Why I love being in a hardcore band

December 18, 2009 at 3:15 pm (Musical, Musings on life)

Lots happenin’ since the last uppy d’s….

So Tuesday 8th was the ‘comeback’ gig for Keeping Scores – our first show for 6 months after taking a much needed break, playing the Purple Turtle in Camden with Ruiner, TRC, Our Time Down Here & Santa Karla. It really couldn’t have gone much better, which was such a relief. We were offered the show when still sorta newly active and we weren’t sure how ready we’d be what with all but Mike going on holiday at different points leading up to the show. But the line-up was too good to turn down and we decided to take the risk….and in the end played a decent set to a virtually full room and won over many new friends. Couldn’t have gone much better!

But the main point of this post was more about how great the overall evening was regardless of the quality of our performance, and just how it reminded me how much fun it is being in a DIY hardcore band. The vibe was just perfect, and when you consider how different us &OTDH sound compared to Ruiner, TRC and Santa Karla, you’ve got 5 completely different sounding bands there and yet everyone was polite and watched all the bands and remained open minded, something I feared wouldn’t happen. Everyone – bands and crowd, were commenting on how good this was and Liam did truly pull a fantastic show out of the bag.

POST-EDIT

I then went on to have a bit of a rant about how much I love the DIY culture that’s in punk/hardcore/emo and that for me
the fun for this show was getting to hang with close friends in OTDH, share a stage with a band who are big inspiration, make new friends with the other bands and audience members – blah blah blah.

I then rambled on about bands from the other side of the coin – pop-rock/punk and indie bands who have their hearts set on ‘making it’ and how I personally couldn’t enjoy being part of that. However, I had this saved in my draftbox for ages as I couldn’t find a way of expressing this without it coming across as horribly smug and preachy.

I then went on to discuss the things that are a bit problematic to the hardcore/punk scene – dishonest, trendhopping bands, kids who follow a particular dress code and wear t shirts of bands that they don’t bother to watch when they actually play their city etc etc. It was similarly cheesy and cringe-worthy, so I deleted it. However I still wanted to reference these thoughts here.

The point of it was not intended to be all preachy and that, it was simply to express how whilst I don’t believe my band are the dogs bollocks, amazing musicians or anything, I’m quite proud of the fact that we’re 100% honest and overall promote a good, posi vibe. I just couldn’t find a way of expressing this without sounding like a bit of a twat.

It would be nice if more of these afformentioned kids actually recieved this message, and MUCH more importantly listened some of our superior peers who make incredible, bullshit free music, as well as bands who influenced us, in the hope that they may rediscover the good points about hardcore, or something. So I’m really hoping we play some more shows, meet new people, and take the band to the next level in 2010. For those reasons, rather than selfish ones.

ANYHOO, PICS.

Love this one. It looks quite intense.

I always look like a total bellend in live shots but this is fairly decent.

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Broken Britain

November 12, 2009 at 12:23 am (Lulz, Musings on life)

You wanna know what’s dumber than people who moan about who gets voted off X-Factor?

People who moan over the fact that other people moan about who gets voted off X-Factor!!

I see so many more status updates on social networking sites bemoaning the fact that some people watch a popular tv show… than from the people who actually give a toss about the results!

So those who don’t care…suck it up, don’t watch, and let the rest of the public get their fix of dalendless dwads and wondering what wonderfully revealing outfits Cheryl will wear next. I can never understand why people complain so much about something they’re not interested in when it’s just so easy to ignore.

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Blah

October 9, 2009 at 8:45 am (Musings on life)

Met the old man for a pint yesterday and felt bad as I wasn’t really in the mood – I just wanted to hit the gym and let out my frustrations rather than get shitfaced with him. That’s always fun, I like the fact that I hang out with my dad often as a mate rather than as a parent. I guess that happens to most guys when they hit 20s and get proper jobs and that. As a teenager the idea of getting drunk with my dad filled me with dread but it’s really not the case anymore.

But we got talking about living and that and for some reason he mentioned the Highbury Square Flats, on the old Arsenal stadium. Fuck me, look at them. That would be the dream.

He mentioned the idea of getting a 2 bed flat which I could live in and he could stay in the spare room when working in London, rather than commuting every day or staying in a hotel. That would suit me – I mean most of the time it’d feel more of a batchelor pad and less like living at home cos he’d only stay when he needed to. But at the same time, having his company would be pretty damn rad too. But obviously, this is something we could never afford and a silly pipe dream.

Sorta made me a bit more annoyed. Bah. Not that I have a problem with my current house, but LOOK AT THE FUCKING AWESOMENESS OF THEM!

Here’s to a boozy weekend ahead!

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Epic High Five

October 5, 2009 at 9:52 pm (Musings on life)

My blog has been a little too self indulgent of late which must be incredibly boring unless a) you’re me or b) you’re a friend who is very nosey. I sort of want to keep this personal but at the same time would like to try and find fun/amusing things to post on here so that it’s not just an account of my day to day life. THIS POST WILL CHANGE THAT.

