I have a strange attachment to...
The Joiners in Southampton. It's the 'biggest' small music venue in this part of the world. A scuzzy, darkened room is where the bands strut their stuff. At the other end is a little bar area with flyers, zines, and posters of the big band who have played here before: Coldplay, Mystery Jets, Oasis. They have some art prints up of the big bands who have played, touchingly including local champions Delays, although I had to explain to some Londoners who they were. There are little stickers everywhere from over-excited street teamers and bands.
My not-so-secret relationship with the Joiners encompasses all these things:
* Going to gigs by myself
* Going to gigs with half a dozen close friends
* To see friends' bands (Dharma)
* To see bands I've never heard of (too many to list) - some awesome discoveries, some I still require smelling salts when I think of them
* To see bands I'm on the guestlist for (lots)
* To see bands I love and have seen more than once around the place (The Pigeon Detectives, Slow Club, Lost Campesinos!, Dananananaykroyd, Pulled Apart By Horses)
* Obtaining autographs after a show (The Pipettes, Kid Carpet)
* I may have even participated in a stage invasion, I've been in a few but can't remember where they all were
* Reviewing bands back in the days when I was 'journalist extraordinaire', (according to my friend Pete Plus One) for native.tv and mintsouth, making little notes on my phone
* Interviewing bands (see above) like The Twang, The Mules, Mexicolas
* Buying merch - t shirts (The Long Blondes, for my sister), vinyls (The Strange Death Of Liberal England, Band Of Skulls)
* Eating dinner with bands (Mexicolas... the PR didn't tell them I was coming and it was teatime, so they let me share their pasta)
* Street teaming for The Rifles and The Research. They were all lovely.
* Playing onstage with Dead Rabbits
* Once I lost my phone there :( Thankfully someone handed it in
* Have been into the 'secret' downstairs / backstage area. There is a squishy sofa and some wire netting
* Manning the merch stall... or rather, waiting for the real tour manager / band to take over after their wee break
Sights have included:
* Pulled Apart By Horses jumping off speaker stacks and into the crowd
* Sweet Baboo's saxophonist during Slow Club realising he was minus a piece of important equipment... cue lots of running around during song before being handed the item the last second before the saxy solo started
* People throwing beer at bands
* People trying to start a fist fight during The Holloways
* Flying beer, flying water
* Me and Peter Plus One wearing The Dead 60s stickers all over our faces
* Start of the UK smoking ban... chap lights up a cigarette, takes a puff and stamps it out. Repeat.
* DAMN GOOD bands eg Morning Runner, Band Of Skulls, and many others I love
This week I played onstage again with Dead Rabbits (I am their poor quality drummer and token female). We were meant to be mid-gig somewhere but ended up headlining... whoop!
So basically I have been there as a player, a punter and a volunteer. All I need to do now is man the door or work the sound desk, and I'll have the full set of Joiners Experiences.
I love you Joiners. I'll be back. Try and stop me...