Day Twelve

26th September 2007 – Hull Lamp

Or “Emo kids don’t like winklepickers”

           

Simon and I emerged blinking and broken into the 11am daylight. The quiet street we had parked the van on was now a busy main road in a busy town centre. Ah. We were sweaty, our hair was all over the place, we were in the previous nights crumpled clothing and now we were surrounded by people giving us bemused looks. There was a food festival on in the town centre so we wandered around trying to find some breakfast before meeting the others. Both Simon and I were determined to experiment with pigeon in pitta, but the portions were tiny so we had mixed game burgers instead. We found the rest of the band, grabbed a cup of tea took a look around the shops. I couldn’t really afford it, but as we were going home that night and we had a couple of days back home, I bought myself the Doctor Who: The Key To Time box set and we got on the highway to Hull. It only took us an hour to get there, so we had LOADS of time to kill. We probably should have stayed in York though. Have you ever been to Hull? Sorry Northerners, but it really is the grimmest of the grim, all grey skies and nothing to do bar look listlessly through massive Oxfam and British Heart Foundation superstores in the freezing cold. We wandered around some vintage clothes shops and I found a brilliant cheap ‘70s Bowie book before, bored shitless, we gave in and went to the venue. We were treated exceptionally well. The venue staff provided – on top of the standard beer and crisps combo – proper hot food and unlimited free cups of tea. This was obviously lovely, but I was looking forward to going home that night. I was tired, hungover and ratty and, for the first time on the tour, really, really, REALLY bored. Then, as I tucked into my food I picked up my email and was sent spiraling into a minor league grief hole.

Our management had commissioned a company called Upshot PR to promote our single to clubs. A report had come back from them with feedback on the single and I couldn’t resist: stupidly, with an hour and a half to go before stage time, I read it. Upshot described it as a 70/30 positive/negative split, but the negative comments were the ones that stuck with me. It started off well:

“This really is nuts…but good nuts…I think??!! Manic indie-pop that does sound like The long Blondes meets a coke fuelled B-52’s…that works, right??

Ramshackle, Birmingham”

 

Well! That was nice. But as I read on, it all fell apart….

“quirky at best and almost kind of amusing on first hearing but after that,……….. response has been dead after a few spot plays and with there being far too many bands, lacking stand out tunes fighting for so little playtime on a weekend these days somethings got to give, and this is one of them.

spiders

hull”

Reading that one and noticing where it had come from I couldn’t help but feel tonight was going to be a proper treat.

“You said it… I hate it ! I can’t emphasize that enuff! Erghh.

The Swan

Stockwell”

Um, cheers for that…

“I have liked 586, they always seem to be teetering on the edge of getting proper recognition, but this is just horrid. Yes, it’s a good enough song, but they sound like they’re trying to tap into the londoncentric scene that everyone seems to be so obsessed with right now, and it smacks of cynicism.

Prison

Camden”

But-but-but…we first recorded this two years ago!

“Gogol bordello and the fratellis have a fair bit to answer for in terms of what’s allowed to be released now. There was a time when poppy oddball nonsense would have been the domain of 7 inch only releases on obscure record labels. But no, this carnival level nonsense gets a full release despite being pretty dull stuff dressed up in clowns clothes. It’s not that it’s even a decent song with comedy elements tagged on. Nope, the whole thing is ‘whacky’. And therefore flipping irritating. Hopes that the b-side would provide some relief from the holiday camp cheeriness prove fruitless.

International Hi Fi

London”

“Full release”?! This is a single that our management released ‘cos no label would touch us with a barge pole. PS. THE FUCKING FRATELLIS?! FUCK YOU!

AGH!  On and on it went. To be fair, there were a lot of positive comments, but none of those stuck in my head for the rest of the night nagging at my tired brain and slowly driving me mEnTaL. Rags & Tags was one of our oldest songs – we recorded the original demo at the same session as We Got Bored – so it really rankled with me that we were accused of jumping some kind of ‘gypsy punk’ bandwagon. Every time we’d released a single it had been lumped in with whatever was going on at the time, so I was used to that. We Got Bored was thrown in with the Art Brut/shambolic punk thing and Money Is The Drug, one of our best Tom Tom Club impressions, had been described as fucking new rave. But being in an empty venue in an unfamiliar town, having played to no-one the night before, I over-reacted and went quite insular. I didn’t really want to drink, but I also realised I needed to loosen up before we went onstage. I started to panic. We were SUPPOSED to be a fun pop band, but I wanted to go home. I was introduced to some people but felt totally anti-social, so was dismissive and rude and just hid in a corner at the first opportunity. We went onstage to an audience of maybe five people and I moped my way through our set. Once we finished playing I just wanted to go straight home, but we had to man the merchandise stall so I spent the rest of the night sulking behind that avoiding talking to anyone and letting my band mates do the actual work. We sold some CD’s, but I was still in a strop, so as soon as SohoDolls were done, I rounded everyone up for the long drive back to London. Fuelled by coffee and Red Bull I stayed awake and kept the drivers the whole way home, whinging and bitching for the full two hundred and ten miles.

