MaFt

This is me. This is the stuff I find interesting. Like it or lump it, this is what you're getting!

Jul 092014
 

This post might not end up particularly musical but it is, at least, about my ‘A-Z of Music‘ series. About 3 weeks ago I decided to get back into blogging and decided that an A to Z of musical posts would give me a common theme to ease me back in gently. My initial plan was to go through the alphabet and simply talk about songs, albums or artists that I liked. The first few posts did, pretty much, follow this initial plan.

Source: Wrong Hands

Source: Wrong Hands

When I write I often go off on a bit of a tangent; one of my first blogs was described as being “an ongoing stream of consciousness” in a review. I think for these A-Z posts I’ve managed to stay quite focused within each post, but the overall feel of the posts has become somewhat tangential. What were supposed to be simple posts about music that I like have become a mixture of reminiscing posts and quite deep, personal outpourings.

The times where there has been a longer gap between posts can usually be explained by the fact I shelved and rewrote quite a number of them. I don’t know if you sense the personal depth of some of these posts but to me, they have been difficult to write and have often involved a lot of soul-searching. I’ve mentioned previously that I usually keep myself to myself and how my lyrics are often my voice – I suppose now I could say the same for this blog being my voice.

I’ve questioned myself a few times about if it’s appropriate to post what I’ve ended up writing – when your head’s a bit all over the place then the stream of conciousness becomes a rather large, random delta of conciousness! Some things are just too personal and I don’t think they will ever be public. These have been consigned to my private memoirs, for my eyes only.

So even though my initial plan for this series of blog posts has changed, I’m still glad I’ve come so far with it. Music is a large part of my life, perhaps larger than I’d realised before taking on this project. It has invoked so many emotions and been a useful form of therapy for me – particularly those posts that didn’t get published.

Maybe one day I’ll share them. Or maybe I’ll come back to them and decide that they served their purpose when they were written and I don’t need to dwell on the past. Who knows…?

Through every trial
My soul will sing
No turning back
I’ve been set free
“Christ Is Enough” – Hillsong

So, Q is for questioning how much of my musical journey I’ll be making public.

 Posted by at 12:33 am
Jul 082014
 

Generally I’m a relatively shy, quiet person and I’ll (usually) keep myself to myself. But stick a guitar and microphone in front of me and that shyness gets blown out the window. Over the years I’ve played in a number of bands and groups, joined in at countless jam nights, entertained kids at nursery and parent/toddler groups and had many drunken laughs doing bad karaoke. Random fact: my karaoke song of choice was usually ‘Walking on Sunshine’ – but only if they had a pitchshifter and could lower it 2 semi-tones from A to G; otherwise I just couldn’t get that high.

Regardless of where I am or what I’m playing there’s something I love about playing live music. I’ve already mentioned how I love hearing live music in my ‘K is for… Kicking‘ post and that love and passion extends to playing live too. It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what it is, perhaps it’s the freedom I feel from doing something that makes other people happy or, maybe more importantly (albeit selfish?) making me happy. Or perhaps it’s that my guitar is a shield, and whether I’m on stage strumming away like a lunatic and yelling out some garbled lyrics or I’m warbling nursery rhymes gently to a bunch of pre-schoolers, I feel safe. Like nothing can touch me regardless of how I’m feeling.

image

It’s probably both, if I’m honest. In doing these A-Z posts, and in particular the ‘I is for… Is‘, I have spent a lot of time looking at my song-writing and the events surrounding their lyrical content and musical style. I find it far easier to express my feelings through songs than I do just in talking normally – like I said, I’m actually pretty shy and quiet most of the time. That’s the ‘freedom’ part – I can make myself happy by emptying my head into song lyrics; a permanent record for that moment in my life, a sporadic musical diary. Another part of the freedom is that if I change my mind about a song’s lyrical content then, as an artist, I can just pretend it was all from a stranger’s perspective and not my own personal experience. I don’t think I’ve ever done that though. In fact, I’m 100% certain and have always stuck by my lyrics/life – warts and all.

