ISSUE 4.2 / FREE A WAKEFIELD INDEPENDENT ZINE
R.M. HUBBERT +
DIVISION 24 SKATEBOARDS GENTLEMaNS PISTOLS RIP CLIVE SMITH
performs ‘Rock And Roll Animals’ Support from St Gregory Orange The Calder at The Hepworth November 27th
Rhubarb Bomb’s Christmas The Wave Pictures, Mi Mye, Pip Mountjoy, Pavlov’s Children, jonnythefirth, Mark Ruston & The High Club, Berlyn Trilogy, jamiesaysmile, A Firm Of Poets
mulled wine, mince pies and other treats! The Hepworth 12pm-4:30pm, December 15th
Tickets available from Crash & Jumbo Records, See Tickets, and The Hepworth.
elcome once more to Rhubarb Bomb. Apologies for the gap between issues - Long Division really took it out of us this year. But goodness, it was certainly worth it. It was our best year yet, and the second time in three years we have completely sold out our big Saturday all-dayer. Mark E Smith was on form (he does love Wakefield after-all) and it was one of the hottest days of the year. There was a note of sadness. Clive Smith, our regular columnist, didn’t turn up for his performance and has not been seen since. Now missing four months, many of us fear the worst. The
column in this issue was sent the day before he was last seen, and there is talk of a Tupac style posthumous album featuring his half finished last album. But maybe he’s just on holiday. Elsewhere there are big changes afoot for Rhubarb Bomb with a new collaboration with The Hepworth for some gigs, our new website and an expansion of our core team, meaning the reviewing side of our MASSIVE EMPIRE should get back up to speed. And then of course, there is Long Division 2014... Dean Freeman Editor
CONTENTS 4 Moscow Hearts Wakefield 7 An Ode To Inns Of Court 8 RM Hubbert 12 WIll I Am 16 Glastonbury 18 Division 24 20 RIP Clive Smith - The Final Letter 24 Gentlemen Pistols 26 Letters Page 28 The Adventures Of Mr Chris 30 Follow The Drum vs Working For a Living
EDITOR Dean Freeman DESIGNER Matt Sidebottom mattsidebottom.tumblr.com WORDS Dean Freeman, Liam Tyrell, Anna Alpatova, Antonia Lines, Matt Abbott, Ralph Dartford, Matty Oleary, Clive Smith, Andrew Whittaker, Roland X IMAGES Matt Sidebottom, Antonia Lines, Laura Feather, Mr Chris
Want to contribute, write for us, complain, thank us, advertise in our pages, tell us we did something wrong, send us your demo tracks for reviewing or just have a chat? Then find us across the world wide web. www.rhubarbbomb.com www.rhubarbbomb.blogspot.com Or you can email us at email@example.com We’re also on twitter! Wow! @rhubarbbomb The Rhubarb Bomb 4.2- Wakefield, Yorks, UK
Moscow HEARTS Wakefield Hotly tipped New York based Skaters were in town. Formerly of the band The Dead Trees, Mike and Noah had played at The Hop last year when On The Rides put them on at a packed and well received gig. Friends of The Cribs, mainly through a Portland connection. After an awesome Skaters show I was with Michael Ainsley at the merchandise stand and I commented on the cool baseball caps that a girl had just bought from the band. Mike replied “Oh, yeah she’s from Russia’’. Mike said this in his familiar amiable matter of fact way. The manner of which he may have well just had said, ‘Oh yeah, she’s from Wrenthorpe’. I was intrigued; my investigative mind simply had to find out more. I’ll hand you over to Anna to explain her story, one that has made me prouder than ever of what we have here and what Wakefield has to offer. LIAM TYRELL
I’ve done that much since I went to Leeds Festival in 2011. I’ve been to many English cities and towns, I’ve been to many gigs and just festivals always brought me back to Leeds. This time I was going to Live At Leeds to see SKATERS. Once I listened to their EP Schemers, they became the must to see live band for me. From the very beginning it was all about music. I usually prefer under expectations to avoid disappointment but this time there were no expectations at all, mostly stereotypes about small towns and confidence that the gig will be great. Not having done any research, I imagined Wakefield to be something alike to tiny, faint “satellite towns” around Moscow where nothing ever really happens. The closest English analogue I could think of was Macclesfield where people May 3, 2013. The Inns of Court, the evening couldn’t be more seem to know you are not local Wakefield, West Yorkshire. My special. And when during the just because they’ve never seen name is Anna and I came from same evening everyone you meet you before. Moscow, Russia, to see a gig of asks you how this happened, that The first place I found myself a NYC band SKATERS at The you came from so far to a gig in at in Wakefield was Kirkgate Hop. An American musician and Wakefield, you realise that there Railway Station and its washedRussian girl are talking about is some backstory to tell. out looking building gave me Great Britain somewhere in the It isn’t an extraordinary thing the first impression of the town. middle of Northern England – for me to visit gigs in the UK. Some may say it doesn’t look
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great but I like places that feel neglected so I was impressed in a good way. Further, on my way to the hotel, I also found an attractive clash of post-industrial spirit that I seemed to unconsciously smell in the air and the cosy atmosphere of the city centre with lively pedestrian zone and impressive Cathedral. Here Wakefield looked to me as one of those sweetly pretty towns in South England but it definitely felt like the North where people say “cheers” and “love” and all those things that make you feel welcome and comfortable regardless of what they really mean. By the time I reached the hotel I had already belonged to this place. No surprise the first thing I tweeted was “Wakefield is the sweetest place on Earth”. Check in, lunch, walk around, 2-hour-sleep and I left my room for The Hop about the same time that the show was supposed to start. Passing the old Drury Lane Library building, Theatre Royal, Unity Hall on my way I had no idea these spots are somehow remarkable. At the venue’s entry a couple of looking mean but being sweet security let me in. I went upstairs and handed my printout ticket (I was probably the only one in The Hop’s upstairs room that night who had a ticket purchased online in advance) to, as I found out later, a local promoter and Piskie Sits bass player Morsey. The whole experience could be characterized as relaxed and that made me even more confident that this evening will be special. In Moscow music events involving foreign bands cause a stir that doesn’t always mean
too many people to be interested but most of the interested ones to behave as if it is a Royal wedding than an ordinary gig. For me, relaxed atmosphere of an intimate show in a small British venue is always something desirable, especially when the place has no backstage and bands go out of the audience with all their stuff and then go back there. When I entered the room, the first supporting band had already started to play. It took me just several seconds to appreciate what was going on at the stage. When you have no idea who’s in front of you it really helps to appreciate the things the way they are. Boys at the stage looked young but sounded and acted so professionally that I immediately found myself impressed. For me there is no surprise that even
very young bands in the UK are often pretty good but this performance was the next level. Later I came up to the band’s bass player and found out that they were called SLUGS and played their third gig in existence. No way could I guess that Michael Ainsley whom I was talking to is one of the key Wakefield musical talents. Back to the gig, the next band raised the bar even higher. The thought that left in my head after Forever Cult’s set was that SKATERS have to be better than these guys to justify my trip from Moscow to the soul of Yorkshire. The whole evening seemed to be a perfect master class to young bands and small venues. Now I was able to recognize the main heroes of the evening by their parkas. I was drinking my cider and watching them
setting their equipment. I had no intentions to be in the first row, I was interested just to listen to music that accompanied me for many months now. The set started simply and easily brought back to the upstairs room at The Hop relaxed atmosphere of the evening and unpretentious stage behavior. SKATERS were effortless and
unintentionally that the band members were sitting on a table next to it. As everything that happened that day was pretty unintentional, I had no intention to talk to the band because the moment was already complete and didn’t require more to become perfect. Endless talks about music continued at The Inns of Court.
