Friday, 21 September 2018

Album Review: Fight The Good Fight by The Interrupters (by Robyn Pierce)


Right on time, almost exactly two years since the release of their last studio album, The Interrupters have given us a new full-length record entitled Fight the Good Fight. As with the band’s previous releases, the new album is produced by Tim Armstrong and out on Hellcat Records, and promises the fun, positivity-fueled ska punk that we’ve come to expect from Aimee and the Bivona brothers. The title for the album seems appropriate, since ‘Fight the Good Fight’ offers a kind of slogan or mantra for everyone who is struggling to deal with the dangerous conservatism of the present moment (which basically feels like everyone).


The album’s theme of staying true to your principles, standing tall, and fighting for what you believe in is introduced right from the first song. ‘Title Holder’ is a jaunty, mid-tempo track that asks you “are you a fighter, or will you cower”? It’s got a great vocal hook and a lot of sass, ultimately delivering the message that the only way you lose the fight against injustice is by not showing up. The next track ‘So Wrong’, like the later song ‘Gave You Everything’, is more punk than ska, and both remind me a lot of Bad Cop/Bad Cop. This is probably because of the gorgeous bass lines the band has laid under Aimee’s gravelly vocals in ‘So Wrong’, and the joyful self-assertion of ‘Gave You Everything’. There are also some awesome pop-punk woos and aahs in the background of both songs. In the second half of the album, ‘Outrage’ and ‘Room with a View’ also deliver a more straightforward punk sound; the first reflecting on the divided “age of outrage” we find ourselves in, while the other is a touching tribute to a lost loved one. I don’t think The Interrupters will ever escape the inevitable comparisons to The Distillers (or Rancid, for that matter), but for me these songs are much closer to a fun and edgy pop punk sound like that of Bad Cop/Bad Cop.

The rest of the album is loaded with catchy ska melodies. The band released ‘She’s Kerosene’ as the album’s first single, and it’s very clear to see why. It’s a highly skankable, uptempo ska tune with fast lyrical delivery and upstrokes a plenty. However, I’d argue that the rightful centerpiece of this album is ‘Got Each Other’, which plays out like a love song to the scene. The song springs out of a collaboration between The Interrupters and Rancid and is the musical equivalent of having a friendly (albeit sweaty) arm flung around your shoulders as you hop and dance in the pit. Everyone gets on the chorus of “We don’t have much but we’ve got each other”, making this a perfect singalong for live shows. ‘Leap of Faith’, introduces a darker groove but is also a great uptempo ska track with a catchy chorus, and includes some welcome horns in the breakdown. ‘Broken World’ responds to the divided opinion and lack of communication plaguing society with rampant love and positivity, while ‘Not Personal’ and ‘Rumours and Gossip’ call out police violence and the way in which rumours can poison relationships. As the album winds down, ‘Be Gone’ brings back the beautiful bass lines as the band chants “devil be gone” and exorcises everyone’s demons.

Fight the Good Fight is an excellent third album from The Interrupters, in which the band faces challenges head on but refuses to get discouraged or to give up. Every song is filled with an infectious energy and joyful defiance, and I’m sure it will please anyone who was a fan of the band’s first two albums. If you enjoy dancing along to the likes of Rancid and Operation Ivy but have yet to give Interrupters a try, I definitely recommend giving Fight the Good Fight a listen. It’s got all of the ska punk happiness we need right now.

Like The Interrupters here: https://www.facebook.com/wearetheinterrupters/

This review was written by Robyn Pierce.

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Top Tens: Graham from Goodbye Blue Monday's Top Ten Punk Rock Influences


Thanks for asking me to do this, Colin. I’m going to avoid listing 10 bands that are blindingly obvious influences (yes, I’m sure we do sound like a Scottish cheap Off With Their Heads). I’ll try to focus more on what helps me write songs/gives me inspiration. Hope that’s alright. Sorry if I ramble. Plus, trigger alert and all that.

