The Dawn Chorus / The Retrospective Soundtrack Players - Blogging all over the World

My name is Kyle. I am a happily failing indie/punk/folk/country/rock musician from Hampshire, UK. I have been singing and songwriting in The Dawn Chorus since 2005, and The Retrospective Soundtrack Players since 2010. I love these two bands like my brother/wife rolled into one. This blog details the shows I have played with both bands, in chronological order.

Thursday, June 29, 2006


XXIX - Gosport Sidewalk Club - 22/06/06

Thursday June 22nd
Gosport Sidewalk Club

The Dawn Chorus
Hudson 10
Funky Mum
Dali's Cat

Alas, we didn't get through. Moses, Hudson 10 and Funky Mum progressed to the final. I was a little bit disappointed as i wanted the thousand quid! and i think we played easily well enough to deserve it, but that's the way it goes. Points of interest tonight: Generalissimo Mandi not letting anyone out of the venue to get food, and also refusing to tell the bands their stage times. She sure knows how to run a venue. Dali's Cat's singer fainting during their last song - certainly a new approach! But she seemed fine afterwards. Also the bar staff not serving my sister because she took off her wristband. Would it seem bitter if I just kept it simple and said all the staff at the Sidewalk are cunts? Let's not beat about the bush.

We have a few weeks off now before we hit Portsmouth Havana on July 12th, PORTSMOUTH WEDGEWOOD ROOMS ON JULY 14TH, and Winchester Railway Inn on July 15th. Hope to see you at one of them, when we will be rehearsed and reinvigorated.


XXVIII - Winchester Railway Inn - 21/06/06

Wednesday 16th June
Winchester Railway Inn

The Dawn Chorus
Fly Monkeys Fly
Rob Ball

After the debacle of the last gig we all decided that just playing the actual gig would be a bonus, and that much was achieved. The whole night was really good fun, it was nice to get back to the place where we played our first ever gig, only this time we weren't hidden behind a barrier so the surging crowds had to look after themselves. Due to the football and also constant changes to the night's line-up the place wasn't rammed, but we've certainly played to smaller audiences. Rob of the Winchester Massive did an impromptu acoustic set which was very beautiful and unexpected, FMF were big dumb garage rock fun and also covered Del Shannon(?)'s 'Runaway', the one that goes 'a-wa-wa-wa-wa-wondeeered'. Bodyhost sounded enormous but weren't quite as good as when we played the Guildhall Tavern recently, although we were a little below par too so can't complain. I snapped a string on the second song, so i spent the whole set trying in vain to keep my guitar in tune. Also my harmonica holder wouldn't tighten so that was unusable. But all in all a decent night x

Friday, June 16, 2006


The gig that never was - Messclean @ Frog on the Front, Southsea - 16/06/06

Friday 16th June 2006
Messclean @ Frog on the Front, Portsmouth

The Dawn Chorus (didn't play)
Wills and the Willing
Dali's Cat (didn't play)

What a fucking shambles from start to finish. We turned up at half 5 and were about to set up our kit since we were told we were headlining, but then Wills and the Willing turned up in an enormous van filled with everything but the kitchen sink, so it was decided that they would soundcheck first. It was agreed at this point that all bands would use their drumkit. So all the other bands sat about in the sun outside the frog all afternoon, having a few beers and playing about with stupid hats etc. A few hours later W & the W were still soundchecking, seemingly oblivious to the fact that there were three other bands playing on the bill. Personally, if I turned up at a venue like the frog on the front intending to use a projector, i wouldn't set the fucking thing up for the risk of coming across as an arrogant twat, but there you go.