Song by song, band by band, face by face Wakefield became a place that I could truly relate to. impassionate but truly dedicated even though there were not that many people in the room and the audience seemed a bit calm for a set like that. It took me one song to make sure that they are definitely the band that is worthy to travel from Moscow to the North of England just to see live. Just to see one song live, to be honest, because my life already felt complete when they stopped to play the first track of the set list. “I’ve never felt so much at home at any other set” turned up in my head somewhere in the middle of the gig. SKATERS’ music simply penetrated inside of me and switched my mind to “No Problem” mode. No shame, no boundaries, nothing that keeps you from moving on, dancing, being yourself anymore. Yeh, very New York. As soon as the gig was over, the band disappeared in the crowd and I came up to the merchandise stand to find
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Having been brought to such place by locals was one of the most special things about that evening. I avoid behaving and feeling as a tourist when I’m in the UK and in these circumstances I felt as a part of community. That moment I didn’t even fully realize there was really a community where, stereotypically talking, “everyone is in the band” and, what is much more specific, “everyone is in each others bands’. During the next weeks I was fed by Liam with information about local bands, venues, music related connections, Philophobia Music, Rhubarb Bomb and Long Division… Who can’t talk about music endlessly, right? Song by song, band by band, face by face Wakefield became a place that I could truly relate to. The town that may look like one of those places which rock’n’roll bands aim to escape is actually a place to be at.
Anyway, that evening at The Inns of Court it already felt like home. I discussed with Mike of SKATERS the way in which two English cities several miles away from each other can be totally different worlds. That made much sense to me because we were just 20 minutes away by train from Leeds that I could never find comfortable for myself, while Wakefield took my heart before I even reached my hotel. I accidently found a spiritual home somewhere in the middle of the land of Yorkshire, got connected to it through music and people who share my passion for it. A place where bands sound as the town feels. A place that is perfect to escape to from big cities, routines or whatever is wrong in the outside world. I discovered this whole new world and it agreed to host me and treated me incredibly well. Do I think I’ll ever come back? Of course I do! And of course I will! Whenever visa will allow me and my new favourites The Spills will perform, or any of the bands I’m spending this summer to – Tiny Planets, Runaround Kids, One Day, After School…, The Michael Ainsley Band – will play live or SKATERS will be back or The Cribs will smash some homecoming gig or wherever… I’ll totally come to Long Division and, to be honest, I don’t need a reason. I will come just to walk along the Cathedral and have a pint of cider at The Inns of Court and just to know better the town that is not actually as small as it seemed to me and may be much quicker than some big cities. ANNA ALPATOVA You can read about Anna’s Russian blog and its aims here gigislands.com/en
AN ODE TO
INNS OF COURT I
remember first going to Inns of Court with my dad, because we’d discovered this band called The Picnic Solution who we thought were Wakefield’s answer to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. I think we liked TPS more than TPS liked TPS in the end. We went to meet them for a drink before they played a gig at Zone, which used to be a club called Players but is now sadly boarded up. I’ve seen in New Years, Christmas days and birthdays there, I even fell in love in Inns once. I also got dumped in Inns a few months later, but we’ll leave that story for another time. Inns, to me, is the centre of my Wakefield. I have met so many of my greatest friends whilst drinking house doubles and listening to Meatloaf over and over again on the jukebox. I want to be romantic about it. I want to say it’s a place where creative minds and lost souls wonder in and get taken under the wing of this group of musicians and artists, and by the end of the night they’ll probably be signed to Philophobia Music, or a writer for the Rhubarb Bomb, or end up supporting The Cribs at some point on their next tour. I can’t though, because it’s not like that – only it sort of is, but a bit less dreamy. You’re also likely to end up playing darts with people that have no idea how to actually play darts, and drinking so many house doubles you’re sick outside. When I used to promote all-ages gigs in Wakefield (StickyShoes), we booked John ILLUSTRATION Antonia Lines
“There’s local bands on the jukebox (some of which don’t even exist anymore), the drinks are cheap AND the company’s good” Cooper Clarke. What did we do when he said he wanted a drink after the gig? We took him to Inns. There was even a rendition of ‘Ku Fu International’ in the beer garden. I still meet old friends in Inns of Court now; use of the phrase “Inns o’ clock?” still means “Would you like to meet me at Inns at 8:30?” and the answer is always “yes”. There’s local bands on the jukebox (some of which don’t
even exist anymore), the drinks are cheap, the company’s good, sometimes you might bump into a Jarman brother (all of which are lovely blokes). Sometimes you might end up planning some gigs for a laugh and end up booking John Cooper Clarke, but sometimes you might just vomit outside. Either way, and Meatloaf aside, Inns is one of my favourite places in the whole world. ANTONIA LINES
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The sounds of BReaks & BonE the new album by RM Hubbert, are rattling around my head, whilst I rattle around an almost completely empty railway carriage, somewhere in the fog of Western Scotland. The record summer temperatures are some weeks away as yet, and deserted golf course after smog-ridden bunker flash past the window. The mist hovers unconvincingly above the greenery, like a Donald Trump hairpiece. Some thirty minutes after departing Glasgow Central Station, I arrive at the platform of Troon and am met by the man who had soundtracked my journey, and whom I have brought to Wakefield on numerous occasions, most recently to a packed out room at Long Division – and only days before had been granted the accolade of having produced Scotland’s greatest album of 2013. It’s a warm welcome to the chilly coastal town, and we get in his car. A huge and empty box of Irn Bru is on the backseat. Troon is almost as new to Hubby as it is to me; he moved here around four months ago after a lifetime in central Glasgow. It’s a surprise, as the music he produces is so suited so such a pastoral landscape; it seems at odds with the metropolitan and the urban. But with him as with his music, there is much more going on beneath the surface than may first appear. If there is one idea running through Hubby’s career it is, unsurprisingly, DIY. Aged 16 he toured Europe with Punk band Glue. He fondly recalls his first subjection to good music being through skateboard videos, which he would record to tape from the TV.
He started putting on bands at Glasgow venue The 13th Note with Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand, including The Delgados, Mogwai and Bis, plus the touring likes of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Fugazi and Green Day. The latter, on one of their first visits to the UK around 1991 attracted just 7 people. “We’d just write to zines, or bands we’d read about in things like Maximum Rock N Roll. We couldn’t afford to make phonecalls. It was the only source in those days, the internet killed that off, of course.” After a quick ride to the harbour, we’ve placed our order at what Hubby assures me is the best fish and chip shop in the world, hidden amongst the lobster cages and moored boats. We see a man with a huge catch of shrimp. A solitary seal bobs hopefully in the bay, for spoils. In 1995 he formed the more post-rocking El Hombre Trajeado, who went on to release three albums and record three sessions with John Peel. As we all know, it was an exciting time to be making music in Glasgow around this time (as it always is, mind you) and, having being part of the scene from such a young age, Hubby had a lot of friends and connections.
