Victorious & Free

Hallo there

Being in a band can be a lot of things – invigorating, exciting, liberating, sexually arousing, annoying, incredibly frustrating and heartbreaking – but, ultimately – it’s never boring. This weekend just past proved that with aplomb. I love the word aplomb. Aplomb. Say it. Brilliant.

Friday was the usual ups and downs of playing in London involving a car crash en route (a fairly minor one but still one that wrote off our Ox’s car and meant we had to use a guitar lead to tie the boot shut to get to the gig…) and the standard, minimalistic London crowd. We played well though and it was a good warm up for the next days show which is probably in my top few of recent times….

Victorious Festival was organised by some of the fellows that run a couple of the decent boozers in Southsea – namely Little Johnny Russels and The Belle Isle (Fact #1 – I was the first person to play a gig in LJR’s when it opened….check me out…) and it’s always nice to be involved with something that brings together all the best bits about living in our community. The independent spirit shone through the whole weekend and it was pretty much a roaring success. I even finally got to see Reef!!! (Fact #2 – my first ever gig as a pimply young nipper should have been Reef at Southampton Guildhall and I bought 3 tickets off a tout…silly….only to give the 2 real ones to mates I’d gone with….mates who didn’t know who Reef were….mine was fake and I had to go home….alone…..sniff sniff…..lesson learned though….)

Anyway – our set drew a great crowd and having a decent sound system for a change really does help us with all our silly instrumentation etc…here’s a pic by our Retrospective Soundtrack Playing chum (and trumpeteer on ‘Chemikals’) Pauly B:

Victorious Pic 1 (pb)

Sexy hat eh? EH?

 

The rest of the day was spent catching up with chums and wandering about enjoying the delights of Portsmouth Dockyard…the wonderful old ships of the Mary Rose, the Warrior & the Victory are certainly beautiful backdrops for a festival. Special mention also goes to All About Tea for supplying their top notch Portsmouth Tea blend when the queue for the Ale Tent was too long….oh and Day of the Rabblement sounded great on the acoustic stage too.

Our sexy lovers Pie & Vinyl where also there ‘representin their endz’ with a stall in the Smuggler’s Market. They asked us back on the Sunday to do a ‘secret’ unplugged set for them which was most enjoyable….mainly because rugby player Rob had to ask the Camp Cooks (the excellent on site Drag Queen caterers…) to turn their music off for a bit so myself and Elliott could fumble our way through some songs we rarely play. Here’s a pic by the ace Joe Watson (who did our ‘Wander’ vid and fronts ace hardcore band ‘Attack! Vipers!’):

special friends....and me still looking good in the hat...

special friends….and me still looking good in the hat…

Here too is a wee review from the wonderous (and fantastically named) music blog ‘Call Upon the Author’:

http://www.callupontheauthor.com/blog/4489/victorious-festival-one-mans-view/

All this good cheer in the air has led me to think should give something back so we’ve made our twin EP’s from a couple of years back FREE to download for a while on our Soundcloud page. ‘

ART DECO’ is full band electric stuff and ‘ART NOUVEAU’ is stripped back acoustic stuff. Have a gander and see what you think. ‘Padre, oh Padre!’ on ‘ART NOUVEAU’ is one of my fave songs we’ve written but…for some reason…we’ve never played it live. Doubt we ever will either. Odd that.

Anyway – here they are for you:

…and…

So….finally…..that brings us to our next gig and one of our favourite events on the planet. The mighty Southsea Fest. I think we’re the only band who’s played every single one of these. God that makes us sound like seasoned veterans rather than the clueless amateurs we so successfully seem to portray on a daily basis. Best line-up yet too….

Southsea Fest Line-Up 2013

 

See you there.

Wit

xxxx

TBOTB

 

 

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Gigs of the Year 2012 (and a new song for y’all…)

Another list coming at’cha…..drum roll please…….

 

1) Wild Beasts – ATP Camber Sands

 

An incredible performance. The album ‘Smother’ in full, plus a few other choice cuts. I was on my stag do. Very tipsy. Questionably dressed. Best man/TBOTB geetarist David claimed it was ‘the best gig he’d ever seen’. I’m tempted to agree.

 

2) Eric Pulido & Friends – The Slaughtered Lamb, Clerkenwell

 

A secret gig in a tiny London pub that featured Jason Lytle of Grandaddy (covering Neil Young, no less…), John Grant, half of Midlake and Ed Harcourt. Probably only about 50 people there and felt like watching some mates play in a living room. Some mates though…

 

3) Olafur Arnalds/Nils Frahm/Winged Victory For The Sullen – Hackney Empire

 

A beautiful evening in a beautiful venue. WVFTS were incredible. I’ve seen Olafur a few times now and he’s always an utter joy to watch and Nils (down to 9 working fingers…) had the entire place spellbound. Also they were all very amusing between songs. Which was nice.

