We've been busy gigging and writing as per our usual hectic schedule and it's not often you get a chance to just chill out and reflect on what's going on. Since our last blog post we've been going out to small bars trying out new material for the upcoming album. Little club / pub gigs always go either one of two ways, either it's packed, sweaty and loud with a great atmosphere or you don't quite get enough people there, the sound is sketchy and it just doesn't quite feel right. Most of the time during shows like these the crowd doesn't feel it. To them it's a cool show. It's just the band themselves who are picking the night apart and they're the ones who really notice those things.
It was after a show our friend Nic put on for us in Leeds in a wicked little cellar bar that I got to thinking about all of this. The show was cool... Plenty of people showed up, the other bands were great, we played a good set and everybody enjoyed themselves. As a band however it felt really off... We'd not properly soundchecked (foolishly... Through over-confidence I think) and were having serious trouble hearing what each other were doing during the set. Greg's bass amp was on the floor so he couldn't hear it, Tony was sat behind both amps (and he plays LOUD) so he couldn't hear us... In fact I think I was the only one who could hear what was going on properly.
After the show I caught the guys backstage arguing about what went wrong (regardless of the fact that it only mattered to US, and not the crowd). Long story short the guys drove back home that night instead of staying over and I decided to make it a late one and hit the bars with Nic, Lauren and Eddie who'd come out to see us that night. It was a pretty cool night from what I remember of it... I learned what a 'flaming gorilla nipple' tastes of, rocked out to KISS's 'Strutter' at about 3am, lost Nic somewhere and crashed out on a random floor. All in all, a good night and a fucking awful hangover.
It kind of made me laugh because we didn't fall out about it all and the crowd at the show never cottoned on to anybody not being comfortable onstage... We were the only ones who felt there was anything not right during the show. It's just a result of stressing out so much over wanting everything to go right. When you're in a band you spend ridiculous amounts of time in each other's company. You drive for hours in a cramped van, haul loads of heavy gear up and down flights of stairs, wait around for hours in the backrooms and filthy dressing rooms of your average club, argue with two-bit promoters to get paid enough to put petrol in the van and all for that 45 minutes or so you spend onstage.
You do all of that work and it's just for that 1% of the time that you spend up there trying to put on a good show. So when something goes wrong a lot of times it can get blown way out of proportion. What most of it comes down to is that when you spend such a large amount of time together you've gotta be like brothers and brothers argue. A lot. You've just got to make sure you really make the most of it when things are going good. Everybody has shitty days at work. Grit your teeth, grind it out and try to enjoy yourself. The problems most bands have is that they don't keep it in perspective. The reason you do all of this work is to go out there and have fun. Too many people focus on all the bullshit and forget what it's all about. We, as a band, try to always think about how lucky we are to be out there constantly playing and having fun. If you don't you're gonna go fucking crazy.
Speaking of going out and partying we've got to give our mates Graveyard Johnnys a bit of a shout. We played a storming show with them recently down in the sleepy town of Chepstow, S.Wales. It was one of those wicked, sweaty little gigs that I've been talking about. They've recently picked up Callum (Ex-Hollywood Suicides) as their guitarist and are sounding better than ever. Their new album 'Songs from better days' is out on 25th November and you should go and pre-order it here. It's their first proper album release and we all know it's gonna be a belter.
Also, we're continuing the theme of sweaty little pub gigs by playing two local shows back-to-back this weekend both of which feature the talents of the X-Ray Cat. They'll be our last shows of the year as we're going into hibernation to finish the writing for our own album until january so come out and see our year out in style. We're playing the Sitwell Tavern, Derby on Friday 18th November and The Navigation, Nottingham on Saturday 19th November.
We'll be back with more details on the album progress and some news on the big gigs that we've got lined up for early next year.
See you in the pit,
Johnny - Speed Kings