3 Gigs: A Summary

Rig at the Bull & Gate

Well its that time again, the smell of the crowds and the roar of a Ginsters pasty on the Motorway services at 3am.

Our first stop was the Lionheart Brothers gig at the Nottingham Bodega Social in January. Overall it was ok, but it didnt help that we had to set up on top of their backline, so I spent 30 minutes with a Marshall stack up my arse. It so close to me that I could feel it rather than hear it.

Overall things went ok, but it was shaky. We ended the set with a new song, which I’m not against, but it did seem a bit risky. The Christmas break had meant we needed to polish up a bit but the audience seemed bigger at the end of the set than at the beginning so that was something.

Next stop was Hoxton Bar & Kitchen to support Nottingham legends Six.By Seven. Unfortunately my amp had recently been faulty & allthough repaired the previos day….. a problem with noisy FX loops appeared in Soundcheck and I was thus forced to use our HoS backup rig consisting of my Sansamp TriAC preamp pedal through our singers old 1978 Marshall JMP head. The Sansamp is great, but it is reactive to the peculiarities of the amp your putting it through. Distortion was Ok, but the clean sounds just seemd too toppy and lifeless. As we’d arrived horribly late due to traffic, our soundcheck was a panic and…

Deprived of my usual tonal comforts I just played the gig as best as I could, but it wasn’t enjoyable for me. The SixbySeven audience was polite enough, but you could tell we werent really their cup of tea. We also decided to play 2 new songs, which was a risk too far. They seemed to love the first song and the last 2, the bit in the middle??

Then our next stop 2 weeks later was the Bull & Gate in Londons Kentish town. This time we were opening for Brazillian shoegazers Wry, who decided to have the longest soundcheck in the history of man. We even went out for dinner & came back and they were only just setting up the other support bands backline. As I sipped my Guinness & black I began to worry.

However my fears were unfounded, the gig went great, we’d been sensible and pulled back to playing our normal set with added discipline and aplomb. The one new song we played went down great and I even enjoyed playing the one song in the set I dont usually enjoy.

Compared to 2007, my 2008 rig remains unchanged, save for the exra delay line, A TC Electronics ND-1 Novadelay is being used for synchronous delays in “Wish It Away” and to add exta atmospherics in our new tunes.

I still havent forgotten about the £500 Stratocaster challenge, I’ll post an update soon.

Peace Out

A Milestone

Well well

On iTunes and CD Baby now!!!

Finally, and although a year behind schedule, today see’s the release of my bands debut album Comfort in Fear. Recorded in 2006, this album was originally planned to hit the shelves in April 2007, but a few label issues has meant it coming out nearly a year later.

Its a sigh of relief for the guys and myself to see it on iTunes at last, but also a sign of how hard it is to be an independant musician now.

In December last year we sent out our promo copies to the media via a respected PR agent. We’ve had some good reviews (Rock Sound) and some indifferent (The Fly). Buts whats interesting is by giving journalists a sneak peak of the record, it leaked onto the internet several weeks before its release date. Mainly on Russian MP3 sites.

Looking on Last FM, I can see that we have gained many new listeners through file sharing. In a way its a bonus and something that previously never would have happened.

For that I’m grateful, but at the same time I wonder how all these people with 400GB of music on their hard drives actually take in the music? Does it stay with them longer than a week, or is it merely a brief entertainment for a have now generation, who will soon revert to collective attention deficit disorder and be downloading the next new thing tomorrow.

Time will tell, so far the amount of London gigs has doubled over last year and we’ve had some pretty impressive support slots offered. Meanwhile we have the itch to create new music and to also play it live, whilst still trying to remain enthusiastic about 11 songs that we wrote and recorded ages ago.

Its a tightrope alright. But despite the difficulties its our album and thinking back to my past life 10 years ago, when I’d pretty much given up playing the guitar and never imagined recording or playing in a band again. It feels like a pretty substancial milestone and within that I feel a sense of personal victory.