Tuesday, 29 March 2011

High Lonesome - 29/03/11

We're playing this Sunday (3rd April) @ the Nags Head in High Wycombe with Make Do & Mend, Crazy Arm and Aplogies I Have None. Can't wait. Will have the new copies of 'The First Two Years' with us, as well as the t-shirts.

Into The Valleys - 29/03/2011

Dolls House in Abertillery, last night.

Firstly, i was really impressed with The Dolts. Their opening numbers were fantastic and their singer (at only seventeen years of age, so i'm told) has an extremely powerful and natural growl. The set tailed off somewhat thanks to couple of clunky covers, but overall i was really impressed. They should stick to writing and focusing on their own material, when they nailed them they were blowing their cover versions clean out of the water. Excellent stuff.

I could go on at (great, great) length about the next band, Dirty Youth, but i think i'll just say that they weren't my bag. Their set was a car crash from start to finish, but it wasn't entirely of their own making to be fair. They seemed to be having some equipment difficulties (cordless mics, kids... they ain't big, cool, or remotely clever), the mix from the desk was awful and the crowd were hardly an enthusiastic bunch.

Minor disasters struck early on in our set. Rhys managed to kick his lead out during Lake Palmer, Robin snapped a stick and had to fumble around for another one midway through The Rest Will Follow, before Rhys broke his bottom E string later on in the same song. An obligatory call for the temporary loan of another guitar to use for the next few numbers went out, of which i have answered the call for tons of bands before as it's simple band etiquette, and i'm genuinely disappointed to say that i've never seen so many guitarists make a sudden and sharp b-line for the back of the room/outside before in my life. The ones that didn't (i'm looking at you Faux Youth... sorry, Dirty Youth) stood stock still and stared at us like we were talking Polish or something. Thanks guys. Rhys re-strung his guitar and the rest of the set went well enough. The sound onstage was absolutely atrocious but apparently didn't sound too bad out in the crowd. The guitar incident was disappointing, but i had lots of fun playing, as did the other boys.

Sadly we couldn't stick around for the entirety of BWXE set, but was i did see/hear sounded like tight screamo. Completely and utterly not my bag, but they were obviously really competent and lots of people seemed to be having a really good time watching them. Shortly after we left a huge fight erupted outside the Dolls House, limbs flying everywhere according to Rhys and Eddie. I detest seeing violence happen at shows, so i'm glad i missed it all. I hope all involved have woken up this morning with nothing more than a sore head, a couple bruised knuckles and a deep sense of embarrassment.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

'The First Two Years' faulty CD returns - 23/03/2011

The new, improved and most crucially complete versions of 'The First Two Years' CD's are back with us. Again, anyone who needs or wants one to replace the faulty copy they picked up at the release show, please get in touch with either Robin (robin2285@live.com) or myself (againstnick@hotmail.com). All is quiet for us at the moment. Robin is down in Plymouth and i'm in the process of moving house, which leaves no room for practice or writing. Kinda frustrating, but things should level out in a couple of weeks, thus enabling us to push on with song writing and promoting 'The First Two Years' as far and wide as physically possible. We're actually playing Boys With X-Ray Eyes last show in Abertillery next week in fact (Monday), full details of which i will put up here when i get around to finding them. Truth is i don't know a hell of a lot about Boys With X-Ray Eyes, i don't even think i've heard a song of theirs, but i do know their drummer and he's been nothing but a really, really good dude to us in the past, whatsmore for a short time he was actually the drummer in Rhys and Eddies old band, the brilliant Haddonfield. I believe Boys With X-Ray Eyes have been active for around three years, which is a huge achievement in itself and they should be really proud of that. 95% of bands around here don't get past a second practice. It's a pleasure to play their final show, i really hope that lots of people show up and give them the send off they deserve.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Sons Of Daughters - 16/03/11

Another thanks you is in order for Adam Walton, he played 'Sons Of Daughters' on his BBC Radio Wales show on Sunday. You can check out the rest of the playlist here:


Motown Junk! Hell yeah.

