Saturday, 29 March 2008

Easter and all that.

Hello,

no video this update, but I figured one should happen since it has been more than a week since the last. I presume you're doing well?

This week a lot of the band have been involved in various studious activities. For some of us it's the final year of our uni course, which involves the mad rush of finishing our dissertations before the end of April. Luckily we have a shed load of gigs in April so we're trying to finish as much as we can now. This means that unlike we planned, we have neither recorded anything, nor written many new songs.

Not to worry, I'm sure everyone's coming up with new material on their own, but all I can think about is the Neverhood.

Better luck next time,
- Mike

Friday, 21 March 2008

Something a little bit different:

Enjoy! It's another little bit of my actual degree gone forever...

video

You may notice there isn't any footage from either of the actual gigs we played this weekend. Correct.

-Alex

Sunday, 16 March 2008

The Three Guineas on St. Paddy's day

Last night was a first timer for Smokey Bastard - we actually played in an Irish Bar. For the first of the two St. Paddy's day gigs this weekend, we took on the Three Guineas- the pub on the Reading station platform.

A 14 hr day

After a heavy seven hours of rehearsing both old and very new tunes, burning pizzas, watching rugby and generally fart arsing about, the Smokey Bastard train headed on over to the Three Guineas, where in true style we caused havoc to all those in our path and managed to block off the majority of the bus park outside the station for a good 20 minutes. By 8.45, and with a good crowd in front of us, we were ready to go - but our 'working day' was to last for many more hours!

Set and Match

With both Wales and England victorious in the rugby and the irish with a saint to celebrate, the evening was set to be one of celebration. Our first set started with Mrs McGrath, and was an almost entirely acoustic spasm; the crowd were in good form, and much jigging, singing, falling over and guiness drinking was had by all.

The second set saw a somewhat large increase increase in volume as we played through a noisy punk set, which we thoroughly enjoyed. By this point the audience were generally getting more wobbly- the floor became strewn with a few drunken casualties who'd jigged just that bit too far. [Ivo has ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE OF RHYTHM - Alex]

Mais oui, ma mère est dans l'arbre

By half 10 it was all over, after an encore of Mrs McGrath and Steve the Twat. An hour or so and a whole lot of free Guiness later we finally left the Three Guineas and headed back over to the Ness family care home, where further drinking and merriment was had around the burning stove out in the wonderfully atmospheric christmas...shed...

Most notably, a large portion of the evening was carried out in completely nonsense french, while we ate hot buttered crossed buns and put the world right on our terms. Drunken, tired, contented terms at that.

En plus...

Two more days of rehearsing and then a Leytonstone gig - here we come!

-Sophie [with interfering by Alex...]

Monday, 10 March 2008

"Go Long!"

"I Am Long..."


Working backwards from the joint premises that:

  • we all have a strong primal urge to throw whatever we've got to anyone who holds up their hands half cupped together in the cross-cultural sign for 'pass it here!'

and

  • when throwing things it's obligatory to shout 'go long' on the offchance that the catcher will retort 'I am long', facilitating everybody's feeling rather smugly witty,

we at Bastard have calculated that shouting "I am long!" obliges anyone in the area to throw to/at the shouter whatever object they can fastest throw in his/her direction.

This has turned out to be really useful if someone's holding something you want, since they'll usually end up throwing whatever's in their paws already, even if they don't particularly want to give it up. Also handy if you're feeling cruel and someone is holding something like a slice of their favouritest cake in the whole world (and you feel ready to dodge it).

Just so that I can feel I've covered all the bases, I should say please don't attempt to take advantage of this if you're sat in a particularly large crowd on a pebbly beach, or similar - we've already had some fairly serious biscuit incidents and wouldn't want you to get caught out like we were.

(Better than dubious social commentary, right?)

-Alex

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Nefarious Various

I am a music man/
I come from far away/
And I can play./
What can you play?/
I play the Gee-tar.

Last weekend, during songwriting, it became clear that Matt couldn't play a scale from a given note ("I've never needed to, shut up!" etc.).

He kept trying, while everyone around him yelled "TONE TONE SEMITONE TONE TONE TONE SEMITONE" in increasingly incomprehensible tones of exasperation and spit-flecked rage, but he was basically trying to do it chromatically no matter what we screamed and jabbered at his perplexed little eyebrows.

Finally, exhausted from such eye-rolling, slavering apoplexy, the band quietened down enough to offer some resignedly damage-limitating advice: "look Matt, it's really not very often a semitone. If in doubt, assume it's not a semitone."

A pause.

"If in doubt, skip a fret, don't just go up to the next one", comes the hopeful rephrase.

*matt looks frantically at the low E string he's playing the scale on*

"skip a fret?" (he looks up, petrified) "I'm going to run out!"

[Cue aploplectic jabbering part II.]

Gigs

As the academic year moves into it's final stages and the days begin to lengthen into evenings, our schedule is happily beginning to get more busy again. At the moment it's still not much but there are already one or two dates not quite up there yet, including the intriguing notion that we might play at the opening of a 'community garden squat project' organised by some punks in Reading.

Make Punk, not war

This brings me to something bastard have been talking about for a while: I don't care what they say, punks under the age of about 25 are all just hippies with leather jackets and slightly less girly hair.

"Community garden squat project"?! Since when did punks do that? What happened to "shit on the community, it's a cunt"? That's what I'd like to know.

I suppose in honesty it's a good thing that punks havn't given up the aesthetics of their movement (the clothes, the music, the politicism) and have started to care about the environment and are nice to their mummies as well (we're nice to our mummies).

But punks are basically a remnant of a previous generation, and it's heartbreaking but I recon - uhoh, controversial statement - that chavs are the only original 00's subversive youth culture. Wanky, but true, kids. We've got about two years to sort this out before this was the decade of chavs and emo. Time for:

A folk uprising!
Lock up your maidens and get out the battle hoe, this fair country will jig to a new tune...

Sunday, 2 March 2008

To whom it may concern,

So, another week, another song writing session for Smokey Bastard. The whole band were here for this one, although it appears we could only have a full house on the condition that someone was ill, and thus incapable of being any use. Andy drew the short straw, resulting in mumbled groaning and legions of vomit. Despite many snack breaks, impromptu gigs and at least one person setting their head on fire, productivity ensued and we now have three shiny new songs that no one has heard.

The "printing" of the new EP is also complete, and you can buy it at any of our gigs for the tiny sum of one English pound sterling (£1). It contains four songs, which you can sample on our Myspace, and these limited edition prints contain pieces of paper that were all physically touched by various members of the band. You can smell the soothing stench of folk. Don't worry though, Andy wasn't allowed anywhere near them.

As for any surprise announcements, I get the feeling that they're going to be delayed by at least a week. If anyone can hold their breath that long I will be more than impressed.

Yours incoherently,
- Mike