10. Call Me Malcolm, Fastfade & Shark Party @ Phoenix Bar, High Wycombe
We got offered a chance to play up in High Wycombe with Call Me Malcolm and Shark Party. There was a small turnout as is sometimes the case with these local punk shows but it ended up being one of our more enjoyable gigs. We got a chance to hang out with Call Me Malcolm and see them play a bunch of their new songs, we smashed a few locals at pool and got heckled by an old geezer named Darren at the bar who was just trying to enjoy his pint.
9. Müg, The Burnt Tapes, Ships Down, Triple Sundae, Cereal Box Heroes, Fastfade @ New River Studios, London
This absolute beast of a line-up was organised by Hassan Afaneh in the early days of Fastfade and it plunged us right into the scene where we pretty much hung out with all the local Umlaut Records/Be Sharp people for the first time. This show was a turning point for us because it revealed something to us that we had thought unlikely; that there was a fresh, energetic and punk rock scene alive and well in London and it had some really awesome bands in it. We also spent some time eating pizza, skating outside the venue with a bunch of people – Ryan even took it upon himself to ollie over our good pals in No Insight. RIP SHIPS DOWN.
8. Rehasher, Eat Defeat & Fastfade weekender
Recently we spent a weekend playing shows with Roger Lima’s Rehasher and one of the best bands in the UK scene right now – Eat Defeat. After the very intimate Brighton show at Sticky Mike’s, we smashed a few beers and scoffed a bunch of pizzas back at Ryan’s place before heading to New Cross Inn where Joe unleashed his inner fanboy and stage-invaded Eat Defeat’s set, signing their song “Nothing’s Wrong”. That weekend was one we’ll never forget; playing with our childhood hero Roger Lima and getting the chance to hang with the lads in Eat Defeat.
7. Filming the Walkie Talkie music video
We wanted to release a video with our first single, ‘Walkie Talkie”, from our upcoming album, ‘Happy If You Aren’t’. We decided to chuck some equipment in Ryan’s spare room and do a standard performance-type video to go along with the song but it quickly devolved into a contest of who could do the stupidest thing on camera for some alternate B-roll footage. We chucked a toaster in the drum kit, kickflipped off an amp and, finally, covered Jake in flour and bread while he was in the shower. See more here.
6. Local Heroes
Some of the best times we’ve had come from the discovery of local bands that give us some really good vibes about the future of the scene. Our time as a band has seriously affected our music tastes for good. It’s quite possible that Joe will be banging out Eat Defeat and Call Me Malcolm until he’s in his late 60s, Ryan will still have Triple Sundae’s ‘Peace of Mind’ EP and Cereal Box Heroes’ ‘Frier’ on repeat even when CDs become obsolete and Jake would rather die than wash his Aerial Salad sweatshirt. The best part about playing around the country with different punk bands is that we have discovered artists that will stick with us for a very long time. Some other honourable mentions Cereal Box Heroes, Saving Sebastian, Müg, SKIV, The SLM, Captain Trips, Sub-Grunk, Negative Measures, The Burnt Tapes and EAT DIRT.
5. International Heroes
We’ve been lucky enough to have the chance to play with a bunch of international bands that simply know how to party different. Back in April we somehow managed to get on a bill with Waterweed (JPN), Rebuke (SWE), Antillectual (NL) and Forever Unclean (DE). (Thanks to Paul Smith.) It was definitely a great feeling to be chosen as the only UK band on that line-up full of international skate punk heavyweights. We’ve had a bunch of shows like this, with the opportunity to play with bands from all over the world such as Counterpunch, Straightline, The Overjoyed, Circus Rhapsody, Fluffy Machine, Trophy Jump, FOD, For I Am and Main Line 10.
4. Joe’s ankle
Just before a relatively long string of gigs, Joe decided to let Jack from Brighton hardcore powerhouses Negative Measures absolutely obliterate his ankle in the pit. After the substances wore off, Joe realised it was serious and went to a doctor. He had to play the next few gigs in a cast with crutches but, while it was a blow to our on-stage energy, it gave us something to talk about and he still smashed out every song – and, despite medical advice, he managed to get on his feet and even jump around a bit for the last few shows with the cast. A true hero.
This is why we need an agent. We somehow managed to book three shows over the course of 48 hours with a show in High Wycombe, then an acoustic set at Sussex Uni and then another show in Hastings the same day. Needless to say the three of us discovered the limits of our endurance that weekend. Functioning on about 2 hours sleep after being reprimanded by beach police for urinating in the Brighton sea at 4am, we somehow managed to play the two shows the next day. We very nearly left Joe in a Hastings car park because he was literally unresponsive and legally deceased. He literally looked like this:
2. Hearing our album
Since we started tracking our album ‘Happy if You Aren’t’ in January this year, receiving the final masters was a long awaited moment for us. Mark Bell did an excellent job getting a sound that we were all proud of and that we felt did our songs justice. Hearing some of the songs we demoed back in Ryan’s garage 2015 turn into songs that sounded tight, rich and heavy was an amazing experience. We are all super proud of how these songs came out and can’t wait for people to hear them on December 14th. None of us had ever recorded an album before so it was a fresh and educational experience for all of us from start to finish.
1. Strawfest 2018 w/ Lyon Estates, No Insight
This summer our good friends Lyon Estates from York threw their annual Strawfest and asked us to play. This completely unique festival takes place on Rich Harrison’s farm in rural Yorkshire. The barn that the stage was set up in was the biggest space we have ever played. The event was so well organised with a pool, barbeques, food and drinks – it was just great vibes all round. Playing a venue with a pool outside isn’t something that happens very often for us so this was definitely a unique experience, one that Ryan didn’t take for granted as he ran off stage mid set for a quick swim only to return and get water all over the stage. This is why we bring wet floor signs to gigs. Just in case. We also got to have a go in John Wace’s (Lyon Estates) DeLorean.
Pre-order Happy If You Aren't here: www.umlautrecords.co.uk
Like Fastfade here: https://www.facebook.com/fastfade/