My Favourite Gig – Derrick Johnston

This is the eleventh in a series all taken from the Fanzine Hope *.2. The fanzine sees a collection of 70 contributors from the punk rock world.  All asked the same question What is Your Favourite Gig.

The zine is €5 including postage to anywhere  It is a benefit for Pikpa Refugee Centre, Lesvos  

 Pay by paypal, here

This week it is Derrick Johnston, head honcho of make that a take records

Leatherface headlining Book Yer Ane Fest V

Dundee in 2011

 

To answer a question about a favourite gig is pretty difficult; do I pick one that I’ve attended, one that I’ve played or one that we’ve put on?

 

There are loads that spring to mind; seeing At The Drive In back in 2000, Beastie Boys at T In The Park ’98, Against Me in King Tuts years ago, so many shows jump out at me; Kula Shaker at The Caird Hall in Dundee was my first “big” show way back in 1997 and I remember that I lost a shoe trying to crowd surf. That was when I figured out that hardcore and indie rock crowds didn’t necessarily mix!

Of equal importance was the gig at the now non-existent Westport Bar in Dundee on my 16th birthday when my band (Humus Kife) played with Mercury Tilt Switch, Tenesee Kait and Agent Orange (now Kaddish). That show was seminal and of great importance to me.

I’ve played some incredible shows with my various bands across the years too; from playing with some of my favourites (Off With Their Heads, The Flatliners, RVIVR; a sold out show in Edinburgh that was Uniforms’ first ever gig) to playing our first ever show in America at Pre-Fest 10 in Gainesville, Florida.

 

However, I think the greatest set I’ve ever seen with my own eyes was watching the mighty Leatherface headlining Book Yer Ane Fest V at Kage Nightclub, Dundee in 2011. I will never forget the feeling of being absolutely exhausted after playing earlier that day and running the show, which was our first three-day BYAF. I had lost my phone the previous evening and was running around demented all day. I was so nervous when Leatherface arrived as they’ve long been one of my favourite bands and to see them up “on stage” in our club at a sold-out festival was a surreal experience. We’re usually razor-sharp when it comes to timekeeping but nobody gave a shit that Leatherface were running over their set time. I mean, come on, would you go and tell Frankie Stubbs that time was up?

 

I’ll never forget that night. I believe pride can be a dangerous emotion but there are few times when I’ve felt more proud of being involved in punk rock than standing at the back watching a few hundred punks lose their minds while Leatherface blasted out classic after classic. A truly humbling and educational experience for which I shall be eternally grateful.

 

My Favourite Gig – Scott McLauchlan, Brassneck Records

This is the tenth in a series all taken from the Fanzine Hope *.2. The fanzine sees a collection of 70 contributors from the punk rock world.  All asked the same question What is Your Favourite Gig.

The zine is €5 including postage to anywhere  It is a benefit for Pikpa Refugee Centre, Lesvos  

 Pay by paypal, here

This week it is Scott McLauchlan from the excellent Brassneck Records who have a full roster of great tuneful hardcore bands


