IT was only an hour long but if you missed it, you missed out; Songs for the End of the World was sensational. Dom Coyote & The Bloodmoneys produced an audio visual feast as they told the tale of hapless astronaut Jim Walters, shot into space on his way to become the first man on Mars.
The piece is set in a near-future, post-Brexit Britain, renamed New Albion and controlled by a corporation called New Global.
Unfortunately for Jim, and humanity in general, armageddon hits shortly after he launches into space and he is trapped in orbit around the dying planet Earth. With his oxygen running out, all Jim can do is broadcast his songs in the hope that they might reach someone.
This is ‘gig theatre’. I was, unusually for me, in a pub before going to the show and someone asked what I was going to see and when I tried to explain the concept of ‘gig theatre’ they replied: “Oh, you mean like ‘War of the Worlds’” And yes, I suppose I did – but better.
The show was created by Dom Coyote and Michael Vale and draws its inspiration from Philip K Dick’s post-apocalyptic novel Dr. Bloodmoney, Ziggy Stardust, 1950s rock n’ roll and the age of austerity Britain.
The result is nothing short of brilliant, my only gripe would be that it’s too short.
Dom Coyote appeared in The Tin Drum at the Everyman last month and anyone who witnessed that performance will know he possesses a very impressive and versatile voice. His vocals were more subdued than I was expecting (for most of the show anyway) but this performance wasn’t about showing off what a great singer he is – although he was still amazing, just not the vocal aerobatic display that he gave in The Tin Drum.
And it wasn’t all about Dom Coyote – The Bloodmoneys are awesome. They are: Ted Barnes (banjo, guitar, metalophon, melodica and a variety of toys), John Biddle (vocals, piano), Amanda Dal (vocals, drums, bombs) and Milly Oldfield (vocals, Jen synth).
Amanda Dal is an insanely good drummer – my drummer companion was very impressed. John Biddle puts in a very entertaining turn as a horribly right-wing, Mary Whitehouse kind of character while Milly Oldfield is a bundle of energy with great vocals. I don’t normally like the banjo but Ted Barnes changed my mind.
I was expecting the music to be synth heavy but it actually reminded me of The Arctic Monkeys in places – glorious, guitar-driven energetic rock ‘n’ roll. And the vocal harmonies? Stunning.
One of the things that really impressed me was how the band synced perfectly with the visuals shown on the screen at the back of the stage – no mean feat.
This was my first experience of ‘gig theatre’ and all I can say is more please!
After the show we popped down to the hugely popular Everyman Bistro Jazz Club to round off a brilliant night with more great music.
You can read Andy’s chat with Dom Coyote here.