Gigs 2004

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Thursday 25th November: 2004 Set List:
The Furious Sleep + Matt Herret + James Steel (The Low Sparks) + Tom Conway @ CB2, Norfolk Street Cambridge, Living Room acoustic night, £4.

It has to be said we worked very hard on re-working the songs for this acoustic set. There were even a couple of times where we thought it wasn’t going to work out. Persistence paid off though. We soon realised that the way to make these tracks translate in a striped down form, was to exaggerate the dynamics. The worst thing we could have done was just have all three of us bashing out the songs together. So come the night before, we finally had four acoustic songs that we were very happy with.

After an enthusiastic taxi ride from Dave’s house (sound tracked by Hendrix, “This will get you in the mood”), the meet and greet stuff, plus a surprisingly easy sound check, there was still plenty of time to kick back. Since it was CB2, we were even able to get a decent meal down us, before we descended to sample the Living Room atmosphere. Those LR chaps were no scrimpers in the effort stakes either. CB2’s cellar had been transformed ‘changing room’ style into a sea of rugs, cushions and candles. Add a room full of people into the mix, and you got a very cosy feel. There were three other acts on before us, so we sat back and watched. Tom Conway wooed the audience with his heartfelt, but humoured tunes. The next two were slightly less humoured, and more technical in their heartfelt deliveries. Tom’s down to earth approach was more to my taste, but audience wise they all got a fair crack of the whip. This left only one act to go.......US!! Time to see if we could pull it off.

Sitting on the back of a blue sofa, with Dave and Tom on each arm, we played our set to a pretty much brand new audience. Compared to the other three acts we were a whole new ball game. It definitely wasn’t singer/songwriter time now. Nerves soon gave way to enjoyment and we relaxed into our new style of playing. The Mallard got us warmed up nicely. Well we must have been feeling pretty daring, as we decided to launch into The Room. This new song really came across well in this ‘stripped to the bone’ form, and even show cased our first three part harmony. Very fitting for such a night, we thought. Headaches saw Tom doubling up on acoustic guitar for our only chorus of the night. Sounded great too. Then to finish it could only be Of Kith and Kin. Our only previously recorded acoustic song. After which the proverbial curtain came down on the evening, and certain members of the audience could breath a sigh of relief. Yep, they’d made it through alive.

From the feedback after, there was a clear divide one way or the other. People either really enjoyed it (and came up and spoke to us), or were in the “what the fuck was that” category (and ran off asap). Acoustic nights can run the risk of being too inoffensive. So that in it’s self was a job well done. Add to this the fact we’d actually had fun doing it. A success was agreed. Thanks to the Living Room guys for letting us invade their harem of high class. If you haven’t been to one of these nights, you should give it a go. They’ve put the effort in, and so should you. As a final point. the whole night was recorded for the 209radio archive, so it would be interesting to hear how it came out. I guess it’s not going to be very David Grey.

The Mallard
The Room
Headaches For Heartache
Of Kith and Kin


Thursday 11th November: 2004
Set List:

Detwiije + The Furious Sleep + Future Kings of England + Sleepmachines @ Colchester Arts Centre.

Ahh, the body ache of the morning after. Parts I didn’t even know I had, now hurt. Things get a bit worse when I notice a microphone grill patterned bruise in the middle of my forehead! At least it doesn’t look too strange from far off. I’m sure no one at work will notice? There was a lot of rocking going on last night, and unfortunately many early starts this morning. I’d heard Matt leave to catch his train at 6.10 am. Now that’s dedication for you. Even an hour and 20 minutes later when I forced myself up, things didn’t feel much better. Still at least there were lots of chuckle inducing memories to come flooding back, and help me on my way to work.

It all started off with an afternoons rehearsals in Cambridge. All trying very hard to reign ourselves in. The last thing we needed was to end up a pile of collapsed bodies, by the evening. Songs were rehearsed, selected and rejected with much speed. Which meant we set off for Colchester with time to spare. Tom had very kindly agreed to be our designated driver. The rest of us sat in the back rubbing our hands contemplating our prospective booze consumption. When we got there, not only did we have the return treat of Mick’s specialty chili, and bottled water, but this time there was beer laid on too (cut to a image of Tom cursing under his breath). There was even an apology that it was only be 12 cans per band. Normally we’re lucky to get one each! Oh well the £20 note would just have to burn a whole in my pocket until tomorrow then. Sound checks all went smoothly, and everyone was soon mingling back stage. Poets, seated post rockers, instrument tuning openers, and furious sleepers alike. It has to be said Stafford was right. 12 cans of beers sounds a lot, but even between three it soon goes. Heading for the bar we were greeted by the Cambridge contingent. 5 fool hardy friends had ventured out to see what all this Arts Centre fuss was about. Then soon realised what we’d been talking about.

