Monday, October 31, 2011

Don't Cross The Streams

I have a question. Am I evil? Has my mother been right all these years? For the last two decades I have written to Axl Rose every Halloween asking, nay, begging him for a square go. Just me and him and two empty Irn Bru bottles, preferably at the top of Arthur's Seat with a full moon but I'm flexible on that. Does that make me evil? Isn't that a reasonable course of action, considering? And no, not just for the satisfaction of hearing his nose shatter and the gurgling sound of his nasal cavity filling up with blood. But to teach the fuckwit a lesson. St Augustine tells us 'per molestias eruditio' - true education begins with physical abuse, and he has to learn that, the hard way. The jury would understand. Ever since he recorded that tune by Charles Manson I've known that I was going to have to be the one to teach this guy, oh please let it be me. Fuck it, I'll do Vince Neill as well for free.

I know what you're thinking. That's evil. Or at the very least morally relativistic. Why pick on poor unloved and unlovely Axl Rose while George Osborne still walks the earth? Axl Rose hasn't presided over a tanking economy, rising unemployment, record youth unempoyment, rising child poverty, rising fuel and food prices and a country that is facing an unprecedented drop in the standard of living. He's only presided over a string of hilariously disastrous albums, but Smiling George has. The most annoying thing about Osborne is that annoying half smirk on his face. While he's telling us that we all need to tighten our belts to help bail out the zombie banking system, he's smirking at us with a face you would never tire of hitting with a sports sock flled with snooker balls. Yes, why don't you act out your home invasion fantasies with George Osborne, you ask? Because you should never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity. When you look at these guys, Cameron, Osborne et al, they genuinely seem like they are completely out of their depth. They have no idea what's going on, how half the country spontaneously combusted in August, or that there is no reason why it couldn't happen again. They have no idea what this Occupy movement is all about. Meanwhile not one banker has been held accountable for the financial crisis that started the recession two years ago and BP has just announced over $5 Billion in profits, an increase of over $3 Billion on last year, as fuel prices for consumers remain at Mad Max prices. Interesting side note, did you know that crude oil is currently at the same price as it was five years ago when fuel at the pump was around 90p a litre? Yes, per molestias eruditio as the Bishop of Hippo might say.

Meanwhile in hilarious news, what's all this about Liam Gallagher appearing in a film about the last days of The Beatles. The last days of the Roman Empire, maybe; I'd pay to watch him being being sacked by Visigoths, but the last days of The Beatles? That doesn't seem right, someone should contact the U.N., see if we can come up with a Security Council resolution about a pre emptive invasion of Liam Gallagher. He might not have Weapons of Mass Destruction but I'm pretty sure he's harbouring terrorists. I believe that to be completely provable. Okay that's two world famous singers I've threatened with violence, lets see if we can go for the trifecta. I just can't decide between Johnny Rotten selling I Can't Believe Its Not Butter (I Cant Believe It's That Dude from The Sex Pistols, Thats Right The Fucking Sex Pistols, Selling I Cant Believe It's Not Butter more like) or Iggy Pop selling Car Insurance ( for a company that won't insure Musicians). Fuck it. Let's do them both.

It would be rude of me not mention Skalloween 5. I think that was the best one yet. We were truly blown away by so many of the costumes, it's amazing the effort that you guys made. Some of the favourites included the guy who came as all of The Beatles, complete with three dummies attached to his shoulders, I think he was John Lennon. If anyone has a photo of that, please send us it. Also there were at least two Incredible Hulks, about a dozen truly revolting zombies, a Bananaman, a Bender from Futurama, a Biggles and so many others, it was all pretty impressive. Come to think of it, those could have been real zombies, the ones I spoke to definitely weren't making too much sense, definitely a case of 'Need Brains!' Thanks to The Imagineers, a really great bunch of guys, it was a pleasure to play with them. For our part we sensibly went with costumes that allowed us to perform unlike last year when we were wearing masks and make up and wigs etc, not exactly easy to jump around with all that on, I've no idea how Elton John does it. The year before that we were completely blinded by face paint that immediately ran into our eyes as soon as we got under the lights. So this year, Ghostbusters it was. We also had our unoffical tenth member, Captain Waz, as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man on percussion. Genius idea frankly, I couldn't help it, it just popped right in there. Some of you mentioned they were a bit disappointed that we didn't play longer, but unfortunately we are at the mercy of the venue on that one. It's the same problem everywhere, out by 10pm or 10.30pm at the latest so they can have their club on. We'll be thinking carefully where the next Edinburgh gig will be. Someone asked us on Twitter if our version of the Ghostbusters theme was better than the Centrix version. Well I haven't heard of Centrix, or heard their version, but yes, ours is better. It's exactly what you'd expect, Bombskare improving another classic 1980's hit with the awesome power of Ska. Of course, we'll probably never play it again so if you weren't there at Skalloween you've missed something unique like a beautiful comet that passes once in a thousand years. Loser.

