Sometimes you have to see a band live to understand what the fuss is about. The Moonlandingz (playing at The Haunt) being a case in point.
Having come highly recommended from trusted sources, in all honestly we were a tad disappointed on first listen on record (well, Spotify…) and had muted expectations of this gig.
First indications of big things to come came from speaking to a couple who came down from Manchester for this show, eager to stand at the front (all 6’4, cheers buddy!) – spouting promises of the best showmanship going.
The Moonlandingz are a ‘supergroup’ born from the flames of Fat White Family and The Eccentronic Research Council.
Heeding the words of our new Mancunian friends, we were not disappointed when frontman ‘Johnny Rocket’ (aka Lias Saoudi) stormed onto stage in full drag, looking wild and unhinged. We’re assured this was a tame entrance – Saoudi frequently dresses in food (think ham earrings and baguette-strapped arms).
Played live, the record expands on its promise – a ferocious wall of noise, driven by stunning basslines and wildly imaginative synth. Maired O’Conner provides the ice to the fire around her on stage – looking cool as fuck with a nonchalant thousand-yard-stare that melts hearts.
The audience interaction was intense throughout – moshes and singalongs as standard – but taken to the next level when one unexpecting punter was literally dragged onto, and then around the stage by Saoudi before being dumped unceremoniously back into the crowd (It’s fine, he clearly loved it btw).
SOURCE stayed right down the front throughout, and left drenched in sweat and exhilarated. Speaking to other punters afterwards, it is clear that there is a true love for the distillation of the punk spirit, raucos’ led rock’n’roll, synth-pop sound – all neatly packaged in a little black dress.
If you get the chance to catch them do – but maybe don’t wear your best clothes.
The Haunt, Thursday 13th July 2017
Words and photographs by Ashley Laurence