Having heard the immensity of the other bands through the Arts Centre pa, we knew that it was going to sound great out front. All we had to do was provide the right notes. Which we did, but with a huge helping of pure anger too. It was a strange feeling. Lots of fun, but at the same time something seemed to be really pissing us off. Every song was played with more and more frustrated energy. It just built up and up, until right before the end of Tofu, with the flick of a switch there was nothing left. Just like that, all at the same time! We all looked at each other and finished the set there and then. “Goodbye Colchester thank you for having us”. Not only were we spent, but my brand new mic stand wasn’t looking to good either. I’d just purchased a matter of hours ago and now it had a leaning tower look to it. Bollocks. Damn that power of rock! Luckily I’ve since worked out that if you jam a one pence piece above the broken leg, it stays up fine. If they didn’t call me “DIY Jake” before, then the should now. Thanks again to Stafford and all at the Arts Centre. We’ve had such a great time both times we’ve played there. Hope to come back again soon.

Of Kith and Kin
Among The Wolves
The Mallard
Summon The Darkness
Tofu Escape Clause


Thursday 21st October: 2004
Set List:

The Furious Sleep + Mr Zed + Jaime Randall (Lindas Nephew) + Steve (Warmed Up Cold) @ Man on the Moon, Green Mind Presents, £4.

The moon tonight seemed resplendent in warmth and reunion conversation below the swathes of taj mahals and eiffel towers that now adorn the walls. despite the mysterious absence of a promoter and support band, and a lack of money so acute we had to indulge in some covert 'topping up', we decided to discard the shackles of tradition and set the drums up on the floor in front of the stage. This also meant the keyboards could be erected on the drum riser, keyboard player standing wizard-of-oz like above the band whilst conducting their moves as they marched messily around like underdressed munchkins. Sadly, after an initial test blast of noise we realised that the front rows of the audience would be forced back out of the usual desperate orgy of sweating flesh and barely concealed sonic lust ever-present at Furious gigs so we abandoned the idea.

The atmosphere was distinctly sultry and pleasant as we sat back after an annoyingly irritating soundcheck and pondered our fate whilst changing guitar strings and feasting on chips and beer. The doors opened and people wafted in, Soundman Steve bravely wandering up on stage to play a last minute acoustic set in place of the mystery band who never showed. After him, the impassioned acoustic strummings of Jamie and a set of psychadelic freakings from Mr. Zed, underpinned by their abominably tight rhythm section and machine gun kick drum.

The memory of the set is never strong, but overall was elation and exhaustion, Wolves finishing in a ragged mess and Dave rescuing it by diving straight into Kith and Kin, Tom diving to the floor accidentally in the mess, Superdad singing the words to the Mallard, sweat, beer and 'headbanging' as someone said afterwards, adding, 'you guys should play london. there are loads of bands shitter than you there.' With new songs recently crafted in our bedrooms and a gig in the cavernous Colchester arts centre, we may get there one day soon. by Tom

Talk about an organisational nightmare. In total this gig had 8 different bands, and at least three organisers associated with it, over the course of it’s conception. It even got as far the actual day, before the line up was finalised. Still as these things invariably do, once the shit run up was out of the way, the actual evening turned out to be very enjoyable. Now to cut a long story short the opening slot was supposed to be a band that Green Mind had booked, but no one knew their name (not even GM). Thus they became known as Simon Baker’s Mystery Band. We all wondered who they were going to turn out to be, and what they would be like. Well lets just say we’re still wondering.........as they didn’t show up. Maybe that was the mystery! Anyway soundman Steve kindly stepped into the gap and wooed us with a bunch of crazy folk tunes, that even incorporated the word photosynthesis. Very Woodstock and very enjoyable. Next Jamie Randall performed an extremely catchy well crafted set of tunes, also with just the aid of his guitar and voice. It was then time for the loud noise to start. Mr Zed got things going with their frankly ‘psychedelic’ (I was trying to think of another word to describe them, but I just could get away from it) sound shapes, and mammoth drum and bass action. All topped off with ‘mr zed’ backing vocal chants. And why not?

