We went for it anyway, back in with PM promotions it was nice to have a gig to look forward to. Jim’s Bar is a little sauna two flights of stairs up from the main stage that we played twice a few years back.
It’s been a while, Derek had a bad injury to his ankle then he got married so the first half of 2014 has been a quiet, subtle year for the band. I say subtle as we’re halfway writing wdB2. We cancelled the Pivo Pivo gig for this so we had high hopes for the Saturday show.
On arrival we opened the door and I could swear we stepped into an oven, it was so hot. Air conditioning was non existent, Jesus I was sweating taking my Guitar out of its case. We met a guy from PM promotions called Jim and he was nice. He was welcoming, told us what time we’d be on and introduced us to the sound guy, who was younger than my car (an old beaten up ford). The sound check was quick as it always is, it sounded OK on stage, I asked for a couple of changes thinking the young dude would fiddle with his knobs but later I would find it was not to be. Jim took us up another four levels to our changing room which had a fridge for the beer but we’d never use it,
After sound check we headed off to the west end of Glasgow, Ashton lane, we had a burger a beer and a seat in the sun. Fantastic. I had a great feeling about the gig.
We headed back to the venue, I was a little fuzzy from the beer I had. We caught a fine set from Augusta Fireball, two guys around our age playing in front of a white screen that displayed various pictorial moments including the colourful moment J F Kennedy’s head met a bullet. I’ve not seen the image for a while but it unsettled me. It was slightly distracting from their music which was excellent. We were up second.
Our faithful turned up and cheered the loudest. To be honest I’m not sure why we were on second , we had perhaps the biggest crowd on the night.
Kill it! Kill it!
I Hear The City
Wonder (replaced by Waiting On the Sound of Your High Heels)
It was the hottest gig I ever played, nearly fainted hitting the high notes of Joker. Our crowd were there but there was no one else apart from the other bands. The sound on stage was muddy, the young dude hadn’t made the changes as asked. Disappointing.
Every song we played was interrupted by the moving drum kit. Derek would would run off to find some gaffer tape so I would try my best to entertain the crowd.
I enjoyed it though. I loose it every time we play there is something about playing live that makes me reach into me deepest feelings and pour them out. As RM Hubbert would say its a kind of therapy and you don’t need to pay for it. We were getting ready to play Wonder and I had piled praise on Jemma for helping us on wdB1 when from the bar I heard the shout of ‘play high heels!’ Sounded like Wilson and Byrne. Then I heard ‘gonna remove the tattoo! I looked around, Derek stared the click and we rolled into High Heels.
After us were a Perth band called Bedford Rascals, they were young and they were nuts the singer burst his hand and bled over his bass, that was the most rock and roll moment of the night. The headlines All Suns Blazing had a fine set of blistering blues. Really impressed. Unfortunately for the guys the heat had got to the crowd and most had left apart from the faithful.
I cant call this gig a classic. It wasn’t, in many ways it was the kinda gig you have to play to help you appreciate when the next amazing night come along.
By the time you read this we are about to, or will have played Jims Bar at the QMU in Glasgow (june 21st 2014), So below is a recount of some of our gigs, in no particular order we include the finest, the worst and the strangest moments from our time on the stage.
Classic. 1996 Martell Falkirk Battle of the Bands Quarter Finals. We had just started playing and our heads were full of dreams. Greg, Stu and I had just left school to go to college and Derek, the youngster was still growing cress on the carpet of the common room in Larbert high School. Three teenage kids and a fresh 20-year-old took to the stage to one of our biggest and most eager crowds. The place was packed, i couldn’t see anything from the glare of the lights but every time we finished a song the place erupted. It was the start of our dream.
Weird. 1996 A Field in Crossgates.. Chris from Cage phones us. ‘Hey guys want to stand in for us? Its a biker rally festival in Crossgates’ I thought biker rally = really drunk moshers + our brand of rock + festival = riot of a gig. When we turned up, it was a field full of cow shit. We were directed to the ‘stage’. The power generator was louder than us. The crowd was a single mother bouncing her baby up and down on her knee. The rocking bikers stayed outside playing spin around the stick whilst drinking whiskey. Stu and Derek were happy though, they sat and ate a bag of onion rings and drank cheep beer…
Great Gig. 2013 Oran Mor, Glasgow.
Superb gig in the basement of Oran Mor. We supported Life On Standby who are now doing very well, that night they played a fine set to a growing audience. We went on halfway through the night. It was a great crowd really up for it. Our album Weird Decibels 1 was doing well and we were getting into the swing of playing it live. The sound was simply amazing, one of he best live sounds we have ever had. Annie Walker was kind enough to take some brilliant photos and through this gig we got a slot on the Third Classic ticket radio show run by Tommy Clark. One of those great nights.