The ‘safety’ part is probably more difficult to put into writing. But I’ll try anyway. In ‘G is for… Gift‘ I mentioned how I use music to lift my spirits and get me through difficult times. The same goes for playing. When I play my guitar and sing it can be an escape from reality – which itself is only temporary. But if I play the right song, one of my own or maybe a worship song, then it becomes my shield and whatever I’m going through at that moment often just becomes a smaller issue, particularly in the grand scheme of things. Not always, but often.

Music is full of emotion. And my emotions lead me to play music.

So, P is for ‘playing music’.

 Posted by at 6:19 pm
Jul 042014
 

The Offspring have been a staple part of my musical diet for nearly 2 decades. They’re a band that have changed enough that they don’t get boring but not so much that you don’t recognise them anymore.

I’ve followed them through their steady rise in popularity, from smaller venues to playing sold out arena shows in front of 15,000 people. This was around 1999 with their number 2 song ‘Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)’ throwing them into the public eye. Random fact: they were pipped to the number 1 spot that week by Terrorvision’s ‘Tequila’.

Unlike their counter parts Green Day, The Offspring never stayed as a stadium band and, while they are still making awesome music, they play to much smaller crowds. And I like the fact they’ve continued doing what they love even when their popularity rapidly decreased.

image

Although their official name is ‘The Offspring’, their 1994 album, Smash, was branded without the definite article, just ‘Offspring’ – I’ve never found out why…

So O is for ‘Offspring’ with their album ‘Smash’

 Posted by at 6:05 pm
Jul 032014
 

I never got to see Nirvana before Kurt blew his brains out just before my 14th birthday. In fact I only started to listen to them a few months before that fateful day. But their seminal album, ‘Nevermind’, is one that I still listen to on a regular basis.

image

It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what gives it such longevity, there are probably a lot of better albums out there too. I suppose part of it is the fact there will never be any more music from Nirvana – OK, we had that random track back in 2002, but I mean a full album.

I always loved the rawness of Kurt’s vocals, he had such a naturally gravelly voice and could switch so easily from gentle lullaby to full-on yelling. Even on stage his range was impressive. From what I understand he was a really humble man too. When Nirvana invited The Buzzcocks to tour with them they regularly swapped places so Nirvana would open the set and let The Buzzcocks headline.

But back to ‘Nevermind’… There’s a good range of songs on there; the punky ‘Breed’ and ‘Territorial Pissings’, the chart-friendly rock of ‘Come As You Are’ and ‘Lithium’ and the quieter ‘Polly’ and ‘Something In The Way’.

It’s a timeless album. Even after 23 years it sounds really fresh and alive with emotion. It’s like a great friend – I might not see it for a while, but when we’re back together it’s like nothing ever changed.

So, N is for ‘Nevermind’ by Nirvana.

 Posted by at 6:54 pm
Jul 012014
 

Love it or hate it, Facebook is here to stay. Well, it is for now at least! They recently hit the news with their emotional manipulation experiments but that’s not what this post is about, well, not quite anyway. When you post a status you have the option of saying how you’re feeling:

Screen Shot 2014-07-01 at 13.12.46

So I decided for ‘M’ I will use the first 25 Facebook emotions and give the name of a song that I would play to match the mood/emotion. It might be the style of music or the lyrics that form the link, you’ll have to work it out for yourself (or just ask me…). Here we go:

Happy
“Just A Girl” – No Doubt

Excited
“Heard That Sound”- MxPx

Sad
“You’re Dead” – Alkaline Trio

Tired
“I Miss You” – Blink 182

Annoyed
“Playing God” – Paramore

Loved
“You Are My King (Amazing Love)” – Newsboys

Wonderful
“Every Time You Touch Me” – Moby

Blessed
“Fall Back Down” – Rancid

Great
“Something In The World Today” – Rancid

Meh
“Nowhere” – Therapy?