But by the turn of the century, he began, for various reasons to lose touch. It was only with his breakthrough, and award winning second album, that a lot of those connections were re-established. Back in his flat, I meet the loyal and oft-referenced D-Bone (his dog) and Hubby’s girlfriend. In that room is the only material evidence of the huge £20k haul he received for producing the best album in Scotland this year; a new sofa and a turntable. “I used the money to pay off a lot of bills and credit cards. I finally paid the contributors to the last album” he tells me (contributors included Aidan Moffat, Emma Pollock and Alex Kapranos). He couldn’t seem to care less about the money, other than it removing a few weights from his shoulders. “The award ceremony was something though. Pretty surreal. I just remember the acceptance speech being mumbles, and profanity. I think the only legible thing was “Irn Bru”. The next week I got a whole crate of the stuff.” The timing of the new album is fortuitous, with the award seeing Hubby gain coverage in The Guardian, The Independent and even The Sun. But it’s a different beast. Recorded in just seven
days, but over a 12 month period, the collaborations are gone. “I wanted to do it all by myself fucking show Moffat and Pollock y’know...” he laughs. “But seriously, that was important, to prove to myself. And the album is largely about moving on. I’ve actually been happy for a couple of years, and moving away from Glasgow, it seemed right.” “Plus’ he adds ‘I seem to be paying a lot of festival these days. So it’s not so good to talk about death between the songs so much. Like at Long Division, all these wee kids running around...” His stories and explanations have always being a key part of his live show for me – essential in a quiet, instrumental act. Though he does admit his knack for judging an audience is not one of his strengths – whilst playing London on the Jubilee, he thought it’d be popular to refer to the royal family as a ‘shower of cunts’. It was met with stony silence. Hubby’s career is an odd case indeed - he has received plaudits and found new fans for his solo work, which largely revolves around instrumental flamenco style guitar playing, yet he spent so many years in punk and post-rock bands. Taken up as something to occupy his mind after the deaths of his parents, it’s rather special that such a coping mechanism has come to reap such rewards. “Writing instrumental music is easy’ he explains ‘at least, it is in the way that people will project their own ideas onto it. It’s easier to connect.” I ask him if it is hard to know when an instrumental song is complete. It doesn’t seem to have entered his head. “I just know. I use similar structures. Alex (Kapranos) always used to say you need ‘a treat’ three quarters the way through a song - something new. So I like to
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Recorded in just seven days, but over a 12 month period, the collaborations are gone. “I wanted to do it all by myself - fucking show Moffat and Pollock y’know...” He laughs. “But seriously, that was important, to prove to myself. And the album is largely about moving on. I’ve actually been happy for a couple of years, and moving away from Glasgow, it seemed right.” do that. But I hate to repeat myself, I don’t really do choruses. It’s like what (comedian) Doug Stanhope says: ‘songwriting being easy, just repeat a line over and over again. Trying doing that with stand up, it’s not going to happen.” This stripped back, instinct driven approach has got Hubby through three albums (his first First & Last was released in 2009 and re-released in 2011 by Chemikal Underground) but he hints that Breaks & Bone may be the last in this style. “I’m thinking the next one could be a full band’ he tells me, seeming relatively unsure of himself. ‘This record was about doing everything myself, but I do miss being in a band with more people.” A grim mist, equal parts mist, smog, fog and drizzle has gathered outside the window. Fish and chips devoured (and yes, pretty much the best I’ve had) and washed down with threee glasses of Irn Bru, the time has come for me to depart Hubby’s warm hospitality. My time with him perfectly struck a chord that is rare but rewarding as a zine writer; meeting
heroes and personal legends. And it is this; that these musicians and artists we so admire are just normal people. They drink Irn Bru and eat fish and chips and have bills to pay. With Hubby this was even more apparent; his music is not complicated layers of sound or intricate production created over months and years. It’s better than that. It’s this amazing thing - an utter, unquantifiable talent - to express deep feeling and emotion through a guitar. Without words, without context. It’s not something you can learn and it’s not something that can be taught. Interviews such as this can add meat to the bone, colour to the story (and a great story it is too) but unlike so many artists, RM Hubbert’s work doesn’t need that. It stands alone. He drops me back at the station, still shrouded in mist. I get on the train, pick a fresh scenic soundtrack and make my way back to Glasgow, its glowing lights becoming more pronounced as night time engulfs it. DEAN FREEMAN
WILL I AM It’s hard to know what can be said about the recent Will.I.Am scandal that hasn’t already been said. Only now, monthS after the revelations that shook the music industry to its core, are we beginning to see and hear rational response and discussion. It will be those first few days that are burned upon the retina of history when the book comes to be written; the burning landfills of jewel cased CDs, the terrorist attack on the iTunes mainframe in the USA, the horrific scene of teenagers in Japan threading knitting needles into their ears, jabbing frantically at their cerebral cortex’s, or some just lopping their ears off with kitchen knives. One of the most bizarre aspects, reported with an off-handed matter of factness, was that it was Robbie Williams, of all people, who blew this thing open wide. We can’t under estimate what a brave thing it was that he did - essentially committed Hari Kari for the good of human kind. His career is in ruins now too, don’t forget. As is the way with 21st century reporting, the actual footage, the image replayed forever, is lo-fi. In this age of stories played out over camera phones and 140 character tweet responses, it was apt that Williams’ secret footage was grainy, the sound quality poor but its scope greater than any summer blockbuster, any election result. His suspicion had first been
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raised by Will.I.Am’s cupboards full of Heinz Baked Beans. That item stood at odds with the MTV worthy crib he lived in, and where he based the studio in which he recorded and produced his most revered and well known work; a facility Williams was - at first keen to exploit. But for men only really separated by a pair of full stops, their motives ended up being radically different. Sessions on the album began well. Will.I.Am went as far as to name drop ‘my mainman Robbers’ during one of the live finals of ‘The Voice’, saying that the pair were making ‘23rd Century Music.’ Problems began when Robbie told his writer / producer that he wanted to contribute piano and tuba to the record - both of which he had been taking lessons for, the latter for nearly 12 months. A YouTube video released by the record label around this time shows Williams had surprising tenacity on the brass instrument. Will.I.Am had other ideas - all based around a vision of a purely electronic album featuring no live instrumentation. Williams admits
he was in awe of the robotic oddity at this early stage and ceded control. The change came one evening when Will.I.Am was late to arrive, and Robbie was at a loose end. Ever the hyperactive monkey child, he played around with the vintage and new-age range of synths the producer had collected, and had been using all over the record. He was surprised to find none of them had plugs. There weren’t even any plug sockets in the room, bar one. This powered a modest mixing desk in the corner, with a mic plugged into it. Robbie had been using this to lay down guide melodies and vocals. He realised the studio was a sham, a front. But what for? Within the week the former Take That clown had borrowed miniature surveillance equipment from paranoid schizophrenic and conspiracy nut former bandmate Howard Donald and installed it in the studio. And from here he obtained the footage that shook the world. For me, the image of Will.I.Am lying on his back, designer trousers tossed aside, bare legs stretched over his shoulders holding a microphone tight to his anus in order to record his own baked bean induced farts is more shocking, more gutwrenching and yes - more iconic - than 9/11, or Tiananmen Square Tank Protestor or the Kennedy Assasination. It’s like footage of Hitler in his Berlin bunker, May ILLUSTRATION Matt Sidebottom
