April Fools & Festivals

The Alma Inn, Bolton (16.04.17)

Time to hit the road again, Easter Sunday, this time just a short hop to Bolton for the B-Festival at the Alma Inn. Scott was back at the helm of HMS SB, meaning I could have my partner in booze Damo back, hooray. The day was cold, wet and miserable and when we got there we got the pleasant news we didn’t have to load in straight away, making a change from the mad dash it tends to be. Deaf or Glory were up first, also from Blackpool and were well good, second time I’ve seen them and for a two-piece they really keep my interest, very heavy yet melodic. 

The Senton set was short and sweet, Reapers Sow making a much welcomed return, my personal favourite tune from the SB. I’ll never forget the day I gave Joey a lift home from work and he invited me into his gaff for a sneaky listen to the, at-the-time, unreleased Chapter Zero album. Through our conversation he discovered I’m all about lyrics, as he is also, and threw the booklet over my way and they really spoke to me. That day was the day I truly got into the Senton Bombs, it’s a blessing for me and a curse for him ever since. 

Anyhow, a quick run round with the merchandise proved fruitful and after a final beer and goodbye to our ever-loving, ever-present fans we decided to do an impromptu photo-shoot in the car park. Always a nightmare to do as the lads can’t keep their faces straight and Johnny doesn’t really do pictures. Damo stood there like a piece of scaffolding discarded on a building site whilst protecting his pecker with a can of Budweiser and Scotty stayed as far away as he could to avoid a dick-slap from JG. Still didn’t deter the hatted one as with all the grace of Nijinsky (or Wayne Sleep) he provided Scotty with a nutcracker from outta nowhere. The slapstick continued as Damo  slapped Gibbons with a discarded soggy work-mans glove from the floor, unfortunately for him Johnny found the matching pair, crept up behind him and provided a gloriously sounded slap round the back of his napper. 

We laughed heaps and took the piss of on the way home, mainly outta me when Class flicked through the days onstage photos and found a couple of regrettable selfie’s I’d taken weeks earlier in my gallery (I was testing filters), after vehemently denying ever taking one earlier in the day (busted, gutted). A prospective Italian meal was on the cards but Damo vetoed it in favour of a roast dinner and F1 at home. So with the next gig on the horizon we called it a day and looked forward to the next...

B2, Norwich (21.04.17)

Ahhh Norwich, the home of WWE diva Paige and, even more prestigiously, the home of the Senton Bombs for one night only. It’s a very scenic place where the people are friendly and the countryside is beautiful. Not so friendly and beautiful is the six and a half hour drive there. Still it was the first time in a while we had set sail on a voyage of this proportion, seeing as we are the five best friends that anyone could have it wasn’t gonna be an issue at all, until the hangovers and hypothermia kicked in and we turn into some right miserable shite-hawks. We’d played at Gringo’s Tequila bar last time, promoted by Steve McDonald (not that one) who proved himself to be a top chap and there wasn’t much deliberation needed to go and play for him again. 

On the epic journey down south Damo pondered over yellow crop growing in the fields, Johnny confirmed it was Rapeseed, a new fictional goth band was born out of this, Damien Kage and the Fields of Rape, a terrible band no doubt. Damo then tried to convince us he knows Norwich like he does Blackpool due to working there, Class tested him relentlessly from then on. We stopped for food and I stretched my muscles in Burger King to the ridicule from Class for trying to impress the serving girl (apparently), I retaliated by calling him out of shape and the fucker kicked my burger out of my hand. 

Campsite was well nice, proper scenic but the bar shut at ten which displeased me. Scotty, Damo and I set about pitching the tents as JG and JC watched on, intent on causing a nuisance of themselves by rolling a spare tyre downhill into the tents. As we set off to the venue we had a big obstacle to overcome, namely a moderately inclined hill which Scott’s car plus trailer, plus 5 lads couldn’t handle. He didn’t appreciate his intelligent and helpful co-drivers giving him tips. In the end we had to get out and push the trailer up the hill.

