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Blog: Moon Horse Begins

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Mr S Hewitt and I took to the RAILS again last night to head out to Northampton for the WORLD PREMIERE of Moon Horse. As is our TRADITION we did The Words on the way there, getting through Episodes One and Two (you'll see what I mean if you see the show) with surprising EASE. We arrived and checked in to the IBIS - Steve REVELLING in the fact that his status as a Qualified Practitioner of ROCK means that he knows where the IBII are in many towns - and had a DELIGHTFUL hour or so watching The Simpsons. Aaah, life on the road!

We strolled round to The Nook Cafe, said HELLO to Tamsyn, who was putting us on, had a cup of tea, and then PROWLED round the cavernous Fishmarket building running through Episode Three. Part of this was done outdoors on some DECKING, where I suddenly felt as if i was ON STAGE at a THEATRE. It felt GOOD!

Again, we got through it mostly intact, yet still i was WORRIED. What if we did the show and nobody laughed AT ALL? What if they just sat LOOKING at us, thinking "Why are these two old men being so silly? This is rubbish"? We would be DOOMED - we've got the posters printed, the badges are made, the venues are booked and the press releases are sent out, there's no going back now!

On first were The Jack O'Lanterns, a Winston Echo/Retro Spankees SUPERGROUP which usually only ever plays around Halloween. We felt SPECIAL to be treated to an out of season show, and it was BLOODY GRATE - "Sexy Friction" is, i think, up there with the very best of Winston Echo (i.e. ACE) tho I did think they could ADAPT the gig to ANY season. Imagine them all in Santa Suits! It would be FANTASTIC!

And then it was US! EEK! And it was... GRATE! Phew! I made it clear at the very beginning that it would all be a bit ramshackle, and it certainly was a bit THAT, but for the most part we romped through pretty effectively. It felt EXTREMELY STRANGE to be suddenly DOING this thing in front of Actual People, rather than in our "rehearsal space", and also ODD to be in this situation and doing something that was LIKE, but very much NOT Dinosaur Planet.

It also felt a alot LOOSER (in a good way!) than last year's show. By the time me and Steve started performing Dinosaur Planet we'd not only already DONE it for a year as a solo show, but had RECORDED the whole script for the concept album, so it was much more set in stone. Now, I suddenly realised when on stage, it was all to play for, and MESSING ABOUT was ALLOWED! Also also we've got a year's worth of DOING this behind us now, so both feel a lot more confident... which certainly came in handy when we forgot bits and managed NOT to break down and cry!

The best thing though was rediscovering ASPECTS of the show that I'd forgotten were there. When I wrote the Tiddy The Tin Man bits, for instance, i was aiming for PATHOS, but after weeks (WEEKS!) of rehearsing in a silent room I was SURPRISED, also PLEASED, when people reacted to it and went "AAAAAH!" Similarly I was OVERJOYED when people not only GOT the "Broad" "Satire" but CHEERED it, and especially BOOED the main baddy.

Perhaps my FAVOURITE part was when Steve did some ACTING! I was a bit stunned - just before the end he LAUNCHED into it, and i was so surprised that I just stood LOOKING at him when I was supposed to do MY bit. It was ever so good!

It all FLEW by (another odd thing about doing a different show is that it hasn't got the same MILESTONES - I always knew we were just over halfway through Dinosaur Planet when the Giant Robots turned up, but with this one it felt like we'd only been going ten minutes before we revealed the secret baddy, and surely that's nearly the end?

The End: there is a BIG JOKE there that we wondered if people would LAFF at. They did. PHEW!

SO yes, we rather enjoyed it and other people seemed to as well. Everyone was smiling when we'd finished (and not ENTIRELY because we HAD finished) and tho there's probably some PRUNING to do I think it's all going to work out OK. We had another beer and then I headed for home, relieved and rather EXCITING about what is to come. Moon Horse has BEGUN!

posted 17/6/2011 by MJ Hibbett

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