I guess it’s a case of when you know the songs inside out, that’s when you can really mess with them. Summon the Darkness and Wolves got things off to an energetic start, which to be honest didn’t really let up. Even the relatively new Of Kith and Kin was dispatched as though we’d been playing it all year. Only the brief rest bite of The Mallard cooled things down momentarily, but again by the time we’d ridden this one home, the journey had turned bumpy as ever. With our allotted time, and bodily fluids disappearing fast, we were faced with a choice. Quilty or Tofu to finish? A quick glance at the sound booth for advice lead to a two finger salute. In normal circumstances I might have been offended, but in this case we now had to find the strength to play both. What can I say we played our little hearts out. By the time Tom’s flying bass brought Tofu to an abrupt close, we physically had no more left to give. Standing there with eyes stinging with sweat, a throat that felt like a main course of razor blades had just awkwardly slipped down, and a head that pounded with a sound to rival matt’s kick drum, nothing could keep the mile wide smile from my face. You can’t beat a night like this, with Long Dang Silver’s prosthetic cock. Thank you very much for coming out and sticking around. by Jake


Thursday September 16th: 2004
Set List:

The Furious Sleep + The Charm Offensive + Tern @ Man on the Moon, Green Mind Presents, £4.

Writing this so long after the actual event, it’s hard to remember the specifics of this gig. Two things stick in my head though: 1. we had a great time playing and 2. our initial aim was to get some new material into the set. Basically we'd been playing a selection of the same seven songs, in varying orders for most of the year. It was time to add a spot of the unfamiliar to proceedings. Having recently recorded an acoustic version of Kith and Kin, we thought a full band version was called for. We got Matt on the case and things soon took off. Before we knew it, the subtle rolling of the middle section burst into the full on attack of the closing minute. Our attentions then turned to an idea Dave, Tom and I had been working on. The more we played this keyboard driven song, the more it shaped into a floating mass of distorted organ sounds, military drum patterns and vocal harmonies. Much less schizophrenic than our other recent writing efforts, The Room would be an interesting mood addition to the set.

So I guess it’s time to talk about the actual gig (See what I’ve done here. By taking up most of the text with the gig preparation, I’ve avoided the fact that my memory of it is a bit hazy about the night. Clever hey!). As it turned out, we didn’t even have time to air The Room. We had a choice of two final songs, from a list of three. Warmer Climes and Among The Wolves won. Which was probably for the best. You always think you know a new song well, until it comes to playing it live. That’s when your mind decides to go blank, and forget all those intricate changes you’d just spent the last few rehearsals learning. At least when we do get to play it, we’ll know it a whole lot better. Before this though we’d managed to inject Of Kith and Kin, and Summon The Darkness (complete with re-designed second half), so we’d at least got our wish. They both brought a sense of nerve/adrenaline fueled freshness to the set. This in turn also gave the songs we knew ‘oh so’ well, a kick up the arse. It was one of those nights where I wasn’t really expecting anything, and yet it turned out to be a well attended and very enjoyable affair. I also seem to remember a night of Beatles and Hella dvd watching followed into the early hours.

Monday September 6th: 2004  Postponed
Set List:

The Furious Sleep @ Studio 3, Bury St. Edmunds, Fat Controller Promotions.

 
Saturday August 28th: 2004
Set List:

Tea with the Behemoth + Dave Burton + The Furious Sleep + Playdo + DJ's @ Fulbourn warehouse all night party.

This was a bit of an 'on and off' gig from the start. Drunken talks in noisy clubs, no concrete date for ages, then different dates, could Matt do it? etc etc. So to be honest I didn't think we'd actually get to play, let alone work out the practicalities of rehearsing and getting out to Fulbourne. Still before we knew it everything had been sorted out, and we were turning up at the warehouse in a three car convoy. Quick check, yep we were all present, and all our equipment was with us. Good now all we had to do was stay sober.

We knew show time wouldn't be for a long while yet, so we settled into the main room and watched the evening unfold before us. Varying mixtures of people filtered in over the next few hours, giving the place a 'gathering of the tribes' feel. Normally we find it hard to stay off the booze even if we're doing a 10.30 headline slot. So when it got to 01.50 in the morning, before we were called for, you're definitely talking a record breaker for us. This is not to say we had totally abstained from the sauce, but we were at least able to stand and competently work our instruments. So before we'd even started playing an achievement had been met. There were two microphones to choose from. A very lovely sliver vintage style one, and the standard easy to hold sturdy stage type. I went for the rough and ready one, and left the vintage to Tom. There was no way I was going to risk breaking that one in a moment of over-enthusiastic behaviour. Besides it didn't look very easy to move around the stage with.

