The Story So Far……
So it’s now September, and we’re gearing up for our first UK tour next month! (tickets available from www.wegottickets.com/codenamecolin) I was going to do a few posts about what has gone on this year but figured I may as well roll it into one. So lets take a look back at 2018.
It all started on an absolutely freezing day in January on Mew’s driveway. We had decided to record a cover of Bowling For Soups song 1985 at the back end of 2017 and wanted to get a video done for it asap. I’m pretty sure it was -2 degrees or something silly like that and we were spoofing a summer video. Really smart. So we got the video done, released it and hoped the BFS guys would hear it. They might have, who knows? The reaction it got was just what we’d hoped for. It really got our name spread out just in time for a run of shows in some places we’d never visited before and what happened at those gigs really did surprise us.
Our first show back was with our friends Filthy Militia, Just Say Nay and Laurence Crow in London. Having played London a good amount we knew it was going to be a great night, and it really was, with Luke instantly gelling behind the kit all our nerves about member changes vanished pretty quickly. Soon after that we we’re playing The Chelsea Inn, in Bristol. We were really surprised to be asked to play there, let alone headline and I can’t speak for the others but I was pretty nervous. We arrived early to check the place out and chat to the promoter Chris. Everything about this show was telling me it was doomed. The band bringing the drum kit were running late, the PA was running late, leads broken everywhere, all the while being reminded of the curfew. I get nervous before shows anyway but this was something else.
Now if you’re a local to The Chelsea Inn or know of it, you’ll know that it, along with the punters, has some character. Excellent pub run by lovely folk, but when you turn up ready to play a gig in a suit, you kind of stand out a bit. So the nerves are worsening, and the support bands are smashing it, Bandits! we’re something else, and I’m stood there surrounded by punks watching a great punk band, in a suit. I thought we were going to go down like a lead balloon, and once Bandits had finished, rushed to get set up to try and stop thinking about it. While setting up the sound of Saxophone and Trumpet seemed to get people talking a little and the nerves eased, but still, in my eyes, we are a pop band, and we’re following two great punk bands in a punk pub. This turned out to be the best gig I’d ever played in my life up to that point. As soon as we started, the pub garden must have emptied as the place instantly filled up and started dancing. People were singing along to everything and even on a new song were singing by the last chorus. It was this gig where we all collectively thought we’d stepped up from little local band level, to actual band level, and since then it’s been a constant rise, by the time May came around we were all pretty proud of our live show and how everything was going and it seemed a lot of other people were too.
I think it was March when we entered RockSound magazines competition for Slamdunk Festival, and by the end of April we had entirely forgotten about it as we didn’t think we’d have a chance and also had some other awesome gigs to promote with the likes of Popes of Chilitown, New Town Kings and Faintest Idea. When we got the news that we had made the five band shortlist we were all pretty much speechless. I’m fairly sure we were entered as a joke by someone at RockSound but we really didn’t want to miss this opportunity. Slamdunk is by far our favourite festival. We go every year and Mewis even met his wife at the original Slamdunk club night in Leeds. So it’s pretty special. We devised a plan to get the news out and get people voting for us. This did involve spamming Facebook mostly, but we also did things we thought other bands might have forgotten about. We put posters up in local pubs, coffee shops and music stores, handed out flyers in shopping centers and booked a performance in the middle of Hemel Hempstead town center. Thanks to all the promotion and everyone sharing online, enough of you lovely lot voted for us and we won. Thank you!
So on the day we walked into the festival as it’s on our doorstep, and were met by confused security, not expecting performers to be turning up on foot and eventually found our way to the RockSound stage. We were introduced to the stage manager and sound team and turned out we knew eachother from a gig the weekend before! Happy days. So they knew exactly what we needed and got us set up pretty smoothly, right up until Mew’s new bass stopped working. We tried everything, leads, wireless, amp and couldn’t find the problem. Our soundcheck ended up delayed by around an hour and by the time we got it sorted there was less than an hour until our stage time. The guys at the Fireball bar helped calm the nerves with a few free drinks but with no idea whether the bass was going to behave when we walked back onto the stage we were all pretty terrified. By the time 12:45 rolled around the tent was packed, it was amazing, and as soon as we heard that bass working, the feeling of relief pretty much killed off any fear. This was without a doubt, the best day we’ve ever had. You all went crazy, and we met all our heroes back stage, Fireball gave us more drinks and we watched Goldfinger from the side of the stage. Brilliant.
So after Slamdunk we continued as normal, playing shows week after week right up until the next big ska punk shindig. Level Up Fest. Now the mastermind behind LUP Fest, Paul Smith has been putting us on in London since we started, our first gig was for him and to be asked to open up was a real sign of the faith he’s had in us for the whole time. Arriving for our afternoon set nice and early, we were greeted by some old friends, the Filthy Militia and Last Edition guys. It had been a while and with everyone on the bill at some point over the weekend it was great catching up. If you like ska punk, go to this festival next year, it’s going to get big, trust us.
Another festival to look out for is the brilliant Punk Rock Holiday in Slovenia. I had been in 2017 and when Mew and I found out Mad Caddies and Bad Religion were playing, it was an easy decision to make. It’s the kind of festival where there are no egos, no bullshit and great bands all day long. We ended up chatting with Chuck of Mad Caddies for a good hour on the beach before the show later that day, and that was after an impromptu acoustic show the night before at the merch stand. It’s just that kind of place where everything is cool. Definitely check it out. I won’t go into much more detail as this post is long enough!
At the time of writing this, we’ve just got back into gigging after our holidays, and performed at Croxfest in Hertfordshire to an incredible crowd. These small local festivals really do go all out, It might only usually be one or two stages but we’ve played a couple where the stages and sound team were on par with what we had at Slamdunk. We’re now two days way from Last Editions ten year birthday gig and after Croxfest, cannot wait to get back on a stage again!
For a first post I know this is pretty long, but future posts won’t be spanning a good eight month period so won’t be quite so long. If you’ve made it all this way, I congratulate you! Gold star!
See you at a show in October! Don’t forget to grab a ticket!