To the sounds of throat singing coming over the speakers, The Moonlandingz, a semi-fictional band fronted by Lias Saoudi of Fat White Family, enter the stage. Saoudi, or Johnny Rockets as he calls his incredibly narcissistic adopted persona tonight, is topless, holding a half full bottle of cheap red wine. Strapped with black gaffer tap around his chin, round his face and above its top, a Greggs coffee cup sits atop his head.
Before the band even seem prepared to start, they’re already into the Interplanetary Class Classics opener ‘Vessels’. If anyone’s heard the album, they’ll know that the tracks can’t easily be measured in terms of lyrical or melodic quality, rather in their varying directions of madness. It’s a fantastic opener both live and on record, creating excitement throughout the crowd. Then, ‘Sweet Saturn Mine’, the most ‘pop’ on the album, sees Rockets swigging his bottle of red, leaving a black mark around his lips, while his strange, chicken like dancing results in the loosening of the coffee cup to the point that the rim is resting, upside down, upon his brow. Undeterred, he continues the madness through tracks like ‘I.D.S’, an aggressive ode to Ian Duncan Smith’s awfulness.
Joining them on this mostly sold out tour is Slow Club’s Rebecca Taylor, who collaborated on their track ‘The Strangle of Anna’, a more sedate, Velvet Underground-y style song, which stands out as one of the albums best. Her vocals add much to the night’s performance sonically and there’s clear chemistry between her and Rockets. The synth player then requests his synths be turned up for closer ‘Man In Me Lyfe’, resulting in a sea of angered yet swirly synths, probably damaging much of the audiences hearing while washing over the sound of any vocals. Rockets comes alive here, appearing bizarrely animated despite the fact that his manic, velociraptor-like screams, compared to the synth, are completely silent. The synths die down and Rockets (with just the top of the cup and a face full of tape left) and co. leave the stage as quickly as they came on. It’s a surreal, Dada-esque performance from the only band around that could, or would, be this eccentrically brilliant.