Roxx Party & The Maze

For the first time in 2016 it's time for me to recap a killer couple of gigs, the first being the Roxx's 10th Wedding Anniversary bash and the second being the annual NLC festival in Nottingham. In the time since the last tour blog, courtesy of Class, the new album Mass Vendetta has been released to the public. From reviews and fan feedback the reception has been overwhelming positive. Comparisons to Buckcherry, Backyard Babies and Guns and Roses have been rife and most welcome, so much so Class has bit the bullet and actually purchased Appetite for Destruction, to which he later described GNR as “Spice Girls for moshers” (for a clever lad he doesn’t half talk shit sometimes). Anyhow, on with the blog...

Brooks Club, Accrington (19.03.16) 

It was a freezing cold night as we departed Blackpool all eager to get to Accrington for legendary TBFM DJs Stevi and Katie Roxx's wedding bash. These guys have been loyal followers of the SB for many years and it is always a joy to see them and to play for their entertainment. Damien, although excited, was a bit knackered seeing as his new baby daughter Olivia had been born a week prior to the gig. We toasted the new father and made the effortless journey in record time, comedy provided by Gibbons who had fractured two of his fingers when he slipped on a greasy chip wrapper outside his workplace, this injury had prevented the SB performing in Ashton a fortnight prior. Gibbons informed Stevi that if necessary he would learn to play left handed to be ready for this gig. We pulled up to the venue and I volunteered to go on a recon mission to assess merch space and storage for equipment, having found literally no space for either, I pogoed around a bit whilst New Generation Superstars finished their set. Me, Scott and JG then loaded the gear inwards whilst receiving no help from the fathers of the band (as usual).

Gear stashed and no merch set-up I busied myself getting a pint in and started socialising, until Class ventured in and recommended setting up high in the cornered-off seating area reserved for amps and the like, an odd tactic in itself given no soul would be able to see it and I didn’t fancy sitting atop an amp all night, far away from the action onstage. Idol Dead were up next and as per, blasted though a high energy set with KC having a whale of time stagediving and getting crowd surfed around the venue still playing his six string (mightily impressive). 

Bombs were up next in front of the large and excited crowd. Keeping the new songs to only Trailblazer and Mainstream, they delivered a quick set due to time-constraints finishing with the celebrating couple on stage. The chaps still managed to raise the bar ever higher in terms of live performance, proving with minimal rehearsals they will always deliver live. My job of selling merch was looking like hard slog that night given all the main fans of the SB were there and everyone already had all of our loot, but surprisingly I did bloody well as our new shirts are pretty damn kick-ass. Speaking of which head on over to the webshop should you fancy yourself a SB shirt to rep during the summer. All getting merry (minus Scott due to driving, JG was on the cider though, always trouble when that happens), me and Damo ended the night jumping on all the raised seating to various 80's glam tunes to the concerned stares of various fans and bar staff. 

Journey home to my hazy memory, elated as the gig had certainly been a 5 star on all counts, long may this continue. 

The Maze, Nottingham (01.05.16) 

Over a month later, allowing for Damien to adjust to his sleepless nights, we were picked up at 10am ready to head to the annual Rock Against Child Abuse festival in Nottingham. I was still feeling the effects of my Uncle Baz's wedding reception two days previous, JG was recovering from a chest infection being as cagey as ever, making sure Scott didn’t see who was in his house when he went to help fetch his guitars (at the services later we collectively decided it was probably a hooker, male or female unconfirmed, dead or alive, also unconfirmed). Class was looking Cornell-ish as per, and Damo looking knackered as usual. 

We set off in high spirits and got our drink on early (this probably led to Damo's downfall later on). Class spun The Cult's classic album ‘Love’ which was a welcome change from his regular country music marathons we tend to have on tour. I personally love the venue for this gig, The Maze in Nottingham which hosted the SB for the same charity bash two years early. We were most eager to get there and blast away the previous day's hangovers for the Bomb-heads in attendance, which judging by social media was gonna be a fair few. Having set up the merch right next to a PA speaker (stupid idea) I watched a couple of really impressive bands in ‘Modern Day Dukes’ and ‘Midnight Dog’s whilst the others drank or slept. Both belting bands and I hope to see them live again soon, or at least set-up a gig in future with them (get in touch chaps if you’re reading this).

