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Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Last night went to Fortress to see Ikara Kolt who are launching a new single or album or something, anyway I got an invite so rude not to go and the Fortress has good memories with M.A.S.S. playing there and also blagging in to see Primal Scream a few months ago which was amazing.
Why are all the tall people out tonight? I didn't wear my heels and can't get to see the band properly which is annoying, so spent more time at the bar than I would have liked to. I didn't know much about IK but they are very tight and kick arse, a cross between The Fall and Led Zeppelin, they pass the M.A.S.S. but not least because the two girls on guitar and bass absolutely rock. Just wish that the stage was raised a bit for us short arses who don't get down the front quick enough. You could say its ya own bloody fault then I'd say up ya bum but im far too much of "a lady u know" [all Little Britain fans will know wot im on about].
Also tonight The Libertine boys will be doing another mental small pub gig at The Duke Of Clarence where I saw them last year but we're rehearsing all day with M.A.S.S. [I'm really loving the new songs we're working on at the moment] and I don't think I'll be able to get near the door for Gary to get me in like he did last time. Amazing that they are still playing these small secret pub gigs AND doing three nights at Brixton.... still waiting for my invite for M.A.S.S. to open one of the shows though :-)

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Another night at Brixton Academy.
Mainly went to see Peaches playing with The Distillers but also Josh Homme's band and Pretty Girls Make Graves on the line up. Missed Josh Homme but saw a few songs from PGMG who weren't served well by the boomy sound in the Academy.
But Peaches was the girl I was waiting for.. brilliant, I am a big fan and amazingly we have just got an email from her management saying how much she likes M.A.S.S. and wants us to play on some of her upcoming UK tour dates... it's everything crossed time but how good will that be?
We caught the end of Peaches set when we were playing a festival in Belgium last year... she is a great show woman and ROCKS! She manged to do thing with guitars i've yet see a boy do; change numerous amount of times with different lycra and have a projection screen that filled every mans fantasy and woman if thats your bag!! My favourite is when the legend himself was on the screen Iggy Pop and the kick arse duet they do on 'Kick It'. I just absorbed myself into the music and show in my element. Shes great she has a great edge to her.
Still buzzing after she had long gone from the stage. Had a few drinks with a few people, met Dean from The Beatings.. they are STILL working on their album after a year.. hopefully it will be worth the wait. I kept meaning to see more of The Distillers but can't help feeling that if we ever played with them, M.A.S.S. would kick their arse.. I saw Josh Homme lingering back stage but alas didnt get talking to him good job for brody of course.
It was a great night ended up in the green room drinking free Carlsberg... very very very drunk talking away to people hope I didnt scare too many people or do I yeah it wouldnt be me if I didnt bus home my normal chariot tryed to gather up fans in the chicken house dont ask just say when I am under the influence I talk to everyone But what a nice world to be in ....theyll take me away one day.

Saturday, February 07, 2004

Last night was our bass player in M.A.S.S., Paul's homecoming gig @ The Garage in Bergen, Norway and I hope that we did him proud.
We soundchecked and one of the other bands was the Bazooka Bombers and all girl band that is always good to see... think Primal Scream's 'Rocks' and you are well in their area, showing boys in bands a thing about attitude.
We weren't on til midnight so calls for a few glasses of amber... booze is so expensive to buy in Norway you really have to navigate your way round the free stuff. At the start of the gig I wasn't happy.. as usual the monitors were giving me nothing and I had to make some pretty elementary hand signals to the sound guy which I am sure were understandable in any language, even Norwegian. Guitarist Andy's mike seemed louder than mine so grabbed that and you should have seen his face when he turned round to sing, it was a picture but at least I could hear and put something into the gig. We also had not had our JD on the rider so towards the end of the set I decided to go walking, jumped over the bar and tried to get us the JD from behind the bar... I don't think the bar staff realised that I had come from the stage and they started to put up 'resistance' and a tug of war ensued. I am sorry to say I failed and considered it not worth getting a black eye for, sometimes it is.. believe me but not this night. I've got to give a big shout out to the Canadian guy who was on before us, just him and his accordian but great stories and songs AND, more to the point, he freely gave me swigs on his whiskey.

Today we just have to hang out.. drink.. see some bands... I'll be on the red wine though.. much more cost effective and we met a guy from a punk band called The Bowels, he was really cool so have promised to see his band...

