Onwards and Sideways

05 Mar 2012
Illinois Demo Cover

...But instead for the sake of the kids we carried on, and it was time for us to headline a gig. We played the Old Angel on the 26th of September, supported by a new band: Octoberine (Will, Glen and Flora from The Headbirths), playing their first ever gig. I bought a 2nd hand bass guitar for £80, and it sounded good in rehearsals maybe this could work, maybe I was a bassist afterall, I mean I owned a bass guitar, I could commute, the bus was cheap, everything would work out fine.

The headliner at the Old Angel got a rider of three free pints per band member. Undoubtedly Octoberine blew us off stage, then everyone left after they'd finished their set, and we were drunk, and terrible, and all over the place and I was angry that Matt and John were drunk but I murdered 'Marc's song' so maybe I was too; and this wasn't working out.

(John says that there is a recording of this gig in existence somewhere - *shudders* - but it has not made it into my plastic bag)

If we hadn't got Matt's Pizza money invested in the booking of Sideways Sound recording studio the following weekend to record a demo tape with the legendary Martin Cooper (He slept in the studio, is that normal ? and a had a barcode pattern spray painted on his camper van outside) then...

...but Matt had sent Martin a deposit, and a copy of The Jam's Sound Affects album and told him he wanted the demo to have the same sort of feel to it, listening to the tracks I'm not sure Martin ever played it or cared for The Jam much.

It was weird being in a studio, albeit a topsy turvy one, we recorded the tracks in one take, then used that as something to listen to as we recorded each part individually. It took ages and was really boring. Think my bass line after three takes was left as 'he's probably not going to do it any better than that' and John and I went out into the village to get something to eat/drink, whilst Matt laid down (that's a technical term) his vocals.

We walked round the village for an hour or so drinking panda pops, and John said he liked one of the new songs I'd written that sounded like Galaxie 500's Melt Away, and we both kind of confessed we'd rather be playing that kind of music; and when we stepped back into the studio; it felt disconcerting; like something had changed, and I did my backing vocals and we left.

The songs we recorded were 'When Summer Comes Around' and 'Way to feel (is up)' and they're too slow aren't they ? - compare them to the longsight market versions, which are full of energy and urgency (and bad bass playing); and the songs are really upbeat, but on the demo, they just sound strangely military and flat.

Matt drove us back in his parents car, and didn't say much, and declined to put the demo on the tape deck. When he dropped John and I off at 220 Alfreton Road, John said lets pretend to Glen that it went really badly and that Matt has sacked us from the band. Which we did, and was the sort of 'funny' joke which seemed funnier as we played along, but less funny when Glen spoke to Matt the next day, I imagine this fucked Matt off alot; and I am sorry.

All the Songs