1. Punk Rock
I’ve listened to punk, in various forms and styles, for 20 years. From the early days of buying NoFX CDs at Tower Records, making and exchanging comps with mates and buying knock-off shirts outside shows; to downloading mp3s from AudioGalaxy to discover new bands (NoFX didn’t cover ‘I Want You To Want Me’ after all); to downloading full album torrents; to vinyl and Spotify and merch at shows. It’s been the one consistent genre I’ve always listened to. Playing in a punk band (whichever genre we fall into), it’s impossible not to accept how heavily influenced we are by a relatively limited genre. But also, I don’t know of any other genre which prides itself (despite often failing) on a good ethical outlook, stripped of the ambitions and vanity of other bands. Times change and you appreciate certain aspects of the music more, or get completely turned off by other things. My perspective has shifted a lot and some bands I never used to listen to, I now listen to all the time; and some of the bands I used to love, I’d probably consider to be assholes now. But I guess this is growing up. See what I did there? Plus, I can work up so much hatred for other music. As soon as I get a sniff of arrogance, or a whiff of insincerity, I lose my shit. The older I get, the worse it is. I didn’t mind the Chilli Peppers when I was a teen. Now all I hear is fuckin “wizza wazza warn ya, girl in Californya” or some shite like that. I can’t get passed that. Aye, punk though, I like that.

2. Frightened Rabbit
The only band I’m going to mention as a direct influence. I was late to the Frightened Rabbit party. I’d written them off as a folky Biffy Clyro, which was a huge mistake. Someone had recommended them and effectively made me listen to it. Musically they’re great of course, but what clicked was the lyrics. There’s a quiet line in ‘Dead Now’, which just simply states “There’s something wrong with me.” That was it for me. In all sincerity, I doubt I would’ve felt confident enough to write about what was going on in my head without hearing that. I’ll go one step further and say that I sincerely doubt I would have gone to get medical attention for my mental state had I not heard this. That Scott ended his life just cements them for me, as dark as that sounds. The relatable thing isn’t just the blues, it’s the grays, the constant 4/10 days: the life-long passivity and melancholy that can’t be shaken. Scott’s lyrics captured that perfectly and him choosing to end his daily suffering makes so much sense to me.

3. Being Sad
I love a good mope and there’s nothing better than a good sad song. The genre doesn’t even matter. I have a sad playlist on Spotify that I listen to religiously. There’s nothing better than sitting in on a dark cold night, listening to sad music and reading misery-lit. It’s quite fun to do. I laugh at myself just being a sad sack of shit. I try to think of lyrics and things that are quite tongue-in-cheek. Things you hear in sad songs you can pick at and twist. Going from mopey to suicidal. Although there’s genuine despair, I think it’s fun to poke fun at it too.

4. Scottish DIY Punk Scene
Sorry other countries, I don’t know your punk scenes well enough to comment. We played our first show with Make-That-A-Take in Dundee in January 2016. Before that, we’d only played shitty pay to play and free shows sandwiched between ‘the next’ Arctic Monkeys and ‘the next’ Metallica. We were very nervous about how we would go down with da punx and weren’t quite sure if we’d be treated as outsiders. The first thing that struck me was what a great sense of community there was. It was just a social event for people. The other bands were unreal as well. And we got a great reception. Everyone was warm, friendly and caring. And it was the same in Glasgow once we started playing shows with Dammit Presents too. Despite that, I used to have frequent panic attacks when we’d just finished playing. Jack was always good at packing my gear up for me and I would run outside and hide round a corner to calm down. I probably looked rude with my head down, pacing outside, completely ignoring everyone, but no one commented or seemed to care. They just chatted with me when I was done. Always warm and welcoming. Gradually the post-set panic attacks became less frequent and seem to have stopped. This is a testament to the warmth of the scene.