All + China Drum
London 1994
My favourite gig? That’s not an easy one. Lots of gigs stick out as memorable for different reasons. I’ve been going to gigs since about 1990 and even though I’ve been to hundreds of gigs over the years, it’s some of the earlier ones that have stayed with me the most. On that basis, if I had to narrow it down, it was probably seeing ALL on their Breaking Things tour @ The London Powerhaus in 93 or 94 with support from China Drum. ALL (and the Descendents) were pretty much my favourite band in the world in the early to mid 90s and I made the trip down from the North to see them.
I grew up in a little Northern town where punk gigs simply didn’t happen. I only had a small number of friends who shared similar musical interests and getting into Manchester for gigs (the nearest city with any kind of notable punk activity that I was aware of at the time) was difficult. Getting to London was even harder. So this was a big deal for me even before I got there.
With memories affected by the passage of time and the beer consumed on the evening, some of my recollections are slightly blurred. I don’t remember all the songs that were played, I don’t recall any specific onstage banter or quite what happened in the latter stages of the night but I remember it as the first time I really felt part of a “scene” in any definite way. Aside from my few local friends, I just assumed there were only a handful of people in the UK who gave a damn about the bands I loved. But here there were hundreds of them all singing along and running into each other as ALL ripped into their opening song. I spoke to loads of peo-ple that night. All strangers who loved the music I loved. I stayed in touch with some of them for a while and often saw them when I went back to London over the following years. It all sounds bit cheesy now, but I was young(ish) and naive to how big the scene was in the UK at the time. As such, it was a defining moment for me and my love of punk outside of just listening to records in my bedroom.
Additional high points included having a pre-gig coffee with Stephen Egerton and talking to Karl about our shared love of cartoons and bands like The Chemical People and The Hard-Ons. Also the inclusion of some of my favourite Descendents songs in the set and meeting a young and slightly nervous Chad Price. This was the first time they’d played the UK with Chad on vocals and, apart from the songs on the (at the time) new LP I’d ever heard him sing before so I didn’t know how well he’d handle the songs Scott and Dave sung on record. Clearly, I needn’t have worried. Chad & the band took it all in their stride and blew me away. I saw ALL play London again in 2014 and, while that show was also great fun, the first time I saw them always sticks out as one of my fondest gig memories.
Scott McLauchlan – Brassneck Records – http://brassneckrecords.bigcartel.com/

My Favourite Gig – The Shend

This is the ninth in a series all taken from the Fanzine Hope *.2. The fanzine sees a collection of 70 contributors from the punk rock world.  All asked the same question What is Your Favourite Gig. The zine is €5 including postage to anywhere  It is a benefit for Pikpa Refugee Centre, Lesvos   Pay by paypal, here

This week it is the shend from the cravats

Last Supper
London 2011

The Cravats have existed since 1977 but playing live was not a favourite pastime of mine in the early days due to finding it near im-possible to sing and play bass at the same time. Since Svor Naan (Cravats sax behemoth) and I recruited new members and reformed for the Rebellion Punk Festival in 2009, I have loved doing the darned things and playing the final, ‘Last Supper’ Steve Ignorant Crass gig at Shepherds Bush O2 on 19th November 2011 was a particular highlight in the Cravats journey.

When we were asked to appear as special guests I was somewhat surprised. The Cravats, had never really slotted with ease into the Crass roster of bands. We were silly, jazzy, and peculiar but Penny Rimbaud had always been a huge supporter of the band and had, almost, single-handedly mauled our sound into what it had become.

Although well rehearsed, I think it was on the drive up to London from Brighton that the ‘fear’ set in. What if the sold out crowd decided we weren’t suitable entertainment for this final Last Supper show and hurled abuse from our opening chord to the final feed-back racket of ‘I Hate The Universe’? Or worse still, stayed in the bar.

After Andy T and Paranoid Visions had shown how it should be done, we walked out onto the lovely old theatre stage of the O2. It was ruddy packed to the gills and I could see from the smiles that it was unlikely we were going to be machine gunned by indignant punks that night. Never had I witnessed a reaction so glorious to our noise but it was a special night and there was a lot of ‘Crass love’ in the air. Folk were happy and felt a part of the unique channel that Crass had created all those years ago.

Our actual performance passed in a fuzzy, joyous cartoon blast that left us all shattered and chuffed. We went down a storm and still had the pleasure of seeing Penny and Eve do their stuff followed by Steve Ignorant and friends show why those Crass songs had meant so much, to so many, for so long. Top night.

My Favourite Gig – Karen Amsden, Hagar The Womb

This is the eigth in a series all taken from the Fanzine Hope *.2. The fanzine sees a collection of 70 contributors from the punk rock world.  All asked the same question What is Your Favourite Gig. The zine is €5 including postage to anywhere  It is a benefit for Pikpa Refugee Centre, Lesvos   Pay by paypal, here

This week it is Karen Amsden from hagar The Womb whose new album  is now available

 

The Mekons

London 1981

 

I have seen 1000s of band so this was hard.  I was very surprised by my choice having been lucky enough to see the Clash, Nirvana, Johnny Cash and most of the bands that I have ever wanted to see. Although cross that I have never seen the Smiths, Xray Spex, the Slits and Magazine, I thought I would choose a gig like Pulp at Glastonbury in 1995 which is famous for how great it was (still taunt my partner for going to see Tricky instead).

