Breaking Bands 2017

Two years had passed since we rocked Bromsgrove like a hurricane at the inaugural Break Bands Festival. Riding high on our series of cracking gigs in 2017 so far, it was time to pack the trailer and replace the electric’s with acoustic’s for the first ever SB acoustic set, as they say - you never forget your first time. 

The pick-up was a late affair as Joey was looking after the kids. Once on the road the most important questions were raised, “How many crates we getting in, and what kinda lager we going for?”. Once stocked up and on the move one of our debates began, with me raising the question “Should illegal drugs be decriminalized?” This made for a comical discussion spanning most of the journey. 

We arrived at the festival in great time. The night’s goal was simple, to rock out to Massive Wagons. One of my favourite rising bands and truly nice chaps to boot, a true credit to the British music scene and I implore you, if you haven’t heard them already, to go check them out (Black Witch, Red Dress and Tokyo are great starting points). Were they any good? No… they were absolutely, positively, diabolically, stupendously amazing. 

After storming my way to the front passing Jonny Suicide and Polly Phluid of NGS and Idol Dead infamy it was all good times.  By the time the set was over (3 encores later) everyone in the audience was wet through with sweat and the euphoria was high. Good chats and Jaeger-bombs were in order afterwards. Adam, Barry, Bowzer, Carl and guest drummer Dave Sanders all proving to be as stellar at conversing as they are performing music, bravo gents, I tip my bandana to you. 

Anyhow, back to the SB, Damo was getting carted around on Scott’s back trying to look like something out of Game of Thrones… he looked like something alright. He said to me, after promising he had lots of smokes, “Kal dude, we’ll smoke your 20 deck tonight then tan mine tomorrow”. “Alright dude no drama” I replied. Why I am such a kind hearted one I’ll never know. I should have known it would come back to bite me. 

After the Jaeger’s were necked we bumped into the Roxx’s who invited us over to their camping area in the far end of the field. Stevi begged us to play a pre-set rehearsal for him, so with JC on guitar and vocals, Scott on shakers and cajon, me on back-up vocals (badly) and Damo occasionally plucking some strings (JG opted out for an early night) we nailed a great set. Two newies were written called “Super Sexy Stevi Stud” and “He’s a Bitch” (about me, wasn’t too happy, although it was well catchy, then again so is AIDS but you don’t want that).The night rolled on with merriment and banter, good times all the way. 

The blinding morning sun awoke me, the sound of faint voices and wildlife rattled on the outside of the awning we had been kindly given as floor space for the night. Refreshed and in no way hung-over I ventured out expecting the BB fest to be in full swing… it wasn’t, it was half 7 in the morning… Bastard. Still in the idyllic sun and lazy setting there is no better place to kick back and relax before the festivities started. One by one our merry band of friends arose, some more sprightly than others with Stevi being comparable to a kid at Xmas, stating all his mates, such as the Wiltons, would be incredibly jealous he had his own private SB gig. 

My kind nature had gotten the better of me, after asking Kage for some smokes for the day he said “sorry mate, only got a few left and little bit of Tobacco”. Dick! 

The weather was all shades of glorious, so me and JC made ourselves useful by having a kick about with some of the crew. The age difference varied in the players, but it was a mighty fine cardio session with the sun beating down to tan our northern hides. Damo and Scott made themselves useless by sitting and talking shite, we could hear the beardy one’s bleats from the other side of the field. Our ever-hatted, ever-elusive lead guitarist was in the car and didn’t socialise till just before the gig (don’t worry, we left the window open a little bit and a bottle of Dr Pepper to keep him going. No lead guitarists were harmed during the making of this blog). After me getting ripped on by children for my shoddy footie skills it was time to gig. Damo at this point already had that look on his mush like he’d had a few, an inspection of the crate’s we were supposed to be sharing confirmed this, the shady bast, no wonder he wasn’t in a rush to move himself. 

I busied myself setting up the merch desk with new found helpers in Isaac, Lewis and Erin (kids we were having a kick about with). JG had asked me to facebook live the event (the feedback was good on that so thanks a heap, although if the phone hadn’t kept overheating it wouldn’t have been such a botch job in parts) and as the lads cracked on with it the tent when from near dead to moderately sized to rammed in a very short amount of time. The set was a short one, but from their one rehearsal at being unplugged, they did themselves proud. The vast majority of the time if a guitar is unplugged it’s about as useless as a chocolate teapot in my eyes (or ears) but this set was never gonna be all that horrible reedy, self-absorbed, cringe worthy, Ed Sheeran kinda shite, this had real stomp and swing to it and hopefully will be repeated in the future. Aside from the ‘first’ acoustic set, a number of firsts occurred on this day as well, Scotty got a taste of the limelight by sitting up front with his bells, box and shakers on the go, Joey played guitar (not bass) for the first time onstage in SB history and after scanning the photos afterwards it appears Damo made like the photos in Back to the Future by fading further and further out of this reality, bloody Top-Shop vampires, always after the attention. 

What happened next was a surprise, my merry band of helpers insisted on doing my job for me whilst I stood and drank. I had no qualms about this so with arms of T-shirts and CD’s they ran off into the yonder with the promise of a slush puppy and a bag of chips each if they did well. They ended up coming back with about a days wage for most folk which was unbelievable. Class called me Fagin afterwards but hey, sales are sales and thanks to me, those kids could grow up to be on The Apprentice and follow in the ways of Kally Ka$h. I’m doubtful but there is hope. 

Gig over successfully it was back to the campsite to smash the last of our beers. Surprisingly two crates had seen us right whereas two years back it lasted us about half a day (no wonder I can’t remember much of that day). After the final words had been said and thanks given for the hospitality being given we departed, prising Stevi off Joey’s leg who clearly just wanted to stay and party and have private SB gigs everyday till he kicks the bucket. 

The way home was placid, sun beaming down on the SB5 with constantly constant conversation flowing like the beer to our mouths. Damo, after being greedy on the crates passed out (again). Artistic expression has always been one of JC’s strong points so a marker pen was located and we set about drawing the Dam-inati, the all-seeing cock. This one doesn’t run the world covertly, this one couldn’t run a bath covertly. 

And now Ladies and Gentlemen comes terrible news, I shall not be attending the next SB concert in Blackpool with the Main grains and NGS. No, I have not been sacked, let go, institutionalised or lobotomized.  I am venturing south to London to worship at the altar of the greatest example of rock n roll music known to man that is GUNS & F’N ROSES. Excited isn’t the word, I’m stoked for it, I’ll have to get practicing my aim so Duff can have himself a new SB T-shirt. Anyhow, look after the SB for me in my absence won’t you, there’s a good reader. Cheerio and catch you at the next gig wherever that maybe.