On Wednesday the 8th of February 1995 we had our first practise; now as the 8th of February 2020 fast approaches I sit back and can’t quite understand how quickly this time has passed. I often wonder what would’ve happened if certain events hadn’t happened.
Would the band have continued had the first guy that we hired the room from hadn’t been so stoned? We waited for him to lockup but he never appeared so we left the place open. He’d forgotten all about it and let us book the room the next week (still raging at the punks who had bolted the week before…). The practise room became our home for over twenty years.
Say we didn’t get conned off Big World Music. Would we have kept our focus as a young band and break out from the local scene?
What if I hadn’t bumped into Stu in Behind the Wall during his time away from the band?
There are many junctions in our story, I do regret that we haven’t reached a bigger audience and I often cast envious looks at other bands who, in a fraction of the time, have achieved things we still dream of. I regret we haven’t tried a bit harder, pushed the music, practised more, gigged more, the list goes on.
But I wouldn’t change a thing.
Our family and friends have been so supportive over the years, the ability to leave home for a few days and record albums is priceless. The support on gig nights, unflinching. From the first school night forays at the Martell right through to the Glasgow adventures and the recent Falkirk resurgence.
Every time we’ve put out a tape, CD or dropped albums on Spotify the loyalty has been there. The support has been a huge factor in us being around for so long.
Of course, a band needs to get along if it is to stay intact. I’ve had musical differences with people in the past, music becomes toxic, friendships break, but with these guys that has rarely happened. When we recorded February (back in November 2019) work and family commitments meant we couldn’t go away for too long, but it was a fantastic experience none the less. The few days we had away reminded me of the strong friendships that were forged back at the old practise room twenty-five years ago.
No band can function without music and thankfully we’re still able to write and record records. Sure, we’ve had mixed results but every album we’ve put out has a story behind it.
Which brings me nicely to our ninth, February. An album that practically wrote itself. These days it can take us over a year to write an album. February was going that way until we decided to get an album out for our 25th. The wee bit pressure got the creative juices flowing, by September we had an batch of songs and I couldn’t quite believe that we were booking a new cottage to record our album.
The story of this recording has been told, there is no doubt (and the guys will agree) that this was the most fun we had recording an album. Doing most of it live gave the record an energy that we’ve always struggled to capture. Mixing took just a couple of months (Weird Decibels 2 was about a year…) and the mastering was outsourced to Andy Taylor who did a fine job with the recordings, especially when you consider it took us four days on a £300 14 year old desk.
Thank you for sticking with us, that’s the first twenty-five years in. Who knows what lies ahead? Who knows what dreams we might yet fulfil? We’re still making things work. We’re Not Giving Up.