I'm In A Band You Know...

Being in a band is ace. This we know to be true.
Being in a band that people have vaguely heard of is even ace-er. Again, we know this to be true.

I love being in a band for so many reasons, perhaps most obviously because I'm lucky enough to get up on a stage with my best friend, sing songs that I loved writing, make stupid banter inbetween, look cool occasionally, and sometimes I get paid for that, which is ludicrous. Sometimes we get PAID for having fun. ACE.

But in recent weeks, I've come to realise that perhaps one of my favourite things about being in a band is the fact that we get to share the stage with so many other wonderful, enthralling, simply brilliant bands that I may well never have heard of otherwise.

Yes, we've supported a whole host of rubbish (we supported a German band that had two bassists, no guitarists, the weirdest looking drummer ever and sang songs about porn at our second gig), but that's often outweighed by the collective lights in the darkness that are the aforementioned brilliant bands we have played with.

So, the point I'm trying to make in a terribly roundabout, 15-year-old-me-late-night-rambling-blog-post-esque way is that the following bands are quite simply fantastic, and I feel honoured and humbled to have shared a stage with them, so you should definetely check them out...

A Genuine Freakshow - Holding Hearts


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White Denim at The Cluny

The majority of reviews you’ll read about this band will no doubt mention their performance at SXSW this year. But the mark of a band is to build on hype, as hundreds of failed ‘next big things’ will testify. On a cold Sunday evening, Newcastle is a far cry from White Denim’s home of Austin, Texas. Support act, Six Nation State warm the arriving crowd with a mix of punk and coral-like balladry but make little lasting impression. In contrast, White Denim waste little time with a nonstop frantic performance of 3 tracks from their debut album ‘Workout Holiday’. The songs, which blend together seamlessly, show the band to be more then what a garage band pigeonhole would have you believe. Amid their powerful sound it’s easy to forget there are only 3 of them. The energy, rhythm and experimentation highlight that White Denim are at their best live. For forty minutes tonight the crowd were rid of their winter blues as the Texan trio delivered a fiery set to remember.

Christian Allen

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White Denim Double Bill

So I got to go interview my current favourite band in the world yesterday, which was nice. None other than White Denim. So I'm going to ruin this blog somewhat by giving you the transcribed interview and review!

White Denim Interview 16/11/2008

I caught up with White Denim at the start of the British leg of their European Tour, at The Cluny!

Christian: So how did you guys first get together?

White Denim: Our old bands, Parque Touch (Josh, James and Lucas) and Peach Train (Steve) played together back in 2005 and Lucas got Steve in on bass. Then Lucas moved to Russia and we changed our name to White Denim.

Christian: Who would you cite as your main influences?

White Denim: We’re all really into Captain Beefheart, Jimi Hendrix Experience, XTC, Stevie Wonder and all that kinda stuff.

Christian: If you could learn a new instrument for the next album what would it be?

White Denim: (James) I’ve always wanted to play tenor sax or maybe a sitar

Christian: When I caught you in Bristol you were so energetic, any secrets on this?

White Denim: Coffee’s a big thing for the band. I think maybe a lack of energy we have throughout the day in our tour contributes though. It’s only really those 40mins while we’re on stage that we really move. So it all kind of builds up throughout the day.

Christian: Any tips or advice for the students of Newcastle and Northumbria University?

White Denim: Just try to finish, because it gets tough. I don’t know I think going to class always helps, 3 years into university I figured that out.

Christian: Any wild stories you want to tell of previous experiences in the U.K?

White Denim: Chicken fights where Steve (bassist) lost his wallet, that was a big one. In Nottingham there was some nonchalant throwing up. In Glasgow actually one of us threw up in a box, only to find it had been taken a few hours later.

Christian: Next time you’re in the U.K are there any bands you aspire to tour with?

White Denim: There are a lot of great bands, a well established band like Stereolab would be good. Or Rob Wyatt would be cool to play with, if he’ll have us.

Christian: Which bands should be checking out at the moment then?

White Denim: Dirty Projectors are a great band. Harlem are another band, they’re from Austin and haven’t had too much exposure yet.

Christian: Complete the sentence, you should be in a band because….

White Denim:

James: You learn a lot about yourself when trying to write music

Josh: It makes you better at Maths

Steve: There’s not enough good bands right now, we need more.

Christian: Thanks alot White Denim, good luck tonight.

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Well this week has been anything but boring. At the end of the last week I must apologise as I was supposed to do a post on the Neon Neon gig I went to at Newcastle Sage. The first gig I've ever been too where I had to sit down and (other than the numb bum half way through) one of the best for that matter. Anyway on to this week, tuesday I managed to win something for the first thing in my life. In fact it was the second but this was on par with the south-west under 13s basketball league! Me and my team only managed to win our university's NME quiz, finally a quiz that only requires knowledge of alternative music. We managed to win ourselves a Blackberry each (the phone as apposed to bramble bush fruit. On top on this we got some free music download cards, or at least what was left after the 2nd placers attempted to swipe them, and only £100 worth of free gig tickets...so thats a good slice of next summer's chosen festival price sorted then!

As if this wasnt enough my pal got free tickets to watch WWE wrestling at the local arena on wednesday, fufilling a childhood wish there!Then come Thursday our band got a glowing review from our local BBC radio station, lovely stuff. Come friday I knew something had to give and it was the realisation that this luck wouldnt go on forever that made me make sure I had a mediocre day!

But then today I got give the day off work, watched some football and got back into Two Gallants last album so here you go.....

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