New Year and a new project for Parker
This month, the start of a running feature-tte.
Dizzy Valise, a band who we featured in issue 13 of the magazine
and have now formerly adopted as our own, will have an ongoing feature,
running all this year. We will send our intrepid reporter, Parker Biro,
to cover, we hope, all of the band's shows and bring back 'as they happen'
reports of how their 'quest for the grail' is proceeding.
First off, expense account not exactly bulging (well, you know journo's
and their love of the 'golden nectar', we'd be bust within a week!), Parker
ventured down Camden way, to rub his 'apples and pears' with the local's
and report of the band's progress.
How would they greet these fair boy's? Would it be 'out of Leicester, but
into even hotter water', or would they warm to their fair complexions and
John's 'cheeky chappy hairdo'?
Well let's find out as Parker slumps himself at the back of the venue to
Barfly Camden 10/01/02
Oh London...."home of the brash utrageous and free" as Morrissey
once crooned. As much as they all wanted to avoid it, their second jaunt
to London to play a gig went well.
After playing many gigs around the Midlands last year in order to tighten
their sound and overall appearance, the only way to get A and R (or "Eh
and Errrm") men to see them, like most bands in their boat, was to
get a London gig. It seems that these 'men' don't like to travel out of
their beloved centre of schmooze to find new talent...they just want to
hop on a tube to a local London venue and "discover ". Kindova
lazy attitude really, but who are we to argue? Luckily, they have London
based management, so were able to get the Barfly Gig for the second time.
Its a strange experience this "London" thing, the group
recalled, all taking a day off work, hiring a van, driving down....all costing
money, money, money....and for what 25 minutes of playing, hoping
the A and R who said theyd be there, actually turn up!. Well
thats what it's all about, innit?
So packing ourselves into an overloaded van, I accompanied the group on
the journey to 'the big smoke'. Here is how it went;
6pm: arrived and unloaded gear up stairs to the venue.
6.30pm: sound-checked. Always a pleasure! A reason for gigging loads last
year was to iron out all the little problems that goes with sound-checks.
"We got enough 4-ways?" One member cried. "Everyone in tune?",
"Guitar sound set?" Those sort's of things that rehearsals are
all about. Too many bands use valuable sound-check time rehearsing and not,
well sound-checking! After lots of gigs , they were a machine in
sound-checks. Sound engineer was good, on stage sound was great and checked
3 or 4 half-songs without fuss.
7pm - pre-gig mincing: Walking round the bar downstairs chatting to people
they knew and don't. The management were there buying beers for A and R.
Certain member's of the group appeared to find this schmooze thing hard.
"They all talk in a different language". "They're an "AbFab"
spoof without them knowing. So, one beer later and they were on.
8.15pm - show time: Lights go down, and that fear/excitement grips. Opening
with "Don't read this" as they always do. Naim in fine voice...whole
band rockin' and tight as my girlfriends
Following with " Navigator". A virgin before tonight's show and
it went so-o-o-o well, wow! The next 4 songs zoom by, all without problems.
It felt effortless, even as the casual observer. Then thats it, over.
Having to literally throw all of their gear off stage to a small corner,
John hung around, watching no one thieves it. Naim goes off to mince with
the mincers for a while. Nabbing the guest list to see who showed. Seems
they had about 5 industry people there, among which were BMG, Sanctuary
and Warner's. What did they think? Well, they just have to wait, these people
dont come up after and say "great show" or "shit show",
they just have to chase them up later. Surely thats wrong...all you
want after pouring out your heart is a word or two, they were there to see
THEM and not the other way round! Aargh, the frustration! So the management
the management were left to chase them up and that takes a week or two,
and so they wait.
Getting around the frustration is easy. Having learned after 2 years of
waiting that this is futile. The reason they are in a band is to make music,
and so that's what should they do?
More recording has started from their studio, with some free time offered
at PEER publishers in London again, and a couple of London gigs to come
soon. The search continues.
Dizzy Valise shall be playing 'the Musician', in Leicester on the 22nd