 

The gig I have chosen though is seeing the Mekons in 1981 for the first time at an unknown venue in London. My boyfriend of the time, as well as repeated plays by John Peel, meant I was in love with their single ‘Where were you?’ and desperate to see them play it in front of me. All I remember is dancing furiously in the front row and developing a bit of a crush on the floppy haired singer Tom. I was so thrilled by the gig, didn’t even mind the two hour wait for the night bus home. Rather drunk and over excited, not helped by my parents leaving me alone at home for the fortnight, I passed out in my front garden clutching the set list given to me by the band. Next morning about 6am I sheepishly let myself in my home and then spent the next decade going to see the Mekons and Three Johns as much as I could.

Still wish I had that set list….

 

Karen Amsden

 

 

My Favourite Gig – Miles Hackett, Dry Heave Records

This is the sixth in a series all taken from the Fanzine Hope *.2. The fanzine sees a collection of 70 contributors from the punk rock world.  All asked the same question What is Your Favourite Gig. The zine is €5 including postage to anywhere  It is a benefit for Pikpa Refugee Centre, Lesvos   Pay by paypal, here

This week it is Miles Hackett from Dry Heave Records

 

Dry heave are taking old skater and thrash bands and reminding the kids that these bands once shredded.  Usually limited run and usually full on power

dryheave

Miles Hackett – Dry Heave Records

NAPALM DEATH, EXTREME NOISE TERROR, BOLT THROWER, CARCASS & INTENSE DEGREE

LONDON, ULU  1989

 

You’d be forgiven for glancing at this line-up and thinking you’d picked up an extreme metal zine by mistake, but way back in ’89 this gig, aptly named ‘A Night Of Rock N’Roll Armageddon’ was the one of the pinnacles of the, then furtive UK hardcore punk scene.  Unlike its US counterpart the UK scene had been born from the legacy of UK 82, anarcho and crust bands that moved in Crass and Discharge circles and pushed their musical power and lyrics to the very point of decimation. Sure there was a slight thrash metal influence (most of the bands on tonight’s bill are firmly entrenched in metal circles these days) but back then this was the largest gathering the UK hardcore scene had witnessed. This scene was, in all its glorious extremity, finding support in the most unusual of places,

John Peel acting as its chief ambassador.  He’d been playing and inviting in for sessions many of these bands for the last couple of years and championing their socio-political, sonic terrorism across the nation’s airwaves on his nightly BBC show. This in turn had caught the eye of the of the music broad sheets who had been devoting more and more column inches to this underground phenomena of the extreme, dubbing it Britcore. Which all ended up at this gig and its public broadcast on national television. Anyone remember Snub TV? It was the mildly alternative music show that boasted a weekly tea time slot on BBC2 and was the brain child of the unintelligible Frenchman from Eurotrash, Antoine De Caunes. The show devoted a whole episode to UK hardcore and was centred around this gig. What they filmed wasn’t pretty….

 

Five bands for a meagre £3.50 was a snip even back in the late 80’s so, expectedly tonight’s show at London’s ULU is a sell out and punks, thrashers, crusties and indie kids alike are shoe horned in to the confines of this 600 capacity venue to witness the band on everyone’s lips, Napalm Death and their all grinding, supporting cast. Earache records, who were born of and at the forefront of this movement had laid on this showcase of the extreme and the expectation was high in the air. Mansfield’s Intense Degree were up first and capitalising on their 1988 debut ‘War In My Head’ and a Peel session of March that same year are the least metallic band on the bill tonight. Their superfast hardcore more in the vein of stalwarts Heresy proving the perfect, adrenalin kick of warm up this gig needed.   Up next were another band fresh from their dropping their debut album and being taken to John Peel’s bosom, Liverpool’s Carcass. 1988’s crudely produced ‘Reek Of Putrefaction’ had already been heralded an underground classic with its blitzcore grind and medical textbook lyrics, they even shared a guitarist with headliners Napalm Death in Bill Steer. Dreadlocked frontman Jeff Walker growled and snarled like the deaths he sang about were his own, as songs like ‘Genital Grinder’ saw the first stage divers of the night leap like lemming s into the assembled throng.

