Are you sitting comfortably?…Then I’ll begin!
So last time we spoke was last year I think? But Louis has updated you since then!
I write from the confines of our travelling mobile having just left Dover from our return journey from our two gig stint over in Belgium. Apart from the gigs being monstrously mega, we didn’t ‘alf have a laugh. Most noticeably Ben’s [Bass Guitar] ability to get a ‘saying’ wrong again with the precise comedy timing of any of the greats. My recent favourites being: “the Gloves are on” meaning the ‘gloves are off !’ And my favourite of favourites is the “Chonga dance” also known to the rest of the world as the Conga. It’s his inability to let himself be corrected. “I swear its fuckin’ chonga, ya wrong mate!” great.
The first gig over in Belgium was in Brussels which was a better place than I imagined. Oh and lest we not forgot our newly appointed publicist who brought us over there, fed us, looked after us and an all-round diamond - Jennifer! “Danku!!!”
Anyway the day of the gig was somewhat jaded by the late arrivals of our manager Tommy, who by the way had come over on the train and treated himself to some ‘over priced’ beverages on the way - but I’ll come back to that. So, first to arrive is Tommy, slowly followed by good friend, our internet designer, Band Guru and all round master of anything technical Mark who was in, as always an uplifting mood. So off to sound check we headed.
Come nightfall we headed off for a bite to eat, warmed up for the gig then it was time to play. We we’re headlining the bill however; we did have to follow what can only be a described as a prog rock psychedelic band of aliens cascading hopelessly through a set of madness. Lovely lads but certainly a fucking million miles in the other genre direction. Our Belgium fans were there to see us perform though and perform we did. Some travelled from 2 hours away to watch us so there was a little pressure but nothing we ain’t use to. Prior to this though our manager was a little jaded before the gig having a little nap after shall we say, a little too much Belgian booze haha. Here’s Peter and Louis making sure he’s getting a few Z’s
First chord, then your into it! Seems to go ok. The sound was pretty dire on stage I had to sing deaf with some shit monitor facing me and also blinded by what I assumed was a fuckin shipping tankers night light in my face the whole gig. But once you’re in it you forget about pretty much everything and we play the songs how their meant to be - live in a sweaty, packed room and the crowd seemed to dig it and went mental from start to finish. We loved it anyway. From there it was an early night…I know what you’re thinking, but yeah we actually went to bed after it, pretty fucking soon after!
In the morning our driver Jack had to pick up some more fuel for the hour drive to the next gig but as we only had cash we needed a petrol station that took cash (most stations are ‘un manned’ and only accept card). So Jack in conversation with our Belgium Publicist Jennifer (who by the way speaks better fucking English than all of us put together) asks in a slowed down English, manc accent- “where….is…man pump?” Which even if you said that to an English person would be like what the fuck you on about mate haha. We laughed our tits off knowing that he meant a petrol station where there are people at a desk that you can pay cash at but I’m still pissing myself over it now. Another part of the team we couldn’t do without - the legend that is Jack!
Second gig was in a beautiful sea side town/city of Ostend in a great little Rock n Roll bar called Manuscript. Great sound, beautiful owners who watered and fed us with some amazing Belgian cuisine. Certainly the better of the two, the gig had some energy considering it was a Sunday. I tried out some of my woeful Flemish, better luck next time I think though. Being called up for two encores says how that one went. Mega so it was.
And with that I’ll leave you with the news that we have finished recording the EP now all we need now is the mixing and mastering and all systems go. Everything’s on it, slide guitar, Wurlitzers, mandolins and even a fuckin kazoo!
Peace brothers and sisters, till next time!
Hello everybody hope you have all been behaving…
I’m going to fill you in on what Slydigs have been up to in the last few weeks because contrary to popular belief we haven’t been wasting our time setting fire to hotel rooms and throwing wide screen TVs at pedestrians, which would be a terrible misuse of aggression and energy.
Instead we have decided to take all that pent up energy and mindless aggression and channel it into recording our new EP. Friday 7th of Feb saw us head down to the Cotswolds at 6am in the morning to record five tracks in Bank Cottage with the prestigious George Shilling, well known for his work with Ocean Colour Scene, Slade, James Brown and Blur to name but a few.
We arrived just in time and George welcomed us into his amazing studio and offered us all a drink. With that we were ready to rock and roll. The Cotswolds are a lovely part of England but it isn’t the easiest place to get signal or access to the internet, this is great if you want to block yourself off from the world and concentrate on music but not so great if you need to locate a missing lead singer and manager. Luckily, shortly after Dean and Tommy arrived in one piece. Unfortunately, Tommy’s car had sustained some superficial damage after a collision with a beer keg outside the local pub but a minor collision like that wasn’t going to put us off creating beautiful music.