So at about 8 o'clock, when doors are supposed to be open, we are asked to soundcheck. At this point the bouncer asks for ID from us, but Matt doesnt have it, and all of a sudden a huge barney starts up between Joel and the meathead bouncers! Then when the lead singer from Dali's Cat walks into the venue to go for a piss, another bouncer has a go at her and makes her cry. At this point we were seriously considering walking, but we decided to play so as not to spoil Nikolai's night. So Counterfeit played to an almost empty room since we were the only local band that played and we only got 10 or so people down. Also it seems that Joel has started giving up on Messclean since he's leaving soon, which is a real shame. Counterfeit are from Bath and had travelled from Plymouth for the gig. Then Will and the Willing came back to do their set to an almost empty room, which was also a shame since they had travelled from London - a lot less distance than Counterfeit had travelled but still quite a trip.

After this we geared up to play, but Wills and the Willing decided they were leaving and would take their drum kit, which we had been told we could use approximately 5 hours earlier, and that we would have to set up our kit in order to play. Obviously they are much too bigtime to kitshare if they decide the room isn't full enough for their liking. At this point Neil decided that he'd had enough and walked - which I can't really blame him for - so we didn't play.

A few things really annoy me about this. Firstly, it all could have been avoided if the bands were told their stage times and soundcheck times in advance. I also feel really bad for the people who came down to see us. Thankfully most of them didn't pay, but those who did I had to reimburse, and i dont expect to see any of the money back. The bouncers at the frog are grade A jobsworth wankers and caused one band to pull out so well done to them. The thing that annoys me most though, is that the tossers in W and the W (no offense to any of you who are nice people, but your drummer and guitarist are absolute cocks) are the only people who probably got paid out of the whole evening, and they were the ones who deserved it the least. We have really enjoyed playing Messclean in the past, and coming down to see other bands, but tossers like this spoil the whole thing.

Other than that, a smashing evening all round x


XXVII - Portsmouth Edge of the Wedge - 06/06/06

Tuesday 6th June 2006
Portsmouth Edge of the Wedge (Acoustic set)

The Dawn Chorus (Kyle and Matt)

On the day of the devil me and Simps played the Edge of the Wedge without Keef or Neil. We did a short set, including our first ever cover, 'The Engine Driver' by the Decemberists. Paul B of 3 Day Benda played the trumpet on Winter and Michael. Carmichael played after us, they were great, kind of in the Turin Brakes/Damien Rice mould. And Angelgear played. Their singer was pissed as a lord and scared Clewee.

Monday, June 05, 2006


music that i can't get enough of at the moment

and songs that i've had quite enough of thankyou very much...


XXVI - Southampton Joiners - 02/06/06

Southampton Joiners
Friday 2nd June 2006

Roland Shanks
The Dawn Chorus

I am now 22, i've had my share of views, but i still can't take that happiness from you. I can highly reccomend playing a gig to celebrate your birthday. I think we were all pretty unanimous in agreement that this was the best gig we have played to date. Played footprints first which felt amazing, and Michael last which was ok but my voice had started giving out so might not do that again. The sound is just so good at the joiners that it's impossible not to feel great onstage. Auntie Judie was on unstoppable violent pisshead form, and we seemed to make a few friends which is always nice. Roland Shanks were excellent and top blokes to boot, although whether they'll 'make it' i'm not so sure. This marks the end of a pretty furious few weeks of gigs, we now have a fortnight off, not including an acoustic set that me and simps are doing, so we'd just like to thank everyone who has come along to a show, bought a cd or generally shown some interest. We are very thankful and we'll see you soon x


XXV - Messclean Stage @ Gunwharf Quays - 01/06/06

Messclean Stage @ Gunwharf Quays
Thursday 1st June 2006

The Aviators
The Waysters
Carmen Rosa
The Ridgeway
The Stations
The Masters
The Dawn Chorus

What an awesome long weekend. It started early on thursday lugging gear over to the 'wharf on the ferry, and Neil was feeling like death only slightly warmed up due to going out on the lash with bb the night before. Our actual set felt weird, too early and the onstage sound meant the set was hard to get into. But we did introduce a newie and give away a few cds to small children and incontinent pensioners so all was not lost. Only other point of note here is that Gilkicker totally stole the show, the best band we have played with and certainly deserving of any success that comes their way.


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