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Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Extraordinary Popular Delusions and The Madness of Crowds

Andy arrives on stage after his parachute fails.
First off let me sort out some rumours that have been floating about. No, Joe and I are not leaving the band to form our own side project called Combskare. That's just daft. Obviously it just makes sense to stay in the band and wait till everyone else is bald. Another rumour is that we are a punk band. Technically we are a genetically modified hybrid of Ska and Punk called Skunk, which you can easily tell because of our pungent aroma, overwhelming lethargy and deleterious side effects.
At the music awards someone actually asked me if I was the brains of the operation, to which I laughed so hard beer came out my nose. And I was drinking milk. Let me disabuse this notion once and for all, there are no brains in this operation. Brains are a massive hindrance. Men of action can't afford to think. Does a tiger think? Does a pterodactyl think? Thinking causes hesitation, and hesitation causes your worst fears to happen. So how do decisions get made? Short answer, they don't. We leave it all up to the twisted design of the universe. If Bombskare was a train, we'd all be in the buffet car getting hammered, and no one would be driving. Where are we going? We'll find out after the crash.

When we picked up the award I did take the opportunity to point out to the assembled music types that we were clearly the best dressed band in the building, and so therefore incapable of being a punk band much as we might like to be. Incidentally we've already tried selling the actual music award itself, the trophy, down at Smack Generator, just like we do with all our Baftas, but the most they could offer us was an old SM58 with a dented shield. So we still have the thing.

In other band news ever since the passing of Lloyd Knibb, our spiritual father and patron saint, we have been a bit lost. Directionless you might say, but all that's about to change because now we have a new patron saint. Cue the drum roll. It's the re-animated corpse of Lloyd Knibb. They said it couldn't be done, they said I was mad, but I proved them. Again. Just like my amazing plan to breed a race of genetically modified footballing supermen to help us qualify for the World Cup in Rwanda 2036. Anyway Lloyd is a lot more helpful like this, although he doesn't move about as much. He wasn't too quick before I suppose, but now he has all this wonderful advice such as, 'Brains! Need brains!' Hey Lloyd, I realise you are a hideous undead creature from beyond the grave and an abomination unto the Lord, but pay attention. I've just finished saying that brains are a massive hindrance in this band. At the minute he's chained up in the lab, that's right we have a lab, but I'm sure nothing could possibly go wrong. Science, Ska and the Undead, sounds like a winning combination to me.

Aside from branching out into necromancy, or skaromancy, we have been gigging. Toots and the Maytals at the O2 Academy was good, even if it was a short set, twenty five minutes. Quite a few people complained about Toots daughter's mangling of the Tina Turner tune. I could have done without that frankly. We headlined at a new festival in East Lothian called Audio Soup with our old friends Taking Chase, who are jealously guarding a new album we can't wait to hear. Highlights of Audio Soup included Clogg and the Quirks, a young band who had the ubiquitous Phil 'Big Hand' Ramsey up for their cover of Big Hand's 'Magnet'. Cracking stuff. Loopallu was a cracker too, featuring Phil Hopwood on guitar and our very own stunt drummer, Captain Waz 'The Waz' Wazzster, but cleverly reprogrammed for bass guitar. For sheer skill, my hat is off to him, a man of such style like you'd not often find. He's also very highly regarded in his native Wazistan. We could only spend one night in Ullapool unfortunately but we had a great time, especially afterwards in the pub, jamming with everybody, although I have absolutely no recollection of it. Cheers to The Imagineers and I'd also personally like to thank Kassidy for controlling themselves, sexually, whilst around us, we know how tough that was. That night we slept in the church in Ullapool, an Episcopalian one I believe, always best to sleep on holy ground especially in that part of the world.

So that seems to be the end of festival season then. One thing that I won't be missing is eating food from service stations. Can I just say that in no part of the world is a cheese and onion sandwich, a bag of Walkers crisps and a bottle of Coke considered to be a meal, and £2.99 is definitely no deal.

One other thing we also went down to Ashington to play 'ahr Tony Eastlake's 50th birthday party. He had a marquee set up in his back garden and a hefty PA system. That's pretty much our natural environment. What a night it was. I woke up with my head inside a plastic bag, clearly an assassination attempt gone wrong. Happy Birthday Tony, cheers for a great party although I haven't had sore head like that for a long time. Andy and I shared a bottle of champagne on the way back which totally sorted out /postponed the hangover.

The next thing we have coming up is our long awaited return to Shetland. We are very excited about this one. We'll be there exactly ten years to the weekend of our first trip up there, playing the exact same venues with the immortal Steve Hook doing the sound again. On that occasion Jeff picked us up at the airport in an old ambulance that was literally packed to the gunnels with Tennants lager. And that was us for three days. It was the stuff of Viking sagas. This time instead of a one hour flight from Aberdeen, it's a fourteen hour ferry crossing from Aberdeen. It's going to be great although I don't think I'll be able to take the punishment I took last time. Remember, it's not the years it's the mileage.

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