Sunday, 29 April 2018

Where Do We Play?

Now it's time to talk about venues of the musical variety, more specifically the venues we play at.
This way you can learn where you may find the band playing and if you ever decide to start a band in Sheffield, Kate and random internet surfer I like to call Steve, you can find out which are the best to play.

The Washington
Without a doubt Tom's favourite. He placed it at the top of his widely acclaimed list "Tom's Most Impressive Stages in the World 2018", managing to shockingly beat the Rio De Janeiro Palladium after several years at the top and "that one in Texas" as well. Why has the Washington managed to beat out these stages, in venues which cost far, far more to build? Well, the intimacy for the band members helps as Tom does like to be staring deep into my eyes at all times when playing a show. Also the tea lights around the stage show excellent effort to make it aesthetically pleasing and close proximity to the crowd means no need to strain his voice when yelling  at them. Overall, it is quite understandable how this stage made it to the top, despite the millions going into these stages known across the world, they don't quite have the charm of the Washington. Hopefully it can maintain that position in 2019.

After frequenting this venue many, many, many times before, it's safe to say we felt familiarity with the venue. That is until we were introduced to the maze back stage proving that our knowledge of Corp wasn't as complete as originally thought, there are still more mysteries to discover.. Corp is generally bigger than the other venues we play. The wide selection of stages to play are bigger than usual for us, the bands we play with are more well known and the free entry to the club night after make it the most high quality venue we play. Most significantly it's the only venue we play with a stage crew which is very welcome as a drummer, and even more so for the positive, entertaining attitude they have there.

West Street Live
WSL has to be mentioned as we've played there more than anywhere else, for some reason they always say yes when we ask for a gig - bizarre. It's free entry which makes it easier to try and convince people to come  and watch us from the street, if I'm ever so inclined. Also the various deals on the drinks have noticeably  appealed to many bands visiting from outside Sheffield. Certainly, it's nice to finish a gig and have such a wide selection to choose from. The stage may not reach Tom's lofty standards, however it's certainly adequate enough for me and there's plenty of room for people to have a dance- as it's free there's usually randomers coming in from West Street, which is nice.

So there you go a summary of some of the venues we play at and why we like to play there- feel free to come along to some of these places for a show!

