Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Join in a discussion on RTYD about the rising trend of 'Pay2Play' in local live music venues: http://ping.fm/xwW2D

Thursday, 24 June 2010

The Outbursts have had to cancel their gig @ The 12 Bar tomorrow night (Friday).
Download a free track by The Oubursts, and then go and see them play live at The 12 Bar, Denmark St, on Friday night: http://bit.ly/9D4CaA
Any of you hobbyist bands want to play a RTYD gig at The Fiddler's Elbow in Chalk Farm on Thursday 15th July? On stage 8pm.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

The Lee Ryder Band play The Fiddlers Elbow, Camden on Saturday 24th July. One of the country's and Europe's best blues outfits! 8pm

Question: What do you call a drummer that doesn't turn up and doesn't call or text to say why?

The motivation for starting RTYD in October 2008 came partly from the trouble I had rebuilding my band Pocket Rocket around the same time. For a few years leading up to this, my band's line-up had diminished in number to two. Myself, and my stalwart bass player and life-long friend, Michael Wilson. It had come to this more out of necessity than musical or personal differences. I had chosen to go back to 'school' part-time to get my Art degree, I was working part-time, and my daughter had just been born. Playing only occasionally suited me, and to facilitate this we needed the drum machine, alias The Phantom Limb. It didn't forget its parts, the tempo, or its place in the band. It didn't complain about the dearth of gigs, either.

Trawling Gumtree and other musicians ads sites inspired the idea of a mature musicians social network that carried musicians ads. Now, one and three quarter years down the line, I know loads of drummers. Hobbyist drummers, to boot. Trouble is, they're all in bands.

Anyway, for a good few months now Pocket Rocket has been drummerless. We have a booking at a Street Festival in King Cross on the afternoon of 10th July. I want to honour this booking. And I would prefer to play it with a drummer. But can I get one? Not so far. The last shot came last week when I threw down the gauntlet on a number of musicians ads sites, challenging any drummer to three rehearsals and a street festival gig with us. No money, just kicks. I got one reply on Gumtree. I sent the guy 4 MP3s, and he rang me an hour or so before rehearsal to make sure it was all still going ahead. He sounded like he was coming from Streatham. He talked about his route, and said 'see you later'.

Well, later came. And later went. No sign of the guy. I sent a text to the guy. No response. Nothing. I nearly left The Phantom Limb at home, too, but thankfully didn't. Because after waiting and hour or so for him, we came to the conclusion he wasn't going to arrive at all, and strapped on the old Phantom Limb.

Fuck it. I'm not in a rush to find a drummer. We want the right guy. The long-term guy. We want a North London drummer. Local, reliable and committed. Like the Phantom Limb.

You switch it on. It plays. You turn it off. It stops. You pack it away. And it comes back next week, at the right speed and bang on it, without fail. It just doesn't have much of a personality. It keeps itself to itself, and doesn't (really) socialise with the other members of the band. You can't have everything, I suppose.

(Polite) Answer:  Rude
Go see THE OUTBURSTS this Friday 25 June @ 12Bar Club, Denmark St, London WC2. 8pm.

Friday, 18 June 2010

A short review: PUNK-ROCK-TIL-YOU-DROP at The Dublin Castle

Wednesday night was PUNK-ROCK-TIL-YOU-DROP night at The Dublin Castle. 14 Carat Grapefruit, Punks Not Dad and The Stabilisers came out to play, plus post-punk, new dads on the block, Live Wires.

14 Carat Grapefruit were first on stage and attracted the biggest crowd of the night, delighting them with their mix of filth (I refer specifically to their new song Porn Star), insult and bigotry. I'm still laughing! And I've lost count of the amount of times I've seen them play. It's got to be more times than Pavement now.

Last Christmas Punks Not Dad had to cancel appearance at PRTYD because of snow storms in Wales, where 3/4 of the band live, so it has been a year or so since we've seen them in London. Tonight they are less than ten days away from their Glastonbury debut, which is really exciting, as is the news that the Times article is due to be appear in the paper the same week. They played new material including a song about Tescos, their new single the IKEA-inspired I Can't Get It Up, and a cover of Jeff Beck's (correct me, if I'm wrong) Hi-Ho Silver Lining, re-titled Hi-Ho Silver Surfer! Always a pleasure to have them down from Wales, and in Johnny Cardigan's case, up from Brighton.

