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.
Portsmouth Drift Bar
Sunday 29th April 2007
The Dawn Chorus
This was a strange one, in that although the actual gig was fairly empty, we had a bloody good time because everything else about the evening went really well. soundcheck was very smooth and the soundmen were top. the venue sounded really good, as it always seems to. we had fun on southsea common playing bung with a 29p orange, and - when the orange split - cricket with a £6 cricket set. keef was awarded man of the match for his all-round play, although he failed to reach Neil's run total due to poor light. Neil's judgement on my play was that i don't move my feet enough, but i blame the bad light. i know how to defend my wicket. and i don't wear pads.
Rich Webb did a stunningly bizarre array of covers (jurassic 5, ryan adams, chillis, bob marley, the salmon song from road trip(?!)) and beautifully walked the line between madness and genius. the stations were cool as ever but how they get those jeans on and off i will never know. we did a new song and it was fucking good fun. and the ledge Kurt Cooder danced wearing the King Horse mask again, this time to Michael, and that was fucking good fun. However, all this is overshadowed by the fact that STEVE FUCKING LAMACQ PHONED ME TODAY. I spoke on the phone to one of all-time my heroes. I have been listening to Lamacq since I was about 15, and it's safe to say that the band wouldn't even exist if it weren't for me listening to Lammo for years and discovering most of my favourite bands. So i'm very very happy that he likes our music and will be playing one of our songs on his new radio2 show. did i mention i was quite happy?
Southampton Solent Uni
Tuesday 24th April 2007
The All-Singing Razorblades
The Dawn Chorus
I have literally 2 minutes to log this so here goes: razorblades had longest soundcheck ever due to half drumkits, random percussion, trumpets, etc. my guitar was disppearing from the mix quite often but we played quite well. the razorblades were one of the most bizarre bands we have ever played with, like some sort of death cult or someting. that will do for now.
Sunday 15th April 2007
The Dawn Chorus
Action Speaks Louder
The hottest gig yet. I had to take my glasses off because they were slipping off my face. Then i realised I couldn't see my fretboard any more. So so very hot. My eyes were stinging. This was awesome fun, Simps even won 30 quid for being 'Performer of the night'. He will be unbearable now.
Friday 13th April 2007
The Lazy Lizard, Weymouth
The Dawn Chorus
2pm: Leave Fareham in the DC van for Weymouth.
2.20pm: Already getting very sweaty in the van and not enjoying the shaky steering. Me, Paul and Simone in the front, Neil and Matt in the back with all the gear.
2.50pm: Traffic. Discuss the finer points of cricket with Neil. The long and short of it was: Neil once told Geoff Boycott that he had good line & length in a toilet, and I don't need to wear pads because I know how to defend my wicket.
3.30pm: Very very sweaty back.
4pm: Arrive in Weymouth and look for venue.
4.30pm: Find venue (it was obscured by scaffolding). Unload gear. Meet the very friendly promoter and soundman and discuss shit old TV shows about bands: (Pugwall's Summer, North & South, some others).
5.30pm: Park car but not enough pound coins in the piggy bank to pay for parking. I have to visit 3 shops before someone will give me change. Bastards. Put 8 hours on the meter, which takes us to 1.30am, surely that's plenty of time?
6pm: Buffet chinese. Fat boys and girls. Followed up with a nice walk on the beach. Buy some souvenirs.
8pm: Soundcheck goes very smoothly. Soundman asks to have a go on Paul's keyboard and turns out to be Liberace.
8.45pm: Soundcheck finished, we're told to come back at 12!! Play lots of hands of cards and go for another walk. It's going to be a long night.
11.30pm: Take a wander back to the venue. Still empty. Apparently people come when the pubs clear out but there's no sign of them here.
12.00am: Few people in the venue now, but still no sign of Del Nil. Thinking about maybe having to move the van.
12.15am: Del Nil arrive and labouriously unpack gear. Decide that the van will have to be moved. It would be just our luck to get done by a traffic warden at 1.30am.
12.45am: Get back to the venue. Starting to feel slightly stressed and tired.
1.05am: "We've got 1 more song". Thank fuck for that. I like Del Nil but I just want them to finish, so we can get on, get done and get out.
