Mega City Four
Tag Archive

Gig Night – Deadcuts / I Plead Irony

Comments (0) Gig Night, Latest, Slider2

We weren’t there. We wanted to be there. We couldn’t be there. It was a gig with headliners featuring Mark Keds and Cass Browne from Senseless Things and celebrating the life of Wiz, front man of Mega City Four and songwriter and lyricist extraordinaire who soundtracked an defining era for many of us. It was a gig night down the road from us. We were gutted.

Thankfully Dawn Bovingdon (@Miss_D_xx) was there and has shared with us the next best thing. An entertaining full match report of the recent Forward4Wiz gig at Farnborough FC.

So enjoy Dawn’s gig night. It was clearly emotional.

_________________________________________________________________________________

Anyone who knows me will know that saying Mega City Four is my favourite band is a massive understatement. So when it was hinted that an event would take place in January to celebrate Wiz’s birthday, 9 years after his sudden and tragic death following a blood clot on the brain, I excitedly cleared my diary in anticipation.

As details filtered out it was announced that Blag Promotions (Pete Cole) and Rose Coloured Records (Andy Fulterer) with the Forward 4 Wiz Trust would host a gig at the Farnborough Football Club, a regular former hangout for the band. Headlined by Deadcuts, supported by I Plead Irony and set for 16th January 2016. Both bands have a close connection to Wiz.

Deadcuts are the brainchild of Mark Keds, former Senseless Things frontman, a band which toured relentlessly with MC4 back in the 90s. With guitarist Jerome Alexandre, the band also included Mark McCarthy of The Wonder Stuff. However a couple of last minute changes saw the departure of Mark M to be replaced by bassist Joseph Johns, and the brilliant addition of Cass Browne, the Senseless Things drummer. After some hasty poster changes the line up was finalised.

I Plead Irony have only been a band for a few years but have a history. I first met Rauf Jordan, vocalist and bassist, and Lawrence Arnold, drummer, when they completed Ipanema with Wiz. They are joined by Paul McDonald who previously featured with them in a band called The Fins. We’ve seen them a few times before and they played my 40th birthday party, so very happy to see them included.

I quickly realised we’d have the kids that weekend, so what better than to treat them to an evening in my world – what teenage kid wouldn’t want that ☺. Two rooms were booked at the Farnborough Premier Inn and the tickets purchased before I gave them the great news. The girls hadn’t stayed in a hotel before and were quite excited at the prospect. There was talk of ordering room service – I didn’t want to burst their bubble by telling them Premier Inn is a little more down market than that, so said I’d provide dinner.

The 16th quickly arrived, albeit with threats of snow storms, and we set off for the short journey mid-afternoon so the girls could enjoy the hotel experience. They masked their disappointment well when I produced 4 Pot Noodles and a loaf of bread as their room service dinner – no expense spared!

We booked a cab and met a couple of friends, Becki & Jackie, in the foyer. The football club was only a couple of miles away and was already buzzing by the time we arrived to a sold out crowd. Jonathon Trevisick of Feet First DJ’d between bands and was already belting out some fantastic indie tunes. We happily sang along to Carter’s Sheriff Fatman while the girls rolled their eyes and tried to disown us.

The room was full of friends who had known and loved Wiz, and most had stories of MC4 gigs and times they’d spent with the band. MC4 were represented on the night by the band’s drummer Chris Jones (who doesn’t seem to age), Karina Chillman – Wiz’s then partner and F4Wt trustee, and Dee Terry, Gerry Bryant’s missus, as Gerry had a prior engagement with a football match. The atmosphere was emotional, a mix of joy – celebrating great music and wonderful memories – with sombre overtones. Two screens showed video clips and photos of MC4, Ipanema and Senseless Things as a reminder of the past, while the night and the purpose of the F4Wt was about looking forward with new music.

I Plead Irony took to the small stage at 8.30pm. Rauf was wearing one of his customary Shite Shirts, I believe bought especially for the gig. The band go from strength to strength. Kicking off with Now or Never, the opening track from their first album, they grabbed the audience’s attention. The new material sounds fantastic and What If, my current favourite IPI song, was up next. Those that knew the lyrics sang along, others just moved to the music.

Dawn I Plead Irony post image

The rest of the set continued at a pace with the band obviously enjoying the night, sounding competent, confident and very loud. As their time drew to an end there were calls for more and, to the delight of the crowd, the band launched into a cover of Mega City Four’s Miles Apart. Ending their set with gig favourite Wrecking Ball (no not the Miley version), the band finished on a high and headed for the bar. I Plead Irony’s 2nd album entitled The Solution is the Problem is released in April. I’m singing in a crowd backing vocal bit on one track but don’t let that put you off, you can’t hear me ☺. I’ve heard a demo of the album and it’s a must buy.