The Stabilisers, who have already played more gigs than Quo this year - you didn't realise Quo were still touring did you? Well, they haven't stopped since 1968. And it is they, of course, who have an album called Rock 'Til You Drop. Good name for a mature musicians' network, that). Where was I? The Stabilisers. As professional as ever. With that 'Jimmy' song, not Page or Hendrix or Pursey or Choo or Young, but White, no less. And why not?

And so, Live Wires. I haven't mentioned that, by now, we are running late and Live Wires are understandably anxious to get on stage. I am not Mr Popular, as I lose myself in the enjoyment of the evening, as well as, sight of stage times. Also, as each band leaves the stage, a small-portion of the audience leaves the room never to return. Live Wires are left with the dregs: Tox, Otto, Matt Russell (Outbursts), Istvanski, Simon and Jon Stabiliser, and me, and an enthusiastic handful of curious indie kids from the bar, who they proceed to impress enough to get an 'encore'. I like these guy, Live Wires, I mean. They bring a flavour of Wire and early Magazine to the punk club, as well as one word song-titles like Sublimate and Attitude. In one word song title - Brilliant.

To view videos from the gig go to: http://www.youtube.com/user/RockTilYouDropVideos, where you will also find a couple of songs by The Outbursts, represented on Wednesday night by bassist Matt. These two new original songs were filmed during their appearance at Peter Parker's Rock 'n' Roll club, a few weeks back. All I'll say is: don't play 'em to the kids!

Cheers, T.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Thanks to all the bands & those that attended last night's PUNK-ROCK-TIL-YOU-DROP gig at the Dublin Castle. A great night was had by all!

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Live Wires, The Stabilisers, 14 Carat Grapefruit, & Punks Not Dad (who go on to play Glastonbury): Dublin Castle, Camden, tomorrow night.
Drummer urgently wanted: 3 Mon nite rehearsals in Holloway b4 street festival gig Sat 10/07 Kings X, Toby. http://ping.fm/cEqqZ

Monday, 14 June 2010

Good and bad news

Good news: The PUNK ROCK-TIL-YOU-DROP gig this Wednesday at The Dublin Castle

Bad news: The Beast had to cancel their appearance on the bill at The Fiddlers gig in July

Good news: Foaming Beauties are considering standing in.

Bad news: One of my patients relapsed

Good news: Punks Not Dad remembered their password and are back on the RTYD network!

Bad news: The 25 year old drummer we auditioned last week, who was to coming to his second rehearsal tonight, sent me a text to say he couldn't make make it. What's more, he now can't play the gig on the 10th July, and doesn't feel he can commit to Pocket Rocket at this point, anyway. Shame 'cos I always wanted a drummer who played 'chopsticks' style like John Densmore.

Good news: Got a meeting with Peter Parker at his Rock 'n' Roll Club in Denmark Street on Thursday.

Bad news: One of my dinosaurs is missing
Photos from yesterday's fantastic RTYD Acoustic Afternoon at The Libertine: http://ping.fm/lTDxD

Friday, 11 June 2010

MULESKINNER at The Pig Inn The City, Gloucester @ Sat 12 Jun 21:00 - 23:30 in Pig Inn the City, Westgate Street, Gloucester, GL1 2RU

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

ATLANTA ROOTS Stockport, Cheshire @ Thu 10 Jun 21:30 - 23:30 in Thatched House SK1 1YJ (ROCK-TIL-YOU-DROP.COM)
The Zone and guests at Native Tongue in Epsom @ Thu 10 Jun 21:00 - Fri 11 Jun 2010 00:00 in Native Tongue, 93 High Street Epsom, KT19 8DR
Poundshop Life in Bristol @ Thu 10 Jun 20:30 - 23:00 in The Mother's Ruin, St Nicholas Market, Bristol http://ping.fm/ypst8

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Losing The Libertine

I was having a shit day yesterday, and in the middle of it came a call from the manager of The Libertine. The Saturday nights, he said, weren't really working for the pub.

The problem was plain to see at Saturday night's ROCK-TIL-YOU-DROP gig. The pub, which is run by 20/30-somethings, is often patronised by those of a similar age. Not, however, live music fans, more live football fans. And on Saturday night they were in the majority. Unfortunately, too often, they are in the majority. If, the manager said, the live music bought in the majority of punters, then it would be fine, but as we all know, and like Saturday night, the music fans were in the minority.

Despite this, I enjoyed Saturday night, especially once we worked out how to factor in an electronic drum kit. It was great to have The Dipsticks on again, to meet their new drummer Alan, and see their former drummer Angie come out to support them. It was nice to meet Runfever, and initiate them into 'the club'. The Dipsticks bought some friends, but Runfever struggled to bring people after shooting their load (as it were) at a recent gig in Stockwell. The lovely Ray Hyde from Kryptic Klu turned out to to support live music locally. But that was it. We drove most of the 20/30-somethings outside with our noise. Hardly the ROCK-TIL-YOU-DROP club atmosphere that idealistically I always hoped to achieve; Nights that bring mature musicians and music fans together to support live music, and to be social and network.