Sick
“Caffeine Bomb” – The Wildhearts

Bored
“Longview” – Green Day

Determined
“You Are My All In All” – The Insyderz

Angry
“Surfacing” – Slipknot

Sleepy
“Baker Street” – Gerry Rafferty

Awesome
“Let Us Hear Your Voice” – Pennywise

Amused
“The Death of Barry The Roofer With Vertigo” – The Toy Dolls

Hopeful
“The Impression That I Get” – The Mighty Might Bosstones

Irritated
“Just Breathe” – Demon Hunter

Confused
“Days Go By” – The Offspring

Proud
“Just A Man” – The O.C. Supertones

Down
“The Ballad” – Millencolin

Special
“This Is Our God” – Hillsong

Relaxed
“Kai Rohan” – Dave Brons

Depressed
“The Hero Dies In This One” – The Ataris

So, M is for “My Songs” which, if I did this again next week, would probably be totally different!

 Posted by at 6:20 pm
Jun 302014
 

Following on from my last post about live music, here’s a list of all the bands I’ve seen live. It’s taken a while and a lot of remembering but I think this is pretty exhaustive. Although I have a feeling I’ve missed a few from festivals or support bands…

Davey Havoc (A.F.I.) - Leeds Festival 2009

Davey Havoc (A.F.I.) – Leeds Festival 2009

So, here’s a list of the bands I’ve seen live:

3 Storeys High
4ft Fingers
999
A
A Man Down
Adicts, The
A.F.I.
Amen
…And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead
Anti Nowhere League
Apartment 26
Art’s Got A Gun
Big D & The Kids Table
Blink 182
Bloc Party
B.O.B.
Bombshell Rocks
Bouncing Souls
Bowling For Soup
Brigade
Broadway’s Not Ready
Business, The
Butterfinger
Caffeine
Capdown
Captain Everything
Cay
Cephas
Chas & Dave
Chewy
Chucky NoStars
Clutch
co.uk
D:Generation
Damned, The
Daphne and Celeste
Darkness, The
Dead Pets, The
Delirious?
Demon Hunter
Dickies, The
Dillinger Escape Plan, The
Dropkick Murphy’s
Dude Fish
Dum Dums
Electric Six
empirenation
English Dogs
Face to Face
Feable Weiner
Feds, The
Feeder
Fenix TX
Fight, The
Fightstar
Finch
Fineapple
Fire Fly
Five Knuckle
fivemiledrive
Flatliners, The
Foo Fighters
Free For All
Fun
Gallows
Gaslight Anthem, The
Gen
Good Charlotte
Good Riddance
Graveltrapp
Green Day
Guttermouth
HedPE
Hoggboy
Human Targets, The
Hundred Reasons
I Am The Avalanche
Icarus
Idlewild
Iggy Pop
In Case Of Fire
InMe
Janus Stark
Jellys, The
Jesse James
Joy Rider
Kids In Glass Houses
King Prawn
Leadtheway
Less Than Jake
Limp Bizkit
Linkin Park
Living End, The
Lonely The Brave
LostProphets
Lunachicks
Mad Caddies
Madcap
Matches, The
Mest
Midget
Mighty Mighty Bosstones, The
Mr Dogg
MySpoon
MxPx
My Awesome Compilation
Nerf Herder
New Found Glory
ninepoundnote
NOFX
Not Katies
Offspring, The
Papa Roach
Paramore
Peter And The Test Tube Babies
Phinius Gage
Pink Torpedo’s, The
Pitchshifter
Placebo
Plastic Letters Band
Prodigy, The
Puddle of Mudd
Rage Against The Machine
Raging Speedhorn
Rancid
Reel Big Fish
Rico
Rival Schools
Riverdales, The
Rotunda
Rufio
Sham 69
Sick On The Bus
Skatch
Skindred
Slaughter and The Dogs
Slipknot
Sloppy Seconds
Snap Her
Snapcase
Snuff
Sounds of Salvation
Sparta
Splodgenessabounds
Sprung Monkey
[spunge]
Start, The
Starting Line, The
Stiff Little Fingers
Stretch Armstrong
Sugarcult
Sum 41
Teeth, The
Terrorgruppe
Terrorvision
Therapy?
Toast
UB40
Uncle Brian
US Bombs
Utah Saints
Vanilla Pod
Wailers, The
Waving At Strangers
Wildhearts, The
With One Last Breath
Yeah Yeah Yeahs