We'd decided earlier to match the informal feel of the evening and not work out a set list before hand. All we knew was our first song, and that we had 8 other songs to choose from. So it was Warmer Climes that gave us the smooth start and then the jolt we needed. It was surprising how easily we awoke from our late night slumber. The adrenaline must have been lying dormant until the right moment. With this new lease of life I gamely suggested Tofu to be next. In our ready and willing state this really kept us on the high. Big build up which grew into an even bigger end. Was that us spent? No, the energy levels were very much still with us. It's a shame the same couldn't be said for the supposed 'sturdy' mic I'd elected to use. The bugger had decided to die in the closing moments of Tofu. So with a quick mid lyric swap (and despite trying my best to avoid such a cumbersome stage mic), I found myself crooning through the vintage anyway. Fate hey, you just can't fuck with it! Taking all in our stride, Quilty was speedily selected and given the appropriate rough treatment. All the twists and turns were rung out, and in what seemed like a blink of an eye lid, it was suddenly time for a lull. We'd bludgeoned the attentive audience for nearly 20 minutes now. It was time to reward their enthusiasm, and bring out The Mallard. With four of the set stalwarts already dispatched it was time for something different. Thus Headaches for Heartache made it's first appearance in our set for a long time. The occasion seemed right, and Tom and I got to indulge in some 'beatles' style microphone sharing (I don't remember either of us doing any mop top shaking though). Even with quite a few tracks still to choose from, logic told us that the old adage "treat em mean, keep em keen' was the order of the day. So we decided to go out with a bang, and play just one more. Making a quick mental note of the choices left, it could have only have been Among the Wolves, and so it was.

With our role in the musical proceedings over and done with, it was time to enjoy the rest of the night/morning (look it was late ok). Without going into too many gory details lets just all of us who came out, very much made full use of the enjoyment time. Eventually leaving in the full light of day we returned to our beds for some R & R. Thanks to the Tea with the Behemoth guys for setting the gig up (good luck in Berlin), and thanks to the Warehouse organisers for doing their stuff. It was an unexpectedly great night. Brilliant set up they've got out there. All very Informal but everything ran smoothly too. Best of both worlds.


Sunday August 1st: 2004
Set List:
Linda's Nephew + The Furious Sleep + Lightning Jack @ Man on the Moon

A gig notable for some dark soundboard wizardry resulting in sporadic output of both keys and vocals. But, even with fifty percent of the band inaudible at times, the overall effect remained undiluted; exuberant body throwing, snake impersonating rawness that was a tonic to the rest of the gig. The moments of dark introspection provided a shocking counterpoint to the general air of fury…one element fuelled by the other. The set, that has become so familiar over recent months, seems to be gathering an increasing amount of energy as the songs gain meaning. I wonder where it will end.
Saturday July 10th: 2004
Set List:
The Furious Sleep (Album launch night) + Meadowman + First Day + Sound City Riot Act, @ APU Students Union bar, Green Mind Presents, £4

Starting the set with compelling unrecorded material, ‘Summon the Darkness’, the Furious Sleep rocked the APU with haunting melodies and an incredible crafty chaos of sounds. Jake with matching red hat and Tom maroon v neck-less by the end. ‘Quilty’ kicked in, pausing, stopping and starting, beats that made dancing punters stumble and convulse … “clutch that spinning feeling” … “all our favourite things sold to the screens”. Jake introduced ‘The Mallard’ with “This ones for Marshee”, and the fluid paced ‘The Mallard’ flowed …fuzzy memories of Marshee, smoking in a field with Dave talking of insect spit and eggs rushed my mind . ‘Silence the Poet’ was awesome. Fast paced, synapse-popping ‘Among the Wolves’ tore the place apart. Jake threw himself into waves of unhinged melody like an oil-soaked cormorant on fire with Tom doing backing vocals, violent fuelled guitar and bass lines stopping, suddenly slowing at the most unexpected moments and speeding up, with the excellent lyrics. The gig finished with the brilliant ‘Tofu Escape Clause’ and Matt’s audacious pummelling rhythmical arrhythmic drums in the sporadic instrumental. Later the night followed with much drunken debauchery at another Mill Road party but I remember feeling completely dazed and confused outside the APU bar.
By Maria SB.