It's a real shame because The Libertine is a great pub rock venue. Those that play it always enjoy it, and those that attend it do, too. The sound is good, the staff are friendly.

The acoustic afternoons, they feel, work well, but to be honest I don't want to be left holding the acoustic guitars. I am not that interested in promoting these alone. They were always meant to be supplementary to the electric nights, so I will probably stop them, at least regularly.

I have a Saturday night booking to honour, but to be honest I fear for this. I fear it clashes with a 7:30pm quarter final World Cup game, which promises to be a battle of the European titans, Spain and Italy.

I need to have a think. And to look for a new more central venue. In my sights is the pre-club shift on a Saturday night at Peter Parker's Rock 'n' Roll Club, 7:30 - 10:00pm. Wish me luck.
ROCK-TIL-YOU-DROP welcomes Poundshop Life (Bristol) & the Bare Bones Boogie Band (London) to the club: http://ping.fm/E9lGN

Friday, 4 June 2010

Tomorrow night (Sat) RTYD Presents: Runfever & the Dipsticks @ The Libertine, Borough, SE1. Free entry. 8pm start.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Green for the blues

Today I spoke to the manager of a blues-rock band who was keen to take up the offer of a headline at the Fiddler's. Until, that is, she realised that there was no money in it -  at least no guaranteed fee. She was also put off by the fact that there would be two other bands and an acoustic act to open, and that her band would have to share their backline. They wouldn't like the size of the bill, she said, and they definitely wouldn't want to share their backline.

Camden. This is Camden. The home of indie-rock. And untold pub music venues (as opposed to simply small pubs that put on blues and covers bands) that need punters. Paying punters. Not post-Beatles/Stones punters. Not post-Bowie and Roxy punters. Not post-Pistols/Clash punters. Not post-Nirvana/Red Hot Chili Peppers punters. But-post-Blur/Oasis punters. Post-Strokes/Arctic Monkeys punters. Young people, who actually still go out. To get more of them out, they have to put on more bands than two. The young bands accept this. And this is because two bands bring out half the people that four bands do. And when I talk about half the people, I mean half of 30. This is the sorry state of the local live music scene, in Camden anyway. It may be different in Putney or Chiswick or wherever. But as I say, this is Camden. And this is where I live. And some of these venues are still cool and still worth playing.

Anyway, I'm moving away from the point.

As I've said from the beginning, generally speaking, the blues bands don't need RTYD to promote their gigs. They can get their own gigs and get paid to play them; they can do pub gigs galore, village festivals, parties, weddings, jams and more. They approach gigs like freelance work. With an hourly-rate, of sorts. They have a job to do; To entertain. And they won't do it for nothing.

Nor should they? Not with the sort of regularity that they gig.

I'd like to play regularly. I'd start with once a month. I could manage and enjoy twice or three times a month, taking into account my other commitments. But there must come a point when you start to feel like you want something more than kicks for playing more often than that. A following? Press? Fame? CD sales? Money?

And as for twice a week, like some of these bands, travelling all over the place, with no record deal, playing blues covers or blues originals (catch the oxymoron?); That's not just about the fun.

I guess that's why they call it 'the blues'.

Yours post-Bowie and Roxy.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Pocket Rocket news

And finally... some Pocket Rocket news. On Monday night Pocket Rocket has both a guitarist and a drummer to audition. The drummer, who is 25, responded to the band's ad on Party Sounds. And the guitarist, who is a father of two and works in the City, was found on RTYD, which is cool.

Pocket Rocket has a place on the bill at a street festival (organised by Stephen Denholm of The Might Care Takers) in Somers Town in early July - about five weeks away.

It would be great to have a drummer for that. So let's see what happens.
RTYD member, The Lone Groover, @ Hope Festival, Highams Farm, Sheep Barn Lane, Warlingham, Surrey 4-5 June: http://ping.fm/DOcqu
RTYD presents Runfever & The Dipsticks @ The Libertine, SE1 this Saturday. Free entry. 8pm. http://ping.fm/FNdv0

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

THE OUTBURSTS at The Enterprise, Chalk Farm @ Sun 6 Jun 20:00 - 23:00 in Camden Calling @ The Enterprise, Chalk Farm, London