So, L is for all the bands I’ve seen live over the years up and down the country.

 Posted by at 7:10 pm
Jun 292014
 

Fact: you can’t beat live music. Nothing comes close to the atmosphere that exudes from a bunch of musicians playing their hearts out on stage. These days getting to a gig is a rare treat (childcare and money usually being the main obstacles) but from the late 90s to early 00s I was a regular gig-goer. I’ve lost track of the bands I’ve seen live but I might attempt a list for ‘L is for… Live’. We’ll see how my memory is!

Lancaster, as much as I love the city, is hardly a hotbed of live music venues. At uni we’d usually head to Manchester for gigs by train or, when Scru’ got his mum’s car (called Henry) he’d drive. Funny story: we nearly got car-jacked once while eating a post-gig kebab in the car in Salford… (‘S is for… Scary’?)

In November 1998 I saw an advert for a band called [spunge], I’d not heard of them but it said they were a ska-punk band. It also said they were playing in Lancaster at The Yorkshire House. A little pub close to the uni’s nightclub. For whatever reason I couldn’t persuade anyone to come with me so I went on my own… And I’m really glad I did!

I was probably late as I don’t remember any support band so I grabbed a pint, paid my £2 entry fee and waited for the band. When they came on I was greeted by a bunch of lads only a few years older than me with an awful lot of energy. They played mostly their own songs as well as a few covers like ’500 Miles’. I was instantly hooked, bought their EP, “Kicking Pigeons” and chatted with them for a bit afterwards.
image
I’ve seen them numerous times since that night and will always recommend them if you want some lively, happy music.

So, K is for Kicking Pigeons.

 Posted by at 8:00 am
Jun 272014
 

When I used to like dance music no one ever asked my why I liked it, I was just allowed to get on with it. When I saw the light and moved into the church of punk-rock and metal I found a growing number of people would ask me why. Odd questions like “why do you like that style of music?”, “isn’t punk dead?” and “do you like The Verve?” – no, no I don’t… It was like I had to justify my musical taste just because, at the time, it was ‘different’.

The most annoying part was, and sometimes still is, being told that “rock music is full of swearing and bad messages” or being accused of only listening to it for the swearing”. Yeah, whatever :/ In the mid 90′s I got into a band called de Heideroosjes, a Dutch punk band. They had a number of songs in various languages and dialects. I had no idea what was being said but I loved the music – so bang goes the accusation that I only listened to that style for the swearing.

parental

And, anyway, even if I was listening to it just for the swearing, would that really have been a problem? I mean, yes swearing isn’t big or clever (although a carefully crafted insult can be utterly hilarious at times) but surely it’s the overall lyrical theme that is more important? Take these (admittedly cherry-picked) examples below (warning: contains swears and rude stuff):

Sit down beside her like a spider, hi there girl, you mighta
Heard of me before, see whore, you’re the kind of girl that I’d assault
And rape then figure why not try not to make your pussy wider?
Fuck you with an umbrella, then open it up while the shit’s inside ya
I’m the kinda guy that’s mild but I might flip and get a little bit wilder

“Stay Wide Awake” – Eminem

 

Paddy cake, paddy cake with no hands
Got me in this club making wedding plans
If I take pictures while you do your dance
I can make you famous on Instagram

Shake what you mama gave you
Miss behave you,
I just wanna strip you, deep you, flip you, bubble bath you
What they do, taste my rage, drop cable
Not what you will and what you want and what you may do
Completely separated til I deeply penetrate it
The I take it out and wipe it off
Eat it, eat it, love and hate it, over stat it, overawed
Every where you been can you wiggle, wiggle for the beat on double G again?

