Sunday, September 24, 2006

Throwing Stones in Glasshouses

Mr Pickles informed me recently that the average age of the members of Bombskare was 31 point something. Oldest member is Joe who is 43 and youngest is Tom at 22. And if you add all the ages up we’re older than the Rolling Stones. Fascinating, eh?

Not really. I nodded off typing it.  Good gig on Friday at Studio 24 and a welcome guest appearance from Big Andy. Andy left the band four years ago this week I believe, right after we came back from the Mark Foggo tour. He did come back for a one off performance later that year, which was also at Studio 24, a gig famous for the spectacular antics of Mr. Andrew Pandrew Pennycuick, which included getting his lad out, on-stage, jumping off the stage with his lad out and pissing into the till. Marvellous stuff. Some people still come up to me and say they saw us that night and thought we were great. Those people must enjoy watching car crashes or something. I remember I stormed off the stage before the end of the set and quit the band for three full hours before I calmed down, remembering that I had done something similar at the Pleasance (during Hamish Henderson’s wake) earlier that year. Yes indeed, people who live in glasshouses shouldn’t throw stones.

That’s all ancient history as they say. We’re not a bunch of unprofessional steamers any more. Or something.  We also tried to persuade Big John Ross, our other former frontman to get up too, but he was having none of it.  Anyway, the other night we played a bunch of songs we haven’t played live in years including Dance to Ska, our first single, and Odd Frank which was one of our best loved songs for years. It was good to dust them off. Sam did a terrific job of learning a whole new set of songs with only one rehearsal. As did Big Andy. He is a terrific front man and vocalist. We also threw in a bunch of old covers including Bad Manner’s Lip Up Fatty, which we hadn’t played in five years, in honour of Big Andy who is a well-known lover of pies. In fact that’s why he moved to England because they sell pies on rolls. We also played Your Wondering Now with a lovely boy band ending and concluded with a mammoth Sally Brown/Too Much Pressure medley. I had weird guitar/amplifier trouble, and so my trusty JCM 600 half stack needs to get put into the shop. I broke one string on my Schecter, curse these diabolical hands. Thank you to everyone who came down and made it a great gig. Thanks to Matt and Soo, who were indeed, the men of the hour.

No gigs till next month which feels a bit weird. We'll probably use the time constructively by drinking.  More recording to be done over the next four weeks at Verden. We will be recording guitar and keyboard overdubs over the next week or so and in a fortnight we will record the horns over the weekend. We’ve put twelve tracks down and so far the songs sound terrific thanks to Gav a.k.a DJ Default who is engineering. We’ve done bits of editing and the whole thing is sounding smashing super lovely. Sweeeeeeet!

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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Leaving Glas Vegas

One of the common charactristics of genius is that true geniuses almost never finish anything they start. Like Leonardo da Vinci. He started lots of projects and they took years to complete, if they ever got completed. So when you ask yourselves, how come Bombskare haven’t finished their album yet, I want you to think of Leonardo.

Two gigs the other week, one in Glasgow and one in Coldstream, one as Bombskare and one as our alter ego, Skaramanga. The reasons for the nom de plume are two; first so that we can play gigs with band members missing or in some cases, playing different instruments; and second to try out new material. So Friday was Bombskare in Coldstream, which is our third or fourth time there. I broke two strings; why can't I channel that awesome destructive force for good. Great fun and a good night which included a stage invasion. We discovered the barman is the local SNP councillor if anyone’s interested, who gave us an interesting insight into Scottish borders politics. Saturday was Skaramanga in Nice and Sleazies in Glasgow in support of Dick Dangerous and the Love Bastards. The Bastards had a stunt bass player in the form of Mike Pepper, drummer for Taking Chase and formerly Pummel. We were missing Murray (hence the name change) who was busy messing around with his metal band Vantage Point and an Iron Maiden tribute band in Edinburgh, foolish boy. In these situations I usually do Murray’s vocals and guitar. I am kind of like a central defender than can play out of position. One memorable night last year saw us minus both Murray and Andy, so I was doing all the singing and guitar playing, which is like being the striker and the goalie at the same time. Good set and it’s good to play to a room that aren’t expecting us. I broke one string and was quickly furnished a replacement guitar thanks to Craig the Love Bastard. Thanks man. I’ve got your back, pimp tight, gnome saying.

Next weekend will see us return to the studio. We will be making a fresh start to the album now that Sam is up to speed with the material. It has taken a while to get this thing together but I am reminded that it took Leonardo more than three years to paint the Mona Lisa, and that it was still unfinished when he died. So our album is bound to be a masterpiece. Coloursound is still closed so we have relocated to Verden Studios. Watch this space for progress updates.

Our next gig is at Orange Street down at Studio 24. This is a special gig for us as we have invited our former front man and pie aficionado ‘Big’ Andy Laidlaw to join us on stage, so expect lots of old Bombskare tunes and classic ska covers. Nice.

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Fear and Loathing In London.

So we went to London to play at the Notting Hill carnival, which was fun, at a place called Inn on the Green. Nice wee place but the PA broke so we had comedy microphones that kept cutting in and out. Still we did a decent set and were followed by two quality bands, Matted Dreads and Maroon Town. By the end we were all pretty drunk and were shouting and arguing in the street much to the delight of the English policemen, who observed Colin and I literally being pulled apart to stop us punching lumps out of each other, saying “Ah it’s the Scots, locked in battle with their age old enemy, the Scots!” We were a little concerned about the constabulary down there before we went, in case they thought the band name was a little too provocative, but no such bother. We have been around a lot longer than The War Against Terror (TWAT for short) and longer than Operation Iraqi Liberation (OIL for short) so once we explained that we were a ska band, everything was cool bananas.

The trip there and back was our usual hair raising Hunter S Thompson type escapade. 900 miles round trip with no sleep. I wont go into details in case it comes back to me, but suffice to say that I am officially the hardest member of Bombskare, and that’s up against some pretty stiff competition. I mean……. have you seen some of those guys? Anyway Dr Thompson would have been proud of me. Next gig is down in Coldstream. Oh yeah!

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