1945. It’s Neil Armstrong as a child looking through a telescope. It’s live footage from Hell, of the devil watching The One Show. That’s how it feels looking back, now we know what that act means. The first viewing is different. It must be some weird skit, you think. You can’t see for sure that it is Will.I.Am. We are so used to fakes and hoaxes. We’d rather believe it was an internet joke, instead of the real thing. Then he stands up and perches in front of his mixing desk. We
Again, the first viewing is astounding. His skills with the technology are immense, so complete that he can create a piss-take track like this, no doubt to crack Williams up the next morning. Maybe he has a soul after-all. But the truth we now have to live with then becomes apparent, as Will.I.Am continues to sample and rip apart his own vile releases into unimaginable shapes. Within an hour, he has a solid gold hit on his hands. The next chart hit, the
on the world? Or was there a greater purpose to it? Looking back at footage of the man now – at any point in his career - it does appear as if he is secretly laughing at the world. But many suggest it was more than this, some form of dictatorial power-driven madness. Like a disgruntled chef spitting on a burger, but on a global scale. Whatever it was, it broke the camel’s back. The public, as if waking from some mass coma, suddenly seemed to notice the
It’s like when you sleep in a strange house and you notice the fridge buzz. And when you notice it, you can’t stop hearing it. That is pop music now. can see vague representations of sound files on his large screen. He clicks and moves around, twisting dials and moves faders. He hits play. We hear a much slower version of one of his emissions; drawn out and monotonous. He digitally stretches it further until each peak and trough of the soundwave, the entire compressed DNA of sound, are unravelled, the points rising high in his screen like crude mountains in an Atari computer game. He cuts a sample and applies a series of effects and compressions. Within five minutes he has, with precision, produced a pounding 4/4 bass drum, a rasping, futuristic snare and a funkilicious double time hi-hat - all from the soundwave of one disgusting fart.
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next million seller. Constructed purely from the flying shit winds of the demonic arch-duke of pop. It’s like when you sleep in a strange house and you notice the fridge buzz. And when you notice it, you can’t stop hearing it. That is pop music now. Who knew the anal antics of Will.I.Am had infiltrated the industry so completely that practically every mainstream release had to some degree featured his, well, releases? Once you know that it’s there, you can’t tune it out, and his paw prints are all over the work of almost every mainstream producer. His squelching, grunting, rumblings transmitting through our airwaves, passing through our brains 24/7. We all have Will.I.Am’s shit for brains. Did he enjoy it? Was it an elaborate private joke he played
absolute vacuum of spirit at the centre of popular music. And now the industry is collapsing. The majority of the public was oblivious to the depths of the marketing campaigns that created the superstars they supposedly idolised through purchasing their albums in supermarkets. This scandal has not resolved that; the monolithic structures of this world are still invisible to them, but instead it has removed one part of the equation that was essential; the public believed in these people. And now that trust is gone. Like dominoes, each fallen idol took another with it be association. The whole hivemind was diseased and we are left in this post-apocolyptic world, the original punk dream of a year zero. And Robbie Williams is our Jesus.
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“I’ve genuinely never felt more at home than when I’m at Glastonbury. I’m lucky enough to have done pretty much every major UK festival and a few smaller ones as well, plus the odd festival abroad such as Benicàssim, but nothing comes close to comparing to Glasto. When I first went in 2009, I knew it was meant to be pretty special. But when I set off from Paddington Station armed with nothing but a spare pair of boxer shorts, a spare t-shirt, a packet of wet wipes and a crate of Strongbow, I had absolutely no idea what I was in for. And as I trudged home on the Monday, I knew I’d just experienced something exceptional. I think it takes a certain type of person to truly take everything from the Glastonbury experience. It is undoubtedly a physical and mental struggle; endurance and stamina in particular take a battering. There are obvious sacrifices, such as clean toilets,
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showers and a decent night’s kip, but when faced against the joys that the festival offers, they pale insignificance in comparison. The thing that still baffles me is the sheer scale of it, and the astounding variety in the entertainment on offer. The contrast is remarkable, and I’m convinced that you could walk around solidly from Wednesday morning until Sunday night and still not see the whole site. Each field is its own little universe, all completely different to the last; the Green Fields with craft stalls and workshops, Cabaret & Theatre with all manner of weird and wonderful, the almost post-apocalyptic
dungeon at Block 9 and the sordid seedy sadistic labyrinths in Shangri-La. It’s impossible to explain quite how immersive and enthralling this is. In fact, you could quite easily go to Glastonbury and not watch a single gig, and still have an incredible time. This year I made a vow that, unless there are highly extreme circumstances, I’ll be doing Glasto every year until I’m at least 50. I made good friends with a couple called Rosie and Adam who live near Brighton. We shared some really special experiences together and spent hours upon hours chatting and laughing. I’ll probably ILLUSTRATION Lauren Feather
never be lucky enough to share their company again, but that’s what Glastonbury is all about. If you’re open minded and strong minded enough then you’ll have the best week of your life. Or you could just go to Reading and stay in a hotel room every night instead. Your choice.
10 Things I Loved
1 Arctic Monkeys delivering the gig of their career 2 The Punch & Judy Bar in Bella’s Field 3 The sheer number of urinals in place for us blokes (miles better than portaloos) 4 Nick Cave eating Mumford & Sons for breakfast; most powerful performance I’ve ever seen 5 The view from the top of The Park 6 Finding the secret Glastonbury Dragon 7 Performing in The People’s Frontroom in Bella’s Field twice; a definite career highlight 8 Being able to take your own booze everywhere across the site! 9 Being one of 100,000 at the historic Rolling Stones gig 10 Sunrise on Monday morning at Stone Circle
10 Things I HATED
1 Someone leaving a portaloo looking like they’d literally thrown Chicken Korma all over (and next to) the seat 2 Waking up after a few hours sleep feeling like you’re in a Sauna 3 Shelling out the best part of £10 on a vegetarian Mexican wrap thing that tasted like moist cardboard 4 Queuing/plodding along for nearly two hours upon arrival
Glastonbury 2013. The Good, the Bad, and Dad Dancing So, Matt Abbott and me went to Glastonbury to lark like kids and run our scrupulous eyes over the greatest festival on the planet. Here’s what I thought, both good and bad. I think Matt’s still there… Good Arriving the Sunday before when there is no one about. The site looking green, pristine and Eden like. You can walk around, talk to artists and crew. I sat alone in the Stone Circle at dusk, watching the lights come on. Bad Tents. I don’t like them. Mine is a pop up and I have cool backstage camping. But the simplest of tasks like putting pins in the ground still evades me. I know people are watching me do it, laughing at my idiocy. I keep thinking Michael Eavis is going to show up and kick me off site for being a twat.
