Festivals & Foolery

Well, well, well, here it is, the one we had all been waiting for, the 3 day Bombs marathon that took us all over England and was our first taste of the big time. Formerly the TBFM Birthday Bash – the all-new Breaking Bands festival, Lechlade festival, which had Status Quo headlining and a Foo Fighters pre-show with our brothers CSOD. How did it go? Read on…

Having decided to set off on the Friday to start the party early we enjoyed this trip, not only for the impending good times, but we also had in our possession the rough mixes of the new album.  As great as it is hearing the songs being rehearsed actually hearing them on disc was incredible, so many things I want to say but I’m not allowed. All I can say is - it's a game-changer, from atypical Bombs music to heavy hitting rock ‘n’ roll to Southern rock and more, it’s all on this record. With collective jaws hitting the floor, we proceeded to Bromsgrove for the first ever Breaking Bands festival.

Breaking Bands Festival 2015, Bromsgrove (23.05.15)

Having arrived at about half midnight,  all of us being sober enough to help with tent building, all was well and mellow for once. So after JG, Scotty and Class turned in for the night, me and Damo decided to traipse the site, mainly because we are sociable souls but mostly because we were out of fags and beer and really wanted more. Having found members of various bands and announcing our arrival (but no beer or fags forthcoming... devastating) we called it a night. It ended on a comical note with Damo having packed a pair of pyjamas, nothing wrong with this apart from them being more suited to a 13 year old emo chick who thinks skeletons are cool, not a 31 year old rocker who should know better.

Waking minus a hangover or dying of hypothermia was a most welcome change come gig day number.1. We left Class behind as we ventured for essentials such as fags and beer (no food, food is for fools) we arrived back in time to see The Idol Dead kick the festival of in typical high energy style. Clad in green and black, it was an annoyingly short set seeing as these boys could have easily done double the time they were given - when asked why “Vampire” wasn't included in the set, Polly (singer) replied "it's too early for that goth stuff". The dangerous highlight was Polly taking a potential festival ruining risk by reaching up and swinging from the not so steady lighting rig, thankfully nothing came crashing down and Polly, Nish, Tim, Dan and KC kicked major ass. Later they went and delivered an awesome acoustic set with a considerable amount more people watching this time (still no Vampire in the set though, sort it out lads).

Next up were New Generation Superstars who gave us an acoustic performance, minus a drummer who if I remember rightly was away n holiday. Still kicking major ass with their brand of old-school rock ‘n’ roll that dripped with Americana cool, I can't wait to catch them all electric. Hopefully the Bombs can share the stage with them soon.

Gig time came round swiftly with the days worth of beer smashed in about 4 hours (SHIT!). The Bombs, as always, proceeded to impress new fans and old with the raw power of their set. With camera's flashing and merch sales through the roof, the crowd popped as the guys finished with “Nothing Quite Like This”. Class, JG and Mason headed off for an interview with “Get Your Rock Out” and then, to celebrate, we joined the always entertaining Stevie Rox, his good lady Katie and their entourage. JD, Jager and peach schnapps were flowing, Stevie decided to treat us to an unwanted peep show (trust me Stevie you didn’t have to go that far) and then fell through his camp chair. The day and night could only be called a total success. The last band I personally watched were Death Valley Knights who were pretty damn killer as well, I just wish I’d seen them earlier in the day when a little less pissed.

Lechlade Festival 2015, Lechlade (24.05.15)

Having woken with a rough head and half frozen (knew the pleasant side of camping wouldn’t last long) I started making notes for this here blog and trying to salvage a bit of duvet from Damo who was being a dick and not sharing. The rest of the crew awoke. After watching Class kick footballs at people whilst packing down tents Damo decided to let his artistic expressions flow by doing an amazingly real portrait of Scott on his condensation covered windscreen complete with funny nickname (Fatty Cupcakes). Class joined in by drawing Damo, complete with huge nose and spiky hair ejaculating over Scott (in the portrait of course).

The trek to Lechlade was quick. We laid eyes on the gigantic stage, got our VIP wristbands and found the private camping area (check us out). Having spotted Status Quo's tour bus (you couldn't miss it the thing was bigger than my house, plus their crew get a tour bus) no attempt was made to party with the Quo as it would have been like partying in a retirement home, plus I’ve read they've given up the fun shit years ago.

The Bombs hit the stage mid-afternoon to sunshine, a nice mellow festival crowd and a gaggle of old ladies who partied along throughout the set (could have been Quo groupies to be fair). JG made the whole show delayed by about 20 minutes when his borrowed amp wasn't working, once he kicked in the show flew by with tonnes of pics being taken (check the SB facebook). The guys flicked their plectrums and stick to the crowd, with Damo and Class jumping down from the 8 foot stage to deliver their failed attempts (it was a long way from stage to barrier to be fair).

After receiving a congratulations from Tony Wilson of Total Rock Radio fame, we all went our separate ways to chill or party depending which side of the fence you are on. Class and myself being the cheekiest bastards of the festivals, telling the various food vendors that having a purple performer wristband entitled us to half price food we stuffed ourselves on dishonest burgers whilst watching Damo pay full price for a pizza. Back to the tent for sneaky beers which weren't allowed on site, Scotty and Class had a grapple for some reason which ended in Class slicing his arm open on something and Damo declaring Scotty the winner. In revenge for this Class executed the most brilliant of kicks which knocked Damo's £3.80 pint of warm shit lager straight on the deck. Now if you read my last blog Damo hates things being knocked out of his hands. Whilst pecking at Joey to buy him another we collectively creased ourselves as Damo reluctantly bailed to buy another beer, then got increasingly paranoid as Class snuck around the festival following him. This continued for a good 20 minutes with Damo having probably covered a good 90 per cent of the site trying to protect the beer like it was his child.