*****************************************************

BONUS!

Want to read the report that depressed me so? GO AHEAD:

CLUB ACTIVITY REPORT 25/09/07

 

This really is nuts…but good nuts…I think??!! Manic indie-pop that does sound like The long Blondes meets a coke fuelled B-52’s…that works, right??

Ramshackle, Birmingham

Overview: ‘Rags & Tags’ really has the DJ community in a spin – most DJ’s just don’t know what to make of the 586 sound and this is creating debate. So in terms of provoking the wagging tongues into action of the regional scenesters, mission accomplished. However, in terms of playout and opinion on the track there are just far too many conflicting opinions to know where to start! Check out the latest set of reactions and enjoy…

Key clubs nights on board and supporting the band to date:

Beautiful People (London), Roar (Essex), Mayhem (Southend), Popscene (London) (formerly FROG), Offbeat (Sheffield), Meltdown (Norwich), Sabotage (Oxford – Milton Keynes), Silver (London), XFM First Friday (London), Propaganda (Bristol – Cheltenham – Exeter) and Ramshackle (Birmingham – Bristol).

Stats, breakdowns and comments…

Stats: (DJs rate the record out of 10)

Average personal reaction:                                   5.6 / 5 (+0.2)

Average audience reaction:                       6.0 / 5 (-)

Average future programming:                   6.3 / 5 (+0.2)

Overall reaction:                                        6.0 / 10

 

Current Set Play Position for Rags & Tags::

The top 5 most played artists alongside 586 in DJ setplay

CSS (Alcohol)

The Gossip

Arcade Fire

The Wombats

Late Of The Pier

 

 

2 lovely gypsy rocky punky poppy tracks that come across really well, lots of fun and bouncy old scholl courty groove brit style. sit well alongside half the deltasonic stable whilst offering their own take on modern dynamics, lots of fun and working the floors well for a new band

Meltdown

Norwich

quirky at best and almost kind of amusing on first hearing but after that,……….. response has been dead after a few spot plays and with there being far too many bands, lacking stand out tunes fighting for so little playtime on a weekend these days somethings got to give, and this is one of them.

spiders

hull

What a strange track this is! On first listen, it sounds like it should come from something like “West Side Story”! After a few plays, it begins to make sense. Good fun!

Scene, The Savoy

Barry

very quirky, with a gogol bordello gypsy beat. a bit too leftfield for my punters unfortunately, but i will persevere!

Substance

Glasgow

OOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHH!!! INTERESTING!!!!! VERY INTERESTING!!!! This is definitely growing on me big time at the moment!! There is that certain Gogol Bordello feel to it but in a bit more of a CRAZY Polyphonic Spree kind of way to be fair!!! This is a GENIUS TUNE that you can easily see being massive just for novelty value to be fair!!! THIS IS ONE OF THOSE TUNES that makes you want to throw yourself around like a nutter to be fair and with the right media they could easily grow to being as big as the GENIUS Gogol Bordello!!! THIS IS A QUALITY TUNE!!! GOOD SUPPORT HERE!!!

Pressure

Wolverhampton

Great fun, loads of energy and judging by the sound maybe a second band that could be classed ‘gypsy punk’. great fun to dance to and immediatly accessable.

Meltdown

Norwich

You said it… I hate it ! I can’t emphasize that enuff! Erghh.

The Swan

Stockwell

sounds like madness meets dresden dolls. wacky. sounds like a circus and cabarat. very theatrical. a bit rocky horror. most original thing i’ve heard today. like it!art brt

Sabotage, Live Gigs + MORE

OXFORD

The gypsy-punk movement continues apace. The lyrics on this are brilliant – it’s cool quirky pop. I really like this.

Dynamite Boogaloo

Brighton

Hmm, lies somewhere between very annoying and very catchy – I’m with the former at the moment but it may grow on me.

Entertainment!

Brighton

I have liked 586, they always seem to be teetering on the edge of getting proper recognition, but this is just horrid. Yes, it’s a good enough song, but they sound like they’re trying to tap into the londoncentric scene that everyone seems to be so obsessed with right now, and it smacks of cynicism.

