Some months ago, we were booked for 2018’s Your City Festival , the second annual iteration following last year’s successful debut. We were joining Rival Bones and Six Foot Psycho in supporting King Kula, which is a pretty damn solid lineup. As AOTV can be pretty much anything, I accepted the booking and worked out the finer points of the gig later.*
It initially looked like I would be flying solo, but Duncan, with a fortnight or more to spare, became available. As it was likely to be an acoustic set, we opted for a novel approach - supporting three loud rock bands with an acoustic guitar and an upright bass, because why not? I’d certainly never done that before, and the prospect entertained me.
I had played a solo set at The Underground six weeks earlier, during one of the numerous sub-zero cold spells we’ve been enjoying lately, which resulted in me getting a stunning turn of bronchitis.** It wasn’t anywhere near that cold this time, but the venue does tend to reflect the temperature outdoors, and it was still a bit nippy. We (myself, Duncan, and Duncan’s wife, Donna) attempted to quickly go and get some hot food (we were half an hour away from soundcheck), but any cafes close to the Underground were shut. We came back and I made use of the green room’s tea and coffee making facilities (photo proof, courtesy of Monsieur Duncan Wilcox).
Teas & coffees consumed, we had about two minutes to soundcheck, owing to some timing issues, after which I made myself another hot drink, did some social media jiggery-pokery, and we huddled in the green room for a bit.
7:40pm, and it was time to see if our setup worked onstage. Happy to confirm that it did, and we started with ‘I’ve Still Got Your Blood On My Curtains’ (featuring my first fumble of the night), and rolled through songs from the first EP, songs we’re soon to release, and even a goldie from my last band. We had a pleasant crowd, very lively & willing to join in (the more singing along on ‘...Job Satisfaction the better).
The new songs are shaping up nicely on record, and it’s nice to play them live now, too. Even better with Duncan’s accompaniment, and we are looking forward to wheeling them out with the full band. That’s going to be special.
We did overrun by ten minutes, which saw me profusely apologising to all and sundry, but everyone was cool. Rival Bones played a blinding set, Six Foot Psycho were appropriately stomping, and King Kula, as ever, rocked the house down. I didn’t get to take many photos as my phone battery was slowly sinking, but I did get one shot in. Er voila:
PS: Please enjoy some live photos of our set, taken by Donna Wilcox and Harriet Lomax:
* This makes me sound super-cool, casual, and happy to work on the fly, but the grim reality is that I internally stress about it. Never more has the simile of the duck - gliding on the surface, while furiously paddling beneath - been so apt.
** 0/10, would not recommend.