What a week it has been for support slots. On Monday we played Oxjam, Winchester, supporting Hannah Williams and the One Takes, and Scarlet Soho. I have never danced so hard in all my life, and never will again, even if the Mafia point a Tommy-gun at my feet and shout ‘dance fool!’ The One Takes are the kind of band which I expect may annoy the kind of people who don’t like dancing, because when they start playing you really don’t have a choice.
Scarlet Soho were incredible. After the One-Takes did an amazing job, my thoughts were that Soho couldn’t possibly cap it. But they did. Again, a lot of dancing. The brilliant thing about dancing to Scarlet Soho is because their songs are 80s style, so even if you’re a terrible dancer it just looks like you’re trying your best to emulate the era.
Then on Tuesday we jetted (well, Punto‘d) off to Hamptons, in Southampton (and before you utter a sarcastic ‘well obviously’, there’s one in Bournemouth) to support up and coming band The Quails. I never quite understood the phrase up and coming. It’s not like you can up without coming, is it? ‘Where’s the elevator?’ ‘It’s up.’ ‘I think you’ll find it’s coming up.’ Whatever the phrase, The Quails were it. They’ve supported Muse, a feat of which I am rather jealous, what with them being my favourite band and all that, and apparently played at Chris Wolstenholme’s birthday bash. They were touring to promote their album, which is rather fantastic. I still have their songs in my head now, and every now and then find myself shouting out the chorus of Taken by the Twilight: “It’s never easy, it doesn’t make me feel right”.
If you’re in a support slot, seeing amazing bands headlining is a brilliant experience. Obviously if we had meant to be the main band and were supported by Scarlet Soho and The Quails, we probably would have all gone into the toilets for a quiet cry before we went on. You don’t want to be supported by bands that are better than you, for obvious reasons.
But if they are the headliners it is inspiring, it gives you something to aim for. You watch them and think to yourself ‘I want to be that good.’ Not only do we all want to be able to play amazing songs to impress people who’ve never heard of us before, but we want to be able to do that all over the country, just like The Quails are doing. We want an album on Amazon, like The Quails, or in HMV like Scarlet Soho.
Another incentive is when you get signed, the record label pays for your equipment. Jake and Sam reliably inform me that Jim from Scarlet Soho (amazing front man and very nice bloke) plays a £3000 Gretsch guitar, the lead from The Quails a £5000 Musicman, the drummer had a fantastic Premier Artist Maple kit, the kind that costs at least £1,500 and only gives you four drums. All these drummers with better kits than me; I am returned to something I said in a previous article, and a certain thought keeps recurring to me: I need to get a bigger jumper.