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, November 29, 2012


CCXLV - London Brixton Windmill - 18/11/12

Sunday 18th November 2012
London Brixton Windmill

The Retrospective Soundtrack Players
Plantagenet 3
Ben Marwood
Adam Boucher

Don't ever have a Toby Carvery for a hungover breakfast. It's a terrible idea. Certainly don't 'go large'.

Some of the guys played pitch and putt golf on the way to London but I stayed in the car where Paul was doing smelly farts. It was almost enough to make me want to play golf.

We got to London super-early so we went to 'spoons, but then realised we'd all had a roast dinner for breakfast. I just ordered a pudding, but it came about an hour late, which was ironical because it made us late for the soundcheck we'd originally been 2 hours early for.

The gig was good, very enjoyable. I always enjoy the Windmill.


CCXLIV - Reading Rising Sun Arts Centre - 17/11/12

Reading Rising Sun Arts Centre
Saturday 17th November 2012

Ben Marwood
The Retrospective Soundtrack Players
Bear and the Woods

Oh phew, back on to a winner. Ben Marwood is brilliant, and a Reading legend, so it was nice and busy and we played damn well. Ben and Bear were both great, good promoter, friendly place, all you can ask for.

After the gig it all got a bit messy and we danced to Phil Collins with Marwood for a few hours, met some lovely folks in Reading, tried (mostly succesfully) to protect Kelv firstly from lustful cougars and then racist street kids, and then walked back to our T-lodge, which was accidentally booked about 5 miles out of town. Or at least it seemed it at night walking speed.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


CCXLIII - Brighton The London Unity - 09/11/12

The London Unity, Brighton
Friday 9th November 2012

The Greasy Strings
The Retrospective Soundtrack Players
Zoe Hazel

Just an acoustic set in a pub. We had a nice curry, played a few dozen rounds of Shut-the-box and were complimented on our harmonies a few times, which is always lovely.


CCXLII - Nottingham Guitar Bar - 27/10/12

The Guitar Bar, Nottingham
Saturday 27th October 2012

The Retrospective Soundtrack Players
Timothy Simpson

...and back down to Earth. Odd venue, basically a sort-of converted hotel out of town. There were some people there, but they were sitting in the bar bit where they didn't have to pay £3 to come in and see the music. Lovely owner, but no soundman at all, and no crowd. A few guys came out especially to see us, which is always nice, but unfortunately for them, every single piece of equipment on the stage broke at some point. That is no exaggeration - the drums, bass amp, guitar amp and keys all broke at some point. Mental. Low point of the year, apologies if you had to witness it.


CCXLI - Southampton Avondale House - 22/10/12

Southampton Avondale House
Monday 22nd October 2012

The Retrospective Soundtrack Players
Oxygen Thief
Fine Lines
Mama Smokes

A weird case of winning against adversity. Before we went on stage there were 5 people present, including both my parents and Whyntie (who wasn't playing on this occasion, so counts as a crowd member.) Ho hum. But when we started the first chord, people came in from outside, downstairs, round the corner, AND THEY EVEN CAME UP TO THE FRONT OF THE STAGE! Wowzers. Don't get me wrong, only 20 people tops, but we have very low standards, as regular reader(s) will know by now. And to cap off a brilliant day, I left my bag at the venue and got stopped on the motorway with no MOT. Idiot.


CCXL - The Edge of the Wedge, Portsmouth - 21/10/12

The Edge of the Wedge, Portsmouth
Sunday 21st October 2012

The Retrospective Soundtrack Players
Ben Marwood
Oxygen Thief

Home banker. Pretty unremarkable gig if I remember rightly, just good people, good music, and no 3 hour drive home :) x 1000 lol


CCXXXIX - Birmingham Bright House - 20/10/12

The Bright House, Birmingham
Saturday 20th October 2012

The Retrospective Soundtrack Players
Oxygen Thief
Oh Stockholm!
Carlos & The Jackal
Sonic the Comic
Erin and the Foundlings

Got up, slight hangover (should've been bigger), had a full english with sweet potato (?), saw some terrible street performers, saw our album in HMV (shucks), went to a music shop for strings but ended up guffawing at souvenirs with classical music puns on them (Chopin bored, chopin liszt, etc), went to the BBC shop and bought Rev on DVD (Barry got a Radio 4 mug), went to weatherspoons, drove to Birmingham, did a soundcheck, went for a pie, wandered round town looking at all the manic street preachers, went back to the venue, watched a few bands, went outside for a chat while the guys smoked and saw a guy getting stabbed in the street, watched Barry slay his set, then did a slightly shonky acoustic set and drove all the way home, as the nursery rhyme goes.