Got to the venue in good time and it was a quality place, Steve the promoter was there to greet and catch up, as the other bands (I thought we had walked into a youth club) tuned up and sound-checked. I set up merch and got the beers on the go. The sounds sounded sound and seeing as it was Saturday and being from up North we decided to find a chippy. (Class asked why the further down south we go my accent gets thicker, thy ‘as no idea what thou meant). First band on were (Against all Odds) young and competent, struggle to find a unique sound but nice enough people and the singer has some good pipes. Next up were Druids, a two-piece thanks to the guitarist getting ill off a prawn vindaloo apparently. Man they rocked, like Michael Flatley on acid, mental moves and funky grooves. Started ripping on JC for not doing these kind of moves considering he calls himself Class.

On stage, the lads kicked ass, like you would expect anything else from them. Damo had a new Telecaster to play with which sounded meaty as hell, loads of people rocking out and after the gig I went into super merch man mode, whizzing round giving it all kinds of yabble to get the dollar in. Making da moneyz and talking to da honeys as per. JC said he was proud of me, never seen effort like it. After catching the very 'different' Matt Dew and the Dead Celebrities, gear packed away, we set about attacking the bar as JG had a nap. We found a locked door and sent Damo through it as our sacrifice and found another bar attached, complete with ropey pensioners and a cover band. Joey Class and Kally Ka$h got the dance moves on the go whilst Damo coppered up for pints.

A strange feeling awoke me next morning, I’m fairly sure it was the cold hand of death on my shoulder ready to reap my unworthy soul straight to the depths of hell, I prayed it was the case as hell sounded quite warm and pleasant compared to the hypothermia that was setting in. Damn it was cold, horrifically. The way back was surprisingly quick and a good laugh as always. An epic general knowledge quiz ensued, we also discussed which WWE wrestlers would play us in the Senton feature film. Damo was an easy one in WWE brawler Sheamus (Google him to see why), Bray Wyatt as Scotty, Drew McIntyre as Class, JG got Cien Almas because of the hat. My doppelganger, of course, is Jeff Hardy, both of us being enigmatic and charismatic in equal measure for sure. Driving past an adult superstore, JG said I should go inside and pick up a new dildo, he said I’d ask for “the big red one behind the desk”, to which the attendant would inform me “that’s the fire extinguisher love”. The guys were in hysterics. 

Roadhouse, Birmingham (29.04.17)

After the camping episode we treated ourselves to hotel rooms at the Ibis. This time it was Dementia Aware Festival in Birmingham, we’d played the Roadhouse once before and it’s a great venue. On the relatively brief journey down, following our previous epic, Class was nearly blowing his beans listening to the Leeds game. We arrived as The Black Hounds were mid-set, a great show from them as always. With merch set up in the darkest corner of the universe the SB went on. Damo broke his bottom E-string during the first song, resulting in me running around like a loon trying to score a guitar and Class roasting him on stage to the delight of the audience. I finally succeeded courtesy of Hells Addiction, then commenced snapping all kinds of killer shots for the hefty catalogue I’ve accumulated over the past few years. Properly good fun all in all! 

Merch proved very tasty again with lots of new bodies scoring shirts and CD’s. Then to the bar where the kindly old dear and her friends said the music had pleasured her a lot. We watched Shyyne, Rob Wylde and White Tyger who were a covers band… and yet didn’t know how to play the greatest rock tune to pop out of the 80’s… it is Rock you like a Hurricane, in case you were wondering. My only gripe for the whole night was the sound-guy, a complete control freak and very unhelpful when I asked for a speaker lead for Damo just before he was due on, his response was “I’ll get it when I’m ready”, can’t be having that man, no need at all. 

Back at the hotel I got to work sorting the rooms out and making sure Lord Drunko (guess who?) got in safely. He loved the fact he was in a bunk bed. Downstairs the remaining four chowed on pizza and played table footie, all the while discussing politics before turning in at about 3am. Time well spent for sure, aiming for fresh(ish) heads on our shoulders in the morning for the next gig. 

