Starship 109

Mistral had prize of place in my latest long mix – Psychodelidisco, with that strange chilly Spanish guitar / space disco hybrid featured on ‘Jamie’ and ‘Starship 109’. Proving that sad lonely dance tracks about distant space hardware were not invented by RAH Band (but personally that was actually my first experience of space disco, probably more ‘space synth’ or ‘synthwave/synthesiser dance’ then), the video has all the usual suspects:

Silver makeup and clothes with Gary Glitter shoulderpads and deely-bopper headgear and/or repurposed motorcycle helmets? Check.
Flashing lights and cheap greenscreen keying effects? Ditto.
Bored-looking band and strangely missing member (Mistral were a 3 piece plus female singer/s, the synth player is missing here, maybe he didn’t fancy the silly get up?) – check.
Random miming woman who probably is doing a Boney M and didn’t sing it? – Yup.
Random ‘Space: 1999’ model? HELL YEAH. No idea what the Poundship Enterprise was before, that one that looked vaguely like a knock-off Star Wars X-wing, but with Sky Sports installed?

I think the 3rd generation of Star Wars fans don’t realise how tacky and badly made most of this was…that during 1977-79 everyone and their dog was making space disco or space videos, and it looked like it. I have no idea why in 79-81 it went all Latin though – you know, El Lute/Consuela Biaz – Boney M, Fernando and Chiquitita – ABBA, all those frigging panpipes…

Oddly one of Mistral, Robbie van Leeuwen was one of the founders of Shocking Blue, and produced these singles. Sadly listening to the later ones, I think they peaked after those first two and some rather nice instrumentals.

Also if people crop footage to 16:9 I wish they’d not crop close to heads (bugbear of mine), this is a bit of a mess but it’s least in the original format, although something went wrong at the start, or maybe she missed her cue?

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