The first day went brilliantly. After shaking off the cobwebs of the horrific journeys that we had all endured, we soon settled in to the studio and began to set the foundations for our five tracks.
The first day was all down to Pete who didn’t disappoint in the slightest, it’s great when we are working with a new producer or doing a sound check because the drums are always the first port of call and as soon as Pete is let loose on the old pots and pans everyone involved instantly knows that we mean business. After a hard day of watching Pete and George work their bollocks off we had the small matter of locating our cottage where we had planned to meet our good friend and band guru Mark Fallon. After an hour of searching, we finally found our destination… Fallon on the other hand wasn’t so fortunate and turned up at 1 in the morning.
The next day was Asbo’s turn to work his magic; our aim was to get all the drum and bass down for the five tracks which Asbo managed to finish in style. We even managed to get a couple of rhythm guitar takes down. It was clear that Pete and Asbo couldn’t contain their excitement due the fact that it was Saturday night and they had finished recording all their parts in the studio. It became apparent to me and Dean quite early on that they were planning some sort of secret excursion. Throughout the day I watched them hold impromptu meetings in the drum booth, car park and kitchen back at our cottage. After watching them get ready and drink a few beers me and Dean decided to join them last minute and really fuck up all their plans.
Mark was planning to head back up north but we persuaded him to stay for one pint as we were heading to the ‘oldest pub in England’. In theory this sounded interesting but in reality it wasn’t so exiting. We hadn’t anticipated the oldest pub in history to be occupied by the oldest clientele in history. To our good fortune someone informed us that there was another part to the pub across the yard so we ventured across in a blowing gale to what can only be described as a barn. Upon entering we quickly realised that we were the only people who hadn’t bothered to dress as cowboys. We had stumbled upon a private barn dance in the middle of a quiet village; needless to say we didn’t quite blend in so we decided to stand near the entrance. This enabled Asbo to use his ‘were you born in a barn?’ joke to everyone who forgot to close the door on their way out. It was at this point we decided it was time to leave.
Day 3 was all about the brass. By brass I mean trumpets and saxophones not slang for Women of the night. Our good friends Will and Chris came down from the north and did an amazing job on two of our tracks, this was both glorious day and a rather sad one too, Glorious in the fact that the brass section made our songs sound absolutely timeless and unique, Sad because this was the day that Pete introduced Asbo to Flappy Bird (a devastatingly addictive game on the iPhone). From this day forth Asbo became a shadow of his former self and completely unrecognizable to his closest band mates. I still miss him to this day.
Day 4 and 5 were all about recording guitar, vocals, extra percussion, strings, keys, mandolin and anything else we could think of or get our hands on. It was a great experience to work with George Shilling on the tracks, Dean’s Vocal takes where spine tingling as usual and everything came together beautifully. We finished our session on Tuesday evening around 7 o’clock, extremely pleased with the work that had been done in the past five days. We headed back for a few beers at the cottage before leaving for home on Wednesday morning.
We are currently preparing to head over to Belgium on the 21st to play a few gigs and meet up with Slydigs Guardian Angel Jennifer Smits who has recently been getting us big Airplay on some of Belgium’s biggest rock shows. We cannot wait to get over there and play to a European audience. After that we will be heading back to the studio to put the finishing touches to our EP and then it’s onward and upwards!
Watch this space folks, keep a look out on our website for up and coming UK dates and get your arse down to a gig, we will be touring March-April-May time.
Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin…
Currently we have been keeping our ears to the ground and our hearts to the wall. We have begun demoing our new material for an early release in 2014 and boy I can’t wait for you to get your lug holes around it. The new material will feature me and Mr Menguy working more closely and collaboratively. For me, we are to embark on something big. It’s for the people to decide, they say but… fuck it we think it’s the best material we’ve ever worked on so put that in your pipe! Since we spoke recently with label and management it’s most likely that we will be releasing an EP consisting of 3-5 tracks. Release date will be sometime in December, I promise.
Anyway, back to the less serious stuff. Last month we headed down to London for a few shows in Camden and Portobello which went down a storm. We played with an older band called The Dirty Strangers that have worked with Keith Richards and The Stones sax player Bobby Keys recently. Obviously the pleasure was ours, great set of fellas, great musicians and mega live! We play with them again in London in December (see the website for details). We also played with a band called Pink Cigar - a great live band and nice lads so check um out. They remind me of The Clash and maybe Johnny Rotten singing.