The Maze, Nottingham (30.04.17)

I awoke next to a sleeping topless bundle of long hair, must have done well for myself last night I briefly thought, regrettably this topless bundle of hair happened to be called Joey Class. Thankfully Damo hadn’t tried to eject himself from the bunk bed. Downstairs JG and Scotty looked remarkably fresh. The plan was hit Nottingham centre and have a wander before the blitzkrieg that was to come in the evening. Damo forgot his luggage upon leaving the hotel, typical. With the sounds of Jason Isbell in the speakers we rattled on to what would surely be an incredible gig. The excitement was a bit to much for Kage though, when we pulled up to the venue he spewed many times over the back of the trailer, or maybe it was the memory of how drunk he was at last year’s NLC Festival… or the Sambuca the night before… 

The sun blazed a trail as we hit the city centre with Cub Scout Scotty trying to earn yet another orienteering badge, shockingly succeeded in finding The Pit and Pendulum pub we have eaten at previously. Breakfast and beer sorted us right out and once back at the venue we grabbed more beers and hit the graveyard for a comedy song-writing session, shooting for some of the cliché rock we had heard the day prior we penned the instant classic “Rock on Toast”… 
“Wake up for breakfast with a bowl of rock n roll, 
No orange juice or apple, rock juice fuels my soul 
Buttering my six-strings, is what I like the most 
Nothing satisfies my hunger like a slice of Rock on Toast!” 

Soon enough it was time to be social, Scotty providing the welcome news it was rammed inside the venue. The most excellent chaps The Midnight Dogs were on stage, immense band. Catchy with stage presence by the bucket load, Damo collared me during the set and stated “man that guitar player plays so good, reminds me of me a bit”… bloody egotist, truly though if you want a new favourite band go check those guys out. Superb. 

Special guest announcer Stevi Rox was properly hammered when he hit the stage, his call of “THEY ARE THE SENT-ON BOMBS” echoed off the walls and Scott started smashing the kit like it had tried to shave his beard off, I knew we were in for a treat. The previous night’s gig was immense but this was like someone had put a powder keg under their asses and lit the fuse, totally sublime. I never tire of hearing the tunes or seeing the boys do their thing and the fun was just endless. From blistering solos, heavy rhythms, soulful to savage singing, drums like rolling thunder with some mean stage presence and flashy moves to boot. Heavyweight champions of rock n roll, the crowd literally roared their approval!

I flew off my perch and went to work, dealin’ spielin’ and reelin’. A thoroughly successful weekend on my front, even had folk agreeing that I am as phenomenal as Class calls me when shouting out the merch stall. The phenomenal Kally Styles (I really should get my own T-shirts printed). 

The Idol Dead next, well what can I say about them. Great guys and great band. Lovely stuff, new album due out soon which I’m sure with be all-killer and no filler as per their other releases, no Vampire was played though, I asked Polly for it and he said “what do you think we are, a Cabaret act?” Dammit. Drama Club Rejects = sick, not the first time I’d heard them  and I hope not the last. Main Grains - totally awesome stuff! SB are playing with them in Blackpool soon, Waterloo June 16th, shame I’m in London that night seeing Guns N Roses. 

The rockers rolled home high on life (maybe quite drunk as well) content with the whole crew’s performance over the weekend and intent on slaying souls and melting faces wherever we are booked. Next up is Breaking Bands festival where the very special first time occurrence of the SB going acoustic will happen, I haven’t heard any of the rehearsals yet but im sure it will be awesome. We are heading down the night before to catch Massive Wagons (superstars in the making) and many others so if you see us, chat and booze with us because if there is one thing the SB never lack its talking the talk, walking the walk and drinking the drink. Till next time though, from your humble and handsome narrator, the Phenomenal Kally Styles... over and out!

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