5. Mates
As much as it’s an amazing sense of accomplishment to get a good review, there’s nothing better than your mates telling you that they genuinely like your music or that your new song is class. I think Goodbye Blue Monday is the first band Jack and I have been in that our friends actually like. There are often times I’m writing a wee hook or melody and think so-and-so will love that wee bit there. It’s a great motivation for song writing. There have been times when I’ve sent a demo round to the rest of the band or a mate, and they’ve been like “yeah, it’s alright” and the song gets dropped instantly. What’s the point if you can’t even win over the people who actually like you?

6. Cigarettes
I’m not a smoker. I’m not a smoker. I took up full-time dedicated smoking when I was 30. Jack had come round to my flat to look after me and have some beers when I was a wee bit too suicidal. Long story short, he accidentally left his cigarettes behind when he left. I was having a panic attack and couldn’t grasp onto any form of thought and didn’t know what to do. I smoked a feg out the window and it was the ideal intervention. There really isn’t anything else like it for a panic attack. Apart from the niccy buzz, it was like a sand timer. It gave me purpose and calm. About 3 minutes of slow calm inhaling, literally burning time away. Even my psychiatric team struggled to offer a better alternative. I go through phases of insomnia and I get stuck in my head. I’d just get up, open up the window and smoke a few while starting at Arthur’s Seat and the flashes of a lighthouse. It’s meditative. I find writing songs quite intense, so smoking allows a break, to slow down and think about what I’ve written, rather than ploughing on. I couldn’t write music without it. I smoked way too much since then, and have managed to “stop” and vape instead, but I still enjoy the odd smoke if I’m drinking or going through a rough spot. Plus, I don’t care what anyone else says, the best thing in life is an early morning smoke and a coffee.

7. Self-harm
I haven’t written many songs without self-harming. I’ve done it since I was 9 (at least this is the first time I remember doing it) and I don’t really know how it started. It carried on (“teenage angst”), and on (secret twenties cutting) and continues now. It links so closely to song-writing. When you’re unwell and you have been for a long time, you have the ability to keep a mask on. The self-harm is just a physical expression of the mental state for me. And the songs are a “creative” expression. The two are intrinsically linked.

8. Insomnia
The best lyrics come at night when I can’t sleep and my thoughts start spiraling. I come up with weird scenarios and have the darkest thoughts, most of which morph into lyrics and into songs at some point. The thing is, when it’s 4 in the morning, there’s no escape because there’s nowhere else to go or nothing with which to distract myself. Exhaustion can be a wonderful thing. I also end up coming up with melodies and hooks which is fun. It just plays over and over in my head, until I either forget it or record it. The riff to ‘Pills’ was written at stupid o’clock.

9. Satanism
LaVeyan Satanism. It sounds ridiculous, but it’s helped shaped my outlook on life. The Satanic Bible is about 1/3 genius and 2/3 gibberish. For every on-point philosophical argument there is talk about witches and hexes. Ultimately, it follows the line of “I-theism”: there is no God, you have one life, Satan is the manifestation of human instinct, ergo be a c*nt if you want. It’s absolutely true. When you start thinking about it, you see it everywhere: competitive ambition, egoism, narcissism and self-indulgence (I’m aware of the irony). I completely agree with a lot of that, apart from the last bit. I’ve been writing songs about it. If humanity is inherently selfish by nature, and life is pointless, you can’t justify your own existence, so the only way to be ethical is to kill yourself? Life’s fuckin’ pointless anyway.

10. Suicide
The biggy. The one thing that gets me through life, is knowing that I can quickly end it when I choose to. When things get bad, I have an itch in my veins which feels like an ulcer that I want to tear at. It’s an inevitability and a matter of time to be honest. Everything feels like I’m running out of time to enjoy and do things. It makes me work harder on writing songs and playing music, rather than cowering in a room; it reminds me to appreciate the days when I have clarity; it lowers my tolerance to bullshit so I like what I like and love who I love. I guess it gives my life purpose in a backwards way.

