WTF006 - The Rock Garden.
01 - Needleteeth.
Original 1999 Rant: No-one's going to come out of London to see you if you're in a band. That's not true all the time, but it's a fairly accurate rule of thumb to be going along with. Other minor things that are worthy of note are that if anyone says that they like your band, get the money off them straight away. If they don't give you any then they're lying and not worthy of either your or my contempt.
Other things to remember: it doesn't matter how good you are, and it never has. It's all about being in the right place and you know the rest. The right place basically boils down to "the same place as somebody who likes you who's got fucking piles of cash in a trolley they pull along behind them".
Essentially, any band can make it, if you're prepared to spend the time ploughing around the nation's toilets, plying your wares like a cheap and rancid old whore, selling home recorded and produced tapes and CDRs, self produced T-shirts (publicity). It'll take years, but your time will come. If you don't want to be famous don't pick up a guitar.
These are all my thoughts, I think this is the way it goes, loads of people disagree with me (and there's a few in the band). Still, just to make sure we're heading in the same direction on this one, here's the gist: we want to be famous. We want to be on the covers of magazines, in the gossip columns, we want our private lives hounded for the titillation of the masses, we want to go out in a big white explosion of powder in a hotel room surrounded with rumour and innuendo. We're insecure, of course we want that sort of adulation and acceptance. I read somewhere that someone who's popular at school has no need to fill Madison Square Garden . I wasn't popular. I want those people to scream my name.
02 - Good consumer.
Basically you have to create your own breaks, and playing by the rules is the best way to do it (unless you can create a huge buzz by yourself you don't have a choice anyway). So we manage to get ourselves on the upcoming list for bands in the Rock Garden .
In Covent Garden .
In London .
Where the streets are paved with record contracts.
Naturally nothing works like this.
We were as excited as a small orphan on Xmas day when we managed to secure a date in The Ruskin Arms last February without even sending them a demo. We knew that Iron Maiden had started out there. Now, these are all bad things. But we didn't know this.
Friday night in a rock pub in London . The world is our lobster!
No it isn't...
03 - Perfect couple/Another planet's records.
‘Another planet's records' originally by famous goths Mohobishopi .
Nothing of note had happened in the venue for the last five years. Still, we're used to playing our guts out in front of less people than there are in the band (this was at its most difficult when we were a two piece admittedly) so we came back again and again. Until they double booked us, but that's talked about elsewhere.
So, we follow the rules as laid down by the Rock Garden : "As you're an out of town band with nothing released that anyone will have heard of you better bring a crowd. Fifty should do. Tell you what, send us a coach receipt and we'll give you a date."
04 - Too much.
In the end, we managed to persuade the Big Issue Cymru to come with us - that lad can drink, although he did have to devise a novel use for a carrier bag to make sure we got our coach deposit back.
05 - Think!
So we left first thing in the morning to allow people the chance to shop around the Capital itself, knowing full well we weren't going to be able to get the equipment loaded up into the club until 1630. The club had only been shut an hour and a half before we left Cardiff, so no fucker was going to give us any leeway. None of us slept on the way down. We were too hyped.
06 - Song for Paterson Joseph.
We get there, nine hours before we're due to play, and we hand out the survival guides to make sure that everyone makes it to the club, and then we carry all the equipment to the club, who won't let us in, but recommend a pub.
07 - Keeping you.
We go to the pub. We eat. We drink. Way gets pissed, and I don't feel too good. We go back to the club and this time, fueled with booze, bully our way in. Then we go and wait for the sound man to turn up so we can soundcheck. In the contract this is scheduled for between 1700 and 1900 when the doors will open.
08 - Milky 7.
By 1730 I'm locked in conflab with the restaurant manager (who denies responsibility for the club), insisting that we've got a contract. When the soundman hasn't turned up by 1849 it's stopped being amusing. The club's having its staff drinkfest that evening and everyone seems more concerned with that. The stage still hasn't the shit from last night cleared away.
09 - Reach around.
The DJ turns up and comments on what a shit deal it is. Although we've got a soundman with us they won't let anybody other than their accepted sound fellas touch the £30K rig. The manager says that if there's been no soundcheck by 1900 then we'll have to cancel the gig. I've had a bit more to drink at this point, and mention that there's no fucking way that's going to happen without them covering us for about a grand for the inconvenience. Eventually some scruffy hippy is pulled from behind the stage, dusted a bit and let loose. We soundcheck in front of a full crowd at 2045, fifteen minutes before we're due on.
10 - Identity.
We do it. The sound's great. We finish and swear and smash pint glasses and throw water and spit and all the usual and everyone has a great time. The one record company who see us offer a nice let down, I've never heard of a label being too small to deal with a band before.
I can't remember the journey home, too pissed.
11 - I (who have nothing).
Originally by famous goth Tom Jones (amongst others). It says here.
And that's it. Exactly what was expected really, a success and a failure of mixed proportions. Something to look back on and chuckle wryly at in years to come. But something that's got to be done.
12 - Feel it.
Originally by famous goths The Tamperer . Featuring Maya .