Many of the people here are students or unemployed. They save up all year for this moment and they are getting ripped off. The Eavis’s have a responsibility to their audience. The price capping of food campaign starts here. Would not happen at Long Division would it? Good The performance of Kate Tempest in the Poetry and Words tent. It was festival defining and the crowd went absolutely berserk. Such words and rhythm. Such belief in being young. As an old geezer I had tears streaming down my face. Bad When Matt Abbott performed at the open mic the organisers clearly knew who he was. They were shown up to be fools who should have given him a full slot. Matt was brilliant and those ‘spoken word’ gatekeepers were suitably embarrassed.
Good Elvis Costello singing ‘Tramp the Dirt Down’ to commemorate the death of Good The arrival of Matt Abbott Margret Thatcher. on the Wednesday. We sit on the hill above the Park Stage watching Bad Losing my wallet and then the sun go down. We then go being told that someone had walking and dancing from bar to found it and they would hand it bar. All night. Matt can make some in. They didn’t. Not in the sprit of proper dad dancing shapes. An Glastonbury at all. unknown talent discovered. Good Seeing the Rolling Stones Bad The food at Glastonbury is with Matt and his Wakefield posse. outrageously overpriced. £8.50 for Unforgettable. WE sang like lions. a poor burger and chips is wrong. RALPH DARTFORD with the world’s heaviest bag 5 The Southern knobheads playing “rounders” with an empty can at the top of The Park on Wednesday 6 Never being able to get into The Rabbit Hole 7 Falling asleep during Elvis Costello after taking
advantage of the 3 for £10 offer at the Somerset Cider Bus 8 Missing all of the several Billy Bragg gigs 9 Taking three phones and all bloody three of them being dead at some point 10 Leaving MATT ABBOTT
THE ONLY SKATE SHOP IN WAKEFIELD, WE SENT MATTY OLEARY TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THIS TRULY INDEPENDENT HUB IN THE HEART OF WAKEFIELD CITY CENTRE.
DIVISION 24 Aiden Blaymire What is the history of Division? W: Division 24 started in 2005 after taking over my brothers shop Boardriders. And are you the brains behind the shop? Well I started working for my brother when Boardriders opened in 2001. 2005 is when I took over, changed the name and focused more on skateboard products, whereas Boardriders was skate, snow and surf. How did it come about you taking over? My brother’s heart wasn’t in it as much as mine was. I was in here full time, he had another job. The scene had died off a lot and it was struggling to make us a wage so it declined to the point where he had to close it down or hand it over. And then my brother put in on a plate for me. I bought £1500 worth of stock off him and just
RHUBARB BOMB 4.2
put all my chips on the table and it paid off. Any money I’ve made I’ve ploughed it straight back into the shop. I started out with a few of boards and a bit of clothing to build it up to what it is now. Since the creation of Thornes Skatepark have you noticed a difference in Wakefield’s scene? Thornes has been amazing for Wakefield and for me. Before Thornes was built the scene was almost none existent. I was part of the group that helped get Thornes, the skate Wakefield group, I went to a lot of agonizingly boring meetings over the years to get Thornes which is just a breeding ground for talent. It’s spawned some amazing skaters. I remember coming in a few times before Thornes was built, you’d look like a lost puppy sometimes. When I first started out I had 1
skater on the team, but it’s got to the point now where I’ve got 5 people on the shop team and I’ve sold loads of shop clothing. I buzz off it when I see a guy 10 mile away from Wakefield in a supermarket wearing a Division 24 t-shirt, it’s amazing. It made me laugh one night I went skating and a mate showed me a picture on his phone from a car boot sale he had been to in Bridlington and a guy was selling an acoustic guitar with a Division sticker on it. So yeah I feel like I’m pretty established now. The lads on the team have a good reputation in Wakefield,
As long as I can remember you’ve always been the only skate shop in Wakefield, has this always been the case or have you ever had a rival or two? No I’ve never had competition do you think this new direction in the middle. really, I’ve had people try it. has spread your rep throughout Totally yeah, that’s what I wanted to There have been skate shops in the country? have really. No hesh or fresh or any the past though way before us Yeah, definitely. We are doing of that bollocks, I just wanted good in the mid 90’s. That died when stuff like Vans shop riots which lads who stand out who are not nob rehab shut, Wakefield’s indoor gets your name out there. Its heads really. skate park, which killed a lot of teams of 4 that skate for 5 the scene. minutes and they’re judged on Did you have any inspiration their skating against teams from behind the new image? So there’s always been that gap other shops, if you win you can I never really liked the name in the market? get cash prizes and entered into Boardriders, which was my Yeah definitely. And my brother the European finals. It’s hard to brothers doing. I just fancied saw that gap, we were out win - you’re up against big shops calling it something that wasn’t snowboarding in France one year, like 50-50 who have pro skaters tied to skateboards or the tricks or we have had a beer or 2 and my on their team that are on proper anything. It’s kind of weird how it brother said he wanted to open companies with their own names all fell into place. a skate shop, would you want to on their boards, but at the same work for me. I said yeah but I just time the lads on my team get Haven’t you got it tattooed? thought it was beer talking. We known by the pros and get good Yeah I’ve got the tattoo too, it is got back from the holiday and exposure. Like Frank who is quite a powerful symbol and it’s kind one month later my brother rang well known in the British skate of stuck but it wasn’t planned or me saying I’ve got the premises scene, and Aiden who is known anything I did it in paint and then sorted, do you want to hand your by almost everyone. made a few stickers and the odd notice in at work. I shit myself and t-shirt and it just went from there to very nearly backed out but it was Just not for the right reasons? where it is now. When I think of how the best thing I’ve ever done.The Probably ha. I just think he stands many t-shirts I’ve made with it on first week I think we took not less out on a board. with it on I bet I’ve sold hundreds than £100 and that was probably to and hundreds. To be honest when I friends and family, so I thought I’d You have got quite a varied made ten I thought I’d be happy if I be out of a job in 2 months but it team from Aiden to Frank and all sold five and give the rest away. worked out in the end. Find Division 24 at The Old Vicarage, WF1 1QT 19
THE FINAL LETTER
hese columns in this here music magazine have always been about the maverick outsider looking in (and out) upon the world of befuddled alternitity; some crazy indefinable sense of when one has ‘sold-out’ or not. I laugh at their fake morals - they shroud the true purpose of what they and I are here to do. ENTERTAIN. But now my star is shining bright once more, it feels a good time to end my association with this newspaper. A slot at Long Division Festival is the opportunity I have waited for (though I play festivals all the time anyway, stupid) to prove myself finally to the world, and more importantly to Wakefield and the saddos who have dissed me in the past and mocked me on the internet, which I pretend not to notice. The denim is laid out on the bed beside me. I have a fresh supply of Bryl cream. I’ve restrung my guitar three times for that extra fresh ‘twang’. This boy is ready to gig. I know people have laughed at me, think I’m a joke. I haven’t given them the pleasure of making self aware jokes at my own expense. They are nothing. I am out there doing my own thing. I know it’s brilliant, I don’t care what absolutely everyone else thinks. I am the shit. Long Division was embarrassing last year. The young bands in their clothes and hair, bouncing around in front of the musos. But now I’ve snared the sought after 13:30 slot at the Theatre Royal, I’ll be able to bring the whole thing some desperately clawed-for credibility. It’s a canny bit of organising; by putting me on first they can trace the entire evolution of music in the 20th and 21st centuries.
