Photos from Beyond the Bunker Launch Party: The Bands

Capping it off was the talent. Paul Sweeney compered like a tight trousered mean thing with a guitar fetish, followed by Ryan Brannon and Paul Rich (the Coldcallers) who played to the back of someone’s head – we will find that person. Straight in and at the exasperation of local residents and the exultation of the assembled masses came the audio blitzkrieg lullaby that are Duke of Marmalade – three lads from Milton Keynes on their first gig in London. To finish off the night, the lyrical and gutteral guitar strands that are Skyskratcher – headed by chief sound engineer Jude Benjamin – who brought everything to an astonishing crescendo and finished the night with a massive bang!! All round a top night and honestly too small a venue to contain these bands. So now its onwards – either a bigger venue or playing them each one gig at a time. Sadly, no images of Skyskratcher – not sure why but otherwise Imogen Banks captured the rest beautifully.

Paul Sweeney having a 'special man moment' on stage.


Coldcallers (Ryan Brannon and Paul Rich) get all accusational


Attack of the Big Hands: Ryan Brannon (of Cold Callers), Steve Penfold (Big hands) and Jeremiah O Connor (outside)


Last minute additions Duke of Marmalade scare the neighbours


Paul Sweeney meets a fan!

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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

Moon Launch: T-Minus 2 Days

With two days to go until the massive launch night for Beyond the Bunker and more importantly Moon 1 I can now announce that we’ve had another review in and its a great one. So much so that they contacted us straight back and requested an interview (which Dan was filling out pretty much all day today and will be available online very soon). How’s this sound….?

‘Overall this is a very British book, from Dan Thompson’s script which winks at the reader without ever coming across as smug to Steve Penfold’s artwork which feels as British as 2000AD while having a distinct style of its own, Moon is a title to watch out for and deserves to become a breakout hit. If Beyond the Bunker can keep up this level of quality they have a very bright future ahead of them…’ In a word, natch!!

Moon 1 will be available with every £5 entry to the Beyond the Bunker / Moon 1 Launch night at the Square Pig in Holborn, WC1V 6NX accompanied by some of the finest comedic and musical acts we could find! If the comedy musical acts of Paul Sweeney and Cold Callers doesn’t elevate your canoe (and frankly that’s massively unlikely) then Sktyskratcher’ll burn your socks right off! We’ve literally covered all ear bases.

Vibrant and poignant, alternative rockers Skyskratcher are nothing if not eclectic. They’ve re-invented the ‘power-trio’, with experimentation at the heart of the band sending him reeling adventurously towards new ideas and new ways of both writing and listening to music (sometmes simultaneously, so if front man Jude Benjamin gets a funny look on his face half way through a section he might be thinking of another way to come at it.
With a dynamic rhythm section they lay the foundations for a harmonic wall of guitar driven songs with colourful melodies, fusing a comprehensive array of influences to something uniquely their own!
Prep your earlobes for audio trips through delicate, whispered melodies, upbeat grooves, flat-out punk skin smashing and Mars Volta-esque guitar lunacy, a level of diversity which have seen them backing a broad range of other bands! A use of live vocal effects and carefully structured arrangements does not stop this band from tearing up the stage every time they play. They are manic, toneful and great to listen to and their playing at the Beyond the Bunker event whether you’re there or not. So it’d be a shame if you miss ’em!

The band’s debut EP, ‘Hearts & Vices’ is available now. Check out Skyskratcher.com for further details!!

Moon Launch: T-Minus 3 Days

Thought this’d be a good time to introduce some of the acts that will be available to you at the Beyond the Bunker / Moon Launch. Firstly Mr Paul Sweeney, Impressario, musician, comedian, lady-like buffoon there is no way to anticipate what type of hair Mr Sweeney will appear with or what filthy monkey-slur might launch from his impassioned silly mouth. A shameless self-publicist with delusions of politeness, Paul Sweeney is perhaps one of the most impressive improvisational wits and whip crack smart tongues on the circuit right now. With a deft collection of silly hats and a penchant for silly noises as well as a tight grip on light humour you know that having Mr Paul Sweeney as your master of ceremonies’ll give your night a sparkle… and a suspicious smear.
The inimitable comedy stylings of Mr Paul Sweeney will now be running the show… … followed by the offbeat musical comedy outpourings of messrs Brannon and Rich a.k.a the Cold Callers. Eclectic buffoonery of the most lyrical order with songs such as the heartfelt ‘Is it Gay..?’, the culturally aware ‘Posh’ and the poignant lunacy of ‘Sheffield Confessions’ topped off with the ‘Generic James Bond Themes’ and the first public play of the new ‘Moon’ theme tune.
Follow both acts on ColdCallers on Myspace and the only page I could find that advertised Mr Sweeney

Ryan Brannon (of Cold Callers) is a true gent and friend to the Bunker. Not only penning the tune Moon but his lady Imogen Banks will be moving about with a camera capturing the entire thing for posterity. Poor old Paul Rich (the other half of the Cold Callers) has effectively met us once and is literally doing this as a favour to Ryan. Can’t tell you enough how awesomely funny their tunes are so find out for yourself on the links above.