But, whilst we’re here….had a bit of a mixed week, Basshunter aside. Work shit and that, and just feeling tired. It got better towards the end of the week and it was concluded by an exceptional weekend. Facedown was good for the first time ever, and visiting the Leeds nonces was incredible. Mills, remind yourself to visit Leeds far more often. I always have fun when I do visit and then I find myself not coming back for Months. It’s a bit of a drive but the banter and general good times is worth it all.

So this negi and posi week really helps reinforce the point of this blog… I’m making it a mission to try and find an awesome high five picture every few days, seeing as high fives are brilliant. If I’m feeling good, it’s to help celebrate the good times. If I’m feeling shit, hopefully finding one awesome enough will help swing my mood.

Not many of these are particularly original but are my favourite so far. The one immediately below will never be beaten however. It was an exceptional random day in which I brought a Pink Pashmina among other things.

Best o’ the rest…

I might have to change it to other things, but based around positive stuff.

And yes, most of it is from the Dillinger Escape Plan thread on PT. Suck it up.

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I can’t think of a title

September 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm (Lulz, Musical, Musings on life, Sport, Uncategorized)

just wrote a fuck off huge blog fully describing the last few days and realised how fucking boring it must have been to read. So instead I’ll sum up with pics:

Friday, at home with my housemate just discussing our personal lives and what we’re up to – bit of a catch up. It also consisted of a lot of….

Saturday:

2 tickets to Portman Road – £60. Petrol to travel back – £40. Emotional trauma from watching Ipswich get trashed 4-0 – £40 (pints and taxi). Getting to see the stand named after the greatest manager of all time, and have legends from that era parade the FA and UEFA cup around the stadium and be part of a great atmosphere celebrating Sir Bobby – Priceless.

But good Lord we were awful. What was more depressing was how the stadium started emptying at 70 minutes and the painful lack of chants come 4-0 down. I wanted some ironic banter ‘we’re gonna win 5-4’ and that, but no. I guess i need a picture, an awful free header which basically started the downfall. We looked pretty decent up until the first goal, but from then on t’was men against boys.

But yeah, fun night at the pub after catching up with old friends. I did see a friend of an ex who said ‘Alex! You look like a thug now….but you don’t look gay anymore’. Cheers love.

SUNDAY

CHILLAX. Drove home eventually for hangouts with Chaddock whilst listening to Fest bands. Really excited now, Small Brown Bike have been added, and slowly I’ve discovered more decent bands I’ll wanna see. OOh poster

MONDAY

Industry showcase type things. Free booze and food.

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Here’s to a good week! Leeds this weekend!

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Finding emo

September 25, 2009 at 2:21 pm (Musical, Musings on life)

Ahaha what a funny pun. I have been feeling fairly emo of late and sort of need to partake in a blend of posi-ing up. It’s nothing major, it’s just one of those periods where you’re feeling a bit down and there’s nothing particularly exciting to look forward to. Even though, technically there is in that The Fest is a few weeks away and the band is back. I guess once both actually happen it’ll be good, sorta having something to focus on, because at the moment they’re just things that are going to happen rather than actually happening, and right now I’m just swinging life away in a pretty dull cycle.

Howev’s, one of the positives is that I’ve been listening to lots of Jimmy Eat World lately, something I often do but more extensively when I either want to cheer myself up OR revel in the feeling glum-ness, which to be fair can be quite a positive thing. It makes the ups in your life feel that much more up, and it’s character building. Some of the lowest points I’ve been at has probably been the most important in terms of me growing as a person. It makes you actively do things to change your situation, it inspires you and it gives you a sense of perspective, and you generally come out stronger. So yeah, I’ve had a long period of just feeling…fine, it’s sort of cool to be feeling a little bit on the wrong side of that. Not that I’m feeling really sad or anything, I’ve got friends in much worse places right now. But I am feeling a wee bit down. It’s hard to explain really.

But yeah, how fucking incredible is this performance? The only possible problem with it is this band just aren’t a middle of the afternoon main stage band. The atmosphere just doesn’t seem there. It’s an incredible, flawless performance that needs to be in a smaller setting, in a darkened room / at nighttime so they can do a spectacular lightshow to compliment the beauty of the song. It’ s a tad frustrating. I remember seeing them at Reading 2007, they’d done ‘the hits’ on the main stage and then headlined the Lock Up tent with material focusing more on ‘Clarity’ and the album tracks from ‘Futures’, all of which is pretty much my favourite material of theirs. When this song came on….just wow. Life affirming really. It’s become a staple part of the set now (along with ‘Hear You Me’, my other favourite song) but it doesn’t make it any less special.

PHE-NO-MEN-AL

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Bleedin ‘Eck

September 24, 2009 at 2:27 pm (Musical, Musings on life)

So much to get bloody excited about!

First off, they’re opening a Central Perk in Carnaby Street. That’s massively cheesy but I don’t care, that would be so much fun to go to. Sure, we could get pissed at yet another boring rock club, OR we could do something a bit different and get coffee at a ‘Friends’ themed cafe. Seems the reaction hasn’t been to overwhelming. Ah well.

