[Edit: I set the title yesterday when I scheduled this post; I wasn’t expecting to read this news today. I’m sorry to disappoint if you were hoping for reflections on David Bowie. May he rest in peace.]
As I mentioned before, a lot has happened since I last mentioned the band on this blog. I left the tale on a bit of a high. We had two guitarists, were looking for a drummer, and I was confident that we were still enough the same band not to require a name change with the loss of momentum that would create. It was all going swimmingly.
I don’t really know what happened next. One Monday, our lead axeman, Brett, is telling Rob (the owner of our regular rehearsal venue) how much he’s looking forward to the night’s session. Two or three days later he tells us that he doesn’t think the project’s for him. And that was that. Brett was kind enough to make sure we had all the material we’d jammed with him, and when the album comes there’ll be a royalty cheque with his name on it. In the meantime, Ed and Matt and I began the audition slog again.
It wasn’t as bad as we feared. Where it had taken us several months to pick up Matt and Brett after our short spell with Kev, our new lead player landed in our lap within a couple of weeks. Mike (for it is he) was a very easy fit with us, from what I remember of his audition, and from a writing point of view has had a synergy with Matt that I could never have hoped for. With a drum machine behind us, we were getting ready to conquer the world.
The drum machine was a bugbear. Many auditioning guitarists hated it so much that it was a deal breaker. But what can you do? Either not gig until some nebulous point in the future when you get a real player, or gig with a machine in the meantime, even if it’s subideal. I’d managed to get a passable sound out of a very basic machine, and it turned out we needn’t have worried. We only had to gig with the thing once.
Taking on Mike in March last year, by June we went to the Roadhouse (drum machine in tow) for a short open mic spot. By the next week our online ad’s had brought Chris to our door.
Ed and I had a good feeling. On meeting him, he reminded Ed and me of a mutual friend of whom we’re very fond. He fell quickly in to the kind of nerd talk that makes up half of the band’s conversations. And he’s a shit-hot drummer to boot. We had a hairy moment soon after we gave him the green light when we all thought he looked awfully young and I realised I hadn’t actually asked him his age, but it turns out he’s just baby-faced.
So there you go: that’s how the second gigging line-up came to be. I’ve been pleased to find that our on-stage energy has only increased, and 2016 is already leading us on to bigger things.