 

Carcass are the most ‘metallic’ band on tonight’s soiree, their riffing and lyrical subject matter pegging them into a pioneering seat in the brave new world of ‘grindcore’, they are rewarded with an ever increasingly violent pit. Next up were the Games Workshop inspired, Coventry crust- thrashers Bolt Thrower. Their debut ‘In Battle There is No Law’ hadn’t been an Earache affair but had been released the previous year on Vinyl Solution records after they were once again championed by none other than John Peel. With a sound that was as much Discharge and Crass as it was Slayer, their raw guitars and stupidly fast rhythm section was also moving into grindcore territory. Also, like Intense Degree they boasted a female bassist, something of a rarity in the testosterone fuelled world of extreme music but a door which the punk mentality of their collective backgrounds had opened.

 

Unlike Carcass before them who were a wall of intense speed, Bolt Thrower’s sludgy crust-metal breaks offered respite from the blast beats. The crowd by now was at capacity, the squashing horde offering ample support to the occasional stage divers leaping for victory. Main support tonight were positive veterans of the UK scene, Extreme Noise Terror. This Ipswich quintet were conceived in 1985 and boasted two vocalists for that added harsh vitriol and are widely considered the forefathers of this genre and its subgenre crust-grind. Their roots are unashamedly crust-punk but having evolved and veering toward grindcore with their short sharp, political ragers that became a blueprint for the movement in its formative years.  With all this in mind ULU starts to turn to mayhem at this point and there are practically queues at stage left and right for divers to launch themselves into the increasingly chaotic pit. Cameramen are now starting to look over their shoulders as moshers barge towards them as they try to document the unconventional image of ENT and the crowd reaction alike.

 

However, nothing could prepare the Snub TV crew, security guards, venue staff and to an extent the crowd for who were fast becoming one of the most infamous bands in the UK, Napalm Death. Their 28 track debut album ‘Scum’ had propelled them into folklore, where people not even remotely associated with punk or metal had their curiosity aroused by the band dubbed the ‘fastest band in the world’.  Their debut may have dropped two years previous but the media hype on Napalm Death was growing feverishly. As soon as they hit the stage maelstrom erupted, the orderly stage side queue of divers looked for new launch pads and the PA was scaled on each side, three or four people atop at any point, then swan diving into the vortex of bodies below. Fire hoses were sprayed upwards, trying to topple the lemmings. Chaos was reigning while Napalm Death’s soundtrack to oblivion played as its backdrop. The whole night began to feel like a Boeing 747 hurtling, out of control towards the ground as chunks of the PA fell beneath the climbers, crashing onto the heads of the sardine packed crowd below.  The Death managed to maintain course during the carnage around and after it was all over everyone spilled out into the crisp February night.

 

This show was arguably the pinnacle and end of a scene.  Vocalist Lee Dorian left Napalm Death not long after and they elevated into the metalsphere along with Carcass and Bolt Thrower who would become death metal behemoth’s in their own right (and still are to this day). Intense Degree faded into obscurity and the lone hardcore punk survivors Extreme Noise Terror would lose vocalist Phil Vane when he untimely died in 2011. But for this evening, as documented by the BBC, Britcore lived, roared, conquered and became extinct in a blaze of primeval glory.

