So our first two gigs of 2011 happened to fall on the same weekend and both in the city of Leicester. For us, Leicester is still relatively new territory and somewhere we hope to play a lot more this coming year.
First off was a slot at ‘Off Beat’ magazines website launch gig. ‘Off Beat’ have been amazing towards us and have championed our debut release and the No Love Lost EP we released last year. Because of this, when we were asked to play this event, we jumped at the chance as our way of saying thank you. In a weird way, it added a little pressure to the gig as we really wanted to be on top form. After circling the massive Holiday Inn Island about ten times searching for a parking space, we eventually got to the Crumbling Cookie Café and shook hands with the Off Beat team. We were second on the bill and took to the stage around 9 (I think). The set went down a storm and everyone seemed to really get into it. More than a few people had seen us before and we seemed to impress a lot of people who hadn’t. What was truly amazing and completely unexpected was that the creator of Off Beat (Andy Mills) took to the stage as we finished and announced that we had been awarded Off Beat’s ‘Best Release of 2011’ for the No Love Lost EP. So, although we probably said it a hundred times on Saturday, Thank you so much ‘Off Beat’.
We spent the rest of the night chatting with various people outside the venue and at one point a homeless gentleman decided to try and storm the venue and even threatened to shoot me. He was obviously a music fan and a believer in the lord as his exact words were
“Bob Dylan Man, Bob F@~king Dylan. Praise The Lord. John Lennon is Dead Man, JOHN LENNON. Love Me Do, I’m Gonna F@~King shoot you . . . ."
Discussions of the new album and life in general filled the car journey home and all was well in Barricadesland.
The OBS (original Band Showcase) at the Musician was our Sunday night venture and an excited Barricades Rise took to the roads armed only with a post code and a SatNav. This would normally have been all we needed however, the charging point in my little Punto had decided to die and more importantly the SatNav only had about two minutes of Battery left. We held off using the SatNav until we hit the middle of Leicester and Michael had to keep turning the thing on for literally two seconds so we could see which turns to make before the batteries cut it off again. It was a worrying time but we got there in the end.
We were fifth on the bill and had the pleasure of watching Hanna Faulkner play a lovely set of songs that had some great melodies and her voice was superb. We also, caught a set by fellow ‘2 Weeks 2 Make it’ (The video thing we did last year) artist FatBwoi. He played a very entertaining set of tunes that have a comedy edge but are good tunes in their own right. Another couple of artist played before us and then we hit the stage. BOOM, string snappage on the first song NOOOOOOOOOO. Luckily we just about saved it with an 'a capella' ending chorus to The Preacher. Fatbwoi saved the day by lending me a guitar and we were off again. It was a short set of five tunes but we seemed to win over the crowd and were showered with words of praise after leaving the stage.
Whilst keeping one eye on the last act, we discussed plans for the new album and different ideas and then drove home listening to old songs I had written about 8 years ago and discussing which bits we should rework for Barricades Rise. With a slightly drunk and very talkative Michael in tow, conversations soon started hitting the hard issues in life and at one point we were discussing (quite seriously) what type of lettuce we prefer with different types of dinners. . . . Rock and Roll never dies when Barricades Rise are on tour.
We also found out this weekend that a French Blog site http://blog.punkartoon.net/ has named our covers, live and demo album the best release of September 2010. It is pretty amazing considering bands such as ‘Kings of Leon’, ‘Iron Maiden’, ‘Ray Davis’ and ‘Motorhead’ won some of the other months. Thank you very much our French friends.
It really does feel that something special could happen in 2011.