You Will Know Us By The Trail of Empties

Ladies and Gentlemen, if you are like me, then congratulations, you too are in a nine piece ska band that is permanently drunk yet somehow manages to be everywhere at once, kicking ass left and right with world class Kung Fu, laying waste to dressing rooms and stages all over the place, stunning your friends and fans alike with your drunken master technique. Kudos to you my friends. If however your nine piece ska band is like ours then it won’t smell great. We definitely sound better than we smell, or maybe I’ve spent a little too much time in minibuses of late. Just kidding, I love these guys. Love them like a family. Even better than a family. None of them are likely to ask for my bone marrow. Maybe Joe, but then only as a refreshing beverage.

Anyway as you probably are aware we have been pretty busy of late what with the Ska and everything. In the last four weeks we’ve been down to London and played a blinder even though we were mourning the death of our patron saint Lloyd Knibb. I would say requiscat in pace but we have devised a daring scheme to steal his remains from the Boston cemetery where he is currently interred. Let’s just say we have other plans for him, involving lots of electricity. It’s top secret, unless you’ve seen the movie ‘Reanimator’. The drive back from London was a race against time to get Sam ‘there can be only one’ McLeod back to Edinburgh for six o clock for another gig, but I am the Phileas Fogg of Bombskare, and so we arrived with two minutes to spare. Score one to Bombskare.

We’ve also released ‘The Chop Shop EP’, a mutant hybrid of three different songs that we’ve been working on for our second album, ‘The Day the Earth Stood Stupid’, ‘All The Guys in the Nightclub’ and ‘Small Man Syndrome’. It also includes live versions and some pretty unusual remixes, not for the faint hearted, courtesy of the very enigmatic Harvey Lanes. Never actually met him but I understand he’s hideous to look at. We’ve also been Back in Da Skapital which was excellent to be playing on the home turf once again. We also played at our friend Ian Anderson’s birthday bash with drum monster Mikey Pepper on kit because all our other drummers were busy. With only two rehearsals he nailed the set like the superstar he is. It was at that gig that someone suggested to me this riddle: Silvio Berlusconi, Simon Cowell and Strauss-Kahn the head of the IMF, in a room with a gun but only two bullets. What do you do? Solution: both bullets into Simon Cowell, and use Berlusconi as a blunt instrument to beat Strauss-Kahn to death. Simple.

We also headlined the Sunday night at the Knockengorroch festival which was cracking. I didn’t think there would be anyone left there at that time on the Sunday, but what do I know? We went on right after Ade Edmondson and the Bad Shepherds, so for a bit of a laugh we started with ‘Last Night’ aka the theme tune from ‘Bottom’. We’re crazy like that. It was a great set. Afterwards Joe, Mike, Murray and I had to get back to Edinburgh for work the following morning, wage slaves that we are, but upon leaving we discovered that the notorious ten mile long trail out of the festival site was blocked as a car had crashed off it into a ditch, causing a traffic jam. With no other way out we sat waiting in the minbus until the tractor on site managed to tow the car out, clearing the traffic jam. But as we went to head up the trail to the first bridge, we discovered that the tractor had crashed off the bridge and we were stuck again. Score one to the Universe. Luckily MIke bumped into a local chap who had been called out with another tractor to save the first tractor and he told us about the other ‘secret’ way out, way up into the hill which we took and after a while, presto we were out. We were rolling into Edinburgh at around 5am, however, tired but undefeated. Up yours, Universe. Score one to us

Our next trip was to Aberdeen and the eternal Cafe Drummonds. It was necessary to play our usual mental one hundred and odd minute set in an environment like Drummonds, humid and deadly, for our newest member Waz as part of his intense Bombskare special ops training, to prepare for the Eden Festival the following week. Drummonds was only Waz’s second gig on the drums for us, the first being Esperanza’s album launch in Glasgow. Learning our huge repertoire is like studying for the Chinese civil service exam. He came through it with flying colours although afterwards he looked like he had just run a marathon on crack. The next level of course, is to do it pissed, that’s when you know you have superior Kung Fu. It was also good to catch up with our very good friend Gav Fort, who recorded our last album. We gave him a lift back to the Burgh.

The Eden Festival itself was a cracker too, a much better performance and experience than last year. Last year Gil Scott Heron was a no show on the main stage for one thing, and therefore we were unnecessarily bumped onto the smaller stage, with hilarious consequences. This year we were back on the main stage and as a drunken bet, Andy and Colin opened our set with a very impromptu cover of Gil Scott Heron’s ‘The Revolution will not be Televised’ in tribute since he had just died a few week before, damn you Universe! I guess he really is the late Gil Scott Heron now, ahem. Murray couldn’t make it that day but we had Phil Hopwood on guitar covering Murray’s guitar parts, which as most of you already know involves playing the same parts as me but a bit out of tune and off the beat whilst laughing his head off. That’s right, I’m saying Murray is rubbish. Heart of gold, mind you. We recorded a little bit of it here.

It was a great weekend but we had to leave in the middle of the Sunday for another open air gig in Glasgow at the Gibson St. Gala Day, this time with Murray back where the skiver belongs but without Matt, who stayed back at the Eden to play with his other band, The Marrs Effect. I broke two strings simultaneosly during ‘Crime of the Century’, and near the end Murray’s microphone hit him in the eye because of the wind. Nae luck, skiver. Score one for the Universe.

Last but not least we played away up in Lochinver again. Amazing night. We had our good friend Tim Young doing our sound. He’s a colorful gentleman, with a colourful jacket and an even more colourful past. Although he has worked with the likes of UNKLE in the past, he still reckons his greatest achievment to date has been working with us, because of our incredible work ethic naturally and pungent aroma. We stayed in a little corrugated iron clad guest house up in the foothills on the way to the peaks, a typical slasher movie setting. Thanks to everyone in Lochinver and Ullapool who made it up, and thanks again to Niall Robertson and his folks for looking after us again. We’ll be back.

So now what? We have no gigs untiĀ  July, but then there’s a pretty big one. We’ll be opening for a line up that includes the likes of Madness, Idlewild, The Noisettes, Edwyn Collins, but I’ve said before, we’ll definitely be the band to watch because we have the best Kung Fu, so all those guys had better watch out. Enough said. In the meantime we’ll be getting back into the studio and getting some real work done. Score one for us again. By my count we are definitely, winning!

About The BombLab

9 Piece Ska Machine
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