Hey hey Ali-cats and Ali-kittens, your friendly neighbourhood Frontman here, to finally put another blog together, in answer to the thunderous round of indifference that my thoughts usually merit from my loyal devotees.
Been a while since you’ve heard anything from any of us, so I decided to put, erm, fingers to keyboard and whip together a cheeky blog enlightening you as to our whereabouts over the past few months.
Rob has been experimenting with socialising, which I hear a lot of the kids do nowadays. Dangerous stuff. He has been spotted in local bar Brauhaus, telling anyone dumb enough to listen (and several people trying desperately not to) that 1) he was the lead singer in the Verve 2) City were robbed by every shadowy organisation known to man and 3) he honestly isn’t becoming a Hearts fan, he just religiously watches all their matches and cheers all their goals this season (yes, both of them).
In addition to this, musically he appears to be revelling in his role as the only guitarist in the band, and I think his band-mates would all agree that he is playing at his absolute best just now. He indicates his boundless and incredibly uninfectious enthusiasm via a serious of imperceptible head nods and the occasional pelvic thrust.
With the world on the brink of warfare, Jan has been busy deviously manipulating the major world powers – G8 governments, the UN, multi-national business conglomerates and Dot Cotton from Eastenders – into carrying out his nefarious schemes, in preparation for when he takes over running things, and, frankly, sorts it all out. If he could start with fixture congestion we would all be grateful. A ban on Hollyoaks and people saying “whatever” would also be imperative.
Jan continues to excel in his dual role as eye candy at Union of Genius, and Chief Executive Officer of The Alibis. He has numerous confirmed kills in both roles. Jan has been organising a steady series of gigs for the band, none of which we have been able to play, but continues to take our refusal in good grace, and anyway, my bruises have nearly healed, although I will never sport a functioning erection again.
Amy is still ladling out soup in Union of Genius by day, and crawling bars picking up drunken businessman by night. Her choice of vehicle is now a giant motorised top-hat, which lures in unsuspecting bystanders by playing the music of 5ive, before she pounces, grabbing innocents and forcing them to speak The Queen’s English until their heads explode like that off the sinister (but erotically-charged) Nazi Doctor at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Amy continues to function as the closest thing The Alibis have to a voice of reason and sanity, and her drumming is sounding exceptionally good these days, particularly on Move Aside once she remembers which song that actually is. She continues to tell me I’m her favourite Alibi, which indicates the loss of some form of bet in her recent past.
As for me? I am currently suffering from a wrist injury (no jokes please, I’ve heard them all) which has robbed the world of music of my unique and most unladylike guitar stylings. I am now attempting the swaggering frontman schtick, which I’m told closely resembles the “drunken buffoon” schtick. Ho-hum.
Comics-wise I am currently reading and recommending Prophet, The Walking Dead, Fatale, Hawkeye, X-Factor and Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye. All of these books are uniformly excellent, and should be read at once (well, after this blog, which pisses them out the water). Get on Neil Gaiman’s old Sandman series as well.
Oh, just as a wee aside – The Alibis have made the final of the IPA battle of the Bands in Edinburgh. The final is on Wednesday 24thApril, and it would be lovely to have you all there cheering us on. A chance to see some excellent local indie/alternative/punk bands, knock back a couple of beverages and compliment me on my awesomeness? Too good to turn down, isn’t it?
See ya on the flipside,
We had a newly formed The Brazen Tree to open the night with a few covers, followed by Matt Norris and the Moon and then The Alibis took the stage.
During the night a wee picture quiz called ‘Movember or Sex Offender’ (thanks Cheryl) and ‘Best Mo’ competition were run. Thank you to Union of Genius, Brew Lab, Boombarbers and Nobles for putting up the prizes.
From our performance the highlight for me was my bass amp falling over, taking out a cymbal which in turn almost took out Gareth.
It was great to see some fine Mos and especially good to see the girls getting their bushy ones out.
I’d like to thank everyone who came along to support Mogasm and for your donations to the Movember campaign. You raised £154 on the night which will be put to use by, amongst others, Prostate Cancer UK and The Institute of Cancer Research.
Guys, remember to check your balls and prostate. If you can get your girl to check them even better and enjoy.
May your mogasms be strong and plentiful.
I write this as we are about to head into our last rehearsal before playing at Live@Troon – our first festival.
Our previous rehearsal felt like hard work as the songs weren’t feeling quite right. We had both Amy and Stuart there and by the end I think we had made some progress. While obviously practising the songs we will perform at Live@Troon we also spent time on a new song and had a bit of an old-fashioned jam.
Check out the bands on the bill with us here. We can’t wait to play The Anchorage Bar on Saturday night. Got a feeling we are going to have some fun.
Be safe – pack a plectrum
What’s the best thing about being in a band? Is it the buzz of playing live? Is it the adulation of adoring fans? Is it the women throwing themselves at you (never happens by the way)?
