Festival of Bellowing

from Run V​.​T. by Ian Evans

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about

This is based around a bass riff that I came up with at a Friends rehearsal. The band liked it, but we didn’t use it in anything - Given that it had the approval of two musicians I admire I thought I’d better finish it, so I added a guitar riff and the tapping bass solo. They were both things that I’d been fiddling around with at home, whilst playing to baby Toby, a year later.

When tapping notes, you get a lot of unwanted pops and clicks, so it’s quite handy to mute the strings that you don’t need with a bit of cloth. I’d been watching a BBC Classic Albums documentary about Peter Gabriel and his, excellent, bass player Tony Levin mentioned using a nappy (diaper) to do it. It was also something that I had hanging around, so one of Toby’s nappies it was!

The chorus guitar riff looks quite fiddly to play, so it’s one that I often mime if I’m pretending to play guitar for a video. The lyrics are all about the last gig I went to before Toby was born, when I thought I should enjoy being able to get drunk for the last time! You can drink with a baby, as it turns out, but it’s obviously less free and hangovers are a nightmare with a toddler around.

lyrics

I missed Gorod, Obscura and Spawn of Possession
After Terrorizer failed to tell me something…
I failed to buy it that month I mean
I’m just trying to be clever

But by luck I saw Electric Wizard’s gig
A week before Toby was due to appear
It’s at the Forum - so I pass the Pineapple Pub
Where Nick’s pretty Christmas friend met me
She lived near Finchley and my new HQ

I spent my first London party here…
Plastic pineapples and a kid on piano
The Tally Ho Pub and the Bull and Gate
Where pub rock did gestate
One last night of being drunk and alone
From Rosemont Avenue to Rosslyn Road
Purson were ace as I’d thought they’d be
Witchsorrow are great but were better on CD

Electric Wizard, I might prefer the idea of…
Amazing tape loops of Giallo stuff
The Sinful Dwarf, Suspiria and Collinson twins
I met Pete from Kremated, outside by the bins
He’s an amazing player, who I met through Cardiacs
First time I met Beth too… who was then called Ross
She’s probably the brightest person that I’ve met
Ross was her last name… she’s never changed sex

I have to have a Jaegermiester, don’t I?
And a pint of Red Stripe, whilst I don’t need to try…
Only beer on offer and it’s sweet
They’ve sold out of the girl and pentagram puce T-shirt
The others were a bit cheesy or rude…
So I left them in a good mood

Two pints of cider and two large gins
Ice in the cider - ahead of their time it seems…
A bit like the Joiners Arms in Soton
Tim Smith bought me beer - How were they in my town and even real?

References:

* Gorod – A death metal band from Bordeaux. I think they’re probably my favourite death metal band and are incredibly melodic, as well as brutally heavy of course. Their chords and harmonies are genuinely beautiful, if you can get past the heaviness, and I really mean that. It’s like the benefits of learning to cope with a really hot curry

* Obscura – Another death metal band who are very melodic. I love them, but they can sometimes be a little cheesy as well. They’re from Mucnich

* Spawn of Possession – A Swedish/German death metal band that I love. They toured with Gorod and Obscura just before Toby was born, but I missed it! Argh!

* “Terrorizer failed to tell me something” – Terrorizer is a metal magazine, which I use to get a lot of recommendations. I missed the issue advertising the gig, which was sad. I’m also referring to a provisional title of this album, “Terrorizer Is Trying to tell me something”

* Electric Wizard – A doom metal band from Dorset (where I grew up, by coincidence). They’re very good, if occasionally repetitive. This song is largely about the night I saw them play

* The Forum – A large, Roman-themed music venue in Kentish Town, London

* The Pineapple Pub – A pub in Kentish Town, which I walked past for nostalgic reasons on my way to the Electric Wizard show. After moving to London in 2002, I went to a Christmas party there and was full of the scared excitement of meeting new people in a big city and then travelling home to a flat I didn’t know yet, on the night bus I’d never used before

* Nick’s pretty Christmas friend – I was never sure if I had a romantic chance or not (I'm sure not actually) but my friend at the party introduced me to a girl called Becky, who I got on well with and we arranged to meet another time. We met for drinks about 3 times, but she was getting over another guy and clearly wasn’t that into me by her birthday party; when she was there with another guy. We lost touch, but she was a cool person

