High On July

It’s that time all over again! To recap what’s been occurring on the road for the SB. It's been a hectic few months for us all with new children being raised and new occupations being embraced, also a heap more gigs under our belts which brings the amount of times I’ve seen the Bombs live to nearly 100 now (I’m blessed as not only are the chaps very dear friends of mine but also one of my favourite bands to witness and hear). I’ve invited Joey to jump in on this with me as there is a lot to cover and a few gaps to fill through the month of July, so amongst my innate ramblings you can look forward to a few sound bites from him. 

The Ferret, Preston (02.07.16) 

Well deary me, I can’t remember anything about this gig, A music festival had taken up my time and gave my liver a kicking throughout the day, safe to say by the time I rolled into the Ferret I was on another planet. Still, I’m told the SB did a grand job... don’t they always? Class, if you would… 

JC: Yes, Kalum was a state, bless his cotton soul. The Ferret was our return to action after the birth of my son Casey Class. Ideally you would release your album and tour-tour-tour, but me and Damien took the lesser travelled path of impregnating our ladies so they would be due when the album was, three babies at once, so to speak. That in mind, we were raring to go. Gigging with our oldest buddies and another Blackpool band that will never die CSOD, who were on top form opening the show. Footprints in the Custard followed with some comedy metal and we closed the night to a warm and appreciative crowd, as we introduced several new songs to the set. It was a decent return, but as I said on the night – we never have good gigs in Preston, this may go down as one of the better ones.
The Lincoln Imp, Scunthorpe (09.07.16) 

Ahh, good I do remember this one. Damien did his new party trick of not being at home when we arrived to pick him up, which made Scotty even more highly strung than normal. The way down was easy with the country twanging of William Clark Green being the pick of the day for DJ Class. As we pulled up the venue looked sweet and the interior was even sweeter with a huge stage, massive lighting rig and big screens around the back. We piled into the bar and set about the pool table, ending with me getting my ass kicked by both Class and Damo (competitive bastards) while the newly rechristened Brew-Crew went to get their caffeine fix. 

With merch nicely set up and Class making new friends with other bands, the Freakiest of Naughtiez spied a free buffet and a crate of Fosters just staring at us, begging us almost to go and get our greedy fixes. A roadie/manager must have taken offense to this because as soon as we departed for a fag the cheeky snake swiped the crate and put it under the merch stall of his band. Bang out of order that, so being the Naughtiez and wanting to live up to our sketchy reputations went and took at least half the crate back right under their noses. No one takes beer from the SB and gets away with it. 

The first band titled The Electric Spider Club were up soon enough and I enjoyed them, quite Led Zep, very 70's and the singer had a great set of vocals on him. Second band were Edenthorne and they weren’t my taste, although very good at what they did. Bombs were up next with a whole new set, refined with minimal rehearsals and man do the newies sound as sick as they do on the record? Abso-fucking-yes they do. Out West and Pretty Tricky went down like a dream, the boys were clearly having heaps of fun giving their magnum opus some live treatment with Scott in particular channelling his showmanship more so than usual. 

As I went about my business of selling merch after the gig Chasing Dragons were up and given they were using backing tracks I didn’t have high hopes, also because their Roadie had tried to steal the crate of beer earlier BUT as players they were good and Tank (singer) has a unique look that will no doubt get them far (they are playing Bloodstock soon so they are doing something right). During this time we attacked the bar and got the Jagers in to celebrate even giving a free T-shirt to the very attractive Barmaid, just because we are them kinda guys. Damo decided to buy a bottle of wine (harking back to previous tours this has never been a good idea) and promptly fell asleep on the way home, as I also was out of action in the land of alcohol dreams Class helped himself to the wine and felt like shite the next day by all accounts. 
JC: I did indeed feel like shit the following day. We’d played this venue eight years ago when we were supposed to be supporting Lita’s (of WWE fame) Luchagors but they pulled out leaving us to headline with a big payday. Safe to say the venue is a million times better now. Mostly enjoyed destroying Damien at pool (yeah, you read it) and seven-balling the inept Kal, who plays like a decrepit farm animal. Got way too drunk on this one, but made a lot of new friends. Enjoyed the Fuck out of playing. I saw the pics afterwards and can see I was in my special place of wild-smiles and limp-wrists. Wine and beer on the way home as I continued to sing my heart out. Final highlight was stopping for a piss break at a services where I won a ‘My Little Pony’ on a grabber (for Evelyn, of course), high-fiving some Turkish dudes who were well impressed. Quality night. 
Grand Central, Manchester (14.07.16) 

Damien was late to be picked up again. Calamitous times started as soon as we arrived at the venue and began unpacking the gear, not to our surprise given he doesn’t take care of his equipment, Damien's cab literally fell apart. We mocked him and Scott tried to help... for about 10 seconds then just joined in the mocking. Inside the pub we converged with many a good soul who had come out on a Thursday night to see the SB lay waste, such as Big Darren the Scouser (who finds Scott's also-Scouse missus very attractive), Dan and Natalie Webster of Drop-Out Wives fame, Antony Kift who was the drummer in Joey and Damo's first ever band Reckless Youth when they were about 16, Stu Taylor (STP Records honcho), Fungalpunk, Roxx, Wiltons (making it three-in-a-row) and many more. 