Plus some thoughts from TFS:
It seemed like we'd been planning for this gig for ages; first the recording, then the album duplication, and actually practicing for the night. Now it was finally here. So were all four of us all for that matter, plus we were ready to play, and I was even clutching a box of cd's. So all we had to do now was play. I must admit after so much build up, it felt like this last part might require more energy than we had left.

It took Dave, Tom and I the length of Summon the Darkness to figure out the practical positioning logistics of the stage area. 'Ahh if I stand here Dave can't reach his foot switch, but if I move there I get a keyboard between my cheeks'. We soon found some space and marked out our territory. Whatever movements took place we now each knew where home was. Just like we knew how to bash out Quilty with much gusto. The Mallard was our collective choice of next song. This proved to be the grease that well and truly oiled our cogs. By the time we were gliding through Silence the Poet, and beating the living crap out of Among the Wolves everything had clicked.

So there was only one thing for it, time to end with a monster Tofu Escape Clause. Tom, Dave and Matt teased the intro to epic proportions and we were soon lost in it's sonic charms. All building up to one of the most degenerate song and set endings we've produced. Suffice to say (to quote a certain song) Matt and I ended up in a heap behind the remains of his kit. While Dave and Tom discarded their instruments to the floor, like used condoms after a regrettable nights bump and grind. The Tofu time bomb had gone off and the ravaged stage was the crater. As we mingled and sold cd's I noticed the sound guys picking through the scattered stage equipment for signs of life. I don't think there were many survivors! Lots of thanks to all of you that came.

Summon The Darkness
Quilty
The Mallard
Silence The Poet
Among The Wolves
Tofu Escape Clause


Saturday June 19th: 2004
Set List:
All dayer with (day time) The Riptons (acoustic) + The Favourite Game + RedBeat + Sunday Driver + (evening) After 4 + The Furious Sleep + 4Fit + Meadowman, @ Man on the Moon, Cambridge Bands.com presents

The run up to this gig was filled with a strange mix of, great excitement and niggling fear. It had been over a month since we had last played together, so the possibility of us not remembering how too play our instruments, let alone the songs was rather high. The only thing to do was book a couple of memory jogging crash course rehearsals, and see who came out alive.

Turns out we hadn't forgotten the songs or how to play. Better than that we couldn't keep the wide smiles of pleasure off our faces. It was great to be playing again. In fact we had to hold our selves back in case we over did the rocking. Injuries would not have been a good way to finish our first get together in such a long time. Especially with so much more work for us to do yet. We needn't have worried too much, as the gods seemed to be smiling on us. Not even a night on the booze could dampen our enthusiasm (just make Tom's head thump instead), and the Saturday day rehearsal came and went in fine style. So after a quick top up of food, and a dousing of water we were ready to head off to the Moon.

Being an all dayer, things were well under way by the time we got there. I did briefly think we'd turned up on the wrong night, when the sight and sounds of three teenagers playing Hendrix covers greeted us. I couldn't remember being asked to play a wedding reception! After a quick re-read of the poster things became clear once more. Mellow in the day time, heavy at night. Plus they were playing their blues/funk stuff very well. The next realisation was the amount of staggering punks there were about the place (shoot forward for a moment and I had to laugh at the sight of a punk band complaining to the sound guys that the vocal monitors were too low. What would Sid have thought?). Mathematical note for next time: Moon + All dayer = pissed up punks. All 1977 connotations aside, there was a good turn out already, and the atmosphere was good.

Form our recent outings, sound checks it would seem are 'so last year'. On the plus side we got to turn the amps up loud, and any lack of on-stage monitoring was swiftly cancelled out by the joy of getting to rock our socks off. The sound guys did us proud, and tweaked it as we went along. So by the time we were going at it hammer and tongs through Warmer Climes, things were sounding great. Stop. Let us muse for a moment, prog songs played in an aggressive manner we might be, but three chord/minute punk we are not. Yet we kept the attention and enthusiastic dancing of one spiky haired individual through out the entire set (Including all 8 minutes of The Mallard). So we truly do reconcile the gap between punk and prog, as was once said! Wolves was momentarily discarded, and then embraced back into the fold. Matt was gagging to play it, and in such a punk dominated atmosphere it was a sure fire hit. However just like the dangled carrot in front of a donkeys nose, the full on rock was taken away again, in the shape of the afore mentioned Mallard. We at least had a few minutes of recuperation with this one before it too built to a ravished climax. I kind of thought that would be it for us, but people wanted more, so who were we to say no. There was only one thing left to play, and play it we did. Thus Tofu Escape Clause and a particularly energetic set finished in the glorious mess of keyboard equipment, mic stands, and bodies strewn across the stage, with Matt, Dave, and Tom still managing to finished right on the dot together (Now that's class for you). I was left breathless, with our dancing partner once more wrapped around my shoulders. I've heard about 'hangers on' but that's taking it a bit far. Still all enthusiasm is welcome.

