Friday, 27 March 2009

The last temptation of The Mudheads

We really are getting into the groove with this concert lark!

We arrived at the ‘Fight Club’ fully prepped and bang on time.
We set our gear up in record time and we were within the blink of an eye…..’Ready to Rock’.

We then eyed the enormous audience suspiciously. They eyed us back with equal suspicion and with just a hint of aggression.

Now on the face of it, this should be the ideal gig for us. Four hundred or so twenty somethings, all in town to ‘have a good time’. Herds of young women in remarkably high heels and ridiculously short skirts wandered around in packs and kept eyeing us discreetly with that look that suggested that we were not on their list of ‘things they really wanted anything to do with tonight thank you very much’.

This look of distaste was not subdued when we launched into our sound check…..we were loud, VERY loud (more of that later), leaving everybody in a half mile radius in no doubt that we were anything but a fully fledged, paid up, cranked up, heads up…rock band!

With that one of the herd broke pack and tottered up to Aaron and tugged on his shirt sleeve.

What! I hear you cry..had the boy pulled so early. Were offers of drinks and moonlit walks on the cards (his girlfriend might be reading this). Had his heady good looks, inherited from his father I might add, captivated this bright young thing as soon as she had clapped eyes upon him.


She had been assigned by the pack as being the only one that could speak ‘bloke’ and sent on a mission to utter these immortal words;

“Do you play any disco?.....we want to dance”.

Despite the many posters and flyers that littered the venue and the especially large banner that adorned the main entrance way informing all that passed this way that tonight was truly a ‘rock & indie’ night, a large group of office workers had descended upon the place firm in their belief that they would be discoing the night away.

Our first set though left none of them in any doubt that we were about as far removed from said disco as it is possible to get.

That being said, at least two other delegates from the herd were dispatched and were to yell in my ear for requests for songs that are currently in the top of the charts….I can only assume that they must have been referring to songs from the latest hip hop, techno sensation. Either way it got to the point that I had to announce over the PA that “I’m sorry boys and girls, but we don’t do requests”.
At this the herd decided that they must try and make the best of a bad job and set about flinging sorties of about two or three girls at a time bang into the middle of the dance floor in front of the stage, where they would wriggle provocatively, sending their chesticles flying in all directions and waving their backsides at each other in some sort of primitive tribal mating ritual. Then they would fly back off into the relative safety of the herd only to be replaced by another sortie of wrigglers.

It has to be said, that if I had not been there with my son I would have enjoyed myself a whole lot more. Especially as I was trying out contact lenses for the first time and I could clearly see what was going on.

However, in case anybody feels that this resident God botherer has been succumbing to the temptations of the flesh, be assured that having been given a damn good thrashing with the ugly stick at birth, the whiley ways of the groupie have never been a problem for me. I can honestly say that throughout my 35 years of performing live I have only once ever had an adoring fan throw themselves upon me. However, I was already engaged to Aaron’s mother and so I dutifully fought her off, and respectfully declined the offer of a good ‘snog’.

At the ripe old age of……..well lets just say that I am not 21 anymore, I am not about to be so stupid as to throw everything away for the attentions of a cider fuelled Doris in an outfit that would have probably given her father a heart attack should he have clapped eyes upon it.

By the second half of the gig though things were getting a little tiring.

The sound was unbelievably loud as the sound man wanted the music to travel the length of the club to hit the back wall and the entrance way.

That level of noise can become very debilitating after a while and I eventually couldn’t make any notes out from amongst the wall of sound that was crashing into my head. This isn’t a great place to be when you are the singer and you are endeavouring to pitch your voice with the instruments.

I think I presented my self with honour…. However I will never know as all those that were actually listening to us (and there were several hundred taking an active interest) looked as shell shocked as I felt.

As soon as the last note was finished, the herd regrouped and swiftly vacated the building in search of a more ‘disco’ related club in which they could temp the metal of other men who to be honest….had a pulse!!

They want us back….Lord help us!

