Wednesday, November 29, 2006

In The Kingdom Of The Blind Drunk, The Half Cut Man Is King

We returned to The Greenside in Leslie the other day for a nice quiet gig with our mates Mr Green finger (who have reinvented themselves as Root System) and also Joe Viterbo who we haven‘t played with since last year. I know they have been really busy of late, what with babies being born and trips to Poland and such, but I swear they are twice as good as they were last year, and they were awesome last year so watch out for them. I got a copy of their album into the bargain.

Did I say a nice quiet gig? The last time we were there we had pitchers of Margaritas on the stage with us as well as our usual supply of beer and lager, which made for an interesting set. Afterwards we went to a party, where the only thing I can really remember is there was a chap with tattooed hands wandering about with a bottle of liquid LSD, and rubbing it onto peoples wrists. The venue itself is a wee place but what a great atmosphere. The only trouble this time is that we were playing on a Sunday so most of us had to head back to Edinburgh for work on Monday which meant no mad party for us. I’m nearly always designated driver too, which is bullshit. I’ve driven approximately twenty two thousand miles this year. A long way to go for Ska music.

More recording. We’ve spent almost a hundred hours in the studio so far, not including all the long hours of editing in Cubase. Don‘t ask how much money that is. And would you believe we haven’t even recorded the guitars yet. Our next gigs will be part of our world tour of Scotland with our compadres The Big Hand, who are another one of these bands that keep getting better, damn their eyes! Watch out for us in Dundee, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. We’ve also been working on more new tunes which are sounding great. We almost have enough material for a new album. Which should be out sometime in 2050.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Not Rocking The Boat

Never played the Renfrew Ferry before. Never played on any boat before. We’ve played the back of a truck before but not a boat. It was a good night but we didn’t have our best ever gig thanks to some technical issues, my JCM 600 which was giving me feedback trouble and also Joe had guitar tuner issues which meant he was spectacularly out of tune for the first few songs. We sorted these problems eventually and the second half of our set was fine, but unfortunately the damage was done as far as we were concerned. We would normally expect to be at least as good as This R 2 Tone who we were supporting, but that night we weren’t, in my humble opinion, also in part because This R 2 Tone were on such good form. In addition, if you only have a short set to play with you have got to be 100% for the whole set in my opinion. Oh well. The good thing that came out of it is that Joe went out and bought the most expensive guitar tuner in the shop, so no one can say we don’t learn from our mistakes. Also we got to advertise our forthcoming gig in Glasgow which is remarkably prescient of us. Other highlights for me include catching up with Gordon and continuing our eternal debate about the pro’s and con’s of ska covers bands.

I also got to talk to him about the new Amphetameanies album. Its been six years since their first album (we played at their album launch back then) and we chatted about how difficult being in a big band is in terms of writing and recording material. We have never managed to record a full album before because of that very reason. I can fully appreciate how long the new album took to make as we are going through a similar very slow, very costly and very methodical process, which happens by painstaking inches. The end result is hopefully worth all the effort, but when you are in the middle of it, it can be frustratingly slow. The Meanies finally got the album done a few months ago, but it really is terrific and worth the wait.

On that very subject, more recording. More horns and vocals recorded. Gav is already talking about a remix album. Its all quite exciting. Our next gig is in Leslie with Mr Greenfinger’s latest incarnation. The last time we were there we had a hell of a party afterwards so it should be cracking, and this time we are playing with the amazing Joe Viterbo. Awesome.