Anyway the whole night was great fun, and band wise Meadowman stood out for me. The Moon has moved from my least favourite, to top notch place to play. Big thanks to Lee (Riptons) and Steve (Birthday Boy) who both organised the day.


Monday May 31st: 2004 (bank holiday)  Cancelled
Set List:
All Dayer with 10 bands including: Street Regal + Bouvier + The Furious Sleep + Tea with the Behemoth + Logan @ Cambridge City FC, Milton Road, The Ball Presents, for tickets or more information contact Richard on (01223) 306809
 
Friday May 14th: 2004
Set List:

The Furious Sleep + Tea with the Behemoth @ Cambridge City FC, Milton Road, The Ball Presents, for tickets or more information contact Richard on (01223) 306809

Ahh been away on holiday for a week, and forgot to get anyone to write something about the gig in my absence. Going to have to get the cogs turning again. My main recollection was that of Tom, Dave, and I all crossing our fingers that Matt would be able to turn up in time. His work had decided to take his rota requests and wipe their bums on it. Being the headline band we had thought a relaxed sound check would be the order of the day. No such luck. Matt would not be able to leave London until 8.00. Thus sound check would now become live gig with tune up at the start. On the plus side the CCFC bar was a very nice place to hang out, and TWTB were very nice people to hang out with.

Time ticked by, and before we knew it Matt was bounding through the door, and we could all breath a sight of relief. No sound check, but at least we had a drummer. Relaxing could now start, and the evening properly enjoyed. Another plus point for the venue was the reasonable beer price. This probably accounted for my intoxicated state. Still after the forced precision of our recent recording escapades it was fun to be able to let go and play a raw energetic set instead.

The Mallard kicked us and the set off to a 'build up' start, and by the end we were warmed up and ready to go. Warmer Climes, Silence the Poet, Wolves, and Tofu all got a good beating. The only proverbial shite sandwich being served up unfortunately was Quilty. Which we some how managed to forget most of. Still no one seemed to notice (maybe it was those cheep drinks again). The stage might have been small, but there was loads of space off it to occupy. It was great hearing the wall of noise from out front, and seeing the others rocking out on stage. Great fun.

The evening gets a bit hazy from here on. I remember dancing to AC/DC, and doing lots of talking to various people. Then I some how managed to do the sensible thing and go home, while everyone else partied on till the very wee hours. I might have missed out on the fun, but the next day I very much appreciated my decision while escorting my visiting Folks round the sights of Cambridge.

Saturday April 17th: 2004   Cancelled
Set List:
The Furious Sleep + Atlantic Dash @ APU Students Union bar, Green Mind Presents
Friday April 16th: 2004
Set List:
No Through Road + The Furious Sleep + Linda's Nephew + Falling With Angels @ Man on the Moon, Green Mind Presents

The fear and trepidation we had stored for this gig, mainly due to the fact we were like day release patients from a home for the elderly compared to the Man on the moon's usual youthful audience, proved to be unfounded. In various states of wedding guest attire we sat in the sun and soaked our troubles away as, bizarrely, a minibus from a tiny northern town pulled up and poured it's load of excited occupants into the growing crowd outside the pub. The pub's infamy is spreading, we thought.. this turned out to be falling with angels, a band whose confidence on stage took on Darkness-like proportions (luckily they sounded nothing like that band). I stood at the back and chewed my tongue for an hour, wishing violently that the set i was going to have to play would be over as my nerves were tighter than pat butcher's g-string.

