THE year is coming to an end but the start of a new era in the story of Moonlight Zoo is just beginning.

The loveable rogues who call Dunfermline their home have a new face in the four-strong line-up with Lewis Moncur grabbing the bass and preparing for his hometown Zoo baptism at PJ Molloys this Saturday night.

"It's a gig that's become a staple of the PJ's calendar at Christmas, and it's a special night for us to play Dunfermline, our home," the band's Jamie Adamson told the Press.

Moncur's arrival, coupled with new management behind the scenes making room for the group to focus purely on their music, feels like a "turning point", Jamie says.

"Lewis is a great addition and with a new manager in as well, we're all just knuckling down with the song-writing and it's so refreshing having dedicated management taking care of the business side of things.

"It means we can pay close attention to how we're sounding, and we're super tight right now across the three of us - myself, Lewis and John (Muir Jr), with Richie (Sharp) on the drums behind us.

"Our vocal harmonies are on another level; our voices are blending and there's more flexibility, and we're able to showcase that.

"Everyone believes in the music and everyone brings their own unique qualities."

Moonlight Zoo have been key players in Dunfermline's music scene for years - winning the Dunfermline Press Live Music Award in 2015 - and fans of the group will have been saddened by the news of Sean Defrancesco's departure, revealed in July.

Sean, who formed the band with Jamie, may no longer be a performing member, but he remains an "integral part of Moonlight Zoo's writing team," Jamie says.

And from that process new material is on the way, with a new single anticipated for late February.

A new tour - with 12 dates currently scheduled - will also hit the road in the spring, as they "spread the word of the Zoo up and down the UK".

Moonlight Zoo are a well-travelled band, from busking around Europe to winning a $15,000 grand prize in a global competition culminating at the iconic former Paramount Theatre in New York.

Any momentum they were set to take forward from that crowning glory in the summer of 2019 was then heavily curtailed by the Covid-19 pandemic, which brought live music around the world to a shuddering halt.

"It couldn't have come at a worse time for us," Jamie reflected.

"But there's really no point in getting down about that and thinking about what could have been from that point onwards, as we are where we are now and we're all excited at what's to come for us.

"We all have the same dreams and goals and we're working towards achieving them.

"We want to be playing sold-out shows across Scotland getting our name out there to as many people as possible.

"We want to have a strong festival season next year and our management already have us sorted for some, so we have to say a big thank you to them for working on everything behind the scenes and allowing us to just focus on the music.

"That's what we want to do. We may all be business-minded, but that's not our forte.

"With them behind us, we're magnifying our attention on the music, and that's how it has to be."

Jamie, John, Lewis and Richie will be supported at PJ's this Saturday night by Jupiter Strange and Keiran Forbes, who are both "worth seeing by themselves in their own right, so we have a brilliant line-up for this gig", Jamie added.

"We want everyone to have a great time," he continued.

"It's a time of year when a lot of people will be struggling, and you never know what people are going through; sometimes a gig can be the one thing they are really looking forward to.

"Having a few drinks, dancing like a nutter and letting off some steam can make such a huge difference. Music lights your soul."

Some risqué, "out there" covers are being touted for the night, as well as some new songs and fan favourites.

Tickets are available from Ticketweb with doors at 7pm.