“Wiggle” – Jason Derulo

 

I don’t slag no one
I don’t even judge
Don’t give a shit ’cause I’m not gonna budge
I just want to be who I want to be
Guess that’s hard for others to see

I’m not a trendy asshole
I do what I want
I do what I feel like
I’m not a trendy asshole
Don’t give a fuck
If it’s good enough for you

“Smash” – The Offspring

Of those, I’d rather my kids heard ‘Smash’ – yes, it has a couple of swears in it, but the message is a much nicer one…

So, J is for Justify – as in do I really need to justify my taste in music?!

 Posted by at 4:41 pm
Jun 262014
 

My last post was about my band at uni, Space Monkey Three, and how we acquired our name. For today’s post I thought I’d continue that theme…

In the last week of uni, around June 2001, we eventually got around to recording a bunch of our songs at the local studio, the Lancaster Music Co-Op. We’d already recorded most practices onto tape just for listening back, but decided we should have a proper record of our work.

It was a bit chaotic on the day as Jim’s guitar had been playing up recently – then it decided to stop working… So he was rushing around trying to borrow a bass from a friend and me and David were trying to get hold of him to see what was going on. Anyway, we got it all sorted and got set up in the studio. The word ‘studio’ might conjure up big, wide open spaces with space for artistic freedom, large glass-fronted fridges filled with multiple beverages, panoramic windows between the control room and the studio… Well, sorry, but here ya go:

studioWhile I have recorded in a nicer studio (like the one described above), the Lancaster Music Co-Op wasn’t it. However, that’s not to put the Co-Op down in any way! It’s a not-for-profit group run by, and for, musicians in the local area – they’ve also been going nearly 30 years so it really can’t be that bad, can it? It was also cheap, friendly and very professionally run.

We recorded 8 songs in total and then David went off to take his drums home while I started recording the vocals and Jim sat there staring at me, playing air-bass. Probably. I honestly don’t remember actually! One of the songs, “I Do Not Want To Be A Laboratory Technician”, was a slightly less serious one sung to the tune of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”, only 15 times faster. When David returned to do his backing vocals, which were only in the chorus for that song, he burst out laughing. It was actually the first time he had heard the lyrics properly and he hadn’t realised how silly it was. I think the line that tickled him most was one of the job suggestions of “grow a bum and lay some bricks” – like I said, it wasn’t the most serious of songs!

IsThisTheBestTheyCouldDo

In the end we called it “Is This The Best They Could Do?” – we thought it was quite fitting. So, without further a do, here’s a bit of info about each song we recorded that day as well as a link to the mp3 file so you can here it in full.

 

Don’t Push It

[right-click and 'save as' to download mp3]


This is a song about a love-hate relationship – wanting to escape the problems but also just wanting to get things fixed. It’s also about wanting to be accepted for who you are. It’s actually has quite a deep set of lyrics now I come to look into them again! The small music break after the 2nd chorus was completely by accident. One time when we were practising David thought we’d reached the end and stopped playing while I carried on. Then he did a couple of ‘blats’ to come back in when he realised. We loved how that sounded so we kept it in.

 

Means To An End

[right-click and 'save as' to download mp3]

Jim wrote the lyrics for this one, so hopefully he can correct me on the background story if I get any of it wrong! We both worked on the music and structure in the cellar of 77 Balmoral Road in Lancaster. And the chord progression for the chorus are a direct rip off of “Single Dumb Brunette” by Cephas… Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, maybe. The song itself is about about being overwhelmed by someone’s presence, and just feeling so hated because they were stopping you getting anything done; they were so controlling. The kicker being the last verse – it turned out Jim was addicted to TV and not getting any work done!

