Friday, 30 July 2010
Finally!! Pocket Rocket has a new drummer, and, coincidentally, like his predecessor, he's called Nigel.
Nigel II lives in Islington, which is good geographically for rehearsal, and for getting together socially. He works for himself, which makes him flexible time-wise. He has his own kit, and transport (well, you'd bloody well hope so! - Ed). He has a transatlantic accent, which is the result of time spent in Canada and the US, but he assures me he is English. He uses the traditional grip to hold his drum sticks, like John Densmore, which I like, but not more than the fact that, as a teenager, he saw the Doors play their infamous Miami gig in 1969 where James Douglas Morrsion was arrested for lewd and lascivious behaviour, exposing himself, profanity and drunkenness. So he's no spring-chicken, but he is slim, and full of beans.
Next: a singing keyboard player who plays like Ray Manzarek, or even Dave Greenfield.
Thursday, 29 July 2010
Saturday, 24 July 2010
Friday, 23 July 2010
Here is a Berkshire couple of photos from The Outbursts and Stabilisers gig, promoted by Sweet But Deadly, at Under Solo in Camden, last night.
It was fun to catch up with all the guys in both bands, and Matt Russell introduced me to Steve White of Steve White and The Protest Family, and his guitar/mandolin player Funky 'Lol' Ross. Both nice blokes. Check out SWATPF here: http://www.myspace.com/realstevewhite
(Brian, if you're reading, we should get you and Steve together for a gig, at some point. He's from out Walthamstow way)
The Outbursts were in fine comedic form, which they say indicates that they weren't exactly on musical form. It (hardly) noticed, and didn't matter anyway. It wouldn't be punk rock if it did, now, would it?
The Stabilisers were as entertaining as ever, and I think for the first time, I train-spotted a Dead Kennedys influence in a couple of the bass lines. They are comical rather than polemical, (The Outbursts manage to be both!) so I always tend to fixate on The Dickies-thing. One thing's for sure, if The Stabilisers realised 7"singles they'd be on coloured vinyl.
Wednesday, 21 July 2010
Tuesday, 20 July 2010
Sunday, 18 July 2010
Friday, 16 July 2010
Saturday 10th July (continued):
I am very fond of Patrick Begley and Mark McKendrick of the Dipsticks. The loyalty they have for each other reminds me of that between me and my friend-since-school-slash-bass player, Michael Wilson. I dig bands that show this kind of dedication to each other and to their music. The Moths are another example, and were the subject of a recent blog of mine.
Tonight, The Dipsticks play their quarterly fan club gig at The Constitution on the canal in Camden. It's a small basement venue. Kinda shabby, but cellar-ish, jazz and cool. It has its own bar, and backs onto the canal, where you can have a drink when the live music isn't blasting out and annoying the yuppies in the luxury flats across the waterway. It's a beautiful evening. The World Cup is nearly over, and WE DON'T CARE!! 'Cos, win or lose, we got this. Events like this; intimate, kinda underground, kinda clandestine, kinda illicit, and clearly special. Who needs numbers through the door when the 20-odd people you have are so attentive, so appreciative and include a few inclined to dance.
I meet a couple of nice local characters, and RTYD member Woody from Blackburn is down for the gig and to play the Libertine the following day for RTYD. The second Dipsticks set is the best I have ever seen them play. They play like they are so at home. They are relaxed. They are smiling. They are joking. And they are rocking. And I am so happy for them.
Where was I? I know, Saturday 10th July. I'm sorry, I seem to be falling behind with my blog. To catch up, I'll have to stop digressing and rambling, and preaching.
Last Saturday came the day Pocket Rocket played the Somers Town Community Street Festival, which had been organised, in large part by RTYD member Stephen Denholm for ten years now. And it was he, who kindly offered PocRoc a place on the afternoon bill. Those who follow this blog may remember my desperate attempts to get a drummer for this gig. Those who don't, need only know that I failed in this mission.
So we played with our drum machine The Phantom Limb, with which we have been rehearsing in the last few months during our drummer search. As I've said, I like playing to drum machine to a point, it's good for working up songs, and it's so reliable and its timing is impeccable. However, live, it doesn't rise to the adrenaline rush of the occasion, and on Saturday it sounds slow, when in fact it is spot-on. It doesn't count you in either. Instead it requires starting, like Keith Moon might have done on an inebriated and self-medicated occasion or two. And then, it's not like Keith Moon at all. Which, however much I prefer Jon Bonham as a drummer, is disappointing.
The new songs went down well and were fun to sing and play, though. And it was nice to perform in the outdoors.
Wednesday, 14 July 2010
Tuesday, 13 July 2010
Friday night I got the first RTYD committee together for its inaugural meeting. The idea is that in order to move RTYD forward, wherever that may be, five heads are better than one.
Colin Gillman once helped me come to terms with the fact that I have zero business sense. I would work for nothing, me. I just like to be busy, productive and, especially, creative. I wish I was driven by a desire to make loadsa money, but I am not.
I saw how unhappy and unhealthy my dad's work made him. And he was well paid, but he wasn't rich. He commuted to London where he worked in advertising, eventually as a managing director of the agency. While I liked the sound of London, I didn't like the sound of my dad after a hard day at the office.
I started RTYD because I want a 'scene' to play on over the next 30+ years. Don't you?
If, with the help of The Committee, and any other people who wish to get involved, RTYD can make some money in the process of creating this scene, and without affecting its co-operative ethos, then all well and good.