Or turn up to the Beyond the Bunker / Moon Launch on 26th March (Saturday – 3 days from now) and collect your free copy of Moon to boot.

Moon Launch T-Minus 5


Okay – with 5 more days to go and thought we’d try out a new flyer/poster for the Moon/Beyond the Bunker launch. In 4 days time the Square Pig in Holborn will be lit up and ignited with the launch of Beyond the Bunker’s flagship title; Moon! As you already know the first review is in from Goodcomics.com and frankly we’re proud to say the response is excellent.

To grab your copy head over to the Square Pig, right next to Holborn Station on Saturday and pay £5 at the door or sign up for guest list at Paypal ensuring you a reserve signed copy and definite entry. We have added an extra act to the proceedings as well with the inimitable Skyskratcher who are helping us rig up too.

Add Skyskratcher to the already massive line-up of the comedy music duo Cold Callers and the Damn Jammage as well as musical and comedy interludes from friend to the Bunker, general global influence and Panda lover Paul Sweeney running the evening as well as a signed and numbered copy of Moon and we are offering you a massive night for a mere £5 entry.

It’s been a long road to get to this point and we have to thank everyone that has got us to this stage – namely Ivanna Matilla, Benjamin Morgan, Paul Wade, Stuart Gould (UKomics) as well as all the bands and folks who have offered their help in putting this all together and all those who’ve shown interest in all this so far – Joe Innes for his amazing review – Sas Stewart for finding us a sound engineer and Jude Benjamin from Skyskratcher for stepping in at short notice. Finally, BTH Architects for funding the first run of books, our parents and long suffering fiancees – and your good selves. Where the fuck would we be without you….?

So see you on Saturday night after 6. Turn up equipped with Ha ha bones, dancing boots and telescopes. More details on the event over the next few days….

Moon Launch!! Moon 1 and Beyond the Bunker Launch Party and fundraiser announced!!

On the 26th March at the Square Pig, 30-32 Procter Street, Holborn, WC1V 6NX the Moon 1 and Beyond the Bunker launch party will be taking place. Not just a standard launch (like NASA’d offer) but a full on party with laid on exceptional live acts with the comedy stylings of friend to the Bunker and Panda lover Paul Sweeney, followed by the inimitable class comedy duet of the Cold Callers and finishing off with the Damn Jammage, fresh from recent gigs throughout London!! All at the sweet Square Pig venue right next to Holborn station!!

Add to that a free copy of Moon 1 with every ticket sold and it’ll make a great night! For £5 you can get a great night out and a limited edition first edition signed copy of the new Beyond the Bunker comic book Moon! Who can say fairer than that. You can book tickets now on the big yellow button below. With confirmation of your details you will be placed on our guest list and assigned a numbered copy of Moon 1 to be received upon your arrival!

Click here to buy tickets!

^^ Buy Tickets! ^^

If you are up for supporting Beyond the Bunker at this event please book ahead using the link button above. This will take you to a secure paypal account specific to this event. £5 in advance will confirm your place on the Beyond the Bunker Launch party guestlist and reserve you a numbered, limited first edition signed copy of Moon Issue 1. Thanks for your support! We’ll see you there!!

 

Please bring your paypal receipt with you on the night so we know to let you in and give you free stuff rather than bust you like a perp!

Panda-monium

Hope you’re all having a rather merry Saturday. Steve and I were a little concerned that you may still be a little traumatised from yesterday’s Friday Film so as a special treat we thought we’d bring you this innocent(ish) little gem from a very good friend of the Bunker’s. Paul Sweeney is a brilliant comedian who is currently in the process of taking over the world and everything in it. This is the video for his latest song, the storyboards for which were produced by our very own Steve Penfold. It’s a fab song and a fab video produced by a fab comedian with a fab moustache – and frankly that’s more fab than even the Thunderbirds had so you better bloody well like it!

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