A night to remember…

Posted By Stuart Bennett Date.March 3, 2024 Views: 3.67k

It’s not often that we get to experience gigs like the one we played for Music Feeds Live at the O2 Apollo earlier this week. In fact, we can probably count them on one hand.

Throw in performing with a 20+ piece orchestra, conducted by leading composer and all-round-good-guy, Joe Duddell, who we collaborated with on our first album… and this truly was a unique and (more than likely) once-in-a-lifetime experience for us.

That it was all in aid of such a fantastic cause, which created a truly special atmosphere, was the icing on the cake. (Don’t forget, you can still donate to The Trussell Trust here if you weren’t able to attend on the night).

To be able to rub shoulders with the likes of James, The Farm, Starsailor (bands we grew up with)… Chicane, Rowetta and lots of upcoming artists destined for great things was a real honour.

As a band, we’ve been knocking around together in some form or other for over 2 decades.¬†That’s a lot of years, a lot of practices, a lot of messing about, and a lot of “creative differences” we’ve gone through.

We’ve shared laughter (LOTS of laughter), tears, and navigated pretty much everything life can throw at us during this time… and we’ve stuck together.

We’re occasionally asked how come we haven’t “made it”, which we take as a nice compliment, given that we’ve devoted so much of our lives to writing and playing our music.

In our eyes, we have.

Most weekends, (or these days, when time allows) we get to hang out together, talk nonsense, park our worries, and write the odd song or two.

If we’re really lucky, from time to time we get to record, release and share them with others… as in YOU!

The recording process is a proper treat as demos evolve and come to life… all under the watchful eye/ear of our producer, and friend, Jim Spencer.

When we started out with our first album, it looked like all of this might be self-sustaining, that we could actually make some money from CD sales and downloads and consider doing it on a more permanent basis.

Then streaming came along, and pretty much everything changed.

Giving away music that costs money to make (we always set out to do a proper job) might be sustainable if you’re backed by a label, management, pluggers, live agents, playing big gigs… and all of the other stuff that comes with being “signed”… but for bands at our level, streaming pulled the rug from underneath us.

Not that this is a moan, or a bitter rant; it’s our reality… and we’re happy with it.

It simply makes nights like Tuesday all the sweeter.¬† They’re little glimpses of what life must be like for full-time musicians, in the hands of a crew who put you at ease and know exactly what to do to make you sound as good as possible.

Having watched some of our favourite bands at the Apollo over the years, playing there was a bucket list moment for us and something we’ll treasure for many years to come.

It’s also one of only a couple of gigs we’ll be playing this year, as we’ve got new songs to develop, finish, rehearse and… if we’re lucky… we’ll be making plans to go back in the studio again.

How lucky are we?!

This is one of the reasons your support over the years really does matter.

Quite simply; we love that our music means something to others.

We’d still be meeting up, writing and (DIY) recording, but would we really consider tying ourselves in knots with work and family, and juggling busy lives, just to get our music out there, if we felt no one was listening???

We’re not so sure.

So, that’s a long way of saying ‘thank you’.

We’ll keep you posted as plans for Album # 4 evolve…

(main photo credit: Tim Evans)