Monday, 10 November 2008

I was in a band once....

For the next six weeks from 3/11/08 I will updating weekly.
My career (?) in music
A six part confession of how I never made it.
In e-book form to download and read at your pleasure

*Part 2 – Not what I expected.*


One thing was painfully obvious after the first gig. Groupies were a myth.
Not one girl even came up to make an enquiry. I would have been happy with a simple “You were shit”
Sadly it was a trend that would haunt our careers. But as for the band; we were all bitten by the bug, even Jessy.
But Al was bitten hardest, he wanted to form his own band with other guys from his school.
In one foul swoop we lost our equipment, transport and our practice room.
As well as having no lead guitarist, Jim had managed to get off the dole and find work, so practice was often held without Jim.
Roger at this stage had stepped up a notch, his ambition to play had turned into obsession and he bought himself a bass guitar out of the “Trading Post” and practice was now held in his garage.
There was no way I could carry the guitar role off by myself , so Roger asked his old band member.
Russell who had moved out of the area a year earlier was eager to play with his old mate . How anything was achieved during this period is still amazing with Russell living so far away and no body having a licence to drive. It was usually a patient brother or sister who dropped everyone off at practice and picked them up again especially Jessy with his huge drum kit.

With Russell in the band they and with practice they were able to play more complicated pieces, though they had to knock back Russell’s suggestions of Jimi Hendrix material.
Much like Metal Magistrate we still liked to play our own material,. I had taken up writing simple tunes and covering them up with an overdrive pedal. To my surprise the others like them. Mainly because they were easier to learn and you didn’t have the problem we had with covers. People saying it didn’t sound anything like the record.
One thing that probably has to be noted at this point was we were either at school or on the dole so the only thing that actually kept us excited was the band, and it was contagious. In the space of 3 weeks after the Metal Magistrate gig 2 more bands were in the process of practising and using the Youth Club as their venue.
Even though Jim was unable to make it to a lot of practices we were confident we were making an improvement on our original gig.

We called ourselves KASHMIR which was chosen by Rogers older brother (the same one who became a monk) because Metal Magistrate was too pretentious (?).

When Al ‘s band RACK announced their first gig at the local youth club, Kashmir was asked to support.

On the day of the gig Al informed us that his band had hired a public address system for night and hit us for part of the costs then set themselves up first making it difficult for Jessy to construct his ever growing drum kit
We eventually pushed all their gear to the back and hoped for the best.
When the crowd rolled in the fear factor rose some what ,even more people than the last gig had turned up, of course the Youth club increased the price, none of which we saw.
Then the next piece of an already compelling farce came through the door, It was Jim and he was pissed.
It was the first time our band had used a P.A and Al’s band let Roger and Me plug into their amps.
The gig was a shambles ,
Kashmir weren’t rehearsed enough, (Duhhh)
My guitar broke on the first note of the first song, at first I thought I broke a string but discovered the who machine head had fell apart. ,
Mandy Brown (a late addition as a back up singer ) as well as Jim couldn’t hear what they were singing.
None of the Band could hear what they were playing due to no foldbacks and the mixer sat in front of the speakers. So all the audience – which was close to 150 – heard was a mess.
Russell was told by the mixer to keep turning his amp up because his speaker was actually behind the mixing desk. (the mixer by the way had a graphic equalizer on his stereo, that’s how he got the job)
Roger actually sang one song because Jim didn’t know it.
Kashmir were blown off stage by RACK who were smart enough to fix all the problems before they went on stage. Important lessons were learnt, the support act are scum and always do a sound check.
We were shaken but not knocked down.

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