All profits from the gig will be donated to the Forward 4 Wiz Trust, set up in his memory to support new and aspiring musicians in the area. Both bands had donated merch towards a raffle prize, along with Stuffies and MC4 items. Pete Cole drew the winning raffle ticket. I didn’t catch the name of the guy who won but he walked away with some fantastic goodies I’d had my eye on.

There was a DJ interval between bands where curry was served from the back of the venue and we tried to chat to friends over the loud music, resorting to a weird form of made up sign language, ending in shrugs, before heading to the bar to stock up on drinks instead. The youngest did her best moody teen impression until her request for a Muse track was played and she started bouncing around grinning.

Dawn post image sofa

Deadcuts were due on stage at 10pm however at 9.50 we started to worry as no one had stepped on stage since the raffle was drawn, and our cab would be arriving at 11. 10pm arrived with Mark and Jerome taking to the stage to set up their equipment and 10 minutes later the band were ready. I’d only heard a couple of songs prior to the gig but liked what I’d heard. With a sound far removed from the poppiness of Senseless Things – Deadcuts have a much darker, heavier quality to their songs. Keds’ lyrics draw on his life experience and listening to them feels almost like reading his personal diary. Jerome is a very strong guitarist and his style perfectly complements Keds. It’s fantastic to see Cass back on drums and he fits naturally into the band. The girls were very happy to see Joseph on stage and he was the highlight of their night (makes a change from them crushing on Matt Bellamy!).

Whilst a fairly new band they are already building a strong following based on quality songs. Their set opened to cheers with Praying for Jail, moving into Less I Want Less I Need. Mark decided to make a few costume changes, not easy on a small stage with no changing area. Starting the set shirtless in a long black coat, switching to a Bowie tribute Blackstar knitted jumper and finally a suit jacket.

Dawn Deadcuts image

I got the impression Mark seemed a little uncomfortable or nervous at the start (possibly due to the fact it was in memory of a friend) but the band quickly settled in and each song sounded better than the previous. Opium Styles and Brittany Murphy were fantastic with, what I feel is their best yet, Summon the Witches – a song with a guitar hook that stays with you for days. This was followed by new track Dope Girls which I’ve since had to order.

As 11pm neared Mark stood quiet while the crowd cheered and waited for the noise to die down, before reading the lyrics to Mega City Four’s Less Than Senseless as poetry. A song written by Wiz for Senseless Things. It was beautiful to hear and the emotion in Mark’s voice was audible. To finish the set Deadcuts launched into the faster paced Kill Desire. They’re a band I’d strongly recommend seeing and who are currently touring with The Libertines (Mark co-wrote Can’t Stand Me Now).

By now it was just after 11 and our cab was waiting with the meter running. Pete Cole and Karina Fraser stepped on stage to close the event. Karina spoke from the heart to thank everyone for coming together, celebrating Wiz’s life and contribution and for supporting the trust. As it was Danny Brown’s birthday (Wiz’s brother and MC4 guitarist) who had moved to Australia last year with his lovely wife Roxy, we didn’t want to leave him out so the gig finished with a group chorus of happy birthday, filmed and uploaded to FB for him to see.

Dawn Drummers corner

As my family and friends dashed out to the cab before he gave up and left us, I just had time to say hello, great gig and goodbye to Mark Keds before joining them and heading back to our hotel. It was a fantastic night and flew by all too quickly. Most importantly £500 was raised for the F4Wt. Let’s make it an annual event.

Enjoying myself too much, my slightly drunken pics were pretty poor, and I can’t stand still at gigs, so I won’t inflict my efforts on you (bar 1 Adrian took). Instead professional photographer, Dave Vokes of LMI Photography, has kindly shared a few pics of the bands. Enjoy!

Dawn Bovingdon

Videos & Links

Deadcuts – Summon the Witches https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-FTGLN6eT4
I Plead Irony – I Can’t Hear You https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G11GDLEQRJo
Forward 4 Wiz Trust – www.f4wt.org

_________________________________________________________________________________

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about Dawn’s gig night. We would love to hear about your own gig experiences whether they are recent or in the past. Please contact us if you would like to contribute, via email indieover40@gmail.com or Twitter @IndieOver40

Read more

Meet The Community – Sandy Wishart

Comments (0) Carousel1, Latest, Meet The Community

Here we divert our attention away from the artists and bands and shine a light on some of those individuals whose contributions in our social media world have been an invaluable source of musical joy. By asking a series of 10 questions we want to get inside the mind of a selected community member and understand their indie DNA.

