End Of The Road '17

...And now, the end is near and so I face, the final curtain…

The Napier, Blackburn (11.11.17) 

Here we are then, last gigs of the year and both local. 2017 has flown by in the flash of an eye. Seems only yesterday we were warming up for the first gig of the year at Bad Ass Bash in Wakefield and wondering what would the year hold for us, we’ve had a stack of cracking gigs, hardly any bad ones and a whole heap of laughs along the way (bit of crying from myself too, god I was a mess that night). With Blackburn in our sights we departed Blackpool for The Napier which was sure to be a blast with some of our biggest fans in attendance. 

The journey down was brief, conversation being mainly rooted on our JC being a saviour at work and Kevin Spacey’s recent revelations, a real shame given he is one of our collective favourite actors (always thought his part in American Beauty was well played, turns out probably didn’t require much acting at all). 

Having loaded in and downed a few beers, I set up merch and spoke to members of fellow Blackpool band Oceans over Alderaan, whilst the lads set up equipment and took part in the longest sound check in SB history. Scotty hitting drums is very good during the set but a continual snare drum hit gets on my wig after a bit so I departed for a cash machine and a nice smoke, returning to still find them sound checking. Damo caused a laugh by answering basic maths questions on the mic checks… getting them right as well, we were very proud of our Rouge Diablo. Best performance he has ever done onstage in fact. 

We chatted and drank with friends before everything got up and running and next minute Oceans were on, very ambient music which I’m no expert in but it was pleasant to the ear. Considering it was the bands 3rd gig it was very good, well played guys. 

SB were headlining and it was a riotous set, JC jumping about like Dave Lee Roth’s little boy and Damo utilising the floor space to give it his usual flashiness. I commented later that it was a nice short set to be informed it was about an hours worth. Shows time flies when you’re enjoying yourself eh. Paul Wilton and Stevie Rox did a sterling job on ‘Nothing Quite Like This’ backing vocals. Scott was in typical fine fettle and JG remains the most solid rock in rock n roll… truly nothing quite like our be-hatted one, underrated doesn’t come close and its only really over this year I’ve come to realise, appreciate and revel in the fact you could put him on any stage in any genre of music and he would still slay. Prefers being out the limelight and away from camera’s but don’t let that fool you, he is the real deal. 

My usual fruitful merch run proved quite unfruitful that night as everyone had everything already (that will be sorted by new year though hopefully). So downstairs we went for more chatting, boozing ,quiz machining and pinballing on an awesome Metallica themed machine, sweet as hell it was. We departed pretty early from what I recall and next minute we were back in Blackpool having passed out alongside Kage. A good crack and an easy night all in all, wish I could say the same for the next gig… 

The Waterloo, Blackpool (17.11.17) 

The Waterloo, bloody cracking place. Best home town bar for gigs, once again, big shout out to Ian Fletcher for having us there with some more underground brothers-in-bands in Montagu, Psychobabylon and Stevie Pearce and his Hooligans. All was set for a pretty easy hometown gig to cap off the year but as this is the SB and nothing goes to plan, things very nearly went awry. 

After speaking to JC at work saying I was excited for the gig he replied “so am I, but we may have a quandary” this bothered me but not so much, at worst I though Damo’s amp wasn’t working or Scott’s car had blown up again. When I queried later what the craic was I wasn’t expecting the answer I received. Turns out our rock solid Lead slinger JG had come a cropper and been taken to hospital with an embolism in his foot, this was very worrying but he said if necessary he would sit down for the gig. Turns out this wasn’t plausible either as he went back in for observation… Shit! 

Damo we have done without earlier in the year but JG is the proverbial glue of the band and without his rocksteady reliability I didn’t have a clue what JC would decide to do. The reply from HQ came swiftly… “We play the gig… as a 3 piece…..no Gibbons involved, unfortunately. We can’t let anyone down.” 

Montagu were cool, I thought they sounded like Queens of the Stone Age… probably due to them covering a QOTSA track. Psychobabylon I really like, hints of metal and Misfits all tied up in one killer bundle, Rusty and the lads did a sterling job and as they are on HRH sleaze with us next year along with many other festivals as well, it wont be the last time we see them. 

Woooaaahhh man, ok this should be interesting. Always fancied seeing what the JC, Damo and Scotty 3 piece SB were like (far before my time working for them) but not under these circumstances. JC had compiled a old school set that didn’t involve country epics you’re probably used to hearing as live staples in the set. In was old Gambit/Sweet Chin Music era tuneage and I must admit it was a hoot, nothing really lasted more than 3 minutes and Damo did himself proud, tastefully flipping between rhythm and lead like a pro, good lad. JC and Scotty were probably panic stricken that it would become a ‘Train Wreck’ but no, it went without a hitch. I even got up for a photo opportunity to give Gibbons a giggle, posing with Kage’s spare guitar. Cracking photo… thought I suited being on stage… Scott didn’t share my opinion having pointed and laughed the whole time, dick. 

Having jumped offstage and commenced the boozing, Stevie Pearce started up and it was a killer set from them. Seen him as part of Young Lust and yet to see Love/Hate or Warrior Soul but for now it’s his new band we were there to see and they were on fire. Killer grooves and tuneage served how it’s meant to be… with swagger. 

And on that shell of a bomb, that’s the last blog of the year wrapped up. Cheers for reading them all or just the odd one here and there. Cheers for turning up the gigs and buying our stuff (whether you want to or not due to my persuasiveness). Cheers for plugging us online and spreading the SB gospel, there is… “NO REST FOR THE ROCKING”. Only the ‘End of Year Review’ blog to come now, courtesy of the Master of Muppets Joey Class, which will follow this blog pretty quickly I reckon. So many things on the horizon for next year we are looking forward to gig-wise… and more importantly, this time next year we will have a new album out for your aural pleasure, so keep eyes peeled for news on that as it develops. Catch y’all at a merch table soon.

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