Cheers, Beers & Tears

Class: I get the honour of kicking off the latest batch of Road Stories as Kally Kash, the money-making, chin-shaking, piss-taking, garden-raking, cupcake-baking, merch-boy extraordinaire went solo on the road to Guns N Roses in London. Meanwhile, we hit the road for all of 10 minutes as we took on the Waterloo in Blackpool. Here we go... 

The Waterloo, Blackpool (16.06.17)

We'd made it to June before taking on our first hometown gig of the year. Having been knocking around so long we've reduced how often we play Blackpool, mainly due to having played it to death since '04, accompanied by a drastic loss in quality venues. Thankfully, there are still a couple around when we do get Sandgrownun fever, one of which is one of the best venues in the North West, let alone Blackpool. The Waterloo does it properly, a classic old building, re-kitted with light rig, stage, top sound-guy and ample space to make a riotous night of seaside rock (the tasty kind, not the confectionary). 

Our amigos from New Generation Superstar kicked off the night with a quality set. These guys are in the zone, their zone, playing sleazy rock with hooks and flair; it’s always a pleasure sharing the stage with NGS. We followed with a thoroughly enjoyable outing. Big raucous crowd, full of familiar faces from all around the country, we stood and delivered. 

The mighty Maingrains closed out the night. Danny McCormack had been mixing it up with locals throughout the night, not hiding away in the back like many rockers of any level of fame might. The band blasted out a stellar set, especially considering guitarist JJ Watt was the most pissed I've seen him, and that says something. Another top night at the Waterloo, we're back there soon on October 14th with Massive Wagons and Theia, not to be missed. 

T'Holy Diver, Bolton (01.07.17)

This one was a private party so not in our listings. An acoustic set, minus Damo (so already sounding a damn sight better), following on from our Breaking Bands acoustic debut, we powered through 15+ songs to a voracious merrymaking crowd. The night continued with free alcohol, food and fine company. They really looked after us and it became a collective mission to have bars at the end of our gardens. Only one man managed to make a mess of himself, here he is… 

Kalum: T’Holy Diver, Well what can I say eh? A night to remember for a few reasons, namely my brother in booze Damo didn’t attend as it was his little lads’ birthday. Strange really, as I’d woke up in a foul mood which followed me throughout my day, with the intent to get as drunk as bloody possible to cure the mood come gig time. As this was a party I wasn’t even aware we had packed the merch with us so I set myself a new, brave and quite stupid challenge and that was to drink enough so that folk thought that Damo had indeed attended. What happened though not even the ‘dangerous one’ himself would have managed. 

More or less as soon as we had said our hello’s an Irish lassie made herself known to yours truly, with a cute accent and nice eyes I was suckered in, then again it doesn’t take much. The lads busied themselves setting up the gig whilst I busied myself finding the promised free beer, it was Carling. I hate Carling so I marched to the outdoor bar and got pally with my old mates Jack Daniels and Jim Beam, the next few hours passed by in a blaze of misbehaviour and freaky-naughty-ness. The gig went well though from what I recall, apart from Class nearly getting electrocuted from the falling rain on his microphone, I did nothing to help though. Too busy wetting my whistle and trying to get my whistle wet you may say. Anyways the hours flew by and by the time I piled myself in the car I was absolutely, positively, categorically rendered. Bragging about my bad behaviour to the lads didn’t impress them one bit like I thought it would; in fact they were quite disappointed in me. After running my mouth for about 15 minutes I spent the rest of the journey having a boo to myself. This carried on at home  and when I woke the next day with the worst hangover ever and the comedown of guilt clattering about my injured brain I found my knuckles were swollen from what I can only imagine was through punching walls in anger/annoyance and despair. I apologised to the lads and still feel damn bad about it to this day. 

Class: All I will say is ‘you should have heard him’. What a performance, a drunken rollercoaster of emotion. The fine detail is best left lost, these nights happen to us all, however I do get the feeling we’ll be opening for ‘Wasted Kal’ again in the future. 

Gullivers, Manchester (22.07.17)

Our only real dud of 2017, only a couple of gigs have been 'below par' in terms of turnout and sound quality, and unfortunately this was one of them. We rarely have a good outing in Manchester, not entirely sure why, but in recent years it has been largely improved. A rainy night in Gullivers however returned the old form. Handful of people left in the end, whilst there was some fine folk there, Kringer & The Battlkekatz are a great bunch, this one left a lot to be desired. 

Kalum: Damo was back for this gig… Hooray! JG made his own way down to the gig… Boo! We had never played Gullivers and had heard good things. Not that it turned out to be a great gig, the sound was too loud for my liking. Small crowd meaning hardly any merch was sold either, Stu Taylor and Big Darren were there though so it’s always good to see them. Best part about it was the chats we had in the car about personal stuff some of us have going on as of late, goes to show that a band isn’t just a musical entity, it’s a band of brothers who rely on each other possibly more than anyone else, certainly is in my case. 