 

Bit Of A Complex

[right-click and 'save as' to download mp3]

Another one of mine. I wrote this after having a really great weekend away with the Christian Union – everyone was really friendly and chatty all weekend. I made a load of new friends and it really spurred me on. That was until we returned and it was as though I never existed. I was just another face in the crowd, no one important. After I wrote it and looked back at the lyrics, part of me wondered if I was being a bit petty about the whole thing and I couldn’t decide if I was being too harsh or not. That’s what led to the title of the song – it wasn’t a question, it was a statement, I knew I had a bit of a complex about the whole situation. But it felt good to write it and get it out and it stopped being an issue to be honest! Musically it’s quite a fast, driving punk-rock song with a lot of palm-muting for good measure.

 

Stupid?

[right-click and 'save as' to download mp3]

This was another of Jim’s songs. He wrote this in first year at uni (1998-1999) as I remember jamming in his room in Furness College working on the music. I’m not even sure if we’d started the band by this point… The song is about struggling but not being a quitter – instead relying on help from God. It’s actually a really short song, so the verses are repeated and there’s a relatively lengthy musical breakdown partway through. It still only just reached 2min 31s though! It has a killer bassline and some pretty fast vocals. This was, and still is, one of my favourite songs to play – if only because I knew David hated playing it near the end of a set because of the speed of it!

 

I Think I’m A Sandman

[right-click and 'save as' to download mp3]

The ultimate mash up of 80s pop hit “I Think We’re Alone Now” and 90s metal classic “Enter Sandman”. We also mashed together “Space Cowboy” with “Walking On Sunshine” but that never got recorded properly. Fun story though, we could never remember the words so it became:
Some people call me the space monkey
Some people call me the gangster of love
Some people call me Maurice (whit whoo)
Some people say that I’m a puff…

So, yeah. Probably the worst mash up you’ll here but I think this defines how serious we were as a band!

 

Questions Not Answers

[right-click and 'save as' to download mp3]

This is definately a break up song! But written from the side of the person who knows they’ve messed up one too many times. It was or slowest song but one I loved singing because I was just starting to be more aggressive in my vocal style.

 

I Want

[right-click and 'save as' to download mp3]

I wrote this back in 1995 which is pretty much a lifetime ago. It was, I think, the first song I ever wrote. It’s a simple, fairly cheesy, worship song. We punked it up and added a bit of a heavier fill to it too.

 

I Do Not Want To Be A Laboratory Technician

[right-click and 'save as' to download mp3]

Ha! This song tickles me every time. I wrote it during a boring, complex lecture about protein structure with Professor Ian Nieduszynski – a ridiculously clever man, with a ridiculous name and a ridiculous habit of adding an ‘ah’ at the end of each sentence: “…which then forms the protein-ah”, “…which of course proves evolution-ah”. I ripped off the tune from “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” (the Me First and The Gimme Gimmes version) and wrote a song about not wanting to be a lab-tech. It was a silly song that went through a list of all the jobs I could do instead:

Don’t want to be a lab-tech, clear up mess;
It’s not my ideal job injecting mice in their heads.

I could work for the BBC or drive a van from A to B,
Could try my hand at butchery.
I could teach your kids to count, play in a metal band – really shout;
Sit in a road and be a roundabout.

I could work at Morrisons, join the Air Force – drop NAPALM bombs;
Be a cleaner and hoover rooms.
Inland Revenue, tax collect, or be a doctor, talk about sex;Grow a bum and lay some bricks.

Could do accounts and use my brain, or be a voluntary vampire slayer;
Or I could be a football player.
I could be a duck farmer, work at the zoo and feed llamas;
Or lecture like Nieduszynski-ah!

 

There you have it, that’s what I did during my uni years. I am actually quite proud of it – warts and all. So feel free to download the songs and add them to your playlist. David (“Dave The Nut”) went on to play for the world-famous The Toy Dolls – I like to think we were his platform to stardom. The bugger has never said thanks to me though… ;)

So, I is for “Is This The Best They Could Do” – quite frankly, no, it wasn’t!