Prison

Camden

No thank you guys, like the cartoons singing a babyshambles sea shanty. Horrible and annoying, but its in the case, just not had the guts to play yet….may let mikey play first, chicken, yes.

HIP ROCKING PUNK HOPPING BEATS

COVENTRY

It sounds pretty good, although it sounds like it should be part of a pantomime duet on stage. They seem to have elements of a lot of diverse bands, Fiery Furnaces and Tiger Lillies are two that spring to mind straight away, but their sound still manages to have a feel of its own, they seem to be combining many influences well and putting out something that does sound a bit different and interesting. It’s not amazing on the dancefloor to be honest, they don’t really have much to get into to dance and it is a bit too stop-start to really get moving to, much better to just sit and listen to, but hopefully they’ll get people dancing soon enough. Sounds really good, would be very keen to hear more from them.

Generator

Cambridge.

Not really sure about this. Theatrical vocals and direction are a bit over the top, but it’s interesting enough to play a few times early doors.

Offbeat

Sheffield

the one thing that hits you when you play “rags & tags” is DIFFERENT and yep it sure is the fairground music is very very hooky indeed and those question/answers vocals are gripping slightly off-the-wall but grows on you like mad and just when we thought it could not get any crazier enter “out of control”

the witchwood

manchester

wow! this is superb. shame about the slow breakdown in the middle, but other than that people will dance crazy to this!

Mosh Nightclub

Leicester

love this band and we both played a local festival last weekend! they are great live, fresh and fun! they are also supporting the Sohodolls in MK tomorrow so ill see them again! Superb and witty lyrics.

Sabotage

Milton Keynes

fun summer tune

punk n ska mondays

Croydon

insane rocking crazy bullocks i love it

LOADED

hastings

This one is a little strange, the slow part in the middle of the track kills off any chance of getting a dance floor moving

Panic

Leeds

This really is nuts…but good nuts…I think ??!! Manic indie-pop that does sound like The long Blondes meets a coke fuelled B-52’s…that works, right ??

Ramshackle

Birmingham

Not really my thing. Great energy but the style isn’t one that I get on with

Ramshackle/Generation X

Bristol

Great tune from a great band. B side too slow to play out, but gives good reaction at slower times. Good stuff

Shuffle

London

Gogol bordello and the fratellis have a fair bit to answer for in terms of what’s allowed to be released now. There was a time when poppy oddball nonsense would have been the domain of 7 inch only releases on obscure record labels. But no, this carnival level nonsense gets a full release despite being pretty dull stuff dressed up in clowns clothes. It’s not that it’s even a decent song with comedy elements tagged on. Nope, the whole thing is ‘whacky’. And therefore flipping irritating. Hopes that the b-side would provide some relief from the holiday camp cheeriness prove fruitless.

International Hi Fi

London

Nice funky song, very hippie-sounding like the coral and larrikin love. I like the vocals (the swapping of male and female vocals sounds really good). Nice and upbeat so I will play this early night at my club night.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Milton Keynes

Have known about this band for awhile and had the demo of Rags & Tags ages ago… Not the strongest of their tracks i’d say, it’s very theatrical. Definitely spinning a few times though and certainly different to a lot of the same old same old indie bullshit, which has got to be a good thing. Right?

Popscene

London

A decent slab of indie pop, not setting the dance floor on fire at the minute. i have thses booked in at my club night so hoping the live performance lives up to the energy on the record.

club nme hull

hull

I heard a 586 tune about 6 months ago and set out to book them for my club night – after many failed attempts (their agent = big berk) i gave up and hadn’t heard anything from/by them for ages. They’re back and its gypsy punk time again. The male vocalist sounds like he wants to be in Rancid while the female vocalist steers a little too close to Chumbawumba territory for my liking. In fact, after a few listens i remembered that dreadful ‘Back To The Planet’ band – ugh. ‘Rags and Tags’ is mildly interesting, but energy in a song is not enough on its own to sustain our interest. And then along comes the spikey, confrontational sound of ‘Out of Control’ which ignores the boundaries of song arranging and drunkenly careers around the room creating an aural orgy of smashed instruments. More like it then.

The Roar Club

Bedford

ok but not really floating my boat

Eclectic Chair

Brighton

Good stuff. First time i’ve heard anything by 586 and it’s promising. Rags & Tags is an infectious noisy burst of indie pop that’s sure to keep building. All members swapping around instruments and vocal duties, yes sounds interesting.

