Times. Tours of working-mens’ clubs, by canal boat, and numerous other adventures in their long-suffering classic campervan Namgyal Wangdi (A 1973 Sherpa) have all been captured beautifully on Hi8 by Trevor. The film ’11 Nights Under Tin’ being selected and screened as part of a special revue show back at Green Man Festival in 2011. Their final release with Heavenly was a limited edition 10’ vinyl, ‘Live from the Tin Tabernacle’ recorded on the final night of the tour, now a sold out rarity.
Once again finding themselves without a label, but having gained a wealth of experience both in the studio and from working with some of the finest independent labels in the country, it was time to take matters into their own hands.
In April 2012, armed with only a 4-track cassette recorder and a few mics, they loaded up their loyal camper and headed for Pay de la Loire region of France. Over the next ten days they would roll tape in a little ex-cowshed in the shadow of a crumbling chateau, a far cry from Olympic Studios, where Indigo Moss had begun, in the same room where Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, U2 and The Who had recorded. They would ride bicycles across fields to fill their baskets with fresh bread, play boules on the lawn, and ultimately bring home ten songs which would form the album ‘La Ferme De Fontenaille’.
November 2012 saw the first official release by their very own Anglophone Recording Company, all hand-stamped and shipped out direct from APRC HQ, and distributed only via independent record stores.
Over the years, Trevor Moss & Hannah-Lou have been chosen to open for many major acts, including; Ron Sexsmith, Louden Wainwright, Jools Holland, Beth Orten, The Vaselines and Ethan Johns.
But in 2014 they got the call from Tori Amos to join her on her UK, Europe and US tour. This would see the pair playing to capacity crowds at famous venues such as The Royal Albert Hall (London), The Beacon (New York), The Ryman Auditorium (Nashville), The Fillmore (Miami), The Grand Rex (Paris), and The Greek Theatre (LA).
The Tori Amos tour exposed the duo to a much larger audience than ever before, so they were keen to make a new album promptly. Shortly before embarking on the tour they had done a run of shows with Ethan Johns, famous for producing the likes of Laura Marling, Ryan Adams, The Kings Of Leon and Paul McCartney, to name but a few, who was now touring his own album of songs. Pulling up on the first day in Brighton behind another classic camper, which turned out to be Ethan’s, it would become a tour convoy in the slow lane, but travelling in style. Bonding over damp distributer caps, clicking starter-motors and faulty switches, they became firm friends. In February 2015, Trevor Moss & Hannah-Lou travelled to his home studio in Wiltshire and began recording ‘Expatriot’, which would be co-released by The APRC and Ethan’s own Three Crows Records in October of the same year.
By the time ‘Expatriot’ was released Hannah-Lou was heavily pregnant, and in the small hours of Boxing Day morning, the duo became a trio. Now residing in Hastings, the pair took some time off the road to spend with their new son, taking in the sea air and recharging their creative batteries.
In January 2017, they founded a sister club to the London Lantern Society, which is still going strong in the custody of its third host Gabriel Moreno, after the founders passed the club on to Benjamin Folke Thomas and Jack Day in 2010 due to their intense touring schedule. ‘Hastings’ Candlelit Acoustic Club’ is now the home of the re-launched Lantern Society Radio Hour which also broadcasts on Hastings’ Conquest Hospital Radio.
After the birth of their son, Trevor Moss had decided he was through with performing. Having always favoured life behind the microphone and camera, he had made the decision to concentrate on writing and producing, to stay home and care for their son while Hannah-Lou would recommence touring. Taking up a few local shows in order to test out new material written for her, he soon became lured back into the fold. Playing for a short time with double bassist Tom Clarkson and forming a new duo, Moss Clarkson, he produced an EP ‘The Fairlight Tapes’. Meanwhile Hannah, adopting her Italian family name ‘Hannah Lurati’, similarly released her own EP, ‘The Nursery Tapes’, produced by Trevor, so named as the cot was moved to one side to make way for the cassette machine.
However, after six months of pursuing separate ventures, the spark that had brought them together as both musicians and spirits, which had burned for so long, refused to be extinguished. So once again, Trevor Moss & Hannah-Lou are packing up, the classic camper now replaced by a more reliable family seven-seater, and heading back down that long and winding road, this time with a little extra company.
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