As previously stated a ton of really great people were in that night and it's always a joy to spend the day catching up with them given they are all counted as good friends. Surprisingly I spotted Danny McCormack from The Maingrains and ex-Wildhearts so that was pretty cool, having text Class to tell him someone half-famous was in he replied back "put your dick away fanboy"... cheers fool. Anyhow, after Silverjet, who were bloody brilliant by the way, The Senton Bombs got up for a storming set featuring several newies including the debut of Train Wreck and Pretty Tricky, both going down brilliantly and receiving huge shouts during the choruses, cheers to everyone who is embracing these future classics so early on. Having ended on "Nothing quite like this" to rapturous roars from all in attendance, organiser Dave Tongue then announced the SB would be back for next year’s festival to even more roars.

I then stormed around the venue with the aim of making a tidy profit from the new album and T-shirt we've had specially made to commemorate the album and a tidy profit I did indeed make. Having waltzed up to Class with a huge grin and a pocket full of money he said he had made another tidy earning on the merch desk, bringing our total up even further. This means even more merch will likely be bought soon (I’m hoping for vests this time). Whilst this was happening it became abundantly clear KC from the Idol Dead had had a few too many and was slumped in one of the gear rooms in a pile of puke by all accounts. I felt sorry for the dude as it wasn’t too long ago me and Damo were on the receiving end of a pukey shower from Class in Holland last Autumn. I saw him sipping the water and receiving a good pep talk from the rest of his band so hopefully all would be well. Meanwhile, Damo appeared from nowhere and said we should go into the quiet bar in the next room to try and sell more merch, I could tell he was a bit pissed as he got that old familiar furrowed forehead on the go and was slurring his words like a fucker. His idea proved fruitful with more records sold.

New Generation Superstars were up next and were on fire, total brilliance and I’m definitely considering buying into their pledge music campaign for their upcoming album. Then it was Estrella, and again yet another band who were on form, really good live and on point. Also worth mentioning the chap who was wearing the pink leather jumpsuit which even Justin Hawkins would go "jesus wept, that’s a bit flamboyant aint it", kudos to that man, Josi I think his name was. Idol Dead were up with KC being helped onstage and having his equipment set up for him. I was nursing our overgrown ginger one, to the point he was pissed enough to fall asleep with his arm round me during the ID's set, which by the way was fucking immense, they just get better and better every time I see them. Class placed Damo in the car only for him to storm back in with a grin on his mush whilst we were packing the merch down, heading straight to the bar to get another pint in. We mocked him but commended his dedication and as we were saying our goodbyes a ton of people found it hilarious both rhthym guitarists from two of the top bands were the casualties of the night. Photos were snapped of our prize knobhead as we threw him in the car for a final time and departed in high spirits. 

The journey home was a funny one with us drawing all over the now comatose Damo for his usual punishment (if drunk and disorderly was a more serious crime he would be serving a life stretch). With only two bouts of panic to report one of which was Damo trying to get out the car whilst we doing seventy down the motorway (proper shit us up that, I had to keep an arm round his neck for the rest of the journey to try and avoid death). The other panic was me being subjected to a marathon of gangsta rap courtesy of DJ JC, Ice-Johnny and Scotty-M. I hate rap with a passion and could only make out phrases like "from da hood" and "fuck da police". With the NWA (Noobs With Attitude) happy and Damo still about as much use as a chocolate tea-pot we dropped him off home, having to guide him through his gate and watch from afar as he took a piss on his own doorstep, hoping all the while his still missus was going to open the curtains and see a coloured-in, pissed-as-a-fart, cock-out fool standing right in front of her, extremely funny indeed. 

That concludes this blog and what a year its been so far, great gigs with plenty of compliments on the new album and plenty of dollar in the bank from merch, but alas we are off the road for a couple of months with Baby Class#2 due, the fathers of the band wanting some quality time with their offspring’s. Loads of gigs lined up from July, so until then, enjoy the album and catch you all on the road later in the year \m/

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