CCXXXVIII - Leicester Crumblin' Cookie - 19/10/12

Leicester Crumblin' Cookie
Friday 19th October 2012

The Retrospective Soundtrack Players
Oxygen Thief
One Suspicious Monkey

We needed this to be good after the Bristol gig, and despite not exactly being rammed (20 people?), we just smashed it. I don't know what happened but something clicked and we had an absolutely storming set. After the show the majority of the band had to head back to Hampshire to play in their covers band (yes, really) and three of us (myself, Kelv, Whyntie) stayed in Leicester with Barry aka Oxygen Thief before our Birmingham show the following night.

After the gig we went out for a quite large one with the venue owner Tinny - and what a guy he is. He knows every single person in Leicester, he is like a Leicester version of our keyboard player Pauly B. After meeting tonnes of friendly people and imbibing a few PINTS(!) of Long Island Iced Tea, we staggered back to the T-lodge where we got all rock and roll and threw the menus out of the window. Kelv also ripped the curtain down but then had to re-hang it in the morning when the sun came through the window.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


CCXXXVII - Bristol Louisiana - 15/10/12

The Louisiana, Bristol
Monday 15th October 2012

The Retrospective Soundtrack Players
Oxygen Thief
Ieuan Williams

OUR ALBUM RELEASE SHOW! How exciting to be playing a show at such a great little venue on our album release day. We all had to knock off work a tad early to get to Bristol on time, but it'd be worth it, they were covering fuel after all.

How many people do you reckon were present? Well, I'm not sure if there were more on stage or off-stage. Great venue, and we played pretty well, I doubt they'll be inviting us back though.


CCXXXVI - Pie & Vinyl, Southsea - 14/10/12

Pie and Vinyl, Southsea (in-store)
Sunday 14th October 2012

The Retrospective Soundtrack Players

Yeah! We did an instore show at my favourite shop in the whole wide world - Pie and Vinyl! I'm not going to write any more than that - if you live anywhere near Portsmouth and you haven't visited yet, correct that!


CCXXXV - The Wheelbarrow, Camden - 13/10/12

The Wheelbarrow, Camden
Saturday 13th October 2012

The Retrospective Soundtrack Players
Oxygen Thief

This was a bit more like it. The first of a slew of gigs we were doing with Oxygen Thief, aka Barry, one of the nicest men I have ever toured with, or met. This was a typical case: the last two times we played the Wheelbarrow was as a full band and very empty, this time was as a three-piece acoustic set and it was really busy. Andi played drums for us for the first time and he was brilliant, I hope we get to do it again.


CXXXIV - Chichester Inn - 12/10/12

The Chichester Inn, Chichester
Friday 12th October 2012

The Retrospective Soundtrack Players
Elliott Hanan

OUR FIRST GIG TO PROMOTE THE NEW ALBUM! I think there were 15 people there, including my parents. We played ok. The more things change, the more they stay the same.


CCXXXIII - Southsea Fest @ The Atrium - 15/09/12

Southsea Fest @ The Atrium, Portsmouth
Saturday 15th September 2012

Lion and the Wolf
Hometown Show
The Retrospective Soundtrack Players
Caz Batten
Andrew Ricks
+ more

This venue is way too small. And everyone talks because it's Southsea Fest, but it's an acoustic stage. We gave it our best shot, but I don't think everyone in there could hear us above the hubbub. And I was quite drunk on cava by this point too. One of those times I was very pleased that our songs only have simple chords in them.


CCXXXII - Southsea Fest @ The King's Theatre - 15/09/12

Southsea Fest @ The King's Theatre, Portsmouth
Saturday 15th September 2012

Tom Williams and The Boat
The B of the Bang
The Dawn Chorus
+ others

Well, this was it. I thought I'd always be in the DC until I was 60 and we'd be touring to our hardcore supporters who were loyally buying the records after all those years... I thought we'd reach out to people who felt like us and wanted to be part of what we did... but as you get older you realise that the world's constant thirst for 'the new' means that if you don't pull together some kind of following from your first, maybe second album, then it will be downhill from there, and eventually you will stop enjoying it as much. No art can exist in a vacuum, and as great fun as it looks to be in Arcade Fire, it wouldn't be quite as much fun playing in Arcade Fire to 8 people at the Liverpool Leaf Tea Bar. So, with heavy heart, this was our final show.

But what a show, and what a day. I was very very drunk on cheap cava and sloe gin by the mid-afternoon but it was a beautiful final hour on stage with my best friends. So what if no-one ever heard of us? That's what happens to 99.9% of all bands. My children will never have heard of the Cribs, and they have a greatest hits out and got the lifetime achievement award at the the NME awards, so what difference does it make how big we were? I got to spend a few thousand hours brilliant time with my best friends, and maybe make a few decent tunes that meant something to people along the way. Cheers!


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