~

Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK. If you're struggling with mental health problems there are people you can talk to. Samaritans is one of a number of fantastic charities set up to help people. Please do not hesitate to seek help if you feel like you need it.

Check out Goodbye Blue Monday on Bandcamp here and like them on Facebook here.

On Sunday 23rd of September Goodbye Blue Monday are playing the New Cross Inn with Triple Sundae, Half Strikes and Batwings. It's going to be a great night, find the details here and come along!

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Album Review: Good Friends, Bad Luck by The Run Up


Lately I've become quite convinced that Bristol five piece The Run Up have found a way to stop time. Since releasing their superb debut self titled full length last year, they seem to have been endlessly on tour. To my great surprise, they've also found the time to write and record a brand new EP – set for release on 28th September through Real Ghost Records and Uncle M Music. Named Good Friends, Bad Luck, it's based around a theme of making the best out of bad situations and the strong bonds of friendship that grow due to these predicaments.


Good Friends, Bad Luck starts off with a short instrumental track of the same name. This serves as a great introduction for the EP as it shows off what is now becoming The Run Up's signature sound. It all leads brilliantly into the next song, The Upside Of Being Down. This is the EP's leading song and a fantastic music video was made with The Run Up just having the best time together as great friends. That's what the song is about – getting out and having amazing times with your best friends. The Run Up have this great skill in writing songs that I immediately want to sing along to. This song is catchy enough that it's not long before I'm singing my heart out with lead singer Larry and the rest of the guys in the band. The gang vocal "whoa-ohs" that lead into the song's ending add a bit of atmosphere into the song, making it feel extra emotional and making you believe that the band mean every single one of these words. The third song, Captain, starts off at a great pace with guitarists Charlie and Laurence laying down some great riffs. It's another track that has me wanting to sing along straight away. This might be to do with the superb way that the band make use of gang vocals and harmonies for a big portion of the song. For me,  this type of gruff pop punk is at its very best when the whole band are singing together – I find it allows me to connect to the band a lot quicker.

The fourth track, titled Etherial Ghost, sees The Run Up holding things back slightly musically to allow Larry's vocal to really have centre stage. The song is about the struggles of life in a DIY punk band and trying to play shows and tours around having a normal life and it being great to be able to do it with your best friends. The song puts that kind of life into perspective and does make me think that we perhaps we take for granted the struggles and sacrifices people in bands make to come and entertain us. The fifth and final track on Good Friends, Bad Luck is named Sick Days and is the perfect way to finish the EP. From Daniel and Harry's superb rhythm section, Charlie and Laurence's guitars and Larry's vocals, as well as more brilliant gang vocals and harmonies, the whole track is layered to perfection. I'm constantly hearing little things that I love that I didn't hear on my previous listen. The gang vocals make the song feel huge and it just continues to build and build throughout the song. It feels like it will be a massive sounding song if it were played in a small pub show or at an academy or arena show.

Good Friends, Bad Luck is The Run Up's strongest release to date. It's perhaps their most mature release so far and definitely their most focussed. The band have had some terrible luck on tour this year with broken down vans but have managed to turn all the stress that comes with that into a positive with this absolutely brilliant release. Who knows, if the bad luck hadn't happened would we have got this EP of the year contender?

Pre-order Good Friends, Bad Luck here: http://www.realghostrecords.com/products/623969-the-run-up-good-friends-bad-luck

Like The Run Up here: https://www.facebook.com/therunupuk/

This review was written by Colin Clark.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Album Review: Shrug Dealer by Shrug Dealer


I won't lie, I wanted to check out Shrug Dealer purely because of their truly awesome name. The four piece from New York formed this year and recently released their debut self titled EP. Containing six songs in just eleven minutes, the EP promised to be packed with fantastic high tempo punk rock music. Shrug Dealer have the great name but do they have the great songs? Only one way to find out!


