Tuesday, December 08, 2009

A moment of Skin

Yesterday was a slightly surreal moment. A while ago Myke Gray talked about me joining Skin for the encore at the London show on their UK tour. I thought great, however if I’m totally honest here, I’m so used to musicians saying one thing then conveniently forgetting than I kind of put it out my mind.

Anyway the day of the gig, well I did have a little strum before I left only because sometimes things amazing happen, and I have had some rather amazing moments since I get involved with the whole Skin thing.

The band sound checked, I decided to film the band as there was 2 new songs in the set and the odd number that wasn’t in the tour last time, and Skin are the most fun band I have ever filmed and its never a chore, Doug who is doing the sound is also Iron Maidens sound engineer and he’s right on the button, so much so that if I’m brutally frank I was shit scared of him, even though I had met him before. After a few little chats I found him much easier to talk to I guess I’m not really used to talking to people that are at the top in the industry.

Anyhow I went back stage and helped then to unwrap DVDs ready for signing as ALL the DVDs sold are fully autographed as are the new CD too. While down there Myke mentioned about the encore again, and I was quite knocked out, there was one stumble I was worried Nev might not be happy about it as I would be playing one of his gorgeous Strat’s, he did go a little quiet.

Just before the show I checked with Myke and he said that everything was cool, and I spoke to Nev’s brother Iain who was across it all and I tried on one of Nevs guitars just to make sure the strap wasn’t to long, It was a little but I could cope.

Anyhow the gig started and the band played a blinder it was as good as Wolverhampton earlier in the year if not more so, though Wolverhampton will always be a special moment.

I managed to do a swift camera tape change before the encore then I walked back and Iain handed me the guitar, I was slightly shitting myself, remember it was a full house and I has never strummed a note with the band before. Nev then introduces me and then also brings on Toby Jepson (form Little Angles / Gun who was also supporting).

Then its 1,2,3,4 Boff a very fast 4 minutes take place. Now the first thing that ran through my mind was not am I playing the right notes, because I knew I was, but it was bloody hell this is a REALLY nice guitar. And I almost forgot I was on stage! Then the second half I was more into it. I could hear every note I was playing unlike the vast majority of All Living Fear gigs. Then in a flash it was all over and I was back in the pit with my TV camera.

Afterwards when I said tad a to the guys Nev said something really nice to me about my playing, that really just rounded the night off perfectly for me.

What a night.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Sunderland 1st Dec 2009

So after a good night in Glasgow it was off to the final show of the tour, Sunderland.

It was a relatively quick drive down the 175 miles to the hotel, It was nice to stay in an old fashioned Travelodge, the Glasgow one the night before was rubbish, though they did do an all you can eat breakfast for something like 7.50 and Tony made the most of it.

Once we got to the hotel I made my last blog then headed off to the venue, The Cruxshadows were still sound checking, they have a very slick slow, but they want to get things Just right, not that we were worried as time wasn’t pressing. We had a good sound check, I could hear everything clearly on stage, and I was still a bit put off after the monitors disappeared last night during one of the songs.

In the back stage area there was a mobile radio station set up, DJ Ghost presents a program on Local Radio up there every week and they did it live from the gig, which was rather cool.

Anyhow, we went to the local weatherspoons for dinner, they do a deluxe posh Veggie burger there now, I had that without Chips, which would have just been way too much.

When we got back we saw Aria had hit the stage, this was a singer, and keyboard player affaire, she was going down pretty well with the audience.

Then it was our turn, we rushed to get on as if we went on before time we could have a longer set, that being said, our set was 33 minutes, and we had a 30 minutes set, and by going on earlier we actually came off before time so that all worked out well.

Now the set list as promised.
the Full tour set was

Each and Every Way
Home Too Soon
Wait for Yesterday (This had the working title of Power of Drums or Pod)
The Living
Wait Here (For You)
The Widow’s Blame
Stranger To None

For Sunderland we dropped Each and Home, as well as the intro tape

The set went down well enough, and we then did an interview on Ghosts radio show. Got to see a little of the Cruxshadows set which ended up in chaos, basically they always drag people from the audience onto the stage, and they all have a jog around, except the security didn’t quite see it this way, and stormed boots in on stage and basically tried to stop it, this ended up in the set stopping, and really put a bit of a damper on what was a rather good gig. Still the people there enjoyed the show, just a shame it has to be ruined in this way.

So the day after, I overslept and it was time to go home, we spent in total about 13 hours traveling, as we had to comer to Devon via Huntingdon to drop Nev off, there was a nice garden center that we had as a drop off point, point of interest was they had some lovely parrots in there.

So we got home unloaded.

This tour has been a great deal of fun, performance started off a bit ropy got better, there is still a lot of work to be done before we really nail it to the table, but we made solid progress. It looks like everyone concerned wants to do it again, I think the next tour will be when the weather is a bit more warmer.

The gang consisted of

Matthew North – Guitar and Vocals
Nevla – Guitar
Niall Parker – Bass
Steve Williams – Guitar

Tony Twinpeeks – Merch and Crew
Lee-Anne Burgess – Filming

The Possy
Suzanne, Natalie and Ian

Cruxshadows on Stage

Oops look what I nabbed

Niall saying ta da to Aria at the Travelodge

At the Drop off point in Huntingdon

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Arrived in Sunderland

Hi all

We arrived in the North East in good time, Just at the hotel, I nabbed Suzanne's mobile and have uploaded a few live shots for you.

Glasgow Rockers – 30th Nov 2009

Well last night was a great gig. Rockers is a proper live club venue, has loads of memorabilia all over the place, had a massive PA, and they even provide Marshall stacks as back line. That being said I still brought mine is, as we have ‘One guitarist too many’ !

Anyhow we were able to park directly outside the venue, and there was plenty of people to help. After a good sound check, the guy doing the PA happened to be Gun’s tour manager too boot, we went to the local weatherspoons for dinner and Iron Brew.

There were 2 support bands, I didn’t see much of the first band, as I was late back from food, the second band Cister Scalpal were good fun, they also dedicated a song to us, that’s always nice.

We went on stage and did our set, we went down VERY well with the audience, who were very much and younger audience, they really got into out stuff, I was actually feeling rather gob smacked by the reaction especially after talking to people afterwards.

On the way back from the gig Tony kept us all laughing our heads off with Jokes!

Well we will be shortly be leaving for Sunderland to support the Cruxshadows, Glasgow get 10/10 and we will be back sometime.

In the Travelodge

Cister Scaple

ALF in Weatherspoons

Steve Chilling

Drum skin signed by Jet Black and Rat Scabies