The Big Wednesday / Room 1 Curent Indie sounds / Room 2 Rock Punk Emo Metal

Nottingham

fantastic pop record reminds me alot of band caalled posh i used to go mental for when i was cool 🙂 can see these guys being a real cult band kids seem to really like it too

satans hollow

manchester

“Rags & tags” is commendably bonkers, like A Fairytale of New York set on hyperdrive with a touch of Gogol Bordello meets Tilly And The Wall. The B side is even more manic, but not quite as strangely catchy – it’s more kinda stop-start gender-battle punky. I can imagine they are indeed hugely entertaining live… now if only I can get it to catch on…

connection

Portsmouth

they are a very exciting band who add a bit of sense of humour to the indie scene. they have that trippy acid rock edge of sid barrett and that slight gypsy rock party flavour.theduet vocals have that great banter that the pogues had on there classic xmas song . they bounce off eah other so well . the breaks have you waiting for the song to kick off again . eveeyone is having so much fun dancing to this. they are a hot band and add something very very exciting to our playlist.the fucked up remix ie out of control is every bit as good and gets everyone leaping about.they are the new dave devant and every bit as entertaining

HAPPY THURSDAYS

ROMFORD

 

 

Kneejerk Reactions:

“586” sound like a lot of fun. On first listen they remind me a bit of something between “larrikin love” & “scaramanga six”. The relentless punky ska beat certainly sounds like a battle-call to the dancefloor, while those crazed dual vocals work very well too, & you’ve gotta love that cheesey keyboard sound. There’s a lot of humour in their music too which gives it all an extra dimension. The main track “rags & tags” is a great pop song with plenty of light & shade that allows it to build up & drop back down. It is still growing on me but I get the impression that I will end up liking this even more than I already do, after a few more listens. Even the B-side is great, worthy of being a single itself. I will certainly look forward to hearing more from this exciting new band. I can imagine that they’d be something out of the ordinary & extra special to see live too. Definitely one to watch, a fantastic new band!

Showcase

Harlow

the write up sounded so promising. yet the final item was fast and modern punk – which sounded too cool for school to me. yes, it’s upbeat, melodic and dare i say it, somewhat different, but it really doesn’t really work. shame. it could have been so m uch better. and different..

NA

Coventry

mildly funny. there’s something unsettling interesting about this.

popscene

cardiff

Not a fan of the band. Sounded a bit like Oliver The Soundtrack! Deborah sounds like Nancy and Steve sounds like Fagin! What a roar.

Dead or Alive

London

I think these would be better live than on record. It’s a difficult record for me to like. They deserve credit for being different and fairly unique, but it’s altogether a bit too much of a cacophony to work well in my sets. Quite fun, but ultimately not enough melody about it to succeed.

Loaded

Doncaster

almost music hall qualities to this single, a quirky tune with more hooks than your local fishing shop, if it gets championed it could be the most unlikely hit of the year!

loaed / meltdown

bedford

not really into this at all.. in fact it’s actually rather annoying.. and the punky drum one hit thing is a so dull.. sorry.. not for me at all

EVOL

Edinburgh

I really like this. sounds really different and keeps your attention right the way through. Love the 2 vocals and the jerky music and great sounding drum. Lyrics are brilliant. Love it.

Cool Aid Acid Test

Plymouth

Decent, didn’t shatter my world, sounds good LOUD

Club NME

Luton

Yay what a jolly song. You can’t help but to want to jump instantly around the dance floor. This will be great to liven a sleepy dance floor up.

XFM First Friday @ Academy

Club Silver @ The Underworld

London

Sorry but I think we are all saying a similar sort of thing about this….. It’s like something from a bad stage show or a musical that went very wrong Not sure where anyone would get…..“AM.A.ZING. In fact, make that double ‘ZING’” – NME Mental record. Love it, hate it, play it… I don’t think so!!

EDWARDS No8

BIRMINGHAM

This is an okay song i must admit though i was slightly disappointed after reading the comparison to the b-52’s and tom tom club which are two of my favourite bands and i just don’t see it maybe that has clouded my vision and i will grow to like it after a few listens.

Made In Britain

Glasgow

Building nicely and from initial plays this should build on the bands previous successes.

Saturday Night @ Leeds Met SU (Att. 1450)

Leeds

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2 Responses to Day Twelve

  1. adie says:

    The Swan is Stockwell was and probably still is one of the worst places on the planet. Why was Upshot sending it to a bar populated by nothing but tribute bands?

    • Steve Horry says:

      I like to think of that as less a waste of a CD, more one less copy taking up space in my spare room…

      …but hang on: I thought they were uber-tastemakers! I WAS ROBBED.

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