Shocking news everyone. Apparently if Scotland votes for independence in 2014 then not only will Scotland not be able to use the pound, but Bombskare will no longer be able to use the designation ‘Ska’ to describe our music. We are being informed that after independence our music will be referred to as Scottish Death Reggae. I tell you, it’s a fucking outrage, beyond the pale frankly. I’m just glad Margaret Thatcher isn’t alive to see it.
Now I’m not a lawyer, or a musicologist or even particularly hygienic, but I am a taxpayer, and I tell you that this is a bridge too far. Losing the pound is one thing, although I reckon that Sir Walter Scott won’t be happy about it, but if we have to lose Ska then not only will this tattoo on my lower back be completely redundant and stupid, but our music will be re-categorized in iTunes into the ‘other’ category. I haven’t been this angry since that time back in the 80s when I was battering Ronald Reagan in a boxing ring. Actually that could have been the video for ‘Two Tribes’.
Nevertheless we are very upset. Joe has been in tears, weeping uncontrollably like a lady; Matt went postal, once we showed him where Scotland was on a map and his relationship to the map and as for me, my reaction is fairly predictable in these situations.
Don’t let any of this influence how you may vote come referendum time, but bear in mind two things: first, a Scottish Independence Day celebration will resemble a real time re-enactment of the Battle of Iwo Jima with alcohol, and second, a Yes vote is a vote for Scottish Death Reggae, and then it’s a slippery slope to renaming the country to Irnbrusylvania. Where does it end? We’ll be having to change the name of the band, again. We should probably just change it back to our first name ‘Red Hot Monkey Love’, it has a nice Scottish Death Reggae ring to it. Or how about Scott and Co? It’s succinct, catchy and not without precedent. It worked for Van Halen, it was the name of their local debt collection agency apparently.
The last few weeks we’ve been relatively quiet, a few private gigs here and there but mainly we’ve been taking the time to reflect, feed our starving pets and children, catch up on our Xbox Live, that sort of thing. On my down time, I like to follow Murray. It’s often insightful, sometimes beautiful but occasionally boring, especially when he’s sleeping, like now, and it’s in those deeply depressing and boring moments parked in a car outside Murray’s house that I like to update the blog, so here it is.
As you know we have finally released ‘The Day the Earth Stood Stupid’ our second album and the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive, we’ve sold over four copies and someone left a comment on our Facebook page saying it was alright, so that’s pretty good. In fact that’s in our press pack now; Dave1985 says “it’s alright”. We’re not letting it go to our heads of course. We’re still just regular guys with vague hairlines and a fondness for cake buffets. The album itself is pretty long, longer than ‘A Fistful of Dynamite’ by about ten minutes, and it would have been longer but we cut five tunes. That’s right, 25% was cut. Not only cut, but deleted. We threw those five tunes straight into the bin. We’ve been asked about the album title a lot. Basically it’s a song that almost made it onto the first album but wasn’t quite finished in time. The song is about being surrounded by idiots, something that once happened to me for ten straight years, but it’s inspired by one of my favourite episodes of ‘Futurama’, the one where the flying brains attack Earth. Suffice it to say that stupidity is a major theme in this band. Other highlights include the second part of our Alistair MacLean trilogy ‘Where Eagles Dare’, ‘Dance Macabre’ featuring Andy’s daughters, Orianne and Connie, and ‘Lloyd Knibb’ featuring Waz on shaky egg. Freedom 35 as you may or may not know is our tribute to the Trailer Park Boys and is specifically based on their plan to get rich by growing tons of weed and selling it to the local prison. Needless to say it ends badly with the everyone being sent to prison where apparently the weed is really good.
To promote the album we started off by playing at the London International Ska Festival down in London with the likes of The Pannonia All-Star Orchestra and Buster Shuffle. Don’t worry, we flew the flag for Scottish Death Reggae. Get used to it folks. Unfortunately we couldn’t see much else at the Ska festival as we had to be back in Edinburgh for our official album launch down at Studio 24, and we didn’t want a repeat of the last time we tried playing in London then Edinburgh on consecutive nights. We had agreed that we would drive down to London all day Friday, do the show in the evening, see a few bands and then set off back to Edinburgh through the night, driving in shifts. We got in at 10am, had about five hours sleep and then went down to Studio 24 to sound-check for the night ahead. It was a great night, and exhausting. Thanks to everyone who came along, especially Pikey Beatz who were brilliant, and our cousins Super Adventure Club who were terrifying as always. We joined them on stage for a semi-impromptu version of their Christmas number one ‘Tommy Sheridan’, and they joined us for an even more semi-impromptu cover of The Who’s ‘The Real Me’.
