Hello all R-K fans, readers of the band blog site and to anyone who has lost there way and ended up here!
My first blog has been a long time coming.. But better late than never aye miss Emma ! (The bruises are healing now..thanks !!)
Faaker See seems a while ago now. It was our first chance to perform on the wider stage to the Harley-Davidson community who was yet to hear of us and to the fans that had purchased our debut album, Dust and Gasoline and wondered if the band really could cut it live.
It was on a cold night in November last year whilst I was recording in London that I got the call from Suzanne to confirm we were on the roster to perform on the main stage at Faak ! This was such a great opportunity for The Road-Kings to perform at the biggest Harley-Davidson event in Europe and naturally I was delighted to accept the offer. We were new on the scene and even if we could only secure the Wednesday night slot, I knew in my heart we would ROCK ! and turn a few heads with what we had to offer as a band and I couldn’t wait to show em !
As such (I wont mention surnames) I owe a very special thanks to Marg and Suzanne for all of their help and continued support to publicise and promote The Road-Kings, both then and at future events world-wide.
We flew in from Stanstead the day before we were due to perform. With the hotels, transport and more importantly the drink’s kitty sorted we were ready to roll. We drafted in extra personnel both for the band and on the management/filming side for the occasion :
Dave Mian, a well respected horn player on the London scene and who has been recently touring with the artist Lemar, came in on trumpet.
Rebecca Owenjoined us an additional backing vocalist, a well respected session singer from Birmingham who has worked on several albums
The multi talented Mr Steve Wilson also joined us out in Faak and as the keen eyed amongst you will already know, Steve has set the standard for our great footage and debut single ‘ Turn it up’ video as seen on ‘youtube’ and The Road-Kings website. In addition, he is also somewhat of an extremely talented bass player and performed with us at the following weeks invite only performance at the Gibson studios.
Morning of the gig we had to leave the hotel early to get through security and be a jump ahead of the thousands of bikers that make there way to the event . With the sound check complete by lunch it was sometime later at 8.30 that we took to the stage.
The band roared through the opening numbers ‘Fat boy Blues” ‘Turn it up’ and ’The Road’ and the rest of the set flew by and was all played and performed to a high standard , just as we had rehearsed.
The crowd loved the band and we got the rare opportunity to do an encore (not the norm) on such events thanks to the crowd’s appreciation. Apart from a strict finish time on the event from a band performance and perspective it all went really well and was a blast.
Sound, lighting and the hard working stage crew, who I have to say had a lot of bands and ego’s to deal with that day, were totally on it and were a pleasure to work with ! Having done many similar music festivals before, tempers can get frayed quite quickly in the heat of battle.. but for us , all was cool…
We done ourselves proud in hospitality after the gig, needless to say we were all nursing a slight twang in the head the following day when we had to return to the UK with a heavy heart.
On a personnel level I would like to ‘big up’ all involved on the R-K’S side and hope that my own personnel performance will only serve towards us securing more of the same next year. Bring it On !!
One of the other things I do apart from looking through the lens of a HD video camera at The Road Kings is play the bass guitar. (I guess I've now played it for more years than I dare to admit!)
A couple of weeks ago Brad asked me to play the bass guitar with the Road Kings at their Gibson show. So, after a hundred listens to the 'Dust And Gasoline' album, one 3-hour rehearsal and four sore fingers I got to play with the band.
The venue at Gibson guitars London offices provides bands with a sound and lighting system plus large selection of drums, amps and four walls covered of Eipiphone guitars (if you are short of a Les Paul or two.)
For the show I used one of their Ashdown bass combos and plugged in my 1965 Fender precision."your far too loud" the sound engineer shouted!, needless to say, in the time honored way of any true bass guitarist. I didn't turn the volume down!
It was a great showcase for the album, and was very well received by the invited audience. I really enjoyed playing 'Pacific coast Highway'.unfortunately I got a bit lost in the middle of the song. Next time I'll get a Sat Nav for my fingers.
For me as a guitarist things could'nt get any better than being invited to The Gibson Guitar Studio to promote The Road-Kings debut album. As I looked around the room which was lined wall to wall with Gibson guitars back to the stage which had illuminated Gibson motifs either side I felt that this was a special place to be.
After an early 5.30 sound check the band were ready for the show at 7.30. Just as we were about to start I noticed to my horror that my Boss ME70 effects pedal had decided to shut itself down and go into standby mode, something I had not encoutered before, the count down into Fat Boy Blues was already underway and I could'nt stop it so I tried re starting the amp but nothing was happening, I then realised the effects unit had gone into tuner mode so I pressed a few more buttons and thankfully it went straight back to play mode. Back in business, after that the show went very smoothly.