Really, I should be on last aswell, if it were to be factually accurate. Instead, the stage will show the decline of the artform since I slid from public view. It’s not my fault if people won’t listen. I thought this column would help spread the word, but the Rhubarb Bomb readership have their heads up an arse just as much as the rest of the population; it’s just a smaller arse, simple as. I got on the tweet and despite being really interesting, didn’t get much of an interest. That ‘69’ next to followers; I thought that was a percentage, but I’ve just realised it is the actual number of followers. Are they worth my wit? Nope. So the dalliance with the ‘underground’ has been interesting, but it’s time to take this ship back overground. I’ll admit I’m worried - it’s been a while since I’ve had to fend off the paparazzi and those NME psuedo-journo’s. The pressure will be a lot to handle. I pity those I leave behind. Don’t pass round the leaving card for Clive. Give that collection to the orphans. Or
keep it for yourselves, you look like you could do with a good meal. No room at Clive’s table. Not any more. So farewell, my underachieving, vision lacking friends. Watch me soar so high like Icarus. I appreciate it must seem strange to see one of your own actually fly the nest. There is a world beyond Wakefield! And no, I don’t mean Ossett. I hope you can fit in the theatre next week for Long Division. It might be the last time we get to speak, face to face. It’s hard to share these private moments when one of us is surrounded by an entourage on a stage as big as a runway, in Brazil, and the other is you. I’ve taken the blogging and zining as far as it can go. They are fads I have left behind. If you want me now, I’ll be on the television and the radio and on tour (passing through Leeds). It’s been nice, if you ever catch up it’ll be nice to say hello. Your pal, Clive.
To commemorate 15 years of Bombed Out Records and 10 years of Hat Danko - we are proud to release this album, for the first time, on vinyl. Thank you to everyone who has supported the label over the past decade and a half. It means everything. Limited to 250 copies :: heavyweight 180g solid white vinyl :: gate-fold sleeve :: hand numbered Available now at www.bombedout.com
Also still available ::
The Dauntless Elite “More Bloody Bad News” LP/CD
Wooderson “Let The Man Speak” LP/CD
Peachfuzz “We Are Solid State” CD
The Brown Hound James Band “At The Home Of The Heartlands” CD
Bombed Out Records is a DIY record label that was born in Leeds in 1998. We’ve released records by The Amistad, Zapiain, Dropnose, Saturday’s Kids, Dugong, Kelly 8, The Take, The Leif Ericsson and many more. Our releases are available from bombedout.com/store and can be found in Jumbo Records and Crash Records in Leeds, All Ages in London and Banquet Records in Kingston as well as all good distros. Digital releases via our bandcamp page and iTunes.
Every time GENTLEMANS PISTOLS come to Wakefield, they draw huge crowds to The Hop. Andrew Whittaker spoke to singer / guitarist James Atkinson. AW: It’s your third time at The Hop, what keeps bringing you back to Wakefield? JA: Every time we’ve played here it’s been a really good reception and turn out. I’ve been gigging in previous bands in Wakefield since the ‘90s.
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Where else did you play? Players, is it still there? It changed names a few times; it’s probably been completely shut for about 4 years. Last time I played there with my old band The Cribs supported,
playing Players on Thursday night supporting us (laughs). That’ll give you an indication how long ago that was. Last time you were here you were up against a Slade tribute band downstairs, is that one of the weirder clashes you’ve had to content with? I know, no-one’s going to compete with those songs (laughs). I’ve been in hardcore bands and toured for years. I remember one gig in Rome clashing with a reggae disco. It was just competing for volume. You’re up against a mod covers band tonight. ILLUSTRATION Matt Sidebottom
Right, we’ll see what we can muster! You’ve got a new bassist, who’s he? He’s called Martin Roper, just a great bass player, I’ve been friends with him for years, we used to share a house. He’s a really great guy, really great bass player and he knows the band. He used to photograph us, the photos on the albums are from him. It just seemed like the logical replacement when Doug went. And he’s playing with Serious Sam Barrett. He does yeah; he’s a jack of all trades. He’s a man for hire I think. I’ve heard that you’ve started work on the follow up to 2011’s At Her Majesty’s Pleasure. We don’t necessarily try and leave long distances between doing albums. The first one we did in 2007 and it took 4 years for the next one to come out. It’s the same as from the first album to the second album to this album. We’ve had the songs for ages, both times we’ve had members leaving and just other problems. Like we’ve had management interest in the past and that’s kind of held us back from keeping the momentum going. So it’s little things like that, where you think you may be able to give your band more by going with these people. With the second album we just got to the point where we’re just going to do the album, we’re not going to wait around any longer. So is it going to be out on Rise Above again and when do you think it’ll be out? I believe so, I’m hoping we’re going to record it in a couple of months. Basically we got Martin in the band in January; we had the
whole back catalogue for him to learn plus all the new ones. We’ve only just got round to jamming the new material with him in the last few weeks, but he picks stuff up very easily and he’s very good, so next couple of months I hope to have it recorded. As for labels putting it out, your guess is as good as mine. They’ve (Rise Above) got the usual stoner and doom output an all that malarkey. Any new songs going to be aired tonight? We’re playing four new songs tonight. We’ve been playing one, Personal Fantasy Wonderland, for a few months now and that’s been going down well. Like with anything you do, we’ve been playing the old material for so long, for me it feels better than the older stuff. So we’ll see what it goes down like tonight. You just played the Berlin leg of Desertfest, how was that? It was really good, we played relatively early on I guess, midafternoon in the smaller room and it was rammed, a fair few hundred people there. It was a good atmosphere, nice people at the festival, the people who organised it. Can’t complain.
Axl’s beaten you to it. Doesn’t he always (Chuckles). If I hadn’t been 12 in 1992 maybe I could have had a crack at it. Much else in the pipeline or will Bill’s Carcass commitments throw a spanner in the works? Bill’s fully dedicated to Pistols, but you know he’s doing his Carcass thing. You’ll get some exposure off the back of that? I would guess so; I mean I’m guessing the grindcore / death metal crowd, how many of them are going to be arsed about us? There might be a few break away types. I grew up listening to Carcass and my old house mate. I got into you through seeing you supporting (Bill’s old bluesy band) Firebird. I’m guessing the diehard fans, maybe I’m doing them an injustice, but I would guess, I’ve seen what some of them have written about Firebird in the past, some of the Carcass fans, and they don’t like it. So I guess they won’t like us, obviously you can’t generalise.
