The Frankie Machine MP3 Blog of Choice

Friday, September 08, 2006

Best Gig I Ever Done See #1 - Man Or Astroman?

Man Or Astroman?
The NarrowBoat, Nottingham Sunday 4th September 1994

I had an idea to try and document some of the best gigs I ever saw, so that my tired & frail memory can concentrate on some of the more important things in life (like where I left my car keys). I was reminded of this stunning idea when I stumbled across some footage of the mighty Man Or AstroMan? on the old YouTube from 1994. The gig here is in Edinburgh, but it's so EXACTLY how I remember the gig that I'm pretty sure it must have been the same "Your Weight On The Moon" tour where I saw them in Nottingham at The Narrowboat (now flattened and probably a car park or something)

I have to admit to only owning ONE of their records - a cute 5" vinyl single, which I bought primarily for novelty value (in fact I own three 5" vinyl singles - the others being by Big Black and the Edsel Auctioneer)..because if I'm honest their recorded music doesn't really bear repeated listening chez Frankie. Live however, I would go and see them play every week if i could..

The two things that set Man Or Astroman apart in the world of the Surf Guitar Instrumental Combo are their stunning live shows and their rather daft attempts to pretend to be NOT OF THIS EARTH.

So anyway - the gig - the upstairs room of The Narrowboat was small and rammed - I didn't quite know what to expect, but they blew me away. Projectors showed Sci-Fi movies while the band played, and there were backing tape audio samples between songs..the members hid behind silly names like Birdstuff, Coco The Electronic Monkey Wizard, Dexter X & Starcrunch and they just didn't stop moving around the whole time. At one point Coco put a hollowed-out TV Monitor on his head like a spaceman's helmet and ran out into the audience, dancing round nutter from another planet..

Anyway - watch the film cos it catches it better than I can ever describe (watch out for the keyboard players brutal extension of the Jery Lee Lewis technique towards the end..)

Also on YouTube there is a hilarious interview with the band from 1998 when they went on tour claiming to be Alpha Clones of the original members.
Straight faces are kept almost throughout..

Man Or Astro_Man? Official Site
Destroy All Astromen (live CD) on Amazon


  • At 6:54 PM, Blogger KS said…

    Actually the Clone Project bands really were not Man Or AstroMan? members. There were three of the bands, Alpha, Beta & Gamma. The Gamma band was all female. I believe that one of the other clone bands was actually Johnny & The Shamen.

    There were Man Or Astroman? members on the clone tours though. They manned the t-shirt table.

  • At 8:55 PM, Blogger Richard Gibson said…

    I saw Man or Astroman at The Garage, maybe 98 or 99 - it was an excellent show.

  • At 9:57 AM, Anonymous Rob Lab said…

    They are also my number one gig experience.

    And in my own hometown vic inn too. They HAVE to be the best if they make the vic the place I saw my fave gig ever.


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