The Alibis


Epic – Henry’s Cellar Bar, 26th May
After going through all the trials and tribulations of recording, mixing and preparing an EP for our devoted fanbase, The Aliboys and Alibabe decided that we really quite fancied having a launch night to commemorate the event, and flog shiny CDs to the great and good of Ali-fandom.

A fine idea in principle, I’m sure you would agree, my intrepid blog peruser. Alas, we had no venue booked, and, at the time the plan was conceived, a bass player deep in the heart of the Nicaraguan jungle, hunting down his latest quarry (or he may have been on holiday in New Zealand – I forget).

For a bit of clarification, Janahan is very much the organised one of the band, and with him out of action, Amy, Rob and myself have the organisational skills of Wakko, Yakko and Dot, following a particularly heavy night on the sauce.

Nevertheless, someone had to step up to the plate. When duty called, when adversity reared its ugly head, when the fans of The Alibis clamoured incessantly for a release (I can dream) one man, one hero, one visionary had to rise to the challenge. That man…was…erm…Chris from Bainbridge actually, who offered me the Saturday night slot at Henry’s Cellar Bar. We accepted gratefully. Rob may have cried, if I recall accurately (I don’t).

With venue booked, tunes recorded and mixed, plans for a CD in the offing and online distribution being arranged, we had to look for a dazzling array of supporting acts, who would balance the near impossible tight-rope of being a) very good and b) very good-looking – I cannot be expected to be the sole eye-candy after all!

With that in mind it was time to wheel out the big guns with the big guns. Manchester band Midnight Mafia were approached, and, despite drummer and bassist being unavailable, front-man Rob and mystique-shrouded guitarist Dale jumped at the chance to come up to Edinburgh, and their part-time percussionist, djembe drummer Jules, also came along to provide those “phunky beatz” as all you cool cats refer to them.

Livingston-based testosterone troubadour Grant Munro agreed to open with his catchy, contemporary pop songs, Jan and Amy put their heads together to come up with a set, and we had a venue, a line-up and a set. In the meantime, though, the stresses of trying to get the CD together were taking a terrible toll on our heroes.

Well, okay, they weren’t taking a ‘terrible’ toll, but getting the layout and artwork finished was proving to be a slow and slightly fraught experience. Disagreements over artwork led to us splitting into two camps, Rob and Amy on one side (or the ‘wrong’ side, as it shall be known) and Jan and myself, defenders of the weak, puritanical purveyors of pleasure, and visionary gurus that we are, on the ‘right’ side.

Eventually, with Kofi (not to mention tea) Annan on standby, a compromise was reached and Defcon One was averted, and not a moment too soon – the CDs arrived at 2pm on the very day of the launch!

The big day had well and truly arrived, and I found myself spending an enjoyable couple of hours in the Golf Tavern sipping malt whisky with Grant and Midnight Mafia. Before long soundchecks were done, and the night started with Grant’s song “Already Had You”. I was nervous (as usual) but our soundcheck had gone okay (bar the smell of smoke from Rob’s amp) and a lot of our friends and long-time fans were there. Grant finished with “Just Another Love Song” and Midnight Mafia got all set and started to play their hastily re-arranged set – I had noticed that my favourite song, “Love is Dead” was missing from their original set, and had stamped my feet and had a tantrum until they agreed to play it!

After Midnight Mafia departed to cacophonous ovation from a small but enthusiastic support, we got ready. To my eternal amusement, Rob was five sheets to the wind, and provided a lot of amusing chat during our set, which seemed to go down very well indeed with those assembled – you can view our rendition of “Terlingua” – and we had a great time.

After finishing with ‘Kojak’, the lead song from the EP, we packed up our gear, hob-nobbed with the great and good, made illegible signatures over copies of our bright, shiny EP and generally acted like big-shots.

The rest of the night is a bit of a blur, I’m sure I remember Amy discussing body-building, Jan fighting to remain clothed amid an army of groupies (he may not have been trying too hard) Rob heroically throwing more booze down his already well-lubricated gullet, Midnight Mafia belting out Stone Roses songs, Grant Munro doing the honourable thing and myself running the length of Minto Street, but it’s also entirely possible that none of those events took place.

On behalf of The Alibis, I want to sincerely thank everyone who helped make the Epic night so, well, epic. Our thanks go to Chris from Bainbridge, Nora from Henry’s Cellar Bar, Grant Munro, Rob, Dale, Jules and the (sadly absent) rest of Midnight Mafia, Andy Kelly for his support and photos, Michael Stewart for filming ‘Terlingua’ and every single person who has supported us. A special thank you (including hug for Michelle and kiss for Andy) to Resilient who bank rolled the production of our EP.  If you haven’t already got a copy, it’s less than three quid. you can buy Noir here.


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