I saw Moonlandingz play three nights ago at The Cluny in Newcastle, on the verge of the release of their debut album Interplanetary Class Classics, which came out yesterday. I can't say I enjoyed them greatly, although they certainly put on some show. The aura of the great British hype rose off them like steam, they come from a place where Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Sigue Sigue Sputnick, Jesus & Mary Chain, The Manic Street Preachers, Birdland, KLF, These Animal Men, Gay Dad and umpteen others have been before them. A well trodden path.
With a lead singer, (Fat White Family's Lias Saoudi, but here Johnny Rocket), topless and with the lower part of his torso wrapped in cellophane with drawn on sideburns and eyebrows, swigging from a bottle and gyrating and rubbing himself against co-vocalist Rebecca Taylor in all kinds of contortions which verged on the ghastly, backed by a set of stocky blokes from Sheffield's The Eccentronic Research Council, a stern guitarist, Mairead O'Connor and a stage patter that defied explanation. Frankly I thought they were trying too hard and left before they were done.
I am taken by the record though. They know what they're doing. Whereas their stage show suggested The Cramps and The B52's having been sliced and diced and vomited out by a very British blender, Interplanetary Class Classics tells a very different tale. Here you get The Glitter Band, The Velvet Underground, Simple Minds circa Empires & Dance, Joe Meek, the early Human League, The Sparks, Suicide and World of Twist. You get a series of very interesting alternative pop songs, you get Sean Lennon producing, the cowboy from the Village People on a track called, (erm), Glory Hole and finally Phil Oakey and Yoko Ono warbling horribly all over six minute closer This Cities Undone. And trust me, at least 80% of it is very good. Because they clearly know what they're doing. I'm not particularly fussed about watching them visually again, but the record is just fine. Indie trash!