Special thanks from me to Steve Wilson on bass, his first gig with The Road-Kings, well played Steve, also the resident sound engineer Pete. Thanks to everyone that came to support us including David W, Aidrian, Lucy & Ben, Laura B, two Steves, Ed & Pauline, James & Steph. Great night great crowd.
Having already directed the Road King's 'Turn It Up' video I was pleased to be asked by the band to fly out with them to the Faaker-See event in Austria and shoot a mini documentary. The event itself can only be described as 'epic', there was a large concert stage that had an excellent sound and lighting system, thousands of people and of course more Harleys than you could imagine.
I managed to shoot a short interview with Brad on the Wednesday morning (was he sober?.wait to see the video clips!) Later after the bands sound check I filmed a walk-a-about with Brad, Fred and Jon as they took a look around Faaker-See. (I think Fred and Brad only just managed to resist the temptation to buy more Harleys!)
Later that night the Road Kings took to the stage. Brad had already asked me to shoot a short selection of their live show (3 songs) and these small selections, along with Brad's interview will appear on the Road Kings website soon.
p.s the catering was fantastic.I had the best ham sandwich ever served to me by my own personal waiter. Mr Henshaw!
After a pretty stressful departure out of Stanstead on 8th Sept with our party of 14 plus excess luggage / cd's / guitars and equipment, but once in the air and a couple of beers everything seemed ok again.
On arrival first impressions of Austria people and weather was excellent. First night as usual was two many glasses of wine and not enough sleep.
Next day collected at 1pm and taken to the main stage at Faaker-See for our sound check, saw thousands of great Harleys on route. The venue was very impressive, superb stage complete with a Harley suspended over the band. I would like to thank the stage crew for their time and efforts helping us to set up, my guitar technician went to great lenths to make sure everything was just right for me. The equipment provided for me was a Marshall 900 amp pls a Marshall 4x12 cab. The sound check went well then we were offered excellent hospitality back stage and later returned to our hotel.
At 7pm collected to go to the gig (our time to perform was 8.15) arrived to see last 30 mins of another band called Jet Black. Met up with some of the members of Quill, had a chat, then got ready for our slot. The gig went very well, a great introduction from the MC mel, at the end of the gig and after an encore we had a great send off from Mel. A few more beers and a meet up with some of the organisers then back to the hotel.
Last day a leisurely morning awaiting our courtesy bus back to the airport, good flight followed by a gruelling two and a half hour journey back to Birmingham. Another few days in the life of The Road-Kings. (Brill)
Carvell (the Sales and Marketing boss with the tan) calls me to tell me that we have to show our faces at Rich Bitch Studios, Birmingham where the boys are rehearsing that evening. Armed with a hang over, thought I had better show my face, above all else I knew there would be a glass of wine and a curry in it for me at the end of the night . . . (Joking)
WOW ! who are these guys ! Fat Boy Blues . . . . . Despite the fact that Brad Freddie and John are all seasoned music professionals and I had heard them play and rehearse several times before - they sounded on top form (even in the tiny room they had hired) suddenly realised that they had spared the larger studios for the number of empty bud bottles that they had consumed ! Although disappointed that I had missed the girls who had rehearsed the night before, the boys really did sound fabulous !
Brad is directing and suddenly remembers that we can't take him seriously with dry fluffy hair so begins to apply his hair gel in mid flow (was that for my benefit ? he he) We stuck around for a few hours, listened to the guys and gave constructive critiscm where necessary (ehhm because we can!) and had a few beers with the guys who are so looking forward to Wednesday 09 September 2009. (Guys are playing at Harley Davidson European Bike Week Faaker See)
During the break, I asked one of the brass players (no names of course) if I could have ago of his instrument (clean please) and noticed he had a cold sore - Yack ! styled it and quickly put the instrument down - ehhm no thank you. . .
What a great bunch of musically talented guys ! ( and girls - sorry, I keep saying that !)
During rehearsals for Austria I noticed the band were sounding excellent and getting very confident with the songs, I became aware of this when I noticed Jon (keyboards) playing keys on one hand and swigging beer at the same time with he other, I looked across the room only to see Paul (Bass) doing exactly the same, this quickly caught on so Brad joined in and finally so did I.
I have purchased a new practice amp called a Spider Jam, it has hundreds of guitar sounds plus hundreds of drum loops and backing tracks, it will prove very useful for song writing ideas for the next album.
I am hoping to aquire a new Gibson Les Paul that I can customize similar to my Fat Boy ie put some harley badging plus roadking identity markings and maybe an artistic design somewhere on the main body.
Looking forward to Faaker-See and would be pleased to have a beer or two with any of our fans.