 

4) Sigur Ros – Laugardalshöll Arena, Iceland Airwaves

 

Every show at Airwaves this year could probably go on the list but this really was special. An absolutely amazing performance with visuals to match. Even after the hour-long drone that preceded them which seemed to annoy a few peeps (I quite enjoyed it….)

 

5) Asgeir Trausti – KEX Hostel, Iceland Airwaves

 

I knew nothing about this lad before we went to see him so he’s discovery of the year for me. The excellent taste of my ladyfriend guided us his way as he’d been called the ‘Icelandic Bon Iver’. There were certainly similarities but also touches of Jeff Buckley and some lovely instrumentation. I predict big things for this lad and he’s only 20. Bastard.

 

6) The National – ATP Camber Sands

 

At the very end of an emotionally draining stag that probably should have seen me hospitalised at the very least….one of my favourite ever bands playing everything you’d ever want to hear them do for 2 hours. Including an unplugged ‘…Crybaby Geeks’ which by that point I actually was…

 

7) Bon Iver – Latitude Festival

 

The last time I saw Mr Vernon at Glasto he just had a coupla folks backing him and an acoustic guitar. This time he had a ten piece band, an expansive stage set-up and a sawnky, fancy light show. Both times he was no less than brilliant. The man certainly has skills.

 

8) Efterklang/John Grant – Brighton Dome

 

Efterklang playing this years ace ‘Piramida’ album in full with an orchestra. Peter Broderick played with them. They were supported by one of my favourite ever artists who debuted some fantastic new songs. In one of my favourite ever venues. What’s not to like?

 

9) Dirty Projectors – Reykjavik Art Museum, Iceland Airwaves

 

Bjork was wandering around whilst these were playing (we’d seen her watching Purity Ring earlier on. Wearing a puffa jacket and a veil. As you do…) and she has splendid taste. Very very very good indeed….even if aforementioned TBOTB six-stringer Dave missed it due to too much vodka consumed from a mouthwash bottle….

 

10) Field Music – Electric Ballroom

 

Infuriatingly talented, those Brewis brothers. They played for nigh on 2 hours, swapping instruments, changing song structures and even threw in a few Week That Was numbers too which sounded fantastiche. Hadn’t been to the venue before either and rather liked it n’all….

 

11) Josh T Pearson – Latitude

 

Magnificent beard. Magnificent hat. Magnificent guitarist. Magnificent man. Had the audience in the palm of his hand. Also had a mean line in blue jokes. Brilliant.

 

12) Lianne La Havas – Great Escape

 

Quite a surprise for me to be honest. I’d heard a couple of her songs and they sort of passed me by a little as standard pop stuff. What a fool I am. She was incredible….especially when performing solo. Definitely want this album as soon as poss. She seemed genuinely happy to be there as well which is a welcome change from some of the usual dour indie nonsense I generally see. Like when we play.

 

13) Kerbdog – The Garage, London

Hundred Reasons/Hell is for Heroes/Cable – Kentish Town Forum, London

Therapy? – The Wedgewood Rooms, Southsea

 

I’m not generally one who likes to wallow around in nostalgia…it’s pretty rare I listen to stuff from my teens really (except Idlewild obviously….that borders on dangerous obsession) but these 3 gigs were all absolutely amazing. I can definitely see why some people’s music tastes get stuck around 16 years of age as these gigs evoked some lovely memories that I’d almost forgotten. I was accompanied at all these gigs by good friends too and everyone was there to have a right old time. That first little hi-hat count of ‘I’ll Find You’ by HR just does something to me….

 

14) Sharon Van Etten – Latitude Festival

 

I missed her at ATP due to playing the drinking game ‘Leanmaster’ but it was OK as her performance earlier in the year was enough to keep me going for some time it was so good. She really is something else this lass.

 

15) Clock Opera – The Registry, Portsmouth

 

I’ve seen Guy and co a few times now and they’re always entertaining. This gig was late, there were technical problems and the sound wasn’t as clear as some of the times i’d seen them before but it was my favourite performance of theirs. Possibly as I think it was the last night of their tour and they seemed really up for it. Top stuff.

 

 

Honourable mentions also go to Richard Hawley & Lisa Hannigan at The Pyramids, Southsea. A freshly reformed 80’s Matchbox B-Line Disaster at Concorde 2, Brighton and Elbow creating some of the biggest sing-a-longs going at Latitude….

 

So….what are your gigs of the year? Maybe the one this coming Saturday?

 

http://www.pieandvinyl.co.uk/events/pievinyl-presents-the-official-christmas-party-2012/

 

To get you in the mood here’s a brand new song of ours.

 

https://soundcloud.com/thebofthebang/the-b-of-the-bang-chemikals

 

Merry Xmas everyone!

 

xxx