Moon Launch: All systems go, only one injury

The Moon launch last night at the Square Pig in Holborn went exactly as expected – in that everyone had a great time, everyone had a wicked time, enjoyed the book, the music was monumental and someone was almost killed, the local head of the housing association came to see what the noise was about, the music didn’t work for a while, sound checks involved running between a basement and the main bar, the bar manager came close to losing her mind and there was a threat of anarchists. So standard stuff.

We may have got even more guests before it started as the pub was surrounded by Police vans due to repeats of 150 anarchists (of an estimated 400,000 protestors) moving through town smashing bank and business fronts. Both bands were later than expected, Coldcallers were late because Paul Rich couldn’t decide whether to wear a leotard or not. True. Sweeney called after he was meant to be there saying he was getting on the bus. At 6pm it was myself, Skyskratcher and the bar staff. Jude (of Skyskratchers running up and down the stairs attempting the first multi storey sound check as the sound board was in the basement and the music was in the top bar). Some lads who were passing came in for one quick pint but were just as quickly followed by a lovely family who were meeting someone at the same address who I felt I had to let in. This flurry of activity caused me to miss an old gentlemen who came in, bought a pint for himself and settled into one of the comfy chairs before I’d noticed he was there. At 5.30pm I had guests, none of whom were there for the party, almost no acts, no comic books, no float and the possibility of anarchists. It was shaping up strangely.

Eventually Stephen Du Toit (Costume Designer) and James Eaton (of Roughlee Films) turned up followed by writer Jo Stokes. So we were off, soon to be followed by Artist and possible wizard Simon Rogers, then rampant irritant and possible gypsy king Ben Guibirelli but I had no comic books to offer them for they were with Dan. And Dan was still in Greenwich struggling with a PC.

In attendance (shipping in by Bus) were Paul Sweeney who blew it all apart with some neat asides about myself and Dan and a brief song about Pandas to kick things off, before the Cold Callers took the stage and took the place apart in the silliest way possible. A distortion in the mikes and the close proximity of the bar meant they came over more ‘Tenacious D’ than ‘Flight of the Conchords’ but they still went over brilliantly. They blew us away with a rendition of the Moon theme tune – an amazing translation of the events of Moon 1 that will complement the project for a long time onwards.

Complaints came in thick and fast from the local residents who chose to move in above a pub – a lack of personal responsibility there I feel – and this was only heightened by the oncoming seismic beauty of the Duke of Marmalade, named after a famous horse and with at least as much thoroughbred they tore the place apart with flowing rock even my auntie Susan enjoyed.

As soon as the drums began in the sound check, the bar manager, who was a picture of cool all night, came close to losing her mind. With each additional soundcheck of Bass, lead guitar and vocals it became clear that the rest of block’d be aware of a party taking place. Hilariously, the head of the housing association paid us a visit about the noise however being a producer for Music and TV had to acknowledge they were very good but too loud.

Finally came Skyskratcher, filling in for the notably absent Damn Jammage (I assume they got another gig) finished the night beautifully with exactly the lyrical, guitar waxing and blazing I expected from seeing their work online. Finishing with a bit of flair, Jude Benjamin electrocuted himself towards the end of the set, sending himself reeling to the floor. Shaken up, buzzing a bit and offered a free pint he was sat down on a stall and refused, on basic human protection grounds, not to continue the set though he was determined to do so. That man is a machine. A little, brainy machine god with a penchant for massive guitar riffs.

Amps blew before the start and two of the support for Skyskratcher made a mad dash across town to Crouch End and back again to bring us what we needed to be back before Coldcaller’s set finished. At the start of the evening there was no sign of Dan as he was hunched over a PC at his flat in Greenwich desperately trying to get a DVD containing the Beyond the Bunker video wall film to render. He succeeded, only to be defeated by the in-house AV. But none of thsi made a difference it was an epic night and nothing it seemed could derail it thanks to the efforts of those involved and the brilliant guests.

I have to say a massive thanks to Jude Benjamin (for sound checking from the basement and finishing with such a pirouettic denouement), Paul Sweeney and Drummond Bowskill for the light entertainment, Cold Callers for their beautiful rendition of ‘is it gay’ and apologies for forcing them to cut their set short – I’m deliberately not referencing one of the absolute highlights of the evening as I will be mentioning on the photographic report over the next couple of days. Thanks to Duke of Marmalade for keeping the Head of the Housing Association oddly content and Skyskratcher for absolutely nailing the end of the evening with aplomb and great music. The stage is set for another… watch this space for details.

But special thanks has to go to our respective fiancees, without which, none of this would have taken place. Fi manned the desk and blocked any and all marauders from entering unless they smiled and paid a fiver and Tori has frankly put up with my obsession with Beyond the Bunker for far too many years, including a very late request (1pm on the day), while trying to complete A-level Exams with her students for a mike stand. Both are the light in our lives and if it all folded tomorrow I confidently predict we’d still be the happiest chaps in the world thanks to our beaus.

There is more news coming but its almost completely redundant without a visual or audio accompniment so you will have to wait a little longer updates on how the rest of it went. But needless to say it went brilliantly…. oh, and we sold quite a few comic books – exact figures aren’t in yet… far from being over though Moon 1 will be available from Monday on Mail Order so you can enjoy the Moony goodness in the comfort of your own home, ward, dormitory, cell, lighthouse, tent without the threat of electrocution.

Cheers,

Steve P

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