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.

Monday, October 30, 2006


100 unwilling victims

By the end of this week we will at some point have shared a bill with:

Afrosnatchers, The AKA Band, Andy & Jack, Angelgear x 5(!), The Arkwrights, Ashford, The Aviators, Rob Ball, Chris Bath, Bodyhost x 2, Adam Boucher x 2, Brenda, James Bright, Carmen Rosa, Carmichael, Citizen, Kurt Cooder, Cymbiotic, Dali’s Cat, Steve Dalzell, De Nil, De Squeran, The Deads x 2, Deville, Dumbfounded, Echobeat, The Elements, Fade Out, Fake Ray, Fly Monkeys Fly, Funk Yer Mum, Geko, Get Amped, Gilkicker, Golden Section, Alaistar Goodwin, GROOVE, Luke Haines, The Heights, Hobos and Eskimos, Hold Fast, Hudson 10 x 2, Lisa Lindley Jones, Kid Idiot, Leptany, The Lights Shine, Mantis & The Prayer, The Masters x 3, Dave Miatt, The Mindless Ones, Momentum, Moses x 2, Mumble, No Skidoo, Openroom x 2, Matt Park, Mrs Burns, The Plymouths x 2, Red Campion, The Ridgeway, Rockshore, Roland Shanks, Rolling Dog, Rossco, The Rudimentary Confusion, Rushing With Apathy, Sallyforth, Salvage, Sarah & Lewis, Saturdays and Sundays, The Shake, Silent Radio, Sine Star Project, Sister Divine, Spearmint, The Stations, The Strange Death of Liberal England x 2, Tamerlane x 2, Temple, They Don’t Sleep, Tomboy, Trinity, The Undefined, The Vice, The Visitors, The Waves, The Way, The Waysters, Whitewash, Vaughan Williams, Wireless, Wiservice x 2, Zodiac

We have played with around 100 different acts, 93 of which I can remember the name of. Excuse my lazy use of an overused cliché, but these acts really do range from the sublime to the ridiculous. We have yet to play with any act beginning with the letter I,Q,X or Y. If you are in a band beginning with any of these letters please drop us a line. You can do an acoustic set in my lounge inbetween Neighbours and Hollyoaks and we’ll call it a gig x


XL - Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms - 27/10/06

Friday 27th October 2006
Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms

Fade Out
The Dawn Chorus
The Arkwrights

It’s interesting how one’s perspective on things can change over time. If you had told me a year ago that we’d have played the Wedge twice by next Autumn, I’d have been dead chuffed. Yet a year on – although it was very enjoyable and seemed to go pretty well – I’m hungry for even more of it. I don’t want to sound like some Johnny Borrell-esque careerist prick, I just know that we can go on and make even better music and put on better shows. I’d be disappointed if we didn’t.

^^What a strange way to start writing about a good show. Well it just came out and who am I to stem the flow of the blog? Obviously the wedge was no way near full, but we played to probably around 100 people which is pretty cool for a local band bill. The Arkwrights seemed pretty non-plussed about the turnout, but the last time they played here they were top of the bill for the showcase final, so it was always going to be a huge contrast.

Luckily, our simply atrocious soundcheck didn’t seem to hamper our sound too much. In fact, I don’t even want to write about the soundcheck. It was awful, and it sent our morale plummeting. It’s amazing just how great or terrible a soundcheck can make you feel. And this one was about as bad as it gets. However, it went well and we played a brand new song ‘End of the World Party’ for the first time with the full band.

I didn’t see Sallyforth cos I was doing merch at the time, but I can report that they were wearing matching waistcoats. Fade Out played pretty well, but by the time they played the crowd was seriously withering, which was a shame for them. I took a bottle of champagne with me (end of quarter at work), but we didn’t get round to drinking it and I left it in the venue, because I’m a dick.

Friday, October 20, 2006


XXXIX - Portsmouth Registry - 19/10/06

Thursday 19th October 2006
The Thursday Thing @ Portsmouth Registry

The Elements
The Heights
The Dawn Chorus

Roman numerals are getting very difficult to work out now. One more gig and I’ll be able to unleash the power of XL! It’s just occurred to me, we played our first gig in early December 2006, and we’re on 39 gigs played, so by the time our 1 year anniversary arrives we will be close to the 52 gigs in a year mark, which I’d be quite proud of. It seems like a long, long time ago that we started putting Michael, Blood and All this… together in Matt’s garage. We’ve written probably 25-30 songs in that time, and by the end of the year we should have 20 of them committed to tape. In our second year I want to write and record even more. It will be hard because you never want to feel like you’re re-treading old ground or becoming formulaic, but that’s what I want to do.
So, last night’s gig. The Elements stepped in for the Good Time Charlies at the last minute, and decided not to soundcheck or stay around for food, which meant more garlic bread, onion rings and potato wedges the size of your head for ourselves and those pesky welsh scamps The Heights. It was quite a strange one as far as the audience was concerned. The place was pretty full as usual, but each audience member seemed to have been placed on a strict 3 claps per-song limit. It wasn’t just us either, The Heights sounded absolutely immense and had me and Neil whooping and clapping, but they were met with a similar shrug of the shoulders by the crowd. Very strange. But, as always at The Reg, a fun night was had by all so we have no complaints to speak of. I hope The Heights managed to find a floor to sleep on somewhere in Portsmouth, I would have offered them my own but I don’t really think they’d have appreciated being lost in Stubbington this morning, plus when my folks found 4 sweaty young welshmen asleep on the living room floor they’d probably have thought I’d rocked so hard I’d gone all gay in the head.
We have no shows now until the Wedgewood Rooms next week, which I’m starting to crap myself about since I currently have a book of 100 tickets in my pocket with 95 tickets still intact. Shit the bed. For the next 7 days i’m going to be phoning long lost uncles, aunties, friends of friends and possibly stopping people in the street to try to get rid of some. Hopefully see you there.

Monday, October 16, 2006


XXXVIII - Winchester Railway Inn - 15/10/06

Sunday 15th October 2006
Winchester Railway Inn

Sine Star Project
James Bright ?
The Vice
The Dawn Chorus

Without meaning to sound ungrateful, this was the definition of an average gig. When we began our first song we were playing to one person – the promoter, Rob – but by the end of the first song there were 20 or so people in, which is pretty good for first on at the Railway. Like I say, it was average, we didn’t play particularly well or badly, we just played. I lost my voice for the second time in recent weeks though, which is quite bothering. I must remember to limber up more thoroughly in future.

The Vice had possibly the most intense singer I’ve ever seen, he was about 6 foot 6 and screwed his eyes and fists up during every song. I think he actually pushed his fingernails through his hands at one point. I showed off my natural smoothness, sitting right near the front of the stage and dropping a pint glass on the floor right in the quiet middle section of their most epic song. Smooth indeed. Although I was glad that the barman gave me the dustpan and brush to clean up the mess myself, I don’t like places where they insist on cleaning it up for you. I subscribe fully to the idea that the fool who drops the pint glass deserves the shame of cleaning it up.

Other than that, not much happened really. Good practice though, I suppose. Character building and all that.



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