You may have seen recently got to meet a few of our heroes in the form of Mick Jones of the late, great Clash and Paul Weller. People say you shouldn’t meet your idols but why fucking not!? Gentlemen and geniuses in their own right and it was great to speak to them, about what we want out of our music and all that Jazz. A great experience and I look forward to meeting them when we’re back down there in December.
October sees us headline our hometown once more at Friars Court on the 19th. Support from another up and coming band called Puppet Rebellion. Be sure to check um out! We are set to play some new material as well so get on it! In addition to Friars, we headline The Cotton Mill on the 15th November so get your arse down and we can boogie together!
Anyway got to go, just had an interesting conversation with a guy called ‘Rainbow George’, he’s a friend of our manager’s and now the band. He sounds like a right character and his legend precedes him! I’ve already heard him declaring we are set to be big next year on BBC Radio London - I’ll let you know how it goes! In the meantime stay safe! See you at our next gig x
Peace & Love
Are you sitting comfortable on your bottoms? Then, I’ll begin!
Last couple of gigs have been interesting to say the least - the ones where no-one fucked up (see recent tweets for details) so we could actually perform, were excellent! London is always a pleasure to play, some mad support in the form of FC20 I think they were called. Great to watch actually. Two front men bouncing their bonce off, they deserved a bigger crowd for sure. Definitely like to watch them cats again.
So me and the boys took a wander round London town on the Saturday, filled with exuberance and wine. Many a laugh was had and it didn’t take long for Ben to be moon walking on the ceiling to a bit of Jamiroquai, (one of his fav’s at the moment, I think ). I partook in what can only be described as the most perplexing conversation with a stranger ever. It began with him attempting to remember the actor Rhys Ifans in response to my attire. Me on the other hand began reeling off celebrates names like some sort of look-a-likey charades, an awkward moment passed and by the time he got to it I was at the bar ordering a drink in a Welsh accent. Whilst I think my appearance resembled nothing of the Welsh Thespian, a good tip is - if you ever find your self confronted with a Spanish back packer in London that likes to celeb spot; ‘play along’! You will get a drink out of it at least!
Anyway the night was to be enhanced by a theatre show in the East End by a theatre company called Not Too Tame, my brother’s in it and directs it. Whilst I could be accused of nepotism, it was certainly adored by the rest of the band I’m sure. Safe to say it blew us away and everyone else in there. Everything about it seemed to hit home and some girl performed an acoustic track which had me questioning my own ability she was that good!!
A little digression from the music but back to the grindstone! We play our home town this Saturday, Friar’s Court in Warrington which is set to be a stormer - we’re bringing the Hurricane anyway. Also penning some new material with the Menguy later so keep your wary minds open. You’re gonna love what we’ve done with the place!
Peace and love as ever
Good evening ladies and gentleman I hope you are all well and staying out of trouble. This weekend just gone has been an eventful one to say the least! Allow me to elaborate…
We set off on Thursday afternoon heading up to Middlesbrough to play at Doc Browns which would be the first of our three gigs over the course of the weekend. This was our first proper journey in our new van and I must say she delivered on all fronts…except maybe the sound system (the lighter plug for the docking station is situated between the legs of the front passenger) anyone wanting to change a song must have full permission of the passenger in the front, this rule is only to avoid any sexual misinterpretation And must be abided by at all times!
We arrived at Doc Browns on Thursday evening and loaded our gear into the venue. Doc Browns Is a grand old pub with a good stage, we immediately felt at home as it was reminiscent of the Albion where we used to practice in Warrington in days gone by (only on a much larger scale). By the time we hit the stage the crowd where fired up and buzzing and so where we! The atmosphere was amazing, when we are met with a crowd as fired up as the one at Doc Browns the results are always electrifying! The feedback after the gig was unbelievable and we would look forward to returning at a later date, Thanks to everyone who attended we met some top people!
On Friday morning Pete and Dean decided to ring mine and Asbo’s hotel room to tell us to hurry because they were serving breakfast downstairs, after jumping out of bed and running down to reception we realised that we were unsuspecting victims of a hilarious practical joke…. There was no breakfast and Pete and Dean where still in bed! Sometimes the calibre of jokes that get banded around in this band leaves me thinking that the country has missed out on a world class comedy act!
After our real breakfast we headed to Sunderland which was only a short drive away from Middlesbrough and eventually found Plugged In which was the venue we had been booked to play at. (I say eventually as we passed it several times due to the lack of any venue sign or the lack of our sense of direction on our part)
Plugged In turned out to be a cool little Indie Venue in the centre of the City, Just the type of place we love to play!