Monday, 23 March 2009

"Another Caviar nibble Mr Loader?"

My apologies for the sporadic nature of my shambolic postings of late.

As a fledgling Rock God I dreamt of lengthy lie ins having performed at one of my many stadium type gigs the night before. This would of course be followed by a sumptuous brunch in my five star hotel room, with perhaps a manicure or some other suitably relaxing and decedent non activity to follow.

By the time I was in a fit state of mind to face my adoring world, my driver would have arrived to deliver me in style to one of the many radio interviews, album signings, or all factory star personal appearances that I would have to reluctantly fit in before being driven to the BBC for my exclusive interview with Michael Parkinson or Terry Wogan (if you are under 30 years old read that as Jonathan Ross or rather surprisingly, Paul O’Grady or Jay Leno if you are Stateside).

You would then find me consuming slap up cuisine in some 5 star pile in the centre of London being regally entertained by a Hollywood A list celebrity, and then back to my 5 star four poster bed for a good nights kip giving me the strength to do it all over again the next day.

The reality of the matter is (of course) somewhat different.

As young fledgling Rock God, I nearly starved to death in the backside end of some European kingdom, such as Holland (well, not perhaps starved to death, but certainly hungry enough to eat the horse meat we got served on one occasion….and no it doesn’t taste like chicken).

The dream of those 5 star hotels and interviews with the best chat show hosts in the land, died pretty much in the Netherlands really.

Now, like most mid life Rock stars…I have to work for a living to maintain my visions of fame and glory. Believe you me; bass guitar strings do not come cheap.

For my sins I work for the NHS….with children to be exact…..and it can be VERY hard work indeed.

Having somehow lost my way in life I now find myself as the administrator for the service in which I earn a crust.

Most days are spent bashing away at my criminally slow computer and wondering if I should have gone from Holland to Germany as opposed back to Blighty and the welcoming bosom of WH Smith & Sons (that’s a national chain of book and stationary retailers for you outside of the UK), where my desperate slide into ‘ordinary’ began to take it’s deathly grip.

I didn’t stay there incidentally, but that’s a story for another blog in another place.

All that being said, I was apologising for my tardiness in posting blogs, and the reason for that is of late….I’ve been too flippin busy!!

However, I am sorry and I will undertake to fill you in on just exactly what did (or didn’t) happen at the Fight Club as soon as I can find the bottom of my desk.

Please keep the faith and don’t wander off just yet!!

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

The Fight Club

The Mudheads are busily preparing themselves for the “How many gigs can we cram into one year Tour 2009”, and judging my how difficult it has been to get the band together since Christmas simply to rehearse, I would say not many.

Actually, that’s not strictly true as we have already got 11 dates in the diary with plenty more chomping up behind.

Now one of these concerts in itself could be extremely interesting indeed. Officially it has an exciting rock & roll name, a little bit like ‘The Hard Rock CafĂ©’ but not (if you see what I mean).

I am reluctant to reveal its proper name as I am in no position financially to get sued for liable.

You see if might officially have a rather vogue name, locally however it is commonly known as ‘The Fight Club’.

We have been asked to perform at said venue by the promoters as part of a charity evening which is launching a Trust that is being set up by the mother of a teenager that was stabbed to death…out side said night club!

I have asked that all our biggest (and ugliest) mates attend this gig in order to protect our backsides.

CJ in light of getting this particular booking then went on to excel himself….he’s gone and got us booked to play in the largest Irish themed night club in Bristol.

The patrons of this establishment warm themselves of an evening by thumping lumps out of the more deranged element of ‘The Fight Club’.

We…are….going….to …….die!

But hey…whoever said that Rock & Roll was supposed to be safe….why do you think that I wear a bass guitar that is made of a particular thick piece of wood……..I’m armed me!

Anyway, first gig of the season sees us performing away from Bristol down in Yeovil…..I believe they eat their dead down there… we may not make it to the ‘Fight Club’ anyway.

I’ll let you know how we get on.