Wednesday, 8 June 2011

The Waterfront Treaddur Bay, Wales. - Vision Thing

I know I don't normally talk about my own band much on here, but i'm going to put that right, we recently had a trip out to Anglesey north Wales as part of our "Principalities that should be Countries and Other Annexed Territories Tour 2011".

The distance to the northern western reaches of the celtic nation means that I start the day driving myself in the opposite direction to meetup with the mini bus and some of the other members of the band and road crew (Roo).

The main problem with mini-bus tours and band gear is that what starts out as a large mini-bus with lots of seats soon turns into an overloaded store cupboard flying full pelt down the motorway, the image on the left is my view out the back and on the right my view out the front.

A view which for the most part mainly consisted of the rear arse of caravans.


It took about 2 1/2 hours to get out to Amlwch our base for the night at The Waterfront, after an expensive Chip shop stop in Conwy (£5.50 for Pie, Chips and Beans would have made a wiganner's heart fail) we arrived and converged with Dave and Matt who made their own way at the accomodation.

The house perched on the top of a hill at this pretty little coastal spot  is owned by a band members company and we were very lucky to get free accommodation for the duration.


"Oh no, i've told the agency a thousands times to spell the band name right".  A spinal tap moment, for us, although it was created by us, so I guess it's not quite the same.  

The accommodation was great, however, within minutes there was talk of a wander down to the shoreline and photo opportunities, we were assured by our trumpet player that it was literally minutes away, and very safe.

Within minutes we realised it was unsafe and much further than that. Either way, we took advantage of the moment to create this nice shot below.....



Thankfully, unlike Spinal Tap, the drummer didn't exeprience any fatalities and we all arrived back at the house intact, if a little knackered.

In the afternoon we even had time for a impromptu jam, whilst Si the Bass was sleeping soundly, the jam ended up in Si's bedroom and he no longer was sleeping soundly.

Once we've freshened up we made the 30 minute journey out to Treaddur Bay the venue for tonights gig.  The Waterfront is a lovely white pub in a most beautiful spot, the waves crash within 20 ft of the stage,  a venue location to die for, worth travelling behind caravans for 2 hours easy.

The night was champions league final night and the big screen was at the back of the stage, so it was.... 
drag the kit in before the match ....
watch the first half set up in the half time break  and then as soon as the game finished it was straight into our first set........

No time for sound check as we were on a mammoth 20 song, 90 minute set with a 15 minute break in between. 

It took a great start too, Micah trumpeting with the celebrations of the spanish fans in the audience, which did seem out of proportion with the fact we were in Wales.

Nonetheless, our first set went well, apart from someone coming up and asking did we know "Maggie May" which was a bit left field, as an originals band who only play 1 cover the answer was a resounding NO. Thankfully this didn't dampen us as the on stage sound was very warm and powerful indeed.

At the break people were onto us, it's very strange when you play a place with no friends in the audience you really have no idea what the reaction will be.  In the most part people were interested but a few specifically made a beline for us whilst we were cooling off and massaged our egos with superlatives we rarely get chance to hear from strangers, we even invited a few up later in the night to have a sing with us.

The second set started with a slide song "Static" we've never played live before, it felt good to give it an airing, it's always important to play album songs live at least once.  You never know what kind of reaction they will get but fun to have them played, to me it almost feels like a waste if you don't get them out there at least once.

Our set went from strength to strength and people started dancing, not just anyone, pretty much everyone in the pub by the time we got to 'Sobriety', at this point I remembered offering a sing song for some folks from the audience at the break, so Pete olbiged and offered, a few bottled out but one girl took the mantle on and Pete ran quickly through the chorus, which is pretty much just  "da da da da"

Anyhow, she was singing, people where dancing and she enjoyed it, everyone in the room was made up for the lass although her microphone did sound a bit out of tune, but that couldn't be helped.

We finished with Domino days with the audience right on us and wanting more, now normally, we have to say thanks but no thanks when encores come about, we just never thought we would get any and always shied away.  

Well NOT ANYMORE we got our instruments back on and stepped up to Beautiful Day by the Levellers, everyone was dancing everyone was singing and the night faded away into a haze.

As I drove back (designated driver), the minibus was awash with singalongs and alcohol flowing with a 3am finish on the cards and sore heads the next morning. A great trip and thanks to Martin for putting us on, lets hope we can get back there asap.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Publishers want bigger cut from downloads

Publishing companies and record labels have braced themselves for an onslaught of expensive court cases to determine how royalties are treated and calculated in the digital age.

The industry’s apprehension comes as Rob Zombie and White Zombie, Whitesnake and Dave Mason have launched a series of class-action lawsuits against Universal Music in the US arguing their contracts have erroneously counted digital downloads as sales.

The rock acts argue Universal should have specified any digital activity as licensing agreements, which would attach a significantly higher royalty payment.

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