By the time we started playing the crowd where very well oiled from the constant flow of alcohol they had been consuming all night. It’s always enjoyable watching a heavily intoxicated crowd going mad to our tunes and that night was no exception! Many a strange dance moves where invented that evening and a top night was had by all!
Saturday morning started well, the sun was shining and spirits where high due to the success of the previous nights and we were buzzing with the anticipation of getting to Aberdeen and blowing the roof. Half way through our drive all our excitement went out of the window with an almighty bang to the back of the van, yep! We had been hit by another driver.
I won’t go into the details of the hours that followed because it is about as rock and roll as an episode of the bill, but safe to say we didn’t make it to Aberdeen and our beautiful new van had its first taste of the shit storm that follows a band on the road. Not to worry she will be as good as new next week but what really gutted us was not being able to make our gig in Aberdeen. We apologise to everyone who attended and we are sorry for any inconvenience this caused to anyone. We are rescheduling in the very near future.
Well there you have it folks another weekend in the life of Slydigs. We had laughs, we had tears, but most of all we the best breakfast related practical joke known to man - I defy anyone to name a better one.
Thanks for reading, next Friday we head to Surya in London then Zanzibar in Liverpool on Sunday. Hope to see you there! My bestest bud Dean will report to you with another blog next week.
Much love. Louis xxxx
Alright you crazy cats,
Few things happened since last time I wrote. Main thing we kicked of the tour last week in Hull which was excellent. Great little, sweaty venue called The Adelphi - it’s made its own history over the years. Some legends have graced that stage… and still do!
I always find those gigs the best, more intimate, plenty of passion running round that room that’s for sure! Certainly great to finally get out there and tour tracks from the Album.
Next gig was the Saturday just gone at Dry Bar. It turned out to be even bigger and better than the last. The lads were on their best game as well and we had a few guests joining us on stage for the climax. Was great to see all those new faces turning up showing some support and bopping away. Some from a gig we did last year at the Ritz and some from the Guerilla gig we did on Market street awhile ago. Great reception for the brass section that joined us. Top crowd for sure, wonder if we can beat in Middlesbrough this Thursday.
Been in the studio recently demo’ing some new material which is turning out to be very exciting indeed, may throw a few in the set in the back end of the tour if your lucky!
Did a few sessions at Salford City Radio as well which had its moments of greatness. One shining example being one of the DJ’s calling us “Skydigs” from Runcorn - chuckle chuckle! They were digging the music though which is always good! Thinking about moving to Runcorn and changing our name to Skydigs now!
Oh yeah, I mustn’t forget we’ve had a new arrival - in the form of a Mercedes van, had to change transport as Pete was getting increasingly irate with Shirley’s (ford transit) sensibility. Sorry love, you’re getting swapped for a new, better model!
Till next time, diggers diggettes,
So tonight is the first gig of two this weekend at the Classic Grand in Glasgow and the second in Manchester’s Dry Live. Also the first of many blogs for the tour in April so here goes with this one!
Looking forward to tonight as its the first time playing in Glasgow (ironically- I should just call this blog Virgin Friday). We have played before in Scotland but it was in Edinburgh a few years ago which consisted of three people clapping, one heckler and some bar maid with a beard. Anyway, I digress - tonight I will get to see a band I have heard a lot about supporting us called Sons Of The Stage - not seen much of them but looking forward to watching that! Certainly excited for the Scottish crowd though, as I always hear that they’re the best!
I currently write from the rear of our travel bus…. Sorry, van. Often we refer to the ‘van’ as the tour bus and if anyone actually gets to set eyes on the beauty we usually turn it back on them and say “no,no you heard me wrong I said ‘Tall’ bus not tour bus …” Currently we are equipped with 8,000 CDS of 60’s Rock & Roll Courtesy of the Menguy that is Louis, so I may burst into a ‘dinner’ style jive while writing this, but you won’t get to see it, unlucky for you!
Sound check’s at 4pm today, but for anyone that has never had the privilege of working with an unknown sound tech’ it will usually consist of us waiting round for a few hours twiddling with our nobs to be met by a grumpy stoner that hates loud noises with an horrendous collection of 80’s prog rock tunes that no fuckers heard of. But I don’t like to stereotype … Anyway, we need our own sound guy for the tour in April! Fingers crossed with this one tonight!
I will leave on a positive though, the suns come out so hopefully Scotland will be in the 30’s! …….. Hopefully!
Chow diggers! X
#23 in Vive le Rock’s top albums of 2012
Win two tickets to our gig on 22nd December at HMV Ritz Manchester… www.slydigs.co.uk/competitions/ritz-comp