Round the bend…

Things are on the up… Wahey!

After a seemingly downward spiral over the last few weeks everything appears to have flipped on its head and is now looking pretty bloody good to be honest.

After listening to people whitter (hmmm… I wonder if that’s the origin of the word twitter?) on about ‘healthy body = healthy mind’ for so long, and not really doing anything to keep the body that healthy, I’ve recently rekindled the habit of going to the gym on a daily basis, and it’s now almost 3 months since my last cigarette, so my body is in the process of a detox and it feels pretty damned good!

Unexpectedly this seems to be proving the saying true, nothing’s changed in my work situation (in fact it’s getting busier), and I still don’t have the time to do half of what I need to, but I’m waking up feeling good about things. And it’s nice.

And there’s something else that’s changed… or at least it may have.  Until Wednesday of last week I was expecting to concentrate on work for the rest of the month until playing the first gig of 2010 at Fibbers. Then, out of the blue, I get a phone call asking if I fancy playing the Gasworks in Bradford on the coming Saturday night. To be honest I thought Pete was taking the piss!  A few weeks previous to this Gibbo and I had discussed approaching the very same venue for a gig and decided that, with it being a 1000 capacity venue, and the fact that we had no ‘pedigree’ in Bradford that it would be best to wait a while before tackling it… Everyone I mentioned the gig to prior to the night was really positive about the venue saying how much we’d enjoy it and how we’d love the crowd… and they were SO right!

I’m writing this on my personal blog rather than the band’s as it’s my take on the night.

We arrived dead on time, unloaded, set up and sound checked all before 20:00.  The club had only just opened and we weren’t on ’til at least 22:45, what to do? Well, we were in Bradford. What else to do but go for a curry! Now, I can tell you in no uncertain terms that Omar’s Balti house in Bradford is, without doubt, one of the best curry houses I have ever had the pleasure to eat in, and I’ve eaten my fair share of curries! (I won’t even get started on the naan’s!)

Back to the task at hand, we headed off back to Gasworks and we still had an hour or so before we were due on. We chatted with the three people we knew in the venue, were introduced to a couple who had travelled over an hour to see us, and missed the two young students begging to get a deal on the t-shirts as they were skint! Then it was 10 minutes to go, the place was still empty and as we headed to the dressing room I had visions of hearing my lyrics echoing back at me across the dancefloor.

The music went quiet, the lights went down, O Fortuna boomed out through the PA and the band took to the stage…

As usual I came on slightly after the guys, into the intro of Save The Day and started my ‘shpeel’. I looked out into the dark and noticed a couple of people already wearing our t-shirts. Eh? No-one knew us? By the time we were midway through the second song of the set there were people up against the stage barrier moshing as if their live’s depended on it and a good number of others bouncing around the rapidly filling dance floor.  I noticed one of the guys at the front leave at the end of  Brave New World and thinking “it’s not that bad mate!”, by the start of song four he was back at the barrier, only now he was sporting a fairly decent looking digital SLR! It was about this time I realised that the crowd had multiplied by an inexplicable amount between our 10 minute call and going on stage… the responses at the end of each song were getting louder, those people who had remained at the bar were moving over to get a better view or even mixing it with the moshers at the front. Things were looking up!

It was one of those nights where everything fell into place.  The space available to us on stage was used to its full potential with Pete, Daymo and Andy pulling shapes, running around and swapping ‘licks’ while Gibbo  thundered away in the background. I spent most of my time finding more places to stand, swing, run, sit (yes, sit!) and generally having a blast! The crowd got ever louder and the interaction was great, to the point where I was actually talking to individuals during the set, or so it seemed. As the encore finished and we headed off to the dressing room I was able to gather from the guys that I wasn’t the only one who felt it had been that good. Everyone was ecstatic.

If you play in a band you’ll know what I mean when I say that playing outside your home town is always a bit hit and miss, especially when you don’t have the funds to get any real promo done beforehand. This was our worry about the Gasworks gig. We’d never played Leeds never mind Bradford, and radio/media coverage is still too sporadic to generate any real buzz, and with only 3 days notice we’d have struggled to get any sorted anyway. And here’s where Martin steps in. The promoter of the night had spent the 3 days since booking us speaking to friends, acquaintances and regulars of the venue to tell them ‘check out this band’, and check us out they did!

We emerged from the dressing room to find a queue of people at the merch stand, people returning for more merch, people waiting for signatures, photos with the band, we were bought drinks…

The Gasworks reminds me of the rock clubs I used to go to in Glasgow and Edinburgh many moons ago. The punters are there because they like the music and the vibe, the music played before and after our set encompassed just about all of the bands I listened to over the years from the classics of Maiden, Lizzy, Leppard and Van Halen to White Zombie, RATM and everything in between. It was awesome, it was loud and it was perfect.

Something special happened on Saturday 16th January 2010. I’m not sure yet how important it will be, but I feel that in that venue on that night Morpheus Rising became something other than a York based band. We became a band who can go somewhere new, take our music out there and provide a show which people can really get. It’s good old fashioned metal, traditional metal if you will, and they love it! Bring on the tour :o)

Now, that’s me finished blowing smoke up my own arse… next up some reviews!




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