The gig, however, was played to many, most of whom stayed, some of whom danced and there was even someone singing.. we battled our way around each other on the tiny stage, throwing our clothes off whilst jake hurled his microphone stand at anyone who dared to challenge him, the inner struggle of the mind telling you to play the song whilst the body tells you it needs to stop immediately running in the background the whole time. And the songs, which we have played thousands of times but we still love playing, came together with no vast sweat-prickling embarrassment but shone like frogs mating in the early morning dew.
The Mallard
Warmer Climes
Tofu Escape Clause
Quilty
Among The Wolves

Thursday March 11th: 2004
Set List:

The pAper chAse + The Furious Sleep + Absent Kid + One Unique Signal @ the Colchester Arts Centre, www.colchesterartscentre.com

Now here's a venue/promoter that know how to treat a band. No sooner had we been introduced to out host Stafford, and I had felt the exquisite pleasure of emptying my full to bursting bladder, then we were informed that food would be served at 8.00. A laid on meal! Now this was a first for us (ok so we did get a cup of tea in stoke, but it's not quite the same). Chilli concarne with rice no less. Once this shock had sunk in then it was time for us to take in full splendour of the building we in. The only word to describe the Arts Centre is stunning. It really was a converted church. With all the beauty of such a building and none of the religion. A good mix I thought, and perfect for a spot of rocking out.

Not only was it a friendly set up but everyone that worked there was totally organised as well. Before we knew it, we'd set up, sound checked, been given door passes, and we supping beers in the pub down the road. It was great to have some time to relax after the stress of trying to get from Cambridge to Colchester, for 5.30. I hasten to add we didn't actually get there until 6.30, but that's show business I guess. Anyway when we returned ready to devour some chilli, the pAper chAse were back stage kick starting their tour batteries with a plate of Stafford's best. Niceties were exchanged, and witty band stories exchanged. Actually let me put that correctly. We bashed our heads against the wall for 10 minutes and then thought fuck it. A funny lot, those chasers, but still it was only their second date of the tour, and we were probably over excited and loud. Nothing was going to dampen our spirits tonight though. So we decided to go watch the other bands, and soak up some of the atmosphere.

One unique signal got the evening off to a great start (nice guy's too: Tom, Matt and I met two of them in London the following week), while it seemed as though Absent Kid had bourght half the audience with them. They had some cool noisey rock outs in their set too.

As far as our actual set went, I can't remember how well we played. We just got up there and had a great time. There seemed to be lots of space on stage, and we utilised it. There wasn't much stationary activity for the next 40 minutes. As Tom, David and Matt built Tofu's intro to a suitably epic level, I was able to walk all the way behind the drums and right back round again. Matt said it felt strange to not have a solid wall behind him. He kept expecting someone to sneak up behind him. For the first three songs we really burnt the candle at all ends. Giving Wolves, Warmer Climes and Tofu the beatings they deserved. By the time it was Quilty we were glad of the small rest bites it's opening strains gave us. Though you never get much chance for relaxing in a Sleep song. So it was soon full force time again. Then before we knew it The Mallard was under way and we were into our last song. Young ladies danced and gave us plastic gifts, everybody else gave us a heart warming farewell applause, and then it was time to really relax. Well not before the others had delegated me to sort out the paper work. "Have you filled out a PRS form before?" was the question. "err not recently" was my confused reply. It turned out to be much easier than I had first feared. I just had to fill in the names of the songs we'd played, who wrote them, and sign for our money. So at least there was no back stage beatings waiting for me. Having dealt with that I tracked the others to bar, where they were surrounded by a group of enthusiastic people. Was this the right band? Yep it was. It was all a bit strange, but cool at the same time. Suffice to say we spent the rest of the night drinking and indulging in merry making.

You could say the pAper chAse's music was like their conversational skills...awkward. Unlike their socialising though, on stage it works very well. They've crafted a very interesting sound. They did at least give us some of their beer rider. Oh wait, no they didn't, we nicked it actually. Well the only one of them who seemed to be touching it was their driver! So we were doing them a favour really. At least they made it to their next date in one piece.

The whole night was a blast, and we all said it was the most enjoyable gig we'd done so far. They've really got a great set up at the Arts Centre, and we can't wait to go back. The journey back was rather too long for our woozy heads, but we the thrill of the night kept us going. We rolled in to cambridge at a very late hour. Ready to drop. We were the lucky one's thought, Matt and David CRSwell still had to head on to London. Ohhh, that's going to hurt in the morning.






Friday February 20th: 2004
Set List:

The Dawn Parade + The Furious Sleep @ Drum and Monkey, Ipswich, Blank Generation Collective

There's always the feeling of guerilla warfare when we play to unfamiliar punters. Tonight seemed particularly subversive. Having been billed as the Broken Family Band, and this being the Dawn Parade come back night, we weren't convinced of a successful outcome. Well at least the Blank Generation guys had asked us back, so we must have done something right last time. In another re-run of our pervious Ipswich jaunt David CRSwell kindly agreed to transport us once more.

