All entries for March 2005

March 10, 2005

Battle of the Bands Final

Fuck yeah! Battle of the Bands final was last night and theres a grin still superglued to my face!

It was, simply put, one of the best nights I have ever had, ever. Infact the only two occassions I can think to match it were Radiohead at FIB2002 and a very romantic Valentines Day two years ago. (we broke up six weeks later, but hey. I've only been single ever since :s )
The atmosphere, the bands, the sound, (the alcohol!) everything was just so off the scale I struggle to find superlatives to relate it to. And whats more Bandsoc made a killing on the door takings too… mmmmm money, sweet, sweet money!
For anyone who doesnt know, Replica X came out as worthy winners, their set just blew me away. These guys are better than the Darkness, all they need more catsuits and spandex. And Pink Spider, I now see why you get all the praise you do and I agree; you spaz out hard on stage and your really quite good music backs it up! The afterparty at Chateau Lego had all the right ingredients for a great party: groovy people, LOTS of glowsticks, a game of Casperoo involving every pair of shoes in the house, a trip to Tesco at 3am to buy nine pizzas and six litres of Coke and, the secret ingredient to any self-respecting shindig; Swedish neo-classical melodic speed-metal!
I didnt go to sleep and only managed to catch 3 hours kip before getting back up to sort out the photos from the night before and make it to the Bandsoc meeting for the new exec elections, which quite ingeniously was moved three and a half hours later than usual to accomodate for post BotB-Final hangovers. I'm now the new Bandsoc president! Awesome; who needs a degree anyway?

I'm having serious doubts over what I want to do when I leave, every careers e-mail I get seems to be from some bank or other looking for "leaders of tomorrow" or "highly motivated go-getters with a passion for investment". A career in Investment Banking or Chartered Accountancy doesnt seem something I want to do with my life. I saw a programme today following six college kids on a trip to Cambodia; it costs £110 to send a child to secondary school FOR A YEAR. Yet thats impossible if you're families income is only £4 a week. Many of the girls end up working in sweatshops, living in terrible conditions for a slave wage, or are forced into prostitution at a horrifically young age. There are tens of millions of children in the world without access to education, and it would cost £3.4 billion to send them all to school. Thats the same as the UK spends on health and beauty products in a single year.
I'd love to do something to help this, rather than sit in a bank wondering how to make rich people more money, albeit driving a Porsche and living in a trendy appartment. Religions are always arguing about the existance of their God and their God alone, and to get into heaven you must follow these rules and do say these words, blah blah blah… fuck that shit. Its about karma; you live a good life that changes the world for good or you live a bad life only interested in what you can get out of it. God, whatever form the sole source of light within all of us may take, will reward the good and punish the bad, regardless of what animals you ate or what colour/race/gender/sexuality you are. Organised religions can get off their soapboxes and take a fucking good luck at themselves. Sorry to offend anyone, if you have faith you are one of the lucky ones,; just use it for good and the good OF ALL.

Hmm. I appear to be rambling. Better get back on track.
I am the new commander in chief of Bandsoc. My president of vice is James Ellis of Interloper/The Carter ManHoover fame, my lovely Secretary is Miss Claire Bowden (I shall be expecting an intercom system to be installed by the time I get back, cups of tea on demand and 60 words per minute dictation skills!), Extortion and Rackeetering is the job of air guitar leg-end Casper, my chief publicist is Mr Ollie "X!" Curnick and the master of the digital domain is Pink Spider's "I dont care how much this guitar is worth, I'll still throw it around more than a drunken fat girl at a disco" Ya. We'll have a hard time topping last year, but I'm adamant we have an incredibly dedicated and passionate and above all absolutely fucking lovely group of people on the Exec this year. I'd give my spare kidney to any one of them.
I'm well looking forward to my term in office, there's some cool stuff in the pipeline like the tshirts, more free entry gigs planned for Surfers and the Bar, new equipment (drum rack ahoy!) and even possibly the purchase of an inflatable dragon mascot or an acre of Sweden. I personally would pledge £4.63 of my own money towards either.