The foolishness stopped when the Quo came on and man do they deliver. For old boys they ain’t been in rock ‘n’ roll for 50 years or so without being tight as hell and surprisingly witty on the mic's (just annoying all 5000 people who appeared to watch them weren't around for the Bombs). As a good hour and a half of classic rock flashed by, we ventured back to our tents, only to be stopped by security and police as Francis, Rick and their band members exited straight form the stage to their tour bus and escaped at the speed of light. Personally I was rather hoping to share a beer and get the low-down on some tour tales with them but it was not to be, and having hidden Damo's ridiculous pyjamas on the top of the tent and eaten his Kettle chips I settled for precisely no bastard sleep at all whilst that ropey douche-lord slept like a log, again stealing the supposedly shared duvet (bell-end).

The Victory, Sunderland (25.05.15)

We left the now-empty Festival behind in the morning, with all the SB 5 now looking tired and a little battle scarred. The trek WAAAAAAYYY up north commenced for the Foo Fighters pre-show in Sunderland. It was a miserable trek for me as the lack of cleanliness and overall tiredness was getting to me a bit at this point, 4 hours had passed by the time we found the venue. We met a fairly fresh looking CSOD (apart from singer Ligzig who had been hitting it hard for nearly 48 hours straight) a shit-tonne of banter followed for the next few hours with frisbees being thrown, footballs being booted onto roofs and general tomfoolery all round.

For those who haven’t seen CSOD they are a thrash-punk band from Blackpool whose new EP “Final Insult” is a breath of fresh air in a scene normally dominated by people who still think it's 1977 or haven’t listened to anything else apart from Metallica in their lives. Truly entertaining live and real cool guys overall....maybe apart from guitarist Cuffi Love who likes to refer to your humble narrator as a "fat lesbian who can't even dress himself". Despite the constant ribbing from Mr Love I can vouch in every way for this band and their music.

The first band up were a local 2 piece called Tigers and Lions which, considering just a duo, made a mighty melodic noise and impressed everyone in the bar with 2 solid sets over the course of the afternoon. CSOD promptly took the stage and with little baby Kane (drummer and gym bunny) flashing his physique to the audience. Ligzig was flashing a tired, moody, not slept properly for 2 days angry face throughout. The gig they went down a blast and impressed many, including some skinheads lurking at the back who said they sound like Agnostic Front (they don’t).

The Bombs were up next and as per laid waste to the North East without a trace of the previous 3 days escapades affecting their performance, merch was sold with moderate success and with Scotty even getting involved selling a tenner's worth of music. The big Kal-bowski didn’t like this as the chick who Scott sold it to was proper tidy and didn't give the Kal a single glance all day (turns out maybe some girls do like beards after all). With goodbye's exchanged and CSOD borrowing our tents for an inevitably drunken trek to Whitby the SB trekked down the most scenic passage of roads through Cumbria and with the sun beating down and the prospect of sleep, family and showers awaiting all was mellow and happy... oh, apart from when we passed some lambs in the middle of the road and JG displaying no sympathy to their plight said "move out the way you wooly twats" and insisted Scott run them over. No animals were harmed on the trek home, dickheads we may occasionally be... barbarians we are not.
The Corner Flag, Sunderland (31.05.15)

A mere 5 days had past and it was time to hit the road for the sixth and final time in May. Back up the same scenic route to another venue in Sunderland called the Corner Flag, which ended up being a sports bar. Despite my initial wariness this ended up being a great night - beer served at a great price.

The trek down was filled with band strategy (like planning a war all this band business). Next we had Joey and Damien calling the rest of us peckers for either not liking Nirvana or not having checked them out. JG arguing the case that Kurt Cobain was rarely in tune vocally or instrumentally and didn't write a single good tune in his career. My stance on this argument is that Grunge killed Glam metal so gone were the days of strippers, pyro's and decadence swiftly replaced by plaid shirts, moaning, shoe gazing and Heroin... thanks lads, nice one. Saying that, Alice in Chains and Stone Temple Pilots get massive respect for Layne Staley's lyrics and Scott Weiland's contribution to egotism and writing the book on being an asshole. Class pitched in with “Grunge didn’t kill Hair Metal, Hair Metal committed suicide.”

We arrived at the venue with about 30 minutes until show time. Following a nice catch-up with the SB fans from the local area the lads tore the venue a new one. Special mention to Damo who was posing like a bastard throughout the set, this bit him on the ass when his strap fell off and he had to play Black Chariot with his SG up to his chest - not to dissimilar to George Formby with his Ukelele. Merch was sold at a surprisingly rapid rate and even some more Sunderland Skinheads complimented the show "not my style lyke but cannae band aye cannae band".

Cheap beer consumed and jelly shots downed (nasty shit) the next two bands were damn killer. “27 Side Effects” were a tight little 3-piece whose sound alternated between 70's rock and grunge. The headlining band “Ashes of Iron” were huge on groove with a massive amount of depth in their tunes, really dug these guys.

The journey home was a comical one due to Damo getting verbal roasting from myself and having a temper tantrum when he had no response due to stuffing his face with expensive unnecessary subway sandwiches and shit lager. Next thing I know we are back in Blackpool so no other anecdotes of the trip home as I was passed out (thankfully no one drew on me, cheers chaps). Plenty more gigs in June so the Road Stories will be back with more tales from the road enclosed.

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