How’s about this:

I mean, I have seen Hot Water Music before but it was promoting ‘The New What Next’ so it wasn’t as amazing. And, I may have to say this quietly to avoid a beating, but I actually enjoyed The Explosion a bit more. Well, on performance alone. The crowd reaction to HWM was incredible. It was also my first Milloy experience. That was a fun gig, but as I was blissfully unaware the band would be splitting, this will clearly be better, particularly given the supports.

We’re thinking either Berlin or Hamburg. I’m happy to go with the crowd, BUT if I could come up with a perfect scenario it would be Hamburg, stay maybe 2-3 nights and see the city, and in particular

If you’re not familiar, they’re a lower league (2nd/3rd tier) German football team but are amazing. You may have seen various bands wear the t shirt or cap. They’re in short, a ‘punk’ football team with mental fans and a terriffic, party atmosphere, with a great tradition and embody what’s special about the game. We may not get to see a match, but just the area would be rad. We’ll see.

It also turns out I had planned to visit Leeds on the first weekend in October for a new night at the Cockpit called ‘Pinky Swear’, a pop-punk and melodic hardcore night. Like, proper pop-punk, not Cute Is What We Aim For mincyness but decent pop punk. It looks great. It turns out it’s the same weekend as Bring It On Fest in Leeds, where various rad bands are playing the Packhorse, Brudenell and others. That sounds like a grand weekend.

This weekend sees Ipswich v Newcastle, where we’ll unveil the Sir Bobby Robson stand. It’ll be a hugely emotional spectacle. It’s just a shame we will be absolutely destroyed. It’s so frustrating supporting Ipswich, obviously I don’t expect glory but we’ve had nearly a decade in the wilderness after we had such solid foundations layed around 1999-2001 and it went tits up. Ah well, still proud, and happy to support a shit side.

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2009

September 20, 2009 at 10:03 pm (Musings on life)

First ‘actual’ blog I suppose. May as well comment on the year so far.

It’s been a weird one, nothing major has happened really, or at least nothing major that I can sort of add to a list of achievements or events that’s helped me grow as a person compared to last year. There’s been far too much weekend-warrior esque patterns of work X5 and gearing up for going out to shit rock clubs for the laughs at the weekend, and I’ve realised what a hollow thing it is after a while. I’m starting to tire of London a bit, and people say if you’re bored of London you’re bored of life, so alarm bells are ringing really, but at the same time I often go in cycles like this so I’m sure at some point soon I’ll remember I love London again. I certainly hope so anyway.

Then again, it’s really made me appreciate the simple life a bit. I went to some tiny village in France with my parents recently and had a wonderful time. No internet, no TV – just a lovely cottage in the countryside, enjoying the sunshine and nice food and just cutting myself from civilization. It was really refreshing. I definitely haven’t gone back to Suffolk enough this year. Sure, I don’t think I could be there permanently, and will always remember how desperate I was to escape when I was younger, but as I get older I really do appreciate the countryside a bit more, and the quiet. People funnily enough seem a bit more open too. There’s a shallowness about London I often find quite offputting.

Where I’m living might be a part of it. The actual house is a really good deal – huge room, amazing living room with balcony, good location, great value for money…but somehow it doesn’t feel like a ‘home’ for me and it hasn’t done for a while. My previous flat was tiny, above a take away on a busy road, no living room, electricity and water done on a top up, and the rent was actually more expensive…on paper you’d think I’d be better off but the reality is I really miss it but I really can’t figure out why. It was cosy, and just felt much more like a home.

I definitely miss living with actual friends over randomers. It’s easier to get wound up by your friends in a houseshare but I think it’s much easier to feel at home too. Sadly it’s so, so difficult to organise London houseshares with mates as everyone’s contracts run totally different time scales. I dunno what to do really. It’s not a bad living situation as such…it’s just not great either. Being a short distance from Chaddock, Folu and Mike is awesome though..but yeah, it doesn’t feel ‘right’ at the moment

The band sort of started building up steam at the beginning of the year, and we had some fucking brilliant times playing some really fun shows (especially my hometown show, which was incredible), but perhaps it got too serious too soon as a result. We ended up taking some time out to detox from it so to speak, and I was pretty worried it was gonna end altogether, but I think it was a good thing to do in the end as seemingly we all realised how much we miss it. We’re gonna get together and discuss things so I’m hoping perhaps we’ll pick up where we left off but iron out some of the things that were perhaps problematic. Hopefully given a few more entries it’ll be proper on the go again. There was something about us I was quite proud of and we managed to build up a bit of a following quite quickly so we must have been doing something right. Here’s hoping..

But yeah, I just feel I need to do something. The blog sounds like I’m feeling down, when I’m really not, I’m just stuck in what feels like a purgatory feeling of nothingness. Fest in November will be truly special, but at the same time I feel I really need to do something outside of the box – go travelling on my own somewhere to a place I’ve never been before like Australia or Iceland or somewhere I can really challenge myself and just get some sort of new lease of life. It’s probably just how I’m feeling this weekend. I dunno. This has been a very unstructured and odd first main blog. It’ll be interesting to see how I react when reading it down the line…

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