Bad gig. The Cathouse Glasgow. A pay to play gig. Hate them. These days they still do them but in a more subtle way. We sold a few tickets and paid to play only for the bouncers to refuse entry to most of the people who had travel through to see us. Derek was raging, he can be heard venting his anger on a live recording which appears on our official bootleg. The place was nearly empty, it was a real setback for the band.
Great Gig 2009, The Argyll Falkirk.
In the ‘slender’ years between ‘Quiet Act’ and ‘Weird Decibels 1’ we were writing the new album and played a handful of gigs at various venues around our home town of Falkirk. Derek owned the Argyll pub at this time so it was an ideal opportunity for us to organise our own gigs. This meant we could use all our own gear and record our performance. We recorded this gig in question, this would eventually become ‘Tonight! Live! Not Completely Sold Out! A mixture of covers, old songs and four new tracks that would appear on WdB1. It was our faithful crowd who have followed us from day one and it was a great laugh. Keep an eye on Bandcamp, I’ll upload these tracks very soon. https://weirddecibels.bandcamp.com/
Weird but brilliant. around early 2000’s My Parents Garden at a BBQ. A gigs a gig! Stu reminded me of this one. My parents held a BBQ every year and asked us to play a wee acoustic gig which we happily agreed. I took down the 4 track and flung a few mics around. The gig started well with cheers and laughs, that is until we played the Ace of Spades on acoustic guitars! The recording was great until my Dad started trying to break a big block of ice cubes which was picked up on the recording, and yes it was out of time…
Classic Gig. Around 2005. The Path Tavern. Kirkcaldy. The venue may be closed and turned into a restaurant but the memories will remain. We played with Kranksolo, our two bands formed a fine friendship and shared a few gigs. 13 Tombs supported. They were superb, the singer had these massive boots that lit up. He looked like dynamo from Running Man. It was a small but fantastic crowd, they dug our music which at the time was One More Solo. We sold a few albums and we were even asked to sign them! Greg drove us back in the ‘Vulture’ old Vauxhall Carlton automatic. It took all the gear, three drunk band members and a sober bass player.
Bad Gig, But Great experience. Around 2005. The Cavern. Liverpool.
Contradiction perhaps but this was one of the most memorable experiences for the band. We even saw the ‘Beatles’. In our desire to expand to other countries, starting with England Greg managed to get us a gig in the world-famous venue the Carvern home of a band called the Beatles. Quite good actually. On the road down Derek nearly broke his hand when Greg decided his stricken limb looked good as a door stop. It was a Back To The Future moment when Kevin Byrne was considered to stand in. The gig itself was empty, everyone was watching the Beatles, we discovered that night that most people listen to music they are familiar with. One the road back I needed to pee really bad as we had been drinking all night. I’m not sure why I’m mentioning this but it is scorched in my memory how long Greg made me wait… Thanks to Neil Henderson and Kevin Byrne who came down and took the photos.
Great Gig. 2013 ABC 2 Glasgow.
2013 was a great year for us live, the ABC 2 was a great gig. the sound the crowd and our performance ensured a great night. It was the first time we actually had a proper merch stand. Yes we have been together nearly 20 years but it takes us time to catch on… It was at this gig we played a brand new song Miss Asphyxia from our future album Weird Decibels 2. It seemed to herald in a new chapter for the band. The fact that it went down well was fantastic. There is a back stage room with a fridge which 5 years ago we would’ve filled with beer, however…it was not to be.
We are a small but perfectly formed rock band, there are no major venues with packed crowds. However we love playing live and every Monday when we return to our jobs, surrounded by the sound of keyboards typing furious emails and office workers sniping we can look back on these times with pleasure and indeed look forward. We never know what is around the corner, maybe when we step from backstage one day and see a wee venue packed with our friends and our fans. We play live 22nd August 2014, 13th Note Glasgow. Make an unforgettable night with us.
I finish with;
Ten Facts about Weird Decibels live
Waiting On the Sound of Your High Heels Baby from One More Solo is our most played song.
Dave Broon was our manager for a night, at a gig in Edinburgh, he paid us with a beer. Legend.
A couple got ‘frisky’ when we played ‘Glass People’ at McSorley’s in Glasgow.
The venue we have played most is still the Martell, Falkirk.
Our sound checks take 2 minutes. Plug in. Play.
I have broken one stage (the Martell)
Derek winds the band up by getting changed into gig clothes during the walk on music.
Stu averages around 3 devil signs per song, one during solo. God.
Greg doesn’t need a setlist as he does not know the name of our songs.
Phil and Juls Sampson have been to the most Weird Decibel gigs. Legends. In fact all of our hardcore fans are brilliant people.
Wilson, our friend and a fan of the band has a Weird Decibels Tattoo. Nothing to do with gigs. But thought I’d mention it.