The Half Moon All Stars (named after the Half Moon pub where we rehearsed) was a folk band that played the local Oxford festivals, pubs and cafes between 2012 and 2016.
Usually featuring between 8 and 12 members, it was essentially a small choir with some additional instruments.
And, looking back on it, I think all us band members agree that the rehearsals (every Monday night in the Half Moon pub) were the best part. We’d meet at 8(ish) and rehearse the set fairly casually, and then drink and play tunes and gossip late into the night. (Or some did – I was usually a wimp and went home at about 10.30pm).
Relatively early on, we realised as a band that the social part of it was more important than the music career part. It was no one’s main focus (except mine, and even then only occasionally). Instead it was a slightly more focused and organised way of capturing the best bits of playing in folk sessions locally (particularly the Bastard Session, where most of us met).
Here’s a flavour of what we sounded like, starting with the song we used to start every rehearsal (and gig, usually) with:
‘Let Union Be’
All the YouTube videos (in a playlist)
Live at the Half Moon (on Soundcloud)
Also featuring our friends Jessica Law and Sam Taplin.
If you wanted to get a sense of really what the band was about, and why it’s the most fun band I’ve ever been in, I think this reunion rehearsal (after we split) captures the energy pretty perfectly.
The song is called ‘The Heart Is A Muscle’. And it has actions.