 

Miles Hackett

 

My Favourite Gig – Vique Martin

This is the fifth in a series all taken from the Fanzine Hope *.2. The fanzine sees a collection of 70 contributors from the punk rock world.  All asked the same question What is Your Favourite Gig. The zine is €5 including postage to anywhere  It is a benefit for Pikpa Refugee Centre, Lesvos   Pay by paypal, here

In a week when Jon Brunch from Sensefield was tragically removed from this Earth aged 45 I thought it would be apt to feature Vique Simba’s piece for this weeks ‘My Favourite Gig’  Vique is former editor of Simba fanzine and was involved in putting on bands in the UK.  Her writings in the 90’s were some of the most heartfelt I have read.  It was no surprise when she left her home in the UK and turned up working for Revelation Records as so many of the bands on that label had lyrics mirroring Viques style of writing.

Vique Martin– Revelation Records, Simba Fanzine

Revelation records 25th Anniversary show

2012

Rev25thAnnivFlyer1

“In 1987 I had a crush on a boy called Sam Cook. He had four t-shirts that he always wore and eventually my curiosity fueled four record purchases; Minor Threat, Youth of Today, Black Flag and The Descendents.  My introduction to hardcore and punk exploded and I was never the same again. I developed a lifelong passion for this music and my life became enveloped within a subculture and community that shared so many of my politics and values. Eventually I had my own zine and label, booking shows and touring with bands extensively. I visited the East Coast of the U.S. on many trips, for months at a time. Developing strong bonds with the friends I’d previously been writing to and attending many shows with them. Like the first Dayton Festival in 1993. Where I cried like a baby holding SevaPriya’s hand watching Into Another for the first time. So many shows, so many happy tears. How to pick just one to share in the pages of this book is such a challenge…

But I think it has to be the Revelation Records anniversary shows in the summer of 2012.  Seventeen years ago I took a job at Revelation Records and I’ve been living in California ever since. I’m the person that processes all the orders that ship to Europe. I’m the person that orders represses of Bold’s records and orders the shirts to make the Quicksand merch, for examples of a few of my daily tasks. Sometimes it still amazes me, as I’m picking the colour to press the Inside Out 7”s on next. I can’t believe that this is my life and I get to do this.  My life is not defined by my work, but it’s a huge component of it. And I sometimes wonder what would have happened if I’d never had a crush on Sam. Life changing.

In the summer of 2012 Sam came to visit for the twenty-fifth anniversary weekend for Revelation Records. I introduced him to people as the reason that they knew me. We watched all the old Rev bands along with my friends of twenty years and more. That weekend was incredibly special to me. So many friends in town, from near and far. So many bands I’d seen before, like Sensefield and Quicksand, playing their hearts out. The feelings that flowed back as though it had just been a few years and not decades. Standing in a room of 800 people that knew every word. That never thought they’d get to sing along to those words live again. Magical.

As was Into Another. Made all the more so because my Into Another partner of nineteen years ago was by my side. SevaPriya and I once again held hands and cried. The emotions of hearing the songs that got me through some terrible times caused more tears than normal. Seeing and hearing the band get emotional also causing more tears. So much emotion for so many people, the energy in the room so strong and intense. Everyone feeling so much more than they expected.

I mean, seriously, who expects to cry watching Crippled Youth? I didn’t expect it, but I certainly cried. Seeing your favourite straight edge record played after all these years was actually possibly the best moment, for me, of the entire weekend with regards to bands on the stage. It’s very likely I’m the only person that felt like that. But that’s what makes an event like this so magical, is that each band means something different to someone else. And everyone has different favourites and different amazing moments.  A large part of my weekend was spent getting people to sign the book I’d orchestrated for Jordan [the owner of Revelation Records] as a gift. I’d had many past employees, band members, and friends, write articles about when they met Jordan and memories of Revelation Records. It was all laid out in a little hardback book with tons of photos. I spent a large part of the weekend sneaking around behind Jordan’s back and getting all the band members who I either hadn’t had contact information for [or missed the deadline] to sign Jordan’s copy of the book. I had to be subtle about this and I somehow managed to do it without him seeing.

