Songs: Clubbing In The Weeknotes / gigs / releases
On a Monday in the Midlands there's not a lot to do
Published by Wipe Out Music Publishing
Here's another song with a tortuous history. In November 1997 I got my one and only bit of Record Company Interest as a result of the Work EP, when an American chap emailed me to see if I had any songs available for a compilation CD he was putting together. I sent him a copy of my then-current cassette "A Church Hall Of Sound", which he seemed to like, and then he asked me if I had any unreleased songs he could use? As ever, I said "Yes, of COURSE I do!" and then went home and wrote this song. The American chap REALLY liked it, and suggested putting it out as a single - I was a little suspicious as, having not much experience of The Record Industry I was EXTREMELY wary of people leading me on and then EITHER revealing themselves to be People I Knew, Playing A Trick OR trying to fleece me out of some money, so when he got even MORE excited about it and suggested we do an ALBUM, I said yes please, but asked how we were going to pay for it all?
He went SILENT at this point, DASHING my hopes and AFFIRMING my fears - it certainly wasn't the ONLY time this had happened, but it was BIG enough (to me) to make me try and DO something about it. I'd recently "met" someone on the uk-indie mailing list, Rob Fleay, who seemed to be in the same boat. His band, Sienna, had become the live backing band for Jyoti Mishra aka WHITE TOWN, and when THEY'D had a number one hit record Sienna had been given studio time to record some demos. Nothing had come of it, so we gently DANCED around each other online, until we'd agreed to do a split single together.
Around the same time I'd been to Upstairs At The Garage in That London (I'm not sure whether I was playing a gig myself, or had gone to see John Sims) and had got talking to Mat Whitaker. Mat had, until recently, been the silent partner in Fortuna Pop! - as I found out later, he'd co-run it with Sean, but had never made himself known to me before then - and had decided he was going to start his OWN record label. It was called Wingnut or something, he'd given me a Business Card and said he'd like to do a single with me - I DO distinctly remember sitting in the back of a car on the way back to Leicester next morning saying "I think I agreed to do a single with somebody last night", and being VERY excited about it. Anyway, these two meetings came together and it so happened that Mat was in the Derby area one weekend, so the three of us got together and THUS AAS was begun.
The song itself came about because of one particular evening, November 12th 1997, when I put on a gig at The Physio & Firkin in Leicester with Rob's band, Sienna. I'd really REALLY done a lot of work promoting this gig, as I wanted Rob to be IMPRESSED by what we could ACHIEVE together, especially as he was a Number One Recording Artiste and everything. Thus I'd put up posters around town and been to LOADS of gigs in the preceding weeks, telling everyone I knew about it and handing out LOADS of flyers. LOTS of people I knew from other bands KNEW about it, but not a single one of them came. NOBODY. The audience consisted ENTIRELY of Ian The Promoter, his friend George (who was playing too), a strange local loonie who came up for George's bit, my friend Neil, and a photographer girl I'd been talking to on the email.
It was one of the most "IMPORTANT" (IMPORTANT!!) gigs I've ever done. Yeah! As well as finally showing me that I COULDN'T rely on ANYBODY from The Leicester Music Scene (and thus making me pursue the idea of AAS, forcing me to get out and play gigs in OTHER places, and RELEASING me from feeling I HAD to keep going to every gig everybody else ever did), it also formed the basis of this song, and also started a relationship with the aforementioned photographer which went on to inspire a LOT of other songs. Personally I could have really done WITHOUT the last item there, as the relationship WASN'T a good one - see THE ONLY THING for further details - but for the REST I'll always be grateful. See, DETERMINED to make a good night of it Neil and I decided to go Clubbing In The Week, a phrase we repeated all night like an MANTRA to keep us going, and everything else mentioned flowed from that decision. If a few people HAD come to that gig, or if I'd decided to go straight home in a HUFF afterwards, life would have been VERY different.
ANYWAY, writing the song was pretty easy, and recording it was FUN. Listening to it now, as with "Work's All Right", I REALLY like the bass, and am AMAZED by how much stuff I RAMMED into it. I experimented with having a keyboard solo in the middle, I believe, but eventually realised that if this WAS going to be my big hit, I might as well have a RAMPANT GUITAR SOLO in the middle. So I did.
The single WASN'T my big hit, but I DID get in the Melody Maker. Steve Lamacq wrote in his weekly column one about a gig he'd been to where there were only five people in the audience, and wondered whether this was some sort of record. I wrote to set him RIGHT, and also sent a copy of "The Curse Of Voon", a booklet I'd written about our LIFE IN ROCK, which he gleefully quoted from in his next column a few weeks later, also mentioning that I had a new single out. I was VERY excited, even though it, mysteriously, turned out that this WASN'T the sort of recommendation that would get people buying it in droves. I also eventually heard from that American chap, around the time that "Hey Hey 16K" was an interweb hit - it turned out he'd moved house, I think, and/or changed jobs and so had lost his email and then been unable to get in touch with me, and had felt REALLY bad about it ever since. Bless.
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