Special mention to our old friend Tim Young aka the Harvey Lanes Trio who were great. Tim also recorded our album for us. You can tell it’s been recorded with real love.
We then went to King Tuts in Glasgow for a sell-out show, with The Girobabies and The Skarsoles. That was a great night. The Girobabies are a band to watch, great tunes and brilliantly memorable lyrics. They also had an escape artist in a straitjacket for one song, who had to escape before the end, which he did. The Skarsoles are old friends of ours but it’s been over seven years since we’ve last played together, though back then their horn section was too young to get in to their own gig. They were good back in 2005, but these days they are fantastic. We also returned to Dundee to Duke’s Corner or what was once called The Doghouse, which was nice.
Then there was Knoydart. Most of that weekend is a blur, although I realise that this is no defence in court. I do have a number of fairly solid recollections; the journey up, the boat across to Knoydart, Andy eating cold mackerel in tomato sauce out of a tin with an oatcake, watching Esperanza and the Horndog Brass Band. I can remember waking up with Andy sitting on my bed staring at me sleeping, and after refusing to fuck off several times had to be forceabley made to fuck off using physics. Give me a lever and I can move the world. Also drunk idiots are a specialty. We found out the following day how messy it had become and unfortunately rather than slink off in mortification, now we had to play our set, which we did and history was made. I think they recorded it, oh happy day. It was also a reunion with our former drum operator and masturbation guru, Samuel McLeod. I honestly had completely forgotten about that guy, couldn’t remember him being in the band at all. It wasn’t until he arrived on the peninsula that I sensed him, we call it the Quickening. We resisted the urge to decapitate one another and devolved into our usual routine of him grabbing my junk and me throttling his face off. After our impressive death reggae recital we were followed by our old friends Treacherous Orchestra. I will say this about them, I don’t trust them. I fell in a stream heading back to the bunkhouse in the dark which upset me greatly. I haven’t been that upset since the time I was being chased by Zombies with my girlfriend and we took refuge in an old house and I almost soiled my nice red trousers. Possibly that was the video for ‘Thriller’. Either way I recommend bringing a head torch.
We also made another epic voyage down to the Landed Festival near Llandrindod Wells in South Wales. I have to say, bore da. Wales is a beautiful place, and that’s coming from someone from Scotland, the most beautiful country on Earth. In your face, Switzerland! If I couldn’t live in a Scotland anymore, I’d live in Wales. We went down to the festival which was on the grounds of this estate with a grand old mansion in the background. We did our thing and had the stage invaded by a naked man who turned out to be the bass player from the previous band, but as we were leaving to come back that night they had lit up this grand old mansion with video projectors playing along to the music. Then someone told me that this was Doldowlod House, the home of James Watt, the Scottish inventor, lit up like a dance club. Apparently the workshop was still in use and one of his descendants was in the audience watching our set which was funny since most of us were steaming, oh irony. Anyway,we drove back that night and it was around Carlisle that I started hallucinating that deer in balaclavas were running onto the road, and Mike took over the driving.
Our last show was supposed to be at Oran Mor in Glasgow supporting Rico Rodriguez but it was postponed. I was told that Rico got back from a Jools Holland tour with a chest infection, and apparently his doctor told him not to blow anything bigger than a cornet. Who wants to see Rico play a cornet? So we played at MacSorley’s, in consolation for the Rico show being postponed. Good to catch up with Big Fat Panda who featured Hornboy on trumpet, since Jay, their Sax player was off getting his scrotum bleached. That’s what you get when you have a saxophone player with a disease.
The next few weeks we’ll be up at Loch Fyne Ale Fest, then the Isle of Eigg and then we’re off to the Lemon Tree in Aberdeen. It’s all very exciting.