At the pinnacle of the show, just before Quicksand went on stage, I gave it to Jordan. It seemed to mean the world to him, and everyone got a little emotional. I’m so glad that we have this keepsake that reminds us why we do this. Why our lives revolve around shows and music and records and books and politics and community. Because we are fucking so lucky to have fallen down this particular rabbit hole. To be part of this community. One that shares stories about what they love about music and the scene. That pulls together to make something happen when people need our help. That benefit shows and benefit books and doing things for other people is a real way of life. It’s twenty five years of shows for me. Of knowing the people that I started this journey with. That I would hope will be right next to me for the Revelation Records 30th anniversary, and on, and on.

I leave you with a picture of myself sandwiched between Sam Cook and Seva Priya. This was taken by the amazing Chrissy Piper. Could the three of us look any happier? The two of them hadn’t met before this weekend but you’d never have known it. We were just about to watch Underdog I think. We went from one band to the next, one show to the next, in a daze of happiness that seemed surreal. But, as amazing as the bands were, it’s the community of my friends that is the real tear jerker when I reminisce. The quick catch-ups and the long hugs. The meals snatched and laughing ’til we cried. The creation of a whole lexicon of new inside jokes within that weekend. The avoidance of the exes and the flirting with the crushes. The same stuff that I’ve been lucky enough to have experienced at so many shows.  And possibly the best memory of all? Sharing thoughts and feelings on the drive home with Sam.   Verbal diarrhea of excitement and happiness from us both. Smiling so widely our faces hurt.  The best weekend of shows ever.”

Vique

vique simba

 

My Favourite Gig – Craig Wedren

This is the fourth in a series all taken from the Fanzine Hope *.2. The fanzine sees a collection of 70 contributors from the punk rock world.  All asked the same question What is Your Favourite Gig. The zine is €5 including postage to anywhere  It is a benefit for Pikpa Refugee Centre, Lesvos   Pay by paypal, here

 

craig

Craig Wedren – Shudder To Think –

X + The Replacements,

Cleveland 1980

 

Here’s one of many ‘favourite show’ memories.. I was 14, and my favourite band was X. Matt Fields’ mom (the ‘cool’ mom with the monstrous vinyl collection) took us all in a van to see them on the ‘More Fun In The New World’ tour. I think it was me, Matt, maybe David Wain, and Scott Harbert, the guitar player for my 8th grade band ‘Immoral Minority’. We were living in Cleveland, sitting in the back trembling with excitement, holding hands and singing every X song.

 

The show was in an old theatre with built-in seating. The audience was sitting down -very polite and adult- during the opening act. I saw John and Exene standing behind the bass rig and immediately got out of my seat and walked to the very front of the stage to try and be as close as possible to my heroes, and maybe get they’re attention. The lead singer of the opening band, who were all sitting on stools, stopped mid-song, looked down at me, and shouted ‘HEY KID, WADDAYA THINK THIS IS, A ROCK AND ROLL SHOW?!!’

 

I was mortified and fled back to my seat. I remember thinking the band was pretty good, even though I was there for one reason, and one reason ONLY. A year or so later the album ‘Let It Be’ came out and changed all of our lives (and music), at which point I realized the guy that had shouted me down was Paul Westerberg, the opening band The Replacements. In subsequent years I would get to work with John and Exene from X, and had a friendly acquaintance with Tommy Stinson (who can’t have been much older than me playing bass at that magnificent show), but I’ve never met Paul, and would probably be as awed/terrified now as I was then. That was a damn good show.

craig wedren

My Favourite Gig by Beki Bondage

beki1This is the third in a series all taken from the Fanzine Hope *.2. The fanzine sees a collection of 70 contributors from the punk rock world.  All asked the same question What is Your Favourite Gig. The zine is €5 including postage to anywhere  It is a benefit for Pikpa Refugee Centre, Lesvos   Pay by paypal, here

Beki Bondage, Vice Squad –
Altavoz Festival
Colombia 2012

I don’t actually have a favourite gig of all time but one of the most memorable ones I played was the Altavoz Festival in Medellin, Colombia.