1.10am: Two songs later and they're threatening to do more. I have to be a dick and go and tell them to just finish. I didn't feel stupid though, because every punter in the place was steaming pissed anyway. I just wanted to leave.
1.25 am: Del Nil don't bother taking their stuff off stage so we have to do that before we can set up. Finally manage to play our set. Quite a few people bob about a bit but nobody seems to clap. Del Nil are very very pissed and dancing a lot. I totally lose my voice by the end of the set but don't really care. I am tired.
2am: Reload the van. There are lots of very pissed people all over the place. Just need to get paid now.
2.30pm: Finally paid by the promoter. Homeward bound.
3.15am: Sudden braking to avoid a baby rabbit nearly causes Neil and Simone to be crushed by amps. But the rabbit lived.
3.45am: Torrential rain. Please let us get home.
4.30pm: Home. Bed. Relief.
The Crown Tap, Ringwood
7th April 2007
Well I don't want to spend too long blogging this one because every minute I spend thinking about it is a minute i'll never get back. As far as greetings to a venue go, try this one for size:
"I'll warn you now boys, this is a rough pub. But if it gets really bad, I'll make an excuse for you to cut the set off early. What kind of music is it?"
"Erm, sort of folky, country indie i suppose"
"Oh well it might go down well with the gypsies I suppose"
I suppose the bottom line is we knew it would be shit, and we only ever did it for the money, which we got. But dear God it was bad. We took up half the floorspace of the pub. They had never had a band play before. It was pretty inbred. When we finished our first song, literally nobody clapped apart from our 3-strong band of supporters. After that, a man took the opportunity of gaps between songs to say "shite" or even "fucking shite". Between every single song. There were constant shouts for Oasis songs. And the trouble with playing in a shithole is that it makes you start playing worse. Neil did a proper Les Dawson style solo, I forgot to sing during one song. But when nobody wants you there, what's the incentive to play well?
By the time we finished our first set, most of the punters had left, but we were informed that they usually come back at about half ten, and we should play then. Luckily they didn't come back, but 4 of our mates did turn up, so we then had over half the pub onside. By the time we finished the 2nd set, there was literally nobody apart from us, our mates and the landlord and landlady. But they were dead nice, they bought us all drinks and we got paid, so really, even though it was absolutely shit, it wasn't actualy too bad.
THE DAWN CHORUS – Town/City EP - Really fine, well crafted, very easy, inviting Americana that’ll put a home made bandage on your heart. Where are they from with their delightfully upbeat mellow American country twang? Hampshire, South Coast of little old England. Actually they do have an English heartbeat and a little bit of Bright Eyes meets The Kinks playing alt.country music with occasional trumpets and little details that could easily go by unnoticed feel. They claim to be not very fashionable of rock ‘n roll, could be they’re wrong there,sound very fashionable to me – fashionable or not they (or we) clearly couldn’t care less and what they very clearly are is very honest and very real and heartfelt. The problem with most English bands that come our way is that they almost always sound like they’re compromising and following the latest fashion or that new band they heard on the radio the other day – that kind of thinking has clearly never ever entered the brilliant uplifting mellow country rock heads of The Dawn Chorus. A fine five piece from nowhere in particular, as honest and beautiful as the day is long. Breezy, English sweethearts of the rodeo, take everything they have, I think you might need it - there’s very little left in life that hasn’t been destroyed, this is the celebration my dear. Just very fine mellow English Americana and crafted honesty from nowhere in particular.
Club 12th Hour @ The Alma Portsmouth
Friday March 30th 2007
The Dawn Chorus
Most shambolic soundcheck ever! No-one was taking charge, there was no drumkit, there was only one DI box so Neil had to go to work to get one, AAAARRGHHH! Once that was out of the way it was ok. It's been too long since I've seen Kurt Cooder and the man is a legend. Cello PLayer, Elm Grove, all brilliant songs. And his new ode to the James Blunt Brigade, 'I want to shit in your mouth' was a perfect set closer. The place did actually pretty full, and for the second night running we did an alright job of converting a crowd that wasn't really ours. Kurt dancing on stage for 'The Celebration' in our horse's head was a classic moment, please see the slideshow on our myspace. They could do with turning the radiators off when the crowd turns up though, the place was a furnace!