Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Two bland gigs with the fulang

Hope & Anchor, Highbury, Monday 30 March

Two weeks ago we (fulangchangandi) played at the Hope & Anchor in Highbury. It was the first in a series of gigs we booked for March/April which were designed specifically to get us used to playing with each other, in the low pressure enviroment of London's mid-week, small venue, shit gig circuit. I'd already been to the Hope & Anchor to watch ex-pat band El Schlong play, so I wasn't particularly surprised by our experiences there; H&A are booked by Bugbear Bookings, the same company that books the Dublin Castle. In my experience they're great at booking often shit, completely uncomplimentary bands. However while the stage at the Dublin Castle is actually nice to play on, H&A's is cramped, nasty sounding and generally unpleasant. The other bands were so bad myself, Anthony, and a few other derelicts spent the rest of the evening in the nearby park drinking cheap beer.

The fulang playing/faux-practicing at the Hope & Anchor

The Miller, Borough, Thursday 8 April

Basically the same scenario as above, however it wasn't booked by Bugbear. Didn't stop the other bands being terrible hard-rock bands though. However the sound was a bit better, and the staff there were much nicer than the crappy old H&A. It was also the end of the working week for me so I got absolutely slaughtered.

The next blog will be much more interesting, I promise!

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Sam Huxley @ Dublin Castle on shitty Wednesday night

On Wednesday the 18th of March the Sam Huxley band played at The Dublin Castle in Camden. We’d played this venue a couple of months ago (our very first gig infact), and it was pretty good. This time it was a bit crap.

It all started about 2 weeks beforehand when the bands started emailing around about gear. While I wasn’t contributing to the email conversations, I was forwarded most of them from my bandmates. Basically it turned out that no one in the bands had any gear (ourselves included), and if they did have gear, they couldn’t get it to the venue due to temporal and/or financial restraints. Scenes of Nudity (yep that was their name) wanted to hire a bunch of gear, but we didn’t, and neither did the Jonny Cola and the A Grades. We could get enough gear for the bands for free, but it meant that there wouldn’t really be enough time for soundchecks. Naturally we didn’t give a crap about this, though Scenes of Nudity really really wanted to soundcheck, and hire gear. These details were circulated again and again over group emails, with Scenes of Nudity not really reading anyone else’s messages and getting frustrated with everyone’s lack of interest in hiring gear and soundchecking.

By the time it came to the gig, I showed up, the house drum kit was being set up, I asked one of the other bands if I could borrow their snare drum, Anthony’s bass was plugged into a DI onstage, the late-arriving but free guitar amp was borrowed. Cost for Sam Huxley to perform = £0. As we were playing last (and therefore traditionally soundchecking first) and the other bands didn’t have much of a clue what was going on, we enjoyed a nice long soundcheck.

While we were soundchecking, Scenes of Nudity’s hired equipment arrived, which we ignored, and continued working away on our stage levels. By this stage we worked out that front woman from Scenes of Nudity was pretty unfriendly – I figured she was holding some kind of grudge about the previous few weeks email scenario.

So anyway Scenes of Nudity hit the stage first up. All of a sudden the previous two weeks emails made sense. They were shit. They’d obviously never really been onstage much, or ever had any kind of constructive criticism, as they were really fuckin loose, had cringingly bad songs, and looked like plonkers onstage. After doing the polite watching-the-other-bands-on-the-same-bill as you thing for a couple of songs, I felt too uncomfortable and had to leave.

Scenes of Nudity. Apologies for the camera phone photos.

Jonny Cola and the A Grades were a definite step up from Scenes of Nudity, but it’s easy to say that when the bar was previously set so low. They were an average new wave/goth band, with a front man who really liked to get into the overdone theatrical front man feeling lots of pain/his lyrics kind of thing. It was at least vaguely entertaining and interesting, though I must confess I was still in a semi state of shock from Scenes of Nudity.

Jonny Cola and the A Grades

When we got onstage, we played a bit averagely; It was late and Sam’s borrowed guitar amp blew out in the middle of a song. It was a solid state Fender Champ or something similar – bloody useless. Thankfully the frontwoman from Scenes of Nudity lent us her hired amp, and we could carry on the set. While it was really awesome of her to lend us her hired amp, I still found the whole thing kind of funny - especially when we still didn’t offer her any money for it.
Ah what cheap fuckers we are.