The EP opens with a fast melodic hardcore track named Writer's Block. The verses are delivered in a fantastic punchy way which makes energy ooze out of the song and the chorus is so wonderfully catchy you can't help but get swept away with it. The track is about the frustrations of having writer's block and trying to get through the struggle. The song is only just over a minute long but Shrug Dealer do an excellent job of fitting a lot into the song. It's no thrills quality punk rock. Up next is a song named Snowflake Wars. This track is played at a slower tempo than Writer's Block and features some great shredding guitars in a similar style to A Wilhelm Scream or Darko. The song draws you in quickly with some duelling guitar playing before the vocals begin. The song is about those horrible types of people who go out of their way to offend you and wear you down for no reason whatsoever. The vocals on the song are impossible to ignore and are extremely impressive. The third song That's $10 You Owe Me Now, Dickhead has a great introduction. At the start it has you thinking this could be some kind of melodic punk reggae track before the song quickly shifts into the fast paced hardcore song that you would expect from Shrug Dealer. The song looks at the big multinational stores in the USA that are putting the small "mom and pop" stores out of business. It basically says these big chains are not playing fair and are causing a lot of people to lose their income.

The fourth song This Song Written On A Macbook Pro is just twenty-eight seconds long. When I first read the title I guessed it might be an attack on all these modern day performers who make all of their music on a laptop. In fact it's about how throughout the world child labour is used to make many of the products we use and how we don't do enough to deal with this disgusting practice. This short song packs a big punch and really gets you thinking. The penultimate song is named The Lanes. Here we are greeted by the poppier side of Shrug Dealer's sound. It still retains the shredding guitars of the previous songs but also has a bit of a 90s pop punk influence on it that I loved. The energy at the start of the song is infectious and the line in the chorus of "I believe in myself" is simply empowering. The Lanes is about finding a strength in yourself to remain true to who you want to be despite all of the rubbish that can be thrown your way in life. The positivity coming out of the song warms my heart. The EP finishes with the song Who Is Molly? This track has one of those incredible building sections that I completely adore and is worthy of your time just for that. It feels like a final song with its big finish where the band really let loose with some wailing guitars and rawer vocals.

What a great debut EP this is. Shrug Dealer take the melodic hardcore genre and, for me at least, have given it a fresh sound that really allows them to stand out from the rest of the pack. I will be recommending this EP to many of my punk pals.

Stream and download Shrug Dealer here: https://shrugdealer.bandcamp.com/releases

Like Shrug Dealer here: https://www.facebook.com/shrugdealer/

This review was written by Colin Clark.

Monday, 17 September 2018

Album Review: House On The Hill by Enda McCallan (by Emma Prew)


Enda McCallan is an acoustic folk punk musician from Omagh, Northern Ireland, who is now based in Manchester. It was in Manchester, at Manchester Punk Festival no less, where I first came across his music. I’d arrived to see Arms & Hearts but managed to catch the last couple of songs in Enda’s set and was really impressed – plus I kicked myself for not getting there sooner. On the 15th of September, Enda McCallan released a brand new four track EP titled House On The Hill and produced by Steve Millar (Arms & Hearts). I was keen to give it a listen…


First up on House On The Hill is a song called Cheatin’ Ways. Opening with some soulful electric guitar and a steady drumbeat, I soon realise that this isn’t an acoustic track like I was kind of expecting. Instead this a very much country-tinged rock track – I can imagine it being played from a car driving across America (maybe that’s what the skeleton is doing on the EP artwork). As you can probably guess from the title, this is a story of heartbreak but we don’t just hear from the man in this scenario. Chloe Hawes contributes some fine guest vocals to Cheatin’ Ways and we get to hear both sides of the story. There’s also a great, yet unexpected, guitar solo towards the end enforcing that American feel. December Nights is the second song of the EP and here Enda slows things down a bit – not that the first track was especially upbeat – for a track that is solely acoustic. December Nights feels like quite a sad and personal song. The lyrics speak of admitting where mistakes have been made in your life in the past but also how you can learn from them and try to better yourself in the future. There’s a particular line (‘Are you dreaming of being free tonight?’) that really reminded me of Bruce Springsteen – which is never a bad thing – although it did also make me think that this song could use some harmonica. Towards the very end of the song it suddenly switches to the fuller band sound and even has some backing vocals. Nice!