 Posted by at 5:55 pm
Jun 242014
 

I started Uni in Lancaster on 28th September 1998. I was nearly 18.5 years old and I was ready to put away childish things (like being called ‘Maff’) and become an adult (called ‘Matt’). During fresher’s week I was chatting to someone at a nightclub about Green Day and got onto the subject of their album “Kerplunk!” and, in particular, the song “Who Wrote Holden Caulfield?”. Neither of us could remember the first line of the song though. With perfect timing a lad walked past wearing skate shoes, a huge wallet chain and none other than a tatty Green Day t-shirt. I grabbed him and without any form of introduction shouted at him “what’s the first line of Who Wrote Holden Caulfield?”

He looked at me like I was a complete stranger that had just grabbed him and shouted a random question at him. And rightly so. Then he replied “a thought burst in my head” and a new friendship was forged with Jim.

Jim played bass and loved the same music as I did although we still managed to introduce each other to new bands. He was also mates with a local drummer, David, who played at St Thomas’s Late Evening Service (St T’s LES). I can’t recall the ins and outs of the whole thing but we ended up starting a ska-punk band. There was only one small problem though, we couldn’t play ska!

So we started off with a few covers to get to know each other’s styles and then started writing some of our own stuff too. Jim and I were punks at heart and David was a hardcore drummer – so the resulting sound was a slightly heavier punk/rock mix. It was fun, and when I listen to it I still really like the style we had. Ok, so my vocals weren’t always in the same key as the music; Jim’s aim wasn’t that great and he hit the odd bum note; and David was a self-proclaimed music industry whore who once scared the CU sound guy by shouting ‘bollocks!’ at him during a sound check one night… But we had a laugh. And curry. Lots of curry.

We were finally ready to gig, we just needed a name… I’m proud to say that I thought of the name we all agreed on: “The Linda McCartney’s”. It was perfect, it had a great ring to it and reeked of punk! We were a bit concerned about the former-Beatles’ wife not wanting her name to be taken in vain or wanting us to use her vegetarian food brand as a name for our crappy little band though. So to get around this before it was an issue we changed the spelling: “The Lynda M Cartney’s” (with the McDonald’s arches for the ‘M’). What was that about copyright…?!

So, we played our first gig supporting some little indie band at one of the bars at uni. They were pretty dire to be honest. But we’re had fun, I think. We had beer at least…

David did (still does do) a lot of work for Meltdown Christian Hard Music conference and he somehow managed to persuade them to let us play. Although a lawyer friend insisted that we change our name… So here the hunt for a new name began!

We had numerous brainstorming sessions using the old rule that if you still like a name after 3 days then it’s a keeper. I can’t remember the exact order but here are a few of the names we considered:

Tonk” – this is the sound you make when you hit a drum. It goes “tonk”. I’m not sure what the exact rejection criteria was for this one but we decided not to use it. Thinking about it today if day it may have sounded a little too childish.

Spume” – this is the froth you get on polluted rivers. It sounds too much like “sperm”. End of.

Torque” – sounded too ‘metal’.

Hello Colin” – these were the last words David’s granddad said to him. To this day he still doesn’t know who ‘Colin’ was… As much as I loved this name, it didn’t survive the 3 day test.

In the end we settled on “Space Monkey Three“, or “SM3” for short. This was in honour of a talking space monkey that David owned. An albino monkey in a spacesuit that was created and sold to honour our Lord Jesus Christ’s 2000 birthday… Go figure!

So, H is for “Hello Colin” – my almost band!

David (rear) and Space Monkey (fore) - 2000

David (rear) and a Space Monkey (fore) – 2000 [I'm pretty sure THE Space Monkey was bigger; this was his little brother?!]

Rock-star poses! - 2000

Rock-star poses! – 2000

About us - 2001

About us – 2001

 Posted by at 9:00 am