Our guitarist Lumpy doesn’t like flying so he got some Diazepam from the doctor to calm his nerves but the doctor didn’t warn him that you’re not supposed to mix alcohol with Diazepam. On the day of the flight we got to the airport about 7am and Lumpy was in the bar having a drink by 8am. We boarded a couple of hours later for a 7 hour flight to Miami where we were to get a connecting flight to Medellin. By the time the plane was ready to land in Miami there were 13 small empty red wine bottles in the pouch in front of Lumpy’s seat, and he was most insistent that he didn’t need to fill in an immigration form to pass through US customs.

The bassist, drummer and me all filled in customs forms and after queueing for about 40 minutes passed through US immigration and got ready to catch our connecting flight. Of course, after queuing for some time Lumpy had been turned away by a Customs Officer and told to fill in the form but was confounded by the fact that it was written in Spanish and being off his head he didn’t think to turn the page over to the English side! We were panicking as there was no sign of him and we had to catch our connecting flight so we went through security and asked the flight attendant on the Medellin flight to delay the plane because one of the band members was missing.

At this point we didn’t even know if Lumpy was still in the airport as he was in such a state we expected US Customs to refuse him entry and send him back to the UK. I thought we’d be doing the gig as a 3 piece and that I’d be practising very heavily for the next few days as I’d be playing lead guitar!

Eventually a staggering Lumpy appeared and he boarded the plane, berating the rest of us for not bringing his bag through security (you can’t bring someone else’s bag through airport security but try explaining that to a Yorkshireman who’s mixed a large quantity of wine, lager and spirits with Diazepam at high altitude). The flight to Medellin lasted about 3 hours and when we landed we were filmed coming through the gates by Colombian TV.

We were taken to a 5 star hotel and for the next four days we were wined , dined and expected to promote the show, which was fine except for the fact that Lumpy’s bag hadn’t turned up so he was wearing the same clothes for 5 days!!!! A local tattoo artist took pity on him and gave him a t-shirt, but apart from that everything he wore was 5 days old and Medellin is very humid so he was somewhat ‘ripe’.

We did various interviews for TV which was quite weird as we were used to being ignored in the UK so found the Colombians’ interest in us rather strange but very flattering.  We did a secret press conference and were escorted by police with hand guns into the theatre and we were amazed that it was packed full of people wanting to see us. It was like a surreal version of a chat show with the audience made up of Punks. There were more people at the press conference than at some of the gigs we played in England.

The people we met were awesome and it was very,very humbling to learn that our first album had inspired so many of them to get into Punk, some had even built their own guitars, now that’s DIY!!!! There is a lot of poverty in Colombia so Punk is a lifeline for many people, you couldn’t over estimate its importance. Every day a great guy called Roman would collect us from the hotel and take us out for lunch followed by promo. Roman had won the Colombian version of ‘Big Brother’ so he was a bit of a celebrity and a real character.

We looked round a toy shop in a shopping centre and all the staff knew who we were because we’d been on TV, so we had to pose for photos. We also did the ’sightseeing tour’, you have to do it because the mayor arranges it specially for the visiting bands, so there we were at the back of the bus with a Polish metal band  like naughty school kids.. We visited the university and met some of the students and the whole day was filmed and televised, we were even filmed when we were eating. We’d never done so much promo before and were relieved to get back to the hotel thinking we would get a break from the cameras, but there was another TV presenter with cameras waiting for us in reception!!!

Like I said before, we’re accustomed to being ignored so all the attention and media interest was quite overwhelming. The gig itself was amazing, we played in a stadium to an audience of 30,000 people and the show was televised live.

I’m used to having the audience up close and not having much space but the stage was huge and I had to cover a lot of ground to get to the front to commune with the crowd.
We were the most tired we’d ever been after the show, partly because of the altitude and partly from having been on the piss for 5 days, but being typical musos Lumpy, Wayne (bass) and me went out to a bar after the show rather than doing the sensible thing and going back to the hotel for a kip.
The return journey was quite arduous as the connecting flight from Miami to London was delayed so we hung round the airport bar for about 5 hours and were pretty out of it by the time we caught the London flight.

A day later we were back in the UK playing some small club gigs up north, business as usual!

Beki Bondage