Irish Eyes was a pleasant surprise because I realised almost immediately that I recognised it. It was a fun song to hear live at MPF and is just as fun to hear the recorded version. It is is more of an upbeat and folky track than the previous two songs, serving as both a head-nodder and foot-stomper, but it also comes with an important message. Irish Eyes is an anti-racist anthem written from the perspective of an Irishman who has seen how many people are reverting back to racist views and ideologies of old. ‘The way I see it, There are no borders, There are no countries, We’re all part of one collective known as the human race.’ Brilliant! I also got my harmonica part that I wanted from the previous song – and then some banjo! The more upbeat pace is retained for the final track of the EP, which is also its title track – House On The Hill. Despite the faster pace this is clearly a sombre yet sincere track full of nostalgia. House On The Hill is a song written in memory of and, I suppose, in celebration of an old, potentially childhood, home and the people who were there with you. ‘…Like an old tattoo your memory fades but it will never truly leave, And I know one day we will meet again…’ It is sad but also a great tribute to somewhere and someone – or multiple someones – who have shaped Enda’s life in one way or another. And a short, sweet but rocking guitar solo ends the EP on a high.

You can stream and download House On The Hill here on Bandcamp and like Enda McCallan here on Facebook.

This review was written by Emma Prew.

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Gig Review: Wolves & Wolves & Wolves & Wolves at the New Cross Inn 10/9/18


September has already been super busy on the gig front for Emma and I. On Monday the 10th we found ourselves at our fourth in nine days. Back at our home from home, the New Cross Inn in South East London, for a night of punk rock presented by Be Sharp Promotions and headlined by Wolves & Wolves & Wolves & Wolves with support for The New Heat, Resuscitators and Katie MF. Being a Monday night it unfortunately it wasn't the best attended punk show of the year but what it lacked in people it more than made up in talent.

First up was Katie MF, who we featured as our Band of the Week earlier in the year. Katie MF are a three piece, fronted by Katie MF. They started out their set with a slower folk number that at times felt kind of bluesy before picking up the tempo and adding some gutsy punk rock to their sound. I assume that Katie started out as a solo act before adding the full band. She picked two supremely talented musicians to back her up, I was so impressed with them as a band. Katie herself was captivating, playing with so much energy and passion during the faster tracks and delivering a really powerful and moving performance during the slower songs. The highlight of their set was the song Mr Cameron, Mr Gove – a song about the terrible state those two men have left our country in. I loved this set and have already recommended to my friends at Be Sharp that they should book them again.


Up next were Resuscitators. I've been following these guys for years now and have loved everything that they've done. Recently they've become a three piece after losing one of their guitar players and I was interested to see how this affected them as a live band. They've also recently finished recording an album so the set promised to be full of new tracks. Starting out with my favourite Resuscitators track Little Victories before moving onto Rivers from their latest single, they really hooked me in and I found myself singing along best I could. From there they moved onto some newer tracks which have me quite excited to hear this new album. Something I've always adored about Resuscitators is their use of multiple vocalists, this gives their skate punk sound even more energy. Guitarist Roger Holland seems to have taken on more vocals on the new material and sounds great. Bassist Matt still does the majority of the singing though and as ever was on top form. This was a fun and energetic performance from Resuscitators. Finishing on the fantastic A Record Of My Own Self Doubt, Resuscitators cemented my opinion on them being one of the most underrated bands in the UK.