There are many things that are great about being in a band – but I’ll tell you about what I feel the best thing is for me.
Last night was the first rehearsal all full-time Alibis would be together since June. We decided to spend the time working on some new songs. Yours truly had put together a couple of rudimentary demos and it was time to get the others on-board. Amy was running late, so it was myself, Gareth and Jan in the now familiar Alibi huddle. Jan had his trusty notebook (no doubt to be lost within the next couple of weeks), a newly buzz-cut Gareth clutched the hastily printed lyrics I’d handed him (complete with his own edits – I’m not great at writing words that actually fit when you allow time for stuff like, you know, breathing) and we set about putting the song together.
Piece by piece, section by section, it started to take shape. As I relayed chords to Jan, he started to find little embellishments here and there. Gareth began picking his way around the melody and the delivery of the lyrics. As we were giving it a basic, quiet run-through Amy arrived (wa-hey!) and Jan broke out the beer and crisps (BIG wa-hey!). I’d never had Innis & Gunn before – I highly recommend it. Anyway, we toasted our reunion (as you can see in the photo) and set about our new song again.
All it took was a brief run-though and discussion with Amy to bring her into the fold. She’d had a brief listen to the song and even recognised it as we were playing it when she walked in. We decided to tackle it as a four piece. It wasn’t perfect at first, but as we all got to grips with what happens when and how things ebb and flow, it happened. It’s hard to remember at which point in the practise it occurred, but during one of the run-throughs it happened. That intangible moment when everything collides in perfect sync. The little bits and pieces we’ve added in the last hour are thrown in with an instinct you just feel. The collective sound you make becomes something greater than the sum of the parts. You feel it. You know it. You look around and you can see it in your bandmates eyes and body language. Nothing needs to be said, because you can see they know and feel it too: it is happening. It is the precise moment an idea becomes a song.
Songs always turn into a different beast to what you first imagine when you run it through a filter of three other people. Most of the time for the better. I don’t have children, but I imagine its like when you become a parent you have an idea of what type of person your kid will grow up to be and as they grow up, they become someone in their own right, rather than your own idea of them. You created them, but they kind of steer themselves into the finished article – and it’s astonishing to witness.
Imagine that feeling condensed into an hour.
That is the best thing about being in a band.
Our first practice for two months and we didn’t have Amy on the drums. As Amy isn’t available for the Live@Troon music festival we decided to find a substitute but, who could possibly fill this massive void in the band? We have recruited the percussive powers of Stuart Ferguson, who has had the misfortune of being in a band with me before.
We had a longer practice than usual to let us work through as many songs as possible. The practice was so long that Gareth required three changes of t-shirt; Stuart needed to put gloves on; I got a blister and Rob, who arrived clean-shaven, left bearded, looking like a guitar slinging Chuck Norris.
So how did this practice go? It’s fair to say that all the regular Aliboys were really happy at how quickly Stuart got to grips with the songs and feel confident that we will be ready to put on a great show in Troon on Saturday 1st September.
Be safe, always pack a plectrum.
Sorry, realise that title is a bit dramatic. We are just on a short break while Team Creative (Gareth and Rob) are working on some new material, Jani is on paternity leave and Amy is relocating to be closer to Rob and Jan. I’m sure it’s simply coincidental that Amy’s move also means she will be further away from Gareth. more »
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. more »
After a few weeks of deliberation, we returned to Swanfield Studios to finalize the mix of the upcoming EP. In truth, there wasn’t much to do. We went in with the simple remit of ‘turn up the bass in Cut Free’ though I also had a small tweak for Kojak in mind (ever the perfectionist). more »
The View From The Front, Man
Hello my little Ali-chums. Just a short post-practice blog to edu-tain you readers with our current exploits, specifically last night’s practice session.
‘Do you get nervous?’
That is a question I get asked a lot. Short answer: yes – but there’s a whole cycle that I need to go through beforehand. MMMM was the perfect example of that cycle.
The day from a VIP point of view. Thanks to Michelle from Resilent Business Systems for giving us her MMMM day.
14:15 Arrive in Edinburgh – just time to drop the bags off at the hotel then time for some quick sushi before getting together with The Alibis.
17:30 Made it to Studio 24 and arrived at the perfect time – The Alibis are on stage doing a soundcheck so got to hear them before everyone gets here. Feel like a celebrity. more »
Saturday night was awesome. Weeks of AlipracticingTM and AlipromotingTM totally paid off. The Aliboys and I were thrilled to play a blinding set (if I do say so myself) to a packed Studio 24. There was a really good vibe on stage that seemed to translate to the crowd and all the songs were delivered with the drive, groove and toe-tapping indie pop charm that I like to think makes the Alibis.
With a big gig almost upon us it’s time to ask ourselves what the setlist is going to be. Now, your first thought might be ‘simple: write them all down, do them in that order’. You know, I wish it was that easy… more »