Much friendliness before the gig this time. None of the previous awkwardness. Met a very nice chap, called John who had come all the way back from Amsterdam, to see both us and the Parade tonight. Now that's dedication to music. Plus more punk related chats with Mick Blank.

So by the time the stage beckoned us, we were very well lubricated, and ready to beat the hell out of Warmer Climes. They don't make microphone stands like they used to. No sooner was Quilty unfolding in front of bewildered faces, the bloody thing was doing an authentic impression of the leaning tower. Luckily, this drum and monkey lot seem to have taken a bit of a shine to us, so the soundman didn't twat me. However, I did get called a 'charlie'! Not sure if that's insulting, but it seemed like a fair trade. Tom and David looked very dapper in their suit jackets. This added class didn't stop them behaving liked crazed animals though. Throwing their hair and guitars about in equal measures. Matt couldn't hide the pleasure of being behind some tubs again. Two weeks hard slog in the posh London hotel trade had built up something that needed to be expelled. Out it came in a shower of fill, rolls, and crashing cymbals. Swimming out to sea with another mammoth Tofu, we really didn't give much thought to our return to shore. Would we have enough energy to play Wolves after such a set ending release? Of course we would. I pealed myself from the floor, while the two axe men did the same with their jackets from drenched bodies. So with one final push we were back on dry land and panting for air.

There was no effective kiss of life for the abused stand, so we agreed to deduct £20 from our payment, and bring our own stand next time. Fair enough. If i'd known this was the deal, I'd have broken the f-ing thing in two, and got my monies worth. The journey home was rather more straight forward than the fog filled excursion we took last time. A road side toilet stop was as eventful as it got. So even more fun than last time, and twice as tiring too. If the truth be told our first tour would probably kill us, but what a joyous death it would be.

On quick next day note. Either I totally forgot about someone punching me in the face repeatedly, or I burst the blood vessels around my eyes singing too hard. They looked terrible when I got up!

Friday February 6th: 2004
Set List:

Bouvier + The Furious Sleep + El Coyote + Jimmy Possession (dj set), the Talbot Hotel, Stoke-on-Trent, a Music Room night.

The day began in fulbourn in the sunny early afternoon, as the Furious Four piled instruments, pillows, amps and duffel coats relentlessly into the back of Jake's car before leaping on the door and driving off in a cloud of grinding Led Zeppelin riffs and mock Tudor guitar solos. We steamed effortlessly along the motorway nodding erratically to the splattery prog of a band named Hella, the musical equivalent of a road gritter, who manage to get more notes into a single riff than we have in our entire set. Everything was going swimmingly well until a fateful doom broadcast sign that read "Stoke on Trent", plying us with pic-n-mix with one hand whilst simultaneously reaching around and violating our collective japs eye with the other. Yes, we were lost, and no matter how many roundabouts we went round (and there were many) and how often we circulated them, there was no sign saying "Talbot Hotel" anywhere. Directions were asked for. Directions were followed. Validity of direction-giver's kindness was questioned. And then, finally, there was a shout from Tom in the back. "Talbot!.." it started. "..Hotel!!" it finished. Finally we Were There, and Jake was expressing his delight in a distinctly vocal way (see: when harry met sally). We piled our instruments into a corner of the pub, marvelled at its long, thin shape, said hello to Bouvier and then set off in search of foaming ale and local legends.

Our soundcheck was brief and extraordinarily loud, and we nestled ourselves into a corner table to drink and have a string swapping race. It was a good vantage point to catch the first two bands, since due to a bizarre freak of architecture the sound actually seemed to be louder at the back than near the front. This being outside Cambridge's Military Police State, licenses were late and they actually waited until a gang of revellers had turned up before starting the music. "aha!" we thought, "best not get too buggered before our set!". When we did take to the stage, however, at about 11:30, we were loose of limb, loud of tongue, and veins of stella. Enthusiasm was high and we sailed, if not close to the wind, then under it and along the bottom of the sea. Two songs were tight and fast (tofu, warmer climes) and others had new dramatic pauses as we tried to work out what was next (quilty), but mainly we played our wee hearts out and hoped the audience had some inkling of what we were trying to do. By the time the set was over, dave had sprayed the stage with a fine smattering of sweat and our faces were flushed like the afterglow of a teenage heavy petting session interrupted by an enquisitive parent. We clambered down, watched bouvier, got paid, got drunker, then careered off in a Taxi with a guy called John to spend the night in Santa's CD grotto, listening to gold-toothed Spaniards play melancholy Flamenco until 3 in the morning.

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