Will we see you back at The Hop when the new album’s out? The last album title and artwork Of course, as long as they’ll have put me in mind of a James Bond us then we’ll be here! I prefer title and opening credits. If you playing here to Leeds to be honest. had to contribute a cover of a I’ve spent years gigging in Leeds Bond theme to a compilation and it’s a hit and miss thing, it which would it be? always has been. Some nights Well Guns ‘N’ Roses have already crowds are really up for it, some done the best one haven’t they? nights they’re stand offish and not Oh god, I don’t know. I like a few, I arsed. Every time we’ve played get bored of stuff like Goldfinger, I here it’s been a genuinely good even like View To A Kill by Duran atmosphere and vibe. You know Duran. I wouldn’t say I listen to I’d rather come here and play, and it at home but I don’t mind it if people from Leeds want to travel (Chuckles). I don’t know really, for to watch us then they’ll have to do me that’s the killer Bond theme it. That’ll separate the wheat from Live And Let Die. the chaff!
We get loads of letters (emails…) at Rhubarb Bomb, so we thought we’d share with you all some of the insightful feedback we receive. Thanks to ROLAND X for agreeing to deal with them for us.
Dear RB I haven’t had the pleasure of reading your ‘fanzine’ but am aware of your work through The Wakefield Express. If the content there is anything to go by, the title seems apt as you are clearly, like the Rhubarb you associate with, bitter, overrated, and grown in some dark place far removed from the rest of society. The bomb part is easier to explain - you are about as welcome as the IRA. I am old enough to have seen many arrive, supposing to be the ‘new thing’ only for it to be revealed as a case of Emperors New Clothes time and time again. With you, this is once again the case. You rally against antiimmigration. You want children to take drugs. You are shocked when people prefer to watch music they know, rather than the new rubbish you champion. People like things as they are. Reactionaries such as you try and change things for the sake of it. Slow progression is good, sudden change is not. Once you learn this, and that regardless, your words are empty and useless you may find yourself able to write in a much more entertaining manner. Until then, you should learn to show some respect for the people and institutions that brought you into this world, and how privileged you are to even exist. I look forward to seeing improvements in your work. Hilary St Duke
RHUBARB BOMB 4.2
It would be nice to write you off as a solo-loon, howling at the moon each night, drooling away in your misdirected rage and madness. But that would be unfair, because you are not alone. Sadly there are an awful lot of people who are afraid of change. So afraid that they see it happening where it isn’t. So afraid, they mistake an opinion for, I don’t know, a house or a picnic or a rude shaped balloon. I can tell from your condescension that you are OLD and the worst thing about people getting old is that they become closed minded. They have a routine method of thought. And because the world constantly changes, no matter what you try to do about it, the walls of that reality you so desperately cling to become thinner and more fragile. Eventually, like a bubble, they burst. That is what getting old is. It’s nothing to with age. There are people like you aged 30 and aged 90. Don’t you ever think back to your own youth and wander where all that spirit and wonder and curiosity went? The institutions that brought us all into this world didn’t always exist. God didn’t create the NHS or the Houses Of Parliment on the sixth day. They arrived through perpetual change and improvement and you should strive to perpetually change and improve yourself as you grow, otherwise you stagnate, become bitter and write silly letters to fanzine editors.
Dear RB, I picked up a copy of Issue 4.1 in Huddersfield earlier this week. I always pick up copies of all the free magazines from the record stores I go in. I thought your looked good but was disappointed because there were no reviews inside. How can you do a music paper and not do music reviews? Also, I though a lot of the articles were too long. You should have less word bits and some more pictures. On most of them I got bored by the end of the first page. But well done,
Pictures are nice aren’t they Jim? They are worth a thousand words someone once said. To be more precise, they are worth 500 words. That’s about how many you can get on a page. Reviews are popular in these free magazines because they are easy to pick up and read. Only takes a minute, and let’s face it; these magazines are about a quick distraction. If there was too much content, people wouldn’t look at the ads, and then where would we be? Out of business! Plus reviews are easy to give away to unpaid
interns, or graduates keen to put ‘writer’ on their passports. I think the idea with Rhubarb Bomb is that it is more something you can sit with for ten minutes and get into. Something you’ll set time aside for. Which is wishful thinking in all likelihood. It’s certainly going out of fashion. In fact that’s probably why this letters page was introduced; short sharp discourse that won’t hurt your little head. In future I may just respond to letters such as yours in pictures, rather than wasting all our time with these words. Sorry I wasted your time, Jim.
Hi Scott. Thanks for the heads up on Euphoria Audio. The airbrushed photographs of them on their website in classic rock poses (moody, epic, mysterious) certainly back up your point of substance over style. Because if they look this cliched, they must have something to back it up. But it’s not the image that suggests these might be the kind of career driven capitalists that sack members on the say so of the record label, nor is it the dreary band bio that suggests cack-handed attempts at creating a brand. It’s the songs, Scott. Partly the song-titles, yes, but mainly the dull plod of Americanised mid tempo 21st century cock-rock that bursts out of my speakers. I presume you are from Wakefield Scott, so you may have seen the piece about them in The Wakefield Express. Did you see the quote from them that went something like: “We really love Coldplay. Not because they are popular, but because they tick a lot of boxes”. Dunno about
You pretend to represent all of Wakefield, but really you just talk about your friends in the hope that they’ll become famus (sic), and then you’ll be able to say you knew them first. The truth you don’t bother with is that there are loads of sucessful people from Wakefield that you don’t bother with. Don’t you think you should be cover bands that actually have talent instead of just people who want to look cool and hang around The Hop all the time? Euphoria Audio have just got signed to a reel (sic) record label. They are releasing an album produced by some bloke who done big stars and have played shows all over America. There are other bands too that value substance over style, but I guess rhubarb bomb is not interested in that is it? In my opinion that is a small minded point of view. Change your ways now! Scott McKardle
you, but that’s what I want from a rock band. Whatever ticks the box of some corporate dead-head and the playlists of Radio 2 ticks my box too! Such lofty ambitions! It’s all taste though isn’t? Some people have it - you don’t. But should we be supporting them? Absolutely not, and to be completely fair, I don’t think they would expect us to. We live in Wakefield, it doesn’t mean we love everything about it.
The sad thing is that if these guys are successful, it will be for their completely Americanised approach; big sound, obvious shapes, gushing sincerity. And that’s fine, but it’s not Wakefield. I’ve never seen any of them at local shows supporting local music - ever. They don’t care about Wakefield or its music. All it would be to them would be a Did You Know? in their biography. Like Chris Rea coming from Middlesbrough.
If you have something to say about RB, contact us here firstname.lastname@example.org 27
RHUBARB BOMB 4.2
In June 2011, Long Division saw 50 bands play
saw 50 bands play Long Divisio 2011,including In June Wakefield, ThenWedding Present, Darwin ing The Wedding Present, Darwin includ eld, Wakefi Deez and Los Campesinos! The festival sold out. Deez and Los Campesinos! The festival sold out.