Rebellion festival, Blackpool (03.08.17)

Only took 13 bloody years for this to happen, what a day! Meeting in the cold morning light to collect the tickets outside the Winter Gardens in Blackpool it would be a long yet killer day until we saw our heroes Bad Religion absolutely knock our socks off. The SB went down a treat which was the main thing, started off very small being the first band on of about 300 over 4 days but as per usual the Arena filled to a respectable level. It passed in a flash and I really hope they are invited back to a slightly later time, but hey at least we can cross it off the “to do” list. 

Off we marched to local rock club the Tache to set up our stall for business. Business was slow and I wasn’t having that so off I marched to make new friends with people from all over the world and sell some merch. An uphill battle given a lot of them hadn’t even heard of the SB before, never mind seeing them but by the power of grey-skull I did remarkably well indeed. Winning. 

Next up on the agenda was quality eats and boozing. We met up with Damo, Scotty and Ronnie (ex-drummer and current producer of SB records) for a double headed blast of Teenage Bottlerocket and Good Riddance which were both great, then indoors where I scored a sick Turbonegro shirt for £12 quid. To the Empress Ballroom it was where we met up with other friends in Peggle, Ligzig and Sally Class for the mighty Pennywise, I was new to this band only knowing 4 songs but when Bro Hymn came on me and Damo were roaring WOOOOOOOAAAAHHHHHH WOOOOOOAAAHHHHH WOOOOOOAAAAHHHHH at the tops of our voices whilst propping up the bar. 

The main event of Bad Religion blew us away though. Scotty was down the front and had met Bass player Jay Bentley beforehand and given him an SB CD (C’mon Jay, how’s about an American tour bud? Promise we will behave ourselves), so it was down to Me, Class, Damo and Sally to rock the night together. Damo was full of beans and kept nearly scalping me and Class thanks to his long gangly arms being wrapped round our necks and pulling our lusciously long locks the dickwad. We got our revenge on the narrow one by trying to get him to crowd surf away from us, it took no effort to lift his scrawny frame over our heads but he only got about 3 rows forward before clattering to the floor to which we laughed mercilessly. Hit after hit after hit and by the end we were soaked in sweat and elated, confident it was one of the best gigs we had all seen. One minor hiccup was Damo finding out after the gig he had lost his phone (again!), thankfully someone had handed it in though so he wasn’t going to get a bollocking when he got home. I slung him into a cab and ventured home myself, another 3 days of partying at the punk festival and Dean Reilly’s (SB art designer and killer tattoo artist) wedding nearly finished me off, not been able to look at beer the same way since. 

Class: We finally made the line-up! What better way to debut at our hometown punk festival than on the very day Bad Religion, one of our all-time fave bands tore the roof off the Empress Ballroom. Access-All-Areas meant many beers were accessed in all areas of the Winter Gardens. The opening slot on the Arena stage turned out well in the end, as Kal described, although completing 10 of our fastest punk songs in just under 30 mins was a challenge. All in all - a memorable experience. 

RockWich Festival (27.08.17)

Kalum: Something’s in life are sacred, such as lie-in’s on a Sunday, one thing you don’t want ruining your sacred sleep is Scott Mason ringing you up at 8am. After not getting a tow-bar fitted to his new motor and promising us a luxury van for the Rockwich gig the beardy one had failed so rang me and gave me an ultimatum “you can either drive Class and Damo in your car, or I’ll drive them and you can’t come because we have lots of equipment”. Cheers mate, nice one. Luckily Class wasn’t having any of it and asked Damo to drive, given he was ill and wouldn’t be drinking so much anyhow. 

We got there in record time in Danger Boys flash motor. Meeting up with the fans old and new and it was pleasant to see a good amount of SB T-shirts adorned by the audience and once loaded in we set up the merch, surprisingly making a heap of money before the boys had even struck a chord. This was most appreciated and made me feel like an actual merch guy for once. Once gig time arrived they burned it up and tore it down leaving the day time crowd begging for more. Great gig thoroughly enjoyed with everyone on fire. The merch after the gig was sold at an even better rate and I made a right killing. Super thankful for everyone who came and bought T’s and CD’s. Scotty and JG set off early to catch Pokemon or collect relics on Xbox of some sort. It left the team of Class/Ka$h/Kage to socialise/network and have a right old laugh. It’s a shame Massive Wagons were on so late as the flu was biting Damo so we made a slightly early yet worthwhile exit. Eager for the next run of gigs which should be a real blast, Check the poster.

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