* Finchley – My first home after moving to London. It’s in zone 4 on the Northern Line and is always described as leafy

* “Plastic pineapples and a kid on piano” – These were all features of the Pineapple pub. The teenage pianist was egged on by his friends and was very talented. He wasn’t booked to play, he just got on their piano and had a go

* The Tally Ho – Another pub in the area, which partly launched the pub rock movement in the 1970’s

* The Bull and Gate – This is a very famous music venue, next to the Forum. It has lovely tiling

* Pub rock – A precursor to the punk movement and pretty good at times. Dr Feelgood are particularly great, as were Brinsley Schwartz

* Rosemont Avenue – The road where my flat was, in Finchley

* Rosslyn Road – The road where I live now, 11 years later and married with a baby! It’s in Barking, which is also in zone 4

* Purson – A 70’s rock revival band, who I was excited to learn were supporting Electric Wizard, as I’d just discovered them. They have a bit of an acid-folk vibe

* Witchsorrow – A doom metal band, who I also saw supporting E.Wizard. I wasn’t impressed on the night, as I found them a bit repetitive, but I’ve since really enjoyed their album and can see that it was my fault for not getting them

* “I might prefer the idea” – I sometimes find that I like the idea of something more than the thing itself…. For example, Electric Wizard write songs about classic movies, have a mysterious vibe and a clever, intelligent concept behind their sound. But, I don’t actually play them that much or feel the need to hear every record. Having one of them currently seems enough, although I proudly wear their T-shirt

* Girl and pentagram T-shirt – I thought I might take a T-shirt home from the gig, as it might be my last night of having spare cash (pre-baby). The only one I liked had sold out before the band were even on stage, sadly. It was a picture of a woman carving a pentagram shape and pretty/spooky. The other designs were a bit cheesy or rude, as Electric Wizard are famous for their deliberately horror/sexual imagery. (It works at their shows, but I wouldn’t want to wear it on my chest every day)

* Giallo – Italian horror (literally meaning, “yellow,” because of the yellow covers of traditional horror novels)

* The Sinful Dwarf – A sleazy horror film about a murderous, perverse dwarf (which Electric Wizard show to new band members to test their reactions)

* Suspiria – A great Giallo film, which I’ve now seen

* Collinson twins – Identical twin models, who featured in the exploitative horror film Twins of Evil

* Pete – An amazing musician, who I always bump into at gigs. He can play anything by ear

* Kremated – Pete’s metal band, who did really well

* Cardiacs – My favourite band, who I mention a lot in lyrics. They’re hard to describe, but mix punk, classical, prog and all sorts, with incredible intelligence and humour. They’re a very love ’em or hate ‘em band, but a lot of people are so moved by them that they cry or laugh out loud with their songs

* Beth – One of my best friends, who’s also incredibly clever at a lot of subjects and has perfect pitch… She passed an entrance exam to medical school, but couldn’t afford to attend

* Jagermeister – A sweet, black liquor from Germany, which is marketed as a drink for metal fans

* Red Stripe – A Jamaican larger, which I don’t especially like but it was the only one on offer at the Forum. Like a lot of Caribbean foods, it’s quite sweet. I decided that I’d have one beer and one Jagermeister on each bar trip, to savour my night of fun

* “Two pints of cider and two large gins”- The drinks order in Withnail and I, when they visit a pub together

* Ice in the cider – In Withnail and I they order this, which was very unusual in the 1960’s but became trendy in the 2000’s. Magner’s Cider were trying to make it a cool new thing

* The Joiners Arms – A music venue in Southampton, where I did my biology degree. It’s had lots of famous acts there, before they were big names

* Tim Smith – Main man of Cardiacs and a lovely guy… I was so star struck when we met, but he bought me a beer and had no ego at all. He even invited me to his 40th birthday, just because he wanted to be nice. He suffered a bad heart attack and subsequent stroke in 2010 and is currently being cared for with donations from charity records and fans, which I really recommend that anyone contribute to. He’s genuinely a genius and a lovely chap

* “How were they in my town and even real?” – The Cardiacs are quite mysterious and, when I first saw them live, it seemed incredible that they were real people.

credits

from Run V​.​T., released August 4, 2015

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Ian Evans UK

Pop/experimental/rock musician and songwriter from London

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