_________________________________________________________________________________

In this edition – Sandy Wishart (@_sandywishart)

Sandy Wishart

We’d always considered Sandy somewhat aloof which is why he was in our Meet The Community cross hairs. We’ve been staring at the back of that T Shirt for over a year now and in the early days that Twitter profile pic was pretty much all we had to go on. The man didn’t even have a banner photo let alone any sort of bio (still doesn’t).

We suspected he was Scottish on the basis we’ve never come across anyone called Sandy who isn’t Scottish (apart from Olivia Newton-John). In addition, the reference to avalanche on the tee could refer to the infamous Edinburgh record shop. Careful scrutinisation of the pic also reveals what looks like a Biff Bang Pow! poster on the wall, so there was no doubting his indie pedigree.

However, we have been delighted to witness Sandy gradually coming out of his shell and becoming a valued member of the community. His Twitter feed still doesn’t reveal much about the man, but we have learnt that he is the proud father of at least two daughters and sadly no longer the owner he once was of an extensive music collection. We just hope that being a part of this community hasn’t aggravated the obvious sense of loss.

So without further ado, let’s meet Sandy Wishart

1) Where did you grow up?

Broxburn. Small town 12 miles west of Edinburgh.

2) What first got you into “indie” music?

Mostly down to my friend Mo. A group of us travelled together to college and Mo would supply the tape for the car. I did like some decent music prior to this but here was some proper indie.

3) What was the first “indie” record you bought?

Probably Bouncing Babies by Teardrop Explodes on Zoo. Early 88 I think, before I went full blown indie in 89. After I bought Doolittle there was no looking back.

4) What was your favourite record shop?

Avalanche Records in Edinburgh. They’re still going although they’ve moved a few times. I remember the first time I went, with Mo, who bought the new release by The Fall; I Am Kurious Oranj. Can’t remember what I bought but pretty soon I was going regularly as it was the best place to go for indie music. Still is.

5) What music magazines did you read?

NME, Melody Maker, Sounds, Select, Vox, Q. Didn’t buy them all every week or month. Depended on which bands were featured or who had the best free mixtape.

6) What was your first “indie” gig?

Mega City Four at the Calton Studios, Edinburgh in 89 with my best friend Colin @sauzee7273. Saw them 4 times; a fantastic live band and one of the first bands I got into after Pixies opened the indie floodgates

7) What was your most memorable “indie” gig? And why?

Went to a lot of great gigs. Trying to think of one that stands out. There was Reading 92 or the Swervedriver £1 gig with lots of Red Stripe & falling over but I’m going to go with Biffy Clyro at the SECC on their Opposites tour. This was my eldest daughter Emily’s first gig. Near the end she turned to me and said “thanks Dad, this is the best night of my life”. It doesn’t get much better than that.

8) What 3 “indie” albums would you take to a desert island?

Only 3; that’s harsh. Pixies – Doolittle, American Music Club – California, Husker Du – New Day Rising. Would probably pick Doolittle plus a different other 2 tomorrow.

9) What “indie” band/artist would you most like to meet?

Kim Deal would be cool.

10) What one song defines your indie-ness?

Sebadoh – Gimme Indie Rock. Just gimme indie rock and I’m a happy man.


_________________________________________________________________________________

A huge thank you to Sandy Wishart for taking part. Hope you enjoyed this insight into his indie-ness.

You could be next.

Read more

The Indie Top Ten Performances On “The Word”

Comments (0) Carousel, Feature, Latest, Slider, Slider1, Top Ten

In this regular feature we ask the IndieOver40 social media community to help us compile a top ten list of a chosen topic. Our resident curator John Hartley (@JohnyNocash) then ponders, disects and finally presents.

In this edition:-

THE INDIE TOP TEN PERFORMANCES ON “THE WORD”

I miss The Word. Moreso than I probably should, especially given that I can only remember watching a handful of the 106 episodes that were broadcast. I am not entirely sure exactly what I was doing late on a Friday evening in the first half of the 1990s, having turned 18 at the very start of that decade. It certainly wasn’t watching telly, though. Which is a bit of a shame, because subsequent research has revealed a number of my favourite bands were introduced through the nasal charm of Terry Christian and that I remained completely oblivious. Lucky for you then that I’m not relaying my own favourite Top Ten Appearances on The Word, because this wouldn’t be a particularly long Top 10. Instead, here are your suggestions, in no particular order.