We first got the opportunity to see the next band, The New Heat, back at Polite Riot Festival in June. The four piece left a big impression on everyone in the crowd that day and we were looking forward to catching them again. Playing soulful and energetic punk rock similar to The Gaslight Anthem they again set about wowing everyone in the New Cross Inn. They have this great quality in their sound that makes me think it would work well in a big academy venue as well as a smaller venue like the New Cross Inn. Lead singer Nik Holi has a superb voice, it’s equally raspy as it is powerful and really captures the whole room’s attention. They mostly played songs from their EP We Said Our Prayers but also treated us to a brand new song which saw the band spread their wings a bit. Like I said earlier, they have a similar sound to The Gaslight Anthem but for me they play that style with a lot more of a kick than Gaslight and I loved them for this. There was also a nice moment where Katie MF joined the band on stage to provide vocals for one of the tracks. The New Heat are going to very quickly make a big name for themselves amongst the London punk rock scene. Go check them out.


I have to admit I wasn't overly familiar with Wolves & Wolves & Wolves & Wolves before the gig but had heard good enough things to make me want to make the two hour journey to New Cross on a Monday night to check them out. I soon discovered the North Carolina based four piece play fast and aggressive gruff punk music. Think Red City Radio or Elway but with raspier vocals and played at a much faster pace. Now not knowing the songs makes the set kind of tricky to review but after every track I thought I need to check this one out again. This was definitely the type of punk rock I love and I really enjoyed their set. The small crowd didn't seem to put a dampener on their performance and, like the best punk rock bands, they put everything they had into the set. Taking the time to banter with the crowd between songs was a nice touch, this included a terribly hilarious joke about shopping malls. Wolves x 4 play the sort of punk rock that I love to sing along with and I imagine it's so good in a small room with a big crowd screaming along to every word. That's what I really wished this show was and it has me wanting to see them again – once I've learnt every word from the record I bought after the show, The Cross And The Switchblade. Wolves & Wolves & Wolves & Wolves are a great band who need your attention.


This, as always, was a great night of punk rock down at the New Cross Inn. It was a big shame there weren't a few more folks in attendance but each band killed it anyway and we had a wonderful time.

This review was written by Colin Clark. Photos by Emma Prew.

Friday, 14 September 2018

Top 5 Eat Defeat In Jokes That Were Never Funny To Begin With, Still Aren't Funny, and Are Less Funny Written Down in a Top 5 List


Ask touring bands what their favourite things about tour are and they'll probably lie and say something like 'everything is worth it for those 30/60/90 minutes on stage.' Those people are liars. The best thing about touring are the insane inside jokes you develop due to extended lengths of time spent sat in a confined space with other idiots who have decided this is the best way they can think of to spend their lives. The problem is, when this touring circus rolls into a whole new set of innocent, shielded people, the inside jokes don't exactly translate. So here are 5 classic examples of things that you won't find even remotely amusing.

5. Incessant MOOing
This is what inspired me to write this top 5 as it's something very fresh in my mind and I can recount the exact genesis and propagation of this total nonsense. It was on our most recent tour (as i'm writing this, tour finished yesterday and I'm currently on a ferry to pick up a band from Prague) and it all started with a pot of yoghurt and a few too many coffees. I know, rock n roll lifestyle or what? So we're playing a show at The Fulford Arms in York and we decide to nip out to the nearby Aldi to grab some snacks. As we're perusing the snack section, I'm totally drawn towards an obnoxiously sized personal yoghurt, the brand of which is 'MOO!' I'm feeling a bit nuts after a long day of sitting around drinking coffee and so I loudly announce to the supermarket that I'll be buying the MOOOOOOOOOOOO. This carries on at the checkout, it escalates to innocent shoppers leaving the store and it carries on throughout the van journey home. The next morning, I'm awoken by a video message from Jimmy which is simply him waking his poor sweet dog up by loudly and obnoxiously MOOOOOOOOOing at her. I then spend an entire journey to Glasgow MOOOOOOOOing whenever Jimmy looks like he's about to fall asleep and it goes so far as us encouraging the crowd at the gig later that evening to MOOOOO instead of applaud after every song. Again. I'm not saying it's funny. You shouldn't be laughing. What's wrong with us?

