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Spalien Acecraft: Back on Grolid Sound
Published on Sunday, 16 May 2010

Spalien Acecraft are going all-out for the label “space oddity”. Their thoroughly entertaining show is so out of this world that it’s hard to know where to start.

The premise is quite simple. Spalien Acecraft are a band, fronted by Johnny Acecraft, who were abducted by aliens from a sleepy Sussex village. These evil aliens had their own band – but it was rather poor, so they forced the poor Acecraft siblings to perform in place of them by possessing their minds. Now Spalien Acecraft have escaped and voyaged back to earth in their spaceship (which just happens to be powered by enthusiasm) to tell us all about the miracles of space.

At least, I think that's what the show was about.

The costumes, make-up and set are low-budget but full of fun. The songs are catchy, and twinkle with imaginative word play. The banter between the tracks is fresh and zingy. But despite all these entertaining individual elements the whole never quite came together – and I just don't know what this show was trying to be. Were they a band with a fun gimmick, or was it a musical?

In truth, it felt most like a Saturday morning cartoon: a band, from space, who are all siblings and sing songs about the stars while evading the bad guys. But this exact plot didn't really emerge, even though the start of the show seemed to promise it.

In the end I felt a bit disappointed that Spalien Acecraft had taken a weird, interesting, fertile premise and then not really done anything with it except be relentlessly surreal. But I did get to smack Johnny Acecraft on the bum at one point in the show (the joys of the front row aisle seat), so I can't say I didn't have a good time!

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FROM OUR ARCHIVES

These are archived reviews of shows from Brighton 2010.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to performers, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.