1. Mega City Four play ‘Stop’

Introduced by the nation’s then-favourite American Katie Puckrit, Mega City Four managed to take time out of their scheduled 9,218 gigs per year for a rare live appearance on television. If I had been in to watch this I might have been persuaded to invest a couple of quid in their music. Instead that cash was probably invested in a couple of pints of Joseph Holt’s best bitter. @Dalliance68 saw it though, and now you can too:


2. Rage Against The Machine play ‘Killing In The Name’

This blew @NiceMarker mind when he saw it, and the clip you are about to see is introduced by another nice Mark – Mark Lamarr. Only don’t let your ma see this clip, cos he gestures with a solitary finger which goes against his otherwise nice persona. By the end of the clip it would appear guest Chris Eubank is wondering whether his skills as a diplomat may be needed in the stage-front affray. Disappointedly, he realises not


3. Thrum play ‘So Glad’

I’d never even heard of Thrum before compiling this Top Ten, so thanks to @darrenmjones for suggesting this jaunty guitar pop song from the penultimate year of episodes (that’s 1994, if you’re counting). It was always enjoyable watching the gathered audience try to look enthused and invigorated by a band they clearly had never heard of, and Thrum opened the show having come ‘all the way down from Scotland’, according to Terry Christian. It must have seemed like another country to him.


4. The Charlatans play ‘Crashin’ In’

The Word was always about more than just the music. It was a reflection on the popular youth culture, style and fashion of the era. The Charlatans made a few appearances on The Word during its six year run (that’s 1990-1995 if you weren’t counting before but are now) and it is indeed the fashion that has lodged this particular performance firmly in the memory of @pillshark73. “I was very jealous of that coat”, he says. It is a nice coat, mind you… Good old Terry has to remind us who the band is, still around a whole four years after their debut album was at No. 1 in the charts. Who would have thought such longevity be possible?


5. Dinosaur Jr. play ‘Start Choppin’

Normally the podiums around the stage were filled with over-enthusiastic under-paid dancers seeking maximum attention for their minimally relevant dance moves. When Dinosaur Jr. made this appearance the dancers were seemingly substituted for head-nodding teenagers pretending to be one of the background dancers in A Charlie Brown Christmas. The band are oblivious, lost in their own creativity, and fail to notice the audience’s polite cues to be bring their @ocallingham and @_sandywishart nominated performance to an end.


6. Stereolab play ‘French Disko’

I must have been ill, or maybe had been tipped the nod by the NME or something, but here is a band I did manage to see on The Word. @sharpster70 also saw Stereolab, and wanted to draw your attention to what is a very fine version of their classic ‘French Disko’. Laetitia Sadier looks suitably dubious about the throng collected in front of the stage whilst Tim Gane does a fine impersonation of Zebedee from The Magic Roundabout. And is that really a gladiator on one of those podiums?


7. Ride play ‘Leave Them All Behind’

Hailing from Oxford and being polite British indie boys RIDE were never going to do a Dinosaur Jr. and outstay their welcome, not even when bringing their eight minute long epic ‘Leave Them All Behind’ to the show. @Archieboyo recalled this performance amongst a few other bands’. It’s probably not the best live performance RIDE ever did, the harmonies causing the odd wince here or there, but it’s worth a watch just for Mark Gardener’s fringe.


 8. Oasis play ‘Supersonic’

At the time The Word was one of very few opportunities for up and coming bands to get some televisual exposure. I wonder if Noel and Liam were sat watching RIDE thinking ‘one day we’ll have their guitarist in our band’? Or even ‘one day we’ll be on this show’? Angela Browne nominated the Mancunians’ debut TV appearance. Did these City-supporting Mancunians specifically ask not to be introduced by the United-supporting Christian? It is one of the rock’n’roll mysteries that maybe will never be solved.


9. The House Of Love play ‘Marble’

Not a single, not even a track from a proper album but a mid-price release (presumably allowing Fontana Records to recoup their losses after Guy Chadwick’s writer’s block hindered the band’s progress) yet ‘Marble’ on The Word was one of The House Of Love’s finest moments. Never mind the cod-psychadelic super-imposed graphics behind the band, just marvel at the sheer fury of those guitars and the bitterness of Chadwick’s vocals. Nominated by me, because no-one else did.


10. L7 play ‘Pretend We’re Dead’

This was easily the most-suggested clip, attracting nominations from @jones_jamie, @bringitonskippy, @Hipster6 and @RiverboatCapt in addition to others already name-checked. Interestingly, none of the nominators appeared to remember the name of the track. Maybe the performance was more memorable for something else?


So there you have it. The EIO40 Top 10 Appearances on The Word. If you want to further relive your youth, why not down a couple of cans of Kestrel, make a fried egg sandwich and head over to Terry Christian’s own YouTube Channel which has loads more clips of your favourite bands playing live, if nowt else.

John Hartley

Listen out on Facebook & Twitter for further Indie Top Ten themes. We need your help.

Read more