4. #GFY
We've been unfortunate enough over the years to tour in Germany with a ska punk band called La Familia. Terrible, beautiful people. I can't remember how it started, but every single exchange with any member of the band ended with 'go fuck yourself.' They graffiti'd bathroom stalls with poems dedicated to telling us to go fuck ourselves. They wrote a song called GFY. They won't leave us alone. Somehow, someone let them into England earlier in the year and they ended up playing a few shows with various friends of ours. So after the first show I receive a text message from a friend asking 'What did you guys do to upset a band called La Familia? They announced onstage that they hated you and that you should go fuck themselves.' Aachim (lead vocals/bass) was apparently even wearing an Eat Defeat hoodie whilst doing so, so this makes it even better. Anyway, fuck those guys. GFY.

3. The 'Eat Defeat' voice
If you've ever been a member of Eat Defeat or have filled in for us at any point (and quite a lot of people have, I counted 17 in total) then our impression of you is exactly the same. We developed it early on to mock an old guitarist who we kicked out (twice...) and the bullying has continued ever since. It's hard to describe the accent accurately, I think the closest example I can think of is, you know that bit in Spaced where Reece Shearsmith's character is mocking Tim and Mike and he says 'OH, A HADN'T THOUGHT OF THAT', well it's kind of like that. There's been a few awkward incidents in the van when we have guests where they've clearly stated 'So and so doesn't sound like that at all, that's not a very good impression.' To them I say, well, something mean in a silly voice. This one doesn't really translate to print.

2. Dickhead Day
Ugh. I don't know when it started. I think it was pre-Steve, so it's been a few years now. One day of a tour, we just decided we'd be fully horrible to each other. This included (but wasn't limited to) knocking pints out of each others hands, eating each other's food and playful amounts of physical violence. If it was Dickhead Day, anything was ok and nobody could get mad. It was like the purge, but for emotionally stunted adult males. It's become thankfully less frequent, but there were inklings of Dickhead Day being declared when we strangely ended up at the Fifa eWorld Cup on this past tour. It was arranged via Steve's workplace and we decided we'd do our best to show him up by pretending to be various outlandish characters. It was quelled by a rather forceful statement from Steve that 'IT'S NOT DICKHEAD DAY.'

1. The Cheetah Onesies
I think this one was on our last 'proper' UK tour and we were in the apex of our 'We love It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia' phase. There was an episode that season where a gag was that Frank just randomly had 'the spots' and turned up towards the end of the episode as a 'man-cheetah.' Well, before a show at the Birds Nest in Deptford we decided to pay a visit to Lakeside (a big ol' shopping centre in Essex) and whilst in Primani we stumbled across a load of Cheetah onesies that were reduced. We decided it'd be HILARIOUS to buy them and play in them. That night I sweated from places I didn't even know I had. The worst part, though, was that then me and Jimmy decided to fully commit to the onesies, and wore them all tour. Not just onstage, but all day as well. This was like, night one of maybe a 2 week tour. We got some weird looks, but it got weirder when we fully embraced the aesthetic and drew whiskers and a black nose on. In a nice aside, we brought the onesies back for a mainland Euro tour a bit later on, and Jimmy injured himself at a gig in Aachen whilst wearing the onesie, and had to be taken to the Krankenhaus whilst fully dressed as a cheetah. I love tour.

Summers

This year Eat Defeat released the pop punk album of the year. Buy it here: https://itsalrighttonotbealright.com/

Like Eat Defeat here: https://www.facebook.com/EatDefeat/