Maybe I’ve just been going to the wrong gigs lately but this crazy little subterranean soiree was how I’ve always imagined a rock’n’roll show to be – a sweaty, seething moshpit spilling on to the stage from where a hell-for-leather frontman presides over the bedlam on the understanding that the whole operation is only being held together by a communal desire to blow off the cares of the day to a righteous rocking soundtrack. Not bad going for a group who don’t even exist.
The Moonlandingz ****
The Moonlandingz were first imagined into existence by Sheffield electronic outfit Eccentronic Research Council as the favourite band of the demented narrator character on their concept album Johnny Rocket, Narcissist & Music Machine… I’m Your Biggest Fan, with Maxine Peake playing said stalker fan obsessed with said frontman Johnny Rocket.
Thanks to their unfettered, freakbeat incarnation by members of London punk outfit Fat White Family, The Moonlandingz are now the most entertaining manifestation of a fictional band since Jarvis Cocker and Radiohead donned the robes of Hogwarts’ fave raves The Weird Sisters and unleashed similar frenzied scenes.
It was barely a stretch for the loveably incorrigible Lias Saoudi to let it all hang out as the shirtless, charismatic Johnny Rocket, invading the crowd and calling for Buckfast, as if the set – all propulsive variations on Velvets/Cramps/Iggy-style garage punk and psych rock with a side order of vintage analogue electronica – needed any more kick. Even their token “ballad” generated more heat than most “real” bands’ entire sets.