Friday, February 06, 2004

So here I am with M.A.S.S. in Bergen in Norway, home of my bass player Paul. It's the first time we've been here with him and the band so, as you can imagine, he's very excited.
We had an eventful journey here yesterday.. lots of mountains and rain, rain rain rain.. Home from home it's enough to make you take to drink - not that we need any excuses, as you well know. So after a last minute check in at Stanstead we got on a plane.. and as is the usual M.A.S.S. way with our good friends Ryan Air, fly to a remote airfield in the middle of Norway followed by a series of coach and ferry links.. planes, trains and automobiles. It wasn't until later that we remembered the extortianate price of booze in Norway.. so didn't think when some of the Norwegian boys bought a big bottle of duty free brandy. This was the other band from London flying with us by the way... three guys including two norwegians and one is from wales who may I add has already thrown up mmmm nice iits gonna be a long journey... when I can remember their band name I'll put it in here because they truly rock but they were lucky to make it. We transfered from plane to coach and as the brandy gets drunk, so do the Norwegians..loudly..and louder..
Anyway.. I won't go into details but suddenly the bus stops and there is the driver pointing for the drinkers to get off the bus.. prompted by a passenger who has decided to be Mr. Moral... As the other band are thrown off the bus the driver then turns to my drummer Stuart and asks him to leave as well, saying that he had been drinking as well.. now Stuart is currently off the booze and has been for a few months... so this was particularly cruel. After a bit of intervention from our manager who had to vouch for everyone, we were allowed to stay on board but not before the singer of the other band had dropped his trousers displaying his arse in full view of a lovely and polite looking Norwegian lady which didn't go down to well. But sorry lads the journey was a little less painful without the loud viking banter!
We arrived in town and straight to Paul's mums place on the side of the hill, and she offered us beers and home cooked traditional Norwegian food.. heaven.. then we went out and checked into the hotel and then to the venue The Garage where we will be playing tonight. The festival we are playing is called the Ride This Train Festival, this is the tenth anniversary and it was originally started to commemorate a young Norwegian musician who died, as it happens Paul also played with him in his first band. Each year the festival raises money and then allocates it to musicians and that's what we went and saw last night, the allocation of the money they made last year. It was good but a bit weird, watching a ceremony all in Norwegian. Luckily we were given some cheap beer tokens and were soon having a great time watching bands and one in particular, called Tennis were really good in a sort of Soundtrack Of Our Lives type rocking way. Can't wait for our gig tomorrow though.... jus x

Monday, February 02, 2004

Friday
A weekend of theirs and ours.
The White Stripes are back in town and at my favourite [and almost local] London venue, Brixton Academy on Friday. As I was out and about and nearby earlier, I also got to sneak in at the soundcheck which was cool and just knew that this venue was much more suited to them than Ally Pally, the old converted theatres just have more character.
A few drinks later and returned for opening band Blanche, who are growing on me but The Stripes really shine in the confines of the Academy; Jack is on top form. They rocked the place, Jack is just phonominal and Meg has just got the look, the roadies dressed in bowler hats and suits to Jacks lycra red and black pants that give Justin Darkness a run for his money. he's a big boy is Jack..tall :-)
Getting used to this schmoozing game and at the aftershow meet Dan from Blanche, lovely chap.. and the rest of the WS entourage. Fantastic. I even got an offer to travel with them to France. Now that would have been something but we have a M.A.S.S. show to do in Luton, to rock the guys and girls and shake them up a bit and hey... Luton today, Brixton Academy tomorrow..

Saturday
and we were getting ready for our show in Luton. We never know how we will be traveling (I think our management like to surprise us with what ridiculous mode of transport next). This beats the lot though; A converted ambulance with the added bonus of being driven by Andy the drummer from Ten Benson, helping out for the night.. that's what I like to see.. bands sticking together. If you haven't seen Ten Benson yet, you should, I went to see them last year, excellent, they are writing at the moment but should be back out on the road soon.
The venue in Luton is called The Well and turns out to be the place to be in Luton for live music. Not only that, they treat us well and offer everyone a home cooked Thai meal on the premises.. ARE YOU LISTENING other venues out there? it doesn't take much to look after the bands who play for you. It's great to play somewhere where the organiser is the landlord and he knows what he is doing.. the other two bands that he had booked to open for us were worth mentioning; THE MEASURE.. loved his vocals and all brilliant players and BOWFINGER, lots of energy, great playing and two guys taking turns with vocals giving it a nice twist - everyone busting a gut to make it a good show and warming things up nicely for M.A.S.S. . just the way we like it. I still get nervy though, even in these small clubs, not knowing how you lot are going to react and wanting everone to love what we do, it's a constant challenge. I love it though, more disciples to join the M.A.S.S.querade.
me with M.A.S.S. in LutonI had lots of energy after being well fed and was well up for 45 minutes of pure energy.It was great just what I wanted the crowd got it straight away mind you its not that hard if you just let yourself go and dont give a shit . Three encores later and we were off, everyone was brilliant.. so JackD all round, my ACDC t shirt soaked, it was a good show all around the guys felt good apart from jonnys jumping off stage slipped on the water i'd thrown earlier and he landed on his boney arse :-) Spinal tap moment skinny our fab roadie tried to help him up.. Im trying not to piss myself on stage laughing ignoring the situation.
Brilliant every show is never the same. So pile in the van had a few stops on the way handy gaffer came in use the wind screen wipers were coming off so he couldnt see sweet F.A through the windows.So we had to do some handy work on them. Class pure style as always we try to ride in we wouldnt want it any other way would we.
Next off to norway so i'll have a few tales to tell im sure.

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