Thursday, 27 November 2008

Limbo - Mike

So here we are in this perpetual limbo. Repeatedly reminded that a preview of the album will be ready soon, yet also painfully aware that except for a few far away gigs, very little is on the plate. And I am hungry. I could eat a horse. A massive gig horse. Num num num.

So I really want to start getting our stuff out there in order to get these colossal horses of gigs, yet I feel the EP is outdated. It doesn't really relate our current standard of playing or professionalism, which I hope will be demonstrated more accurately with the first few previews of the album. I know I could put the effort in and try and get gigs with the old EP or even with only my throbbing bravado, but it's easier to wait and hope. So I wait and hope. I wait and hope for this magic event, and I don't get us any more horses. One day it will happen, and on that day we will eat and we will eat well.

I'm also very aware that since most of the band live far away, gigs are only really worth playing if a) it's a super sweet gig with loads of new people who will perchance love us or b) it pays enough to cover travel costs. These are harder to find, especially without an album. IT IS A PARADOX THAT AFFECTS US ALL.

In brighter news Cardiff tomorrow, then Bath on Sunday. Woo. See you all there.

Piss piss moan, piss moan moan,
- Mike

P.S. Everyone should be watching Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe if they aren't already.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Album titles

So rather than complaining about how the album still doesn't have a name, I decided to write a list of suggestions. I'm also on Carrie's computer so this is the easiest method of keeping a record of everything I write.

The list so far:

Smokey Bastard
The Smokey Bastard sing-a-long song book for kids (you know, for kids)
Young and Teeth

My suggestions (in the order in which they occured to me):

It's time for a pint
Time for a pint
Sit down, shut up, drink and listen
Fuck you for asking
A collection of folk punk songs mostly about old people written by young people
Drinking 'til dawn
Whiskey bullets
Drinking in the devil's bar
The old rose
I can quit any time
Raucous youth
Pub-rawl convoy
Get it down you
Midnight singsongs
Moonshine dreams
So it was me, Mr. T and Hulk Hogan...
Liquid cheer
Milk bottle full of Guinness
Propping up the floor
Hungover discoveries
Let's go get drunk in the fort

My favourite so far are "Propping up the floor" and "Let's go get drunk in the fort".

More to come?
- Mike

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Oh yeah...


Choice Chambers

So as I sat, depressingly alone while my housemates partied the night away, watching Dimbleby ramble on desperately trying to fill the six hour election night he had ahead of him, my mate Dre came in and began to change the channel.

I objected, horrified, but my worry was misplaced.

It was at this point I was introduced to CNN, and I would like to take a minute to list several reasons why CNN's coverage kicked the BBC's election night mumbling session's sorry arse.

1: The Drums

The first thing to strike me was the epic drums used to introduce every single thing that the CNN politics crew (The Worlds Greatest Political News Team as a sign in the background informed me) had to throw at me. It went on for ages. It was like the intro to Brass Eye.

2: The Presenters

They were called Wolf Blitzer and Anderton Cooper.

Wolf Blitzer..................David Dimbleby

Wolf Blitzer..................David Dimbleby

Wolf Blitzer..................David Dimbleby

Need I say more.

3: The Claims

The Worlds Greatest Political News Team was not the only claim adorning the back wall of the studio. As if that wasn't reassuring enough, my eyes were treated to huge, metallic lettering reading:

CNN = Politics


but nothing compared to...


That's right. CNN provided me with an exclusive interview with Will.I.Am of Black Eyed Peas fame...........via Hologram

Seriously. You Guys.

The presenter actually interviewed empty space and they overlayed a floating image of Will.I.Am of Black Eyed Peas fame.

They even made him a bit fuzzy and slowed down the frame-rate to make it look like the technology wasn't quite perfect. Y'know...for realism

That, my friends, is television.
The BBC need to buck up their ideas.


You Guys.


Puppy In Whitehouse

Well thank heavens for all that.


Saturday, 1 November 2008

Autumn Update

Hello all!

Wordy one, this time...

Today I feel like it's Christmas already, because: my whole family is home for my birthday this weekend, we had a full on inch and a bit of snow at the end of last week, the heating is on in the house and we're doing a trial run christmas dinner on sunday to prototype the stuffing and chipolatas and bacon asparagus and cranberry bread sauce and the whole house smells delicious already!

But it's not christmas yet - in fact last night was Hallowe'en. Smokey Bastard didn't play a gig unfortunately, since our internal communications broke down a bit when we were offered two seperate gigs for that night and nothing happened - but I made a little pumpkin with candles in and tried to learn how to play blues on the piano with my girlfriend instead, how punk is that?

As it happens, the last time Smokey B got together it was more like easter than Christmas or Hallowe'en, with glorious sunshine and probably our last chance to rehearse outside in Tony's Christmas...veranda? (Some of you may recognise the Christmas room (of not-yet-surfaced live video "fame") with a couple of walls missing - this is Tony Ness's ingeniousness in action, and a good place for acoustic practice).

This reheasal was for a short notice gig mid october at the Eldon Arms where SOPHIE reappeared from France unexpectedly early which was super. We had a lovely time and are gaining quite a soft spot for the Eldon crowd and crew - actually I wonder if it might be a good spot for some occasional sessions? I've been meaning to set someting like that up for ages in Reading, any thoughts anybody?

Unfortunately we didn't manage to pull an appearance from a rather important man from a rather important festival, but we'll keep talking to him and see what we can do in the future...

Back to the present day, Mike and I (and team of about ten other folks) were in Camden on the 30th for Bellowhead's gig at Koko which was absolutely brilliant fun, the brass section visibly plastered and the whole lot of them indulging in a lot of unpretentious japery - by the end of the gig they were all playing kazoos, the sax player had his jacket on inside out to dance like elvis and the bouzouki player was shredding through a wah pedal - so much to see and hear, awesome! We decided their first album doesn't do them justice - my LP of the new album arrives on Sunday for my birthday, here's hoping it's more successful.

Has anyone seen a folk crowdsurf before? The Bellowhead sax player might well have won the prize for the first one ever...

AND FINALLY, in Smokey Bastard Album news:

-No title

-No tracklist

-No artwork

-No music

(Still not quite finished the last of Sophie's fiddle lines from before she went to Fr, and no rough mix from Aled yet cos he's a jolly busy fourth year, but we're waiting with baited breath for an unmixed mixdown any day now!)



p.s. I know I said 'finally' before, but this guy supported Bellowhead and he's rather good, though admittedly morose. Have a listen, and see if you agree that he should play a banjo sometimes: Sam John Carter