'Sons Of Daughters' is a weird one for me. I was listening to a lot of The Maccabees around the time i wrote it, hence the STOP/start/STOP verses and the 'indie' centric drumming. I'm really proud of the lyric, especially the chorus, but i can't help but feel that the song sticks out as too much of a black sheep when taken in the context of the eight other tracks that appeared on 'Before The Roars'. I feel that it fares a lot better on 'The First Two Years' which itself is a real mixed bag of sounds, some hitting the mark and others not so much.

I reckon we haven't played 'Sons Of Daughters' live for the better part of a year, since before Kai left the band, as i remember always ragging on him for playing it wrong and always missing his vocal. In hindsight, Sons is a hard song to sing and play, even on guitar, so maybe i could have cut him a bit more slack back then.

I don't know whether or not we'll eventually re-learn it with the new line-up. We get asked for it quite a bit actually, Tal from the Goodtime Boys always asks for it, and i know its Jon Slowdance/Hidden Switch favourite song from 'Before The Roars'. To be honest i'm more focused on writing new songs at the moment, but maybe it'd be cool to dig deep and brush off a 'golden oldie', even if it isn't a personal favourite of mine.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

'The First Two Years' FIRST PRESSING ERROR - 15/03/2011

For the benefit of anyone who bought or was given a free copy of 'The First Two Years' at the launch show last week, there is a track missing on the disk. The track missing, in case you hadn't already noticed, is Apparatus Separator. Nightmare! The master copy of the CD sent to the pressing plant had the full seventeen tracks on it, so it's definitely their error and not ours. Rich is getting on their case this morning to get us a new batch of CD's with ALL the songs back within the next seven days.

IF YOU WERE GIVEN A COPY THE CD WANT A NEW/COMPLETE VERSION WHEN IT COMES BACK NEXT WEEK, PLEASE EMAIL againstnick@hotmail.com or robin2285@hotmail.com. The cases and booklets are totally fine, so you'll just be getting a new CD to replace the one with the missing track. You SHOULD get in touch with us, you paid or got to the show early to get a seventeen track CD and the fact is you didn't get entirely what you came/paid for.

We're really sorry about the mistake, one of us really should have checked it before the show.

Get in touch with either one of us and i promise that all efforts will be made to get the new CD to you as soon as physically possible.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Last (Friday) Nite - 14/03/2011

Huge thanks to everybody that came out to Clwb for the First Two Years release show last Friday. We were truly overwhelmed and had a really great time to boot. By the end of our set, we had played no less than eleven songs, which for us something of a G'n'R esque monster set!

The show was both recorded on the desk by our friend Phil and filmed by a girl who's name i can't remember right now. She's a friend of Eddie's and came equipt with some seriously pro gear! When i got told that the show was being filmed i just expected someone to be wandering around with a camcorder or something, but the camera was positively HUGE and there we tripods set up and everything. Very bizzare, but cool. I look forward to seeing the footage.

The setlist, for anyone that wants to know, was as follows:

Lake Palmer
The Rest Will Follow
A Devil Among The Dancers
The Plastic Stays Yellow Forever
Fighting Tigers
Mexican Waves
Drug Money
Blank Cities
Apparatus Separator
Mary Anne, Come Out Tonight...
Young Loins

The last two were due to an unplanned encore. And you can believe me when i say it was unplanned! Mary Anne, considering we hadn't played it together for the best part of two months, went fine and to be honest we should have called it quits there. However, and i can't really tell you why, i decided to go straight into the opening chords of a song we'd never, ever played before immediately after, that song being Before The Roars acoustic campfire punkrock closer, Young Loins. The problem was, those opening chords, i had absolutely no fucking idea what they were. Cue what seemed like an absolute eternity of me thumbing around the fretboard to try and figure out what they were. Thankfully it was Rhys who eventually showed me what they were. Yes, Rhys, who wasn't even in the band when i wrote the damn song, showing me how to play it. Oh, the shame! What followed was nothing short of a massacre of the original, i don't know what happened, except for the fact that all the way through i was thinking "this is YOUR fault, young man... it's all you". Hah! Believe it or not we had people rushing up to us after the set exclaiming "i'm so glad you played that last song!"- these people were met with a perplexed and incredulous grimace.