But if not, at least we got a scene, eh? Where there's gigs to go to. Music to listen to. Bands to aspire to. Opinions to be heard. New music and bands to get excited about. You often hear those over-40 complain about 'new' music, that made by young bands. Well, I actually like a few of the new up and coming bands. But I also like a lot of the old, here and staying, bands.
I have a lot of great new music and bands to get into right here on RTYD. Great lyrics, catchy tunes, musicianship, personalities, rock stories. Have a listen. Go to a few gigs. You'll see. I'm looking forward to seeing a number of bands on RTYD, again! I'm getting to know the songs. I'm recognising intros and getting to know lyrics, looking forward to hearing intros, and guitar solos.
I go to as many gigs on a local level these days, as I did when I was living in Camden in the early to mid-90s. One thing we discussed at the committee meeting was why mature music fans (mostly, anyway) won't go out to gigs as readily as they once did. Instead, they make excuses about days of the week, and adult responsibilites, and work and stuff. Then they pay £50 to go and see Rush at Wembley Arena on a Tuesday night.
We are all spoilt by ubiquitous rock music. We are spoilt by having lived through some of the best years of rock history. Many of us spent our teens and twenties seeing bands, great and not so great. Some, now legendary. Is it this? Is it that we feel we've seen it all before? Or is it simply laziness? Perhaps bitterness? I think it's that many of us feel 'out-of-the-social-loop. If we knew people going to a local gig in town, I am sure we would be more inclined to go.
As I've always said, we need each other.
Saturday, 10 July 2010
Thursday, 8 July 2010
Wednesday, 7 July 2010
Tuesday, 6 July 2010
Monday, 5 July 2010
A funny thing happened the other night. In my frustration at the lack of contributions made to the R-T-Y-D Webzine, I sent a sort of clumsy ungrateful message across my networks announcing that I have turned the site into a music news feed, which I have done. I think it's a good use of the stagnant site.
The R-T-Y-D to which I was referring, however, was misconstrued by some as the whole RTYD network. An easy mistake to make, I admit. This elicited a few interesting responses, two in particular from, members and followers who decided to honestly voice, along with their support the RTYD ethos, their personal disappointment and frustration with it, and the lack of clarity in its mission.
Suffice it to say, I think they made some interesting points, which I am going to use to start a new discussion in the forums on the Musicians and Bands, Fans & Industry social networks. Those of you who engage with both my blog and the network will pick up on my alter-ego.
Sunday, 4 July 2010
Saturday, 3 July 2010
I have had the pleasure of booking The Moths once this year, at The Libertine - Remember those Saturday nights at The Libertine? Not many of you will.
The Moths are essentially an originals band but throw a few covers into their set, which they make their own. They have been going since 1982. Their singer and guitarist Duncan Wallis has seen various line up changes over the years, but the line up today, and for the best part of 25 years has included bass player Mark Deacon.
The Moths don't need ROCK-TIL-YOU-DROP. They play regularly. They play music which is very listenable in a pub or small venue situation. They would fit on almost any bill. They could play on a bill of blues bands. Or new wave bands. Or mod bands. Or 60s garage bands. Even alternative/indie bands.
But ROCK-TIL-YOU-DROP needs bands like The Moths. And for this reason I have created a page for them in the ROCK-TIL-YOU-DROP-RECORD-SHOP. There, you will find a link to their website, and another where you can buy their music on CD or download it.
In return for doing this I requested a CD that I could stream on their page, and yesterday it arrived (thanks Mark!). I haven't listened to it yet, but I don't need to to get the feeling of how important this CD is. It is lovingly presented; the inserts properly printed. It is a 2CD set, a Very Best Of, if you will, with a poster insert, including loads of old pickies and press clippings to draw you in, much like the back or inserts of an old LP, or the inside of an old gatefold. It is entitled Moth-Balls - The Best of the First 25 years.
25 fucking years! This is a major achievement. How many of us have this to show for all that time? Something as cohesive as this. Something that shows this kind of dedication; such an unfaltering vision.
You know what? They may not need ROCK-TIL-YOU-DROP, but this band is a shining example of what can be achieved without management companies, publishing deals, record deals, and so on. Back 'in the day' they had bits of record company interest, but they came to nothing. Instead they released their record themselves. Now twenty odd years later record company interest is history. It will almost certainly never come again. But hey, who cares if you can produce nicely presented CDs like this yourself? And you can make a living in a career outside music, while doing so. Occasionally, they even get to jump in a minibus with family and friends and go and play in France, where they go down a storm. Music fans are less spoiled there. They appreciate live music on a local level there.
And who cares if they don't sell CDs in the thousands, even hundreds. Who fucking cares? If when you look back, you can get out a collection of CDs on a par with The Moths' back catalogue, and show your children or grandchildren, or just look at it yourself during a private nostalgic moment; who gives a shit? Fuck the record companies. Fuck their narrow mindedness. Fuck their oversight. Fuck the commercial success. This is deeper than that. This has real integrity. Most of the bands that got signed in 1982 aren't still going, I am damn sure about that. Maybe, some have reformed after being offered significant amounts of money. But that doesn't demonstrate this kind of integrity. This kind of loyalty. This kind of vision.
This is the real thing. These guys will rock til they drop. Nothing is going to stop them. They are beyond caring or being influenced by anything outside their band. They will keep on rocking regardless of anyone, or anything.