Police Thieves and Merchants: Chapter 6 Camping With Mackerel

8 hours had gone by and the trio hadn't heard a blast from the terrifying weapon. The forest continued around them though in the midst of the pitch blackness, forcing them to stumble and curse with it's array of surprises. One such surprise smacked Borg in the face as he carried himself forward, he let out a snarl and ripped the branch from his path.
Careful Borg,” Laurel cautioned quietly. “There are bears in these woods.”
There's also some nutter with a mysterious weapon capable of turning our heads to goop in a second.”
The goop weapon, that has a ring to it.”
Do not call it the goop weapon Laurel, it needs more respect than that.”
Well, what would you call it then?” Laurel asked loftily.
The face eater.”
It's called a firearm,” Crole said firmly from ahead, magenta tooth glinting in the moonlight.
Anyway, never mind what it's called, we should focus on getting away from it. The river should be here soon.” They caught up to him to catch him gazing wistfully into the night in front of him as if it was welcoming him into it's dark embrace.
Well, let's get going then, as long as we're heading north to claim what is now ours,” agreed Borg licking his lips expectantly as if he could eat his reward.
I'm going to be pissed off if the rest of the band gets the reward first, especially Sedrick – that one knows how to gloat.”
They kept on travelling through the forest up a gentle slope with a gnarled old oak tree marking the end of the forest at the top. Borg reached the top first, ready to stop for a rest and let his tired limbs recover. From below the others saw his clear interest as he peered through the branches to what lay beyond.
A fire,” he stated matter of factly as they reached him. Beyond the oak the forest opened out into a series of grassy fields illuminated in the moonlight and stretching into the distance. The forest continued along it's right edge to encircle it once again a mile or so away. Just beyond the tree-line on the far side of the fields a river swirled across the countryside reflecting silver by the moonlight. The three of them stared, then looked at the fire just within the forest to the right of the fields.
Could be him,” Borg muttered suddenly feeling the cold a lot more as he gazed at the fire.
Could be anyone!” argued Laurel, “but it is probably food.”
Borg's stomach continued to rumble, the desire to eat was strong within him.
We should get a closer look,” Crole said pointedly. “We know how to get close to a target without him seeing us.”
We don't need the food,” Borg answered.
We can hunt,” he said gesturing at the forest around them.
And how well has that gone throughout the night? Are you really that scared of him Borg?”
I'm pretty sure you wet yourself earlier.”
Laurel turned away, ignoring him. “I'm going.”
We're going,” Crole asserted moving stealthily down the path. Borg hesitated, then shook his head and followed. It wasn't like him to let fear get in the way of something like this, plus if they wanted to get to the river – the quickest way was past that fire, either through the forest or walking exposed across the fields.
It took half an hour to get close to the fire, the trio didn't say a word during this time. Despite his brave words earlier Laurel knew the danger and feared the loud, deadly weapon. Sweat trickled on his hands as he crouched forward, making the minimal amount of sound as the light from the flames drew closer. The woods cloaked around them; with trees and thick undergrowth hiding their every move; skill and practice enabling them to do so with the slightest of sounds: a slow draw of breath, a suction as feet edge out of the mud covering the floor or a slight creaking as a branch is gradually swept aside. Soon the crackling of the fire was masking the sounds they made. Laurel was the first to come in sight of it with the other two further behind. There was the makings of a camp surrounding the fire for a single person which set nerves cramping through his belly. Nevertheless, there was no-one in sight and several cooked fish simmering gently next to the merry flames. Dinner. Laurel quickly and silently swept in snatched up the fish and moved on his way beyond the camp. Fish meant a river and Laurel intended to get away and cross it; his comrades could catch up if all went well.
Crole cursed to himself, masking the controlled, quiet outburst under the trickle of a stream. He watched as Laurel made off with the fish: he would have to hurry to get a hint of that meal. The camp was nearly in sight and clearly empty by the way Laurel had confidently moved in, which begged the question – where are the camp occupiers? A quick, short tap on his shoulder broke his train of thought as Borg indicated for him to look right. Crole obliged and froze in shock. The dark, dangerous shadow of a man loomed fifteen paces in that direction. The shadow was casting about in the undergrowth, a large tube-like object in his hand. The moment his eyes registered the shape, Crole followed Borg in carefully shrinking away back up the forest path. He could feel his heart hammering painfully inside his chest as if attempting with all it's might to give away his location. As they stepped away the man straightened up. Silence stretched out suddenly, even the trickle from the stream appeared to be gone. Borg ran, Crole followed unable to contain his leg's apparent desperation to get away from there. They scampered through the woods in a repeated mad dash away from the fear-provoking weapon. They tripped and stumbled as branches clattered into their legs and roots reached up for their crunching feet.
The lone traveller returned to his fire wondering as to where the men who had decided to invade his camp had come from. Annoyance scratched at his neck when he saw the fish were gone and he kicked a piece of firewood off into the night. It had taken him all day to extract that fish from the raging river! Still, at least his cargo was still intact. He didn't know why wine was so rare in these parts but the circulating rumours were enough to persuade him to make the trip. Maybe the people of Batesmoor wouldn't pay as much as the cities that lay around this forgotten land, but they would still pay more than his country where wine could easily be found. In addition, he had reasoned, there would be other traders aiming for the cities – he wasn't likely to find any competition in these parts.
Only swift reflexes from a life on the road allowed him to duck under the garrotte that came looping over his head. A much too sloppy move to get him! His time as a merchant bodyguard ensured the reflexes displayed were followed through with a spin into a crouching defensive pose. The last movement he was allowed to make as his head was blown to smithereens with a terrific bang. The green man was quick to smash the wine and after inspecting the debris, stalked off towards the river.
The explosive sound paused Crole and Borg's terrific scrabble as fear curled in their chest for a second time.
Laurel?” Borge queried quietly. “What do we do?”
Keep moving,” was the gruff reply as Crole headed west- hopefully to an alternative crossing.
Laurel raced away heading downhill from the camp-site, his pack clanging against him with spectacular noise in the tranquil night. The explosion could only mean that the camp belonged to one certain person and that Crole or Borg or both were dead. His brain quietly assured him again and again that the green man would have seen him if he had noticed the other two and he will be here soon. His main hope was be the first to reach a crossing in the river. After that he would simply keep heading north faster than any possible pursuit. The threat of death should surely motivate him to move the fastest of the two. He was a young man, but not as fit as he could be – his legs were growing weary from the exhausting day as the roar of the water closed in on him. He burst through a final bush and looked out over the river gushing below. It was at least 100 metres wide and the water was travelling at an impressive pace, quashing any realistic chance of swimming across for the best of swimmers. Laurel searched about him, looking for an area that might be crossable. It was hopeless. The grey water slushed past laughing at his inadequate ability to escape. To jump in would be to put himself at the mercy of the roaring element, to lose the cargo and put himself at incredible risk. He paused and glance back towards the woods. Which option contained the greatest risk? Had the green man even seen him?
A crack behind him to his left caused Laurel to leap in fear nearly tumbling into the swirling current below. He braced himself enough to glance up and find the source of the sound. The green man was stepping round a tree on a ridge overlooking his position by the river. The tube was being raised up expectantly seeking out it's target. Laurel dived instantly arcing out away from the muddy ledge. The dirt where he had stood splayed up as the explosive sound he dread ricocheted around the riverside and then all he knew was water. Water flooded everywhere around him taking away his ability to move, hear, see or smell. He simply crashed onwards with the river as the dirty water taste filled his mouth, quickly leaving the green man far behind.