On with the gig, Damo was having a terrible time sound checking with someone’s custom amp which turned out to be quite a terrible custom amp, fortunately it got sorted in time for the set. Out West sounded even more killer than last time certainly cementing JG's status as one of the Premier lead guitarists in England (not that there should be any doubt in your minds anyhow, if there is... you’re a fool). Doomsday Outlaw were great as well, Load era Metallica with a high range vocalist, good show chaps, very good band. I don’t recall the headline bands name as I was nailing Jager and wine with a blonde chick at the bar during their set… Damo ambling over at one point asking were his was and walking off grinning widely when I said I was getting them bought for me. At that point I’d forgot I was due in work the next day and felt dog rough when my alarm went off in the morning. 
Rock & Blue Bar, Barnsley (15.07.16) 
This being the day after the Manchester gig I wasn’t in such a drinking mood and just glad I’d survived work intact. Always seems to take ages to get to Barnsley but with good tunes on the go it was swift enough and the conversation flowed well… although I can’t remember what we spoke about. The venue in question is very cool with a mega stage, crowd barriers and excellent lighting, as proved with some photos I took of the band last year when they supported Moretellica (no, that’s not a spelling mistake). Now, as good as all that listed stuff is the one thing that the venue has unfortunately lacked both times I’ve been there is an actual audience. The first time was moderately attended when the SB supported the tribute band, but this time it was fairly busy at first and the opening band scared people away. I won’t name the band who said this but when you tap me on the shoulder and say to me "love your misfits tattoo, if you like them you will love us" interest piqued, but then this unnamed band proceeded to play a set that sounded like a dog being neutered without anaesthetic,  covering dreadful Drowning Pool song Bodies (Nu-Metal can go and suck all the balls in the world, wearing mesh shirts and trousers made of the same amount of material as the exterior of the Hindenburg, get some melody in your ears and whilst I'm at it - anyone who sings like the cookie monster on heat needs their heads wobbling for them). Then again, the band in question are playing Bloodstock soon, so what do I know? 

Senton Bombs were up last and as much as the set was killer I imagine it’s very hard to be happy on stage when you’re staring at a grand total of 7 people, one of whom works with you. Still the best was yet to come because out of those 7 people I did incredibly well on merch then as we packed up, the owner of the venue came up to us with a weighty envelope to say thanks for being awesome, professional and super tight and offered us the support slot for the mighty legends of the NWOBHM era Tygers of Pan Tang (once featuring John Sykes of Whitesnake fame, Kally-pedia rock n roll facts DO come in handy sometimes). To conclude, we've learned that SB rocks even if playing to hardly a soul, the venue itself is a belter and as much as I am more drawn to a band with crushing riffs, don’t cover Drowning Pool... ever. 
JC: From deflated to quickly inflated. Playing to a sparse crowd never gets any easier but the owner, sound guy and ‘Kal the Merch Magician’ saved the day here. 
Great British Campout, Peterborough (17.07.16) 

Well this was a funny night/day out. From kipping on gravel in a tent to having a child’s sack race as the support act, the compere's dodgy rendition of “I would do anything for love” to the sound guy disappearing as soon as the guys fired up. I’m going to let Class handle this one… 
JC: This was not ‘Great’, nor could we ‘Campout’ as traffic on the Saturday night slowed us down and we ended up camping on the gravel outside, the irony. I’d been to see Peppa Pig at the Grand Theatre with Evelyn earlier in the day, I never thought I’d be wishing I was back there. 

The next day was a lot of fun, major sun, drinks, wondering around the stalls and checking out the VW classic vehicles, not too shabby. The festival, on the whole, was a complete joke, the guy had not a single clue. Not one, couldn’t even afford to buy one.  The sound-guy had not a care. The DJs were potentially the worst of all time, playing trash and talking more as everyone stayed well clear of the ‘arena’ (big patch of grass with a lorry-stage). We got set up on the wobbly wooden stage and blasted through 45 minutes of hard rock as tiny black bugs ate us alive. We couldn’t move as the stage was threatening to collapse at any minute, still Damo insisted on pogoing and bouncing my mic into my face, that guy, I swear. The people there, 4-days into a crap festival, were tired and didn’t want us invading their ears at 2pm in the afternoon, I watched the kids ride around on their bikes as the clouds floated overhead, thinking that this is easily the worst gig we’ve played in a long, long time.

We finished, stocked up on drinks and food and got the hell outta there. A long drive home was made quick with fierce discussion, finishing the day on Bispham promenade with more sun, Frisbee and beers. We are lucky we’ve got great company and we can still roll with the punches. 
Witchwood, Ashton-Under-Lyne (30.07.16) 

After the calamity of Peterborough we certainly hoped Ashton would be better and thankfully it was. Big Jason's 50th birthday bash was in full swing by the time we arrived, whilst Joey and Damo recounted the tales of our good friend Big Lee's breakdancing days (more specifically how Damo and Class beat him in a contest by doing forward rolls and shoulder shrugs), Scotty went on a mission to fetch a birthday card which he moaned about then accepted as him and his caffeine cohort Gibbons needed a fix. 

The venue was nicely full when we marched in and I got to set -up merch in the outdoor area so I could smoke to my hearts discontent. Many a friendly face were in, mainly from the punk scene, and it was good to shoot the breeze with folk I’ve not seen in a while. Can’t recall who was on before the SB but once the boys were on, they were on like Chernobyl, powerful. A brief set due to the amount of bands on after them went down well.

Honourable mention to the Kingcrows who went on a little after the Bombs and they rocked, massively. Definitely want to gig with them guys in Blackpool sometimes, I think our little seaside shithole would benefit from their fire cracking brand of rock n roll. Anyhow after we packed up and had drank a heap of free beer and a heap of free pizza we made it back to the hometown and treated ourselves to a meal at Nunzio's out of the bands money. I had never tried this place, man it was off the chain. We had an excellent night after an excellent day out and retired back to our abodes very full, quite drunk, with that warm glow of content you get when life is going well… hope it sticks around for a long time. Until next time!

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