Young Loins aside, i had a ton of fun playing, as did the other boys. We weren't perfect, i totally forgot the words to both new songs, Rhys' guitar was screaming like a banshee from first song to last and Robin (bless him) managed to whack his hands and his feet on various parts of his drum kit (he has several ugly bruises to show), but who really wants or expects perfection at a punk rock gig? You're in the wrong scene if you do. My favourite song of our set was probably Blank Cities, it sounded better than ever, and for a song i practically wrote of as a perfectly acceptable 'punk by numbers' song just a few weeks back, it really is starting to stand on it's own two feet as one of our finest efforts to date.

Cell Mates and A Thousand Arrows were both incredible too. It was an awesome night, if we get any more like that this year then we'll be a very, very happy and content bunch of dudes indeed.

Now it's back to the grind. We need to promote The First To Years outside of South Wales as well as keep the creating juices fully spilling over into lots of new tracks. Onwards and upwards.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Can a shark even make a fist, let alone begin to partake in a fist fight? - 09/03/2011

Head on over to http://www.teatopiamagazine.com/ for a recent interview with solutions.

When i read Robin and Eddie's earnest and heartfelt answers, i get the feeling that i may have misjudged the whole tone of this interview? Yeah. Well, if you want overwrought, hyperbole answers then go read 99.6% of all other band interviews. God bless Teatopia mag for wanting to interview us miserable bastards in the first place, but it's hard to find the strength to give a damn when someone asks you what you're gonna be doing in TEN YEARS TIME. I don't know what i'm gonna be doing in ten minutes time. Still being an prick, probably? I dunno.

Anyway, Rhys totally steals the interview with his "fist fight with a shark" comment. It's the best thing i've read in a long, long time.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Drug Money - 08/03/2011

The set list for Friday evening has been agreed. Five songs off 'The First Two Years' and four new ones, two of which are brand new. The newest of the bunch is called Drug Money. I wanted to call it Sleeping Martyrs on the basis that it fits with the lyrical content, but for some reason the term 'drug money' had been bouncing around my head all morning, so i suggested it as an alternative title to the boys and they loved it plenty more than the original title. I'm not one for discussing the lyrical content of a song, but i will say that music came about during a two or three week period of me listening to nothing but 'Journal For Plague Lovers' by the Manics. The verse riff is painfully simple, but one of my very favourite little licks i've written. Robin thinks the song sounds like Future Of The Left, but i can't say i agree entirely. The verses remind me of the Manics, yet the pre-chorus and chorus just sound like us to my ears. I really like it. I mentioned before that the show is getting recorded for a forthcoming release, of all the songs we'll be playing on Friday night, i think Drug Money is the one i'm most looking forward to hearing back. That is, of course, on the basis that we don't completely fuck it up! Here's to hoping we don't...

Monday, 7 March 2011

'The First Two Years' release show line-up change... - 07/03/2011

Due to unforeseen circumstances, The Computers have had to pull out of playing the release show this Friday. I'd be bummed out if it weren't for the quality of the band stepping onto the bill to replace them...

Friday 11th March 2011 @ Clwb Ifor Bach...


Doors @ 7:30pm. First band on @ 8pm.£4 entry - The first fifteen people through the door will recieve a copy of 'The First Two Years' CD for free. The show will be finished by 10pm in accordance with the club night curfew restrictions.

A THOUSAND ARROWS are a post hardcore band from Cardiff, they're fucking amazing and have ex(and current)-members of The Slowdance, Panel, Raging Speedhorn and Shaped By Fate in their ranks. Great bunch of boys to boot. I'm beyond excited.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Alter The Press! - 04/03/2011

The folks over at Alter The Press! were kind enough to run an article on the pending release of 'The First Two Years'. You can check it out here: