North By South East

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I have been reminded today to update the blog because apparently some people read it. If that’s the case then I apologise for the delay in doing it. We have been busy of late so that’s my excuse.

We played two gigs the other week, one in Aberdeen and one in Haddington. Played Aberdeen millions of times, never played Haddington before even though I lived down that way for years and our Andy lives down that way.

Aberdeen was awesome, again. Of particular note was our support band AKA Ska who were outstanding. Ska covers bands sometimes get a bit of stick, especially from our cousins, The Amphetameanies (naming no names), but these guys were shit hot and they did an outstanding cover of Dexy’s Midnight Runners ‘Geno’, which even had me dancing and as everyone knows, I’m too tough to dance. They also had their brass section stuck up the back of the stage near the drums. Great idea that. We copied it in our set, freeing up the stage for Andy, Murray and i to run about a bit. Tom and Colin in particular were decidedly unhappy about the arrangement and took to jumping over their monitors and insinuating themselves near the microphones at the front of the stage at every opportunity, bless them. Its funny but I never realised how we look on stage. When you look at any photo of us playing live there’s eight guys at the front of the stage all vying for attention. Everyone is at the front, jumping about saying ’don’t look at him, look at me’, except for Joe and Sam at the back holding the whole shaky thing together. Or not as the case may be. Its blatant exhibitionism. For example, Jay strips at every gig without fail. Textbook example of exhibitionism although why anyone would like to see a sweaty naked 40 year old man is another thing altogether.

I digress. Aberdeen was also the debut performance of three, yes, three new tracks; `Don’t Give It All Away` which is one of the songs we have recorded for the album, `Twin Peaks`, and `The Day The Earth Stood Stupid`, all of which went down well even though we still haven’t really finished writing some of them. Also I broke three strings on two guitars, two strings on my Thinline almost simultaneously which has only happened once before, during the guitar intro for `Sally Brown` in front of a thousand people at the Barrowlands. We also had a wee jam with our mate Dod on the bagpipes. And for the record, we played for two hours.

Haddington was also good. The Corn Exchange is a huge town hall about the size of an aircraft hangar and for the event they had set up half pipe for the kids to skateboard. I guess some people like playing gigs when there is the possibility of children being injured. Not me because I’m a worrier. The gig was good. Also on the bill were our amigos the Tyrant Lizard Kings who played a bunch of new tracks and also their outstanding cover of Johnny Cash’s `Folsom Prison Blues`. Colin, Andy and I also played in the guise of our Rage Against The Machine tribute band earlier in the day. Ben Cozine (featuring my bud Jack on kit) also played, as did some other local bands that I missed. Thanks to everyone involved especially Martin and Todd.

Recording progresses. We have started recording on location via the gift of laptop computer and Pro Tools, which neatly bypasses the costly £25 an hour studio fee. All that’s required is that when we want to record I kidnap Gav, our engineer which is easy because I know where he works and I have a van. We brought him out to Matt’s place near Kirkliston, an ancient stone gatehouse on a big estate, which is where we keep the Bombskare Hammond Organ and Leslie. The only place you can play the thing because its so loud. We got more keyboard overdubs done. Next step is recording more horn overdubs back in the studio and then start recording vocals. I love it when a plan comes together.

Next gig is the Ska Dance Craze at the Renfrew Ferry in Glasgow with our associates This R2 Tone, who as everyone knows feature our Colin and Mike (musical sluts) and also one time Bombskare guitar meister, Mr Bill Sinclair (oh the stories I could tell), and also an old school friend of mine and Mike, Mr Kevin Murray who played in the school orchestra with us. I played Euphonium then, Kev played Cello and Mike played trombone obviously. Should be a good gig. Wow are these blog entries getting longer?

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