I went to see the Mars Volta tonight- got there at 8.30pm and they'd already started, whoops. Apparently they'd started around 8pm. They wound up at about 10pm so we still got to see a good hour and a half. The Mars Volta are very subject to opinion; my housemate who I went with adores them, some people find them good in places but just a little bit weird and I know some people who just plain hate them. I've always thought they were pretty darn good and I'm also a big fan of ATD-I's work. Tonights performance was staggering; in the whole set the music never stopped. Cedric only spoke to the crowd once, to tell them that this country's media idols treat them like idiots feed them terrible music, which was met by cheering and applause. Their percussionists, the conga player inparticular, were out of this world. Cedric is such an amazing frontman, enigmatic, great voice and when he spazs out (which he only did 3 times) he spazs out hard! Their drummer is quite astounding too. It was quite a strange gig, lots of people just standing around transfixed and listening to the wondrous noises.There was some frantic activity at the front for some of the faster/heavier sections, but all in all it was wonderfully spaced out. Groovy man


March 07, 2005

Battle of the Bands Runners Up Heat

So, after coming second in our heat on Thursday, Protocol played their second ever gig tonight, in the runners-up heat of Battle of the Bands. With no practice in the two days between we were a bit hesitant as to our chances. Matters weren't helped much by a sketchy soundcheck and leaving the disk with all the samples I actually use at home. Being made to run around Rootes field in vest and pants was suggested, but luckily I was able to scab a quick roundtrip to Ealsdon to collect the forgotten disk. Crisis averted! The process of calming frazzled nerves could now begin, and what better way than with beer?

For some strange reason (week 10 deadlines most likely) the Graduate Club was only about half full at the start of the night, which was a little crap as the atmosphere was lacking somewhat compared to that of the previous heats which all sold out to capacity. We were on fourth out of five, so had a while to mentally prepare for the gig. Its actually really difficult to get into the right mindset standing in the crowd watching the other bands thinking "that'll be us up there in a minute". Hence a swiftly called band meeting on th back entrance about nothing in particular, mainly disagreeing as to what number we're going to have after our name, and me being banned from playing congas with a Snarf spatula. I swear they never let me have any fun!

Our set went amazingly well, all things considering. Apparently Gav managed to step on his cable and unplug himself not once but twice, and Rob claims to have screwed up a few bits in the last song.
Having a fully miked up set of congas to play with was a bit worrying for me- despite playing congas with Big Band for over a year, I still suck immensely at them and infact any percussion other than drums. Add to this the fact we'd only practicised for 40 minutes in a full band situation and I was one slightly nervous Pablo.
Okay, so I had them at the heat but they werent miked up that night, so you couldnt hear them anyway- which in a way was brilliant as I didnt have to think about playing something that sounded good and so got to showboat/dance about/headbang for most of the set.

I must say I love playing a sampler in a band, it really is the most piece of piss thing ever (press the right buttons 3 times in a song) yet everyone is always really impressed, generally just by the fact you have one. Its kind of like a racing driver being complemented on how cool his car looks. I'm still trying to perfect the whole Chemical Brothers look of intense concentration whilst fiddling around with knobs and settings when in fact all I'm doing is trying to look busy inbetween playing samples. Love it. Slowly justifying the massive cost of the thing by making me look cool and like a proper musician!

I don't know where we finished overall and I dont really want to know- so we didnt win, so what we still got that far. Where we were placed seems a little irrelevant especially given how bloody good everybody was tonight. And yes, nobody likes to come last, even if its in the semi-final round. I bloody hope we weren't last.
Pink Spider came out as winners- we foresook most of their set for our band meeting, but from what I saw they're a very adept, passionate and entertaining band and whats more they're quality guys to boot. Problem I have is having seen way too many emo/hardcore/metal bands back home (every local gig is bloody emo/hardcore/metal and very rarely anything very far from it) I've grown a little used to and bored of the music, which is a shame as everyone else assures me Pink Spider are amazing. I'm yet to be convinced, but I'd like to be.

Right, time to get some sleep. I may add some more to this, I dunno. Cheers to everyone who came along and likes our band, it means a lot.


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