In June 2012, Long Division 72 bands play play 72 bands n sawsaw Divisio Long 2012, In June Wakefield, including The Vaselines, Art Brut and and Brut Wakefield, including The Vaselines, Art ty, AidanMoffat Moffat&&Bill BillWells. Wells.With Withan anincrea increased capacity, sed capaci Aidan out. we were 99 tickets short of selling out. we were 99 tickets short of selling
perform people perform n saw June InIn June2013, 2013,Long LongDivisio Division saw368 368 people in hours) across5353 mancesacross (that’s (that’s 82 82 perfor performances hours) in Wakefield, oet and Jeffrey Ghostp Fall, The ing includ eld, Wakefi including The Fall, Ghostpoet and Jeffrey Lewis. It was year ever. We paid every bigges our It was Lewis. our biggest year ever. We tpaid every single band. We paid We paid our volunteers. It sold out. It band. single our volunteers. It sold out. It was awesome. was awesome. in June 2014 there will Long Division. n. Divisio Long nono bebe will there 2014 in June But But opens Hall Unity 2014, September Because, 2014, Unity Hall opens in in thethe very Because,ininSeptember music ty capaci 700 a It iscapacity music venue, with eld. of Wakefi very centre centre of Wakefield. It is a 700 . It is run and venue second a with , avenue second venue and cafe inside. It iscafe runinside as a co-operative e will chang as abyco-ope local rative people by andlocal will people changeand Wakefield forever. Wakefield forever.
So we thought it was worth, for one year, moving ourselves So we thought it was worth, for one year, moving from one end of the summer to the other. We hope you’ll ourselves from one end of the summer to the follow us for the best Long Division yet, a true celebration other. We hope you’ll follow us for the best Long the DIY ethos andation independent culture. ethos and of the DIY celebr a true n yet, Divisioof e. ndent indepe The dates arecultur September 12th - 14th. Expect further ber Septem are in the 4th. new Expec year. t further The dates announcements12th-1 year. announcements in the new
“All your friends w jobs; they probabl week, 8 hours a day off a week. You sho at least twice tha Kurt Cobain once said that when making music becomes a job, it’s time to quit. It’s a fair point in relation to credibility and motivation, but I actually think considering a life in music as a job - the best job in the world - is a good analogy for actually getting there. I hear it a lot. I had the same dream too, once. A life as a musician. Simply touring the country, or the world, in a van playing music and writing songs. That’s all I wanted, and as the music industry continues to evolve, that basic ambition remains. Equally long-lasting is the misguided, and often none existent, idea of how to get there. If you want the best job in the world, you need to put the hours in. All your friends who have regular jobs; they probably work 37 hours a week. 8 hours a day with 2 two days off a week. You should be working at least twice that. Working is writing, rehearsing, gigging, promoting yourself, booking shows. Three or four people in your band? That’s a healthy work force you’ve got there. If you all work hard everyday, you’ll already be ahead of the game. 30
RHUBARB BOMB 4.2
If you aren’t putting 50+ hours a week in - why not? What is holding you back? Often the presence of a ‘real’ job gets in the way. Here’s a fact; if you have a full time job then you have almost zero chance of being offered the best job in the world. It won’t happen, unless you have superhuman commitment to the cause. This is why students and people in their early twenties feature so heavily in the NME, and the rest. People that age have nothing to lose. That is the most important thing. Once you have something to lose; a job (and the salary), a girl/boyfriend, a house, a car or even just the payments on a new TV - once those are in place, taking the step to even applying for the best job in the world becomes even more unlikely. Stop kidding yourself. Work can only ever be a means to pay for expenses. You should be abusing them at every turn. A promotion should be seen as pure poison. You should run out of the door screaming as soon as the clock flicks from 16:59 to 17:00. Take the pay cheque and get the fuck out of there.
Your days being DIY are, nine times out of ten, just the interview for the best job in the world, for something larger. So if a big label popped up next week, or a promoter needing a tour support, how would your CV look? A once in a lifetime opportunity arrives and most bands would only be able to shrug. Because it may seem to you that playing the same old venue every week, getting someone else to release and sell 50 EPs a year is busy but to them it wont. Back in Kurt’s day it was all about sticking it to the man and not selling out. But Christ, look back at those days. It was completely legitimate that an A&R man could come to your show, like what he sees and throw ‘demomoney’ at you. That happened with the old model. Now they just click around the internet and the bands have to do all the work, for much less money. They don’t have the spare cash to take risks. So they will be looking at your Facebook likes. It’s bullshit on many levels of course, but part of your job is growing your online presence. How many views on
who have regular ly work 37 hours a ay with 2 two days ould be working at.” Follow The Drum vs
WORKING FOR A LIVING
YouTube have you got? Are you even on there? If you have been so busy, and want this to be your full time job, how come there’s next to no evidence of anything you’ve done? Hey, that record you released was good. Really good. Was it great? Maybe, but it is not enough, not if you want this to be your job. If it’s so good, how come almost no-one bought it? Did you promote it well enough? Or were you busy being ‘an artist’ i.e. sat around writing songs that no-one is going to hear. Perhaps you have some blind faith that you will be plucked out of obscurity. It’s possible. Alot more impossible now the music market is overloaded with people similar to you. But if some kid in Irkutsk has a larger internet presence than you, what the hell chance have you got? The job you think you are applying for doesn’t exist. When you say you want to do music full time, you mean writing songs with your mates, and doing gigs now and again. That job doesn’t exist. Well, it does, but the best you’ll get is dole money for a salary, and it’s
not a permanent position - it only lasts as long as you parents will keep you fed or as long as your partners patience holds. Although DIY is a legitimate and wholesome ideal, for many it simply means being lazy. That verb of ‘doing’ is too broad, perhaps. Being a musician full time is more than knocking out three chords. You need to be an accountant, a dreamer, a designer, a networker, an activist, a writer, a journalist, a gig promoter, a charmer, a tour manager. If you can prove you’ve got the skills to pay the bills you’ll either attract labels and managers who want to build on what you’ve done, or find that you are already self sufficient. It’s really fucking obvious when you put it like that. Try doing that in real life will drive you head first into some heavy brick walls. Those are the things you need to remove. This is where you need to take your leap of faith, to quit your job, or live in a squat or a friends spareroom. And above all, give yourself a deadline. Or you’ll never get anything done. The excuses for people who live in places like Wakefield stack
a mile high. It’s too easy to blame everyone and everything else. You really think the lack of venues was the absolute factor that stopped you being successful? Or the economy? Or the industry? Or was it that you are actually a bit lazy, and that you don’t actually want this to be your job - you just like it because it means you don’t have to have a job at all? Unless you are working every single day, I don’t believe you. In the last issue of Rhubarb Bomb, Greenmount Studios said they’d have about 30 days off in 2012. That’s why they are now reaping the rewards, and why they are such a great studio. They’ve made sacrifices. People admire that. For some, simply making music is enough, and that is completely fine. That is the charm of many performers, even some who have got lucky enough to be touring with the songs they made that way. But if you are working under the illusion that it works like that for everyone, you are wrong. If this is a serious venture, you need to start walking it like you reckon to talk it. ROLAND X 31
Unity Hall: A 700 capacity music & comedy venue, and so much more, in the centre of Wakefield. Run as a co-operative, for the people. Opens August 2014 www.unityhallwakefield.co.uk