Haven’t Webl Ogged for a while because there’s not been anything to Ogg.
We went to see Chixdiggit dan Landan. Mike couldn’t come as he was poorly. As expected, they blew our minds. Bezzie band I’ve seen for a long time. Let’s here it for Chixdiggit!
We went to Descendents dan Landan. Mike could come as he wasn’t poorly. I’m certain he would have rather been poorly for this one, given the choice. Major bummer all round. Please email me if you can ‘splain the point of valet parking in a multi-storey car park though. Is it as it appears? Is it available just to serve as a vehicle for the needless exhibitionism of a few outrageously wealthy people? If so, they may as well just put their money in the bin.
Speaking of outrageously wealthy people, we’re feeding the machine and spending more money than one could rationally comprehend by going to see Jerry Seinfeld in June. I hope he doesn’t Milo himself. That would be a disaster. Unless NOFX’s Eric Melvin is his tour manager too, of course.
Played K Fest a few weeks ago. Thoroughly enjoyable event. It would have been much more of an enjoyable event had we not been extremely late due to a closure of the M11 and the subsequent diversion. Sincerest apologies to Caves and Onsind for having to be shifted around on’t bill to accommodate us. Many thanks. Unfortunately, the delay really put a downer on our day. We missed almost all the rock groups. Sitting in a car for five hours will make a bland meal of even the most seasoned traveller, let alone us.
When you’re not really paying attention ‘Godzilla’ can sound a lot like ‘Bob Dylan’.
Enormous thanks also to Angela and Alf for re-jigging for us. The time we did get to spend was lovely. We played most of the songs quite well. Guitar was not interested in staying on tune. Sang all the songs (thanks Vocalzone, even if you are a placebo). Not only is the UV lighting a problem for those of us who spend our entire lives covered in extraneous cat hair and for those of us without plastic Martine McCutcheon nanny teeth (Fig. 1), the sheer darkness of the Fighting Cocks is also massive problem for dot markers on guitars. Mike and I will get LED dot markers like everyman bassist Mark King of Level 42 (Fig. 2), should we be asked to return.
Carl saw Richard E Grant when driving through Richmond. He also saw that robot from Big Brother (Fig. 3) getting petrol and Extra Strong mints at a garage near Earls Court the other week. Coincidence?
No more gigs at the moment. Please get in touch if you’d like us to come to you and play.
The EP is finally done and dusted. Mastering is booked for the end of May so will be available as an electronic thing early June. AT LAST. Hope you like it you guyz and if you don’t, just turn it off. There’s no need to tell the internet that you don’t like it. Use that time productively; tell the internet about something you do like.
We’re also hoping to go back into t’studio in June to demo a few songs for the album, which is progressing well, thanks for asking. We really need to figure out a way to record that doesn’t take us longer to complete than a human pregnancy. I imagine we’ll put one or two of those up when that’s done, given that we’re getting tired of playing the EP songs already. How bands do it, I’ll never know.
We: are rebranding.
To some, Men is an awful band name. To others, Men is a good band name. We are changing it because there is another band called Men who are from America.
When we originally decided to be known as Men, American Men did exist but American Men were a DJ duo. We thought American Men were far enough away from anything we, or they, were ever likely to do for it never to be an issue. No one has ever mistaken Africa the country for Africa by Toto or Africa by Lynx right? Well now they are a band with instruments and things and seem to be popular with some people. What they do is not something we enjoy and they are not an act we would want to be mistaken for. I’m fairly certain they have said the same about us. They actually have fans. Can you imagine if their fans went to see them but got us instead? It would be as disappointing as if the Descendents came and played two gigs in England and Milo lost his voice right at the start of the first gig. Everyone would go home crying, except Rob from Vanilla Pod who would be drunk on life.
An advert for the latest Ministry of Sound compilation ‘The Mash Up Mix Bass’ was just followed by an advert for an instantly forgettable branded paracetamol. Now that, budding executives, is how you sequence television advertising.
The problem is that band names, generally speaking, are either terrible or taken. They are usually a stupid, irrelevant way of referencing a group. We did try to see if there was some way we could just not have a name at all. Unfortunately, No Use For A Name was taken. Oh, and it’s terrible. Double whammy.
We’ve been through massive lists and couldn’t find that special someone we wanted to spend the rest of our lives with. Some choice names that I can remember were: Caucasian Dub Foundation, UR2, There There, INSX, Prints, The Artist Formally Known As Prints, The Artist Formally Charged For Passing Prints Off As Original Works, Lead Singer, Animal Lecture, Sean John J Paul Jean Shaun Z Feat. Jay Paul Jean John Sean,
After much deliberation, we are going with…
You may think it’s a good band name. You may think it’s an awful band name. That’s your right as a consumer. Like most businesses, we couldn’t care less about your rights or your opinions.
When you live in a world where some bands have set the band name bar as low as the likes of: (Spunge), Small Brown Bike, (hed)PE, Def Leppard, sunn0))), Scouting for Girls, !!!, Puff Daddy, Pisschrist, Get cape, Wear cape, fly, Puddle of Mudd, alexisonfire, Panic! At the Disco, Biffy Clyro, Limp Bizkit (I won’t even start on anatomical heavy metal band names), we’re pretty sure we’ll survive just fine known as Big Success.
We are now working to establish a pretty comprehensive social networking portfolio. Keep your digital ear to the digital ground for digital updates on the digital front.
Imagine a cat chewing chewing gum gum.
Look, I don’t know about you dear reader, but I’m now going to get on board this six pack of Creme Eggs, a massive cup of tea and a tearjerkin’ VHS and ride it all the way to Satisfaction town centre.
Jem (for and on behalf of Big Success Industries).
Sweet angels of my lifetime (the two people who read this nonsense inc. Carl and Mike). Bon voyage!
So Mike and Michelle had a teenie weenie baby girl, Darcy Rae Wightman. YES! Well reproduced to all involved!
So Carl and Tasha had beautiful bodacious sweet baby boy, Milo Theodore Godbold. YES! Well reproduced to all involved!
All involved are very tired but are warm, well and loving life. Healthy, strong and very vimmy.
In addition, after nearly 10 years with a beautiful, excellent lady, I asked her to marry me and she said yes. YES! YES!
On a less life-changing note; re: the Men Sound Design Trio, Carl and I recorded some more sing a few weeks ago. Carl did well. I got fed up. We’re expecting mixes of our extended player to hear this week. Can you imagine?
Looking forward to hearing those.
Looking forward to facilitating the hearing of those by other people.
We did two three hour practises (totalling six hours practising) in five months and played a concert at the Arts Centre Arena in Norwich City Centre. Centre. There were lots of people we know there. If a close friend asked me to describe it, I’d say something along the lines of “We had a really lovely time, were very silly and played several of the songs quite well. I felt the first four songs were played better than the last three. My singing was not that good on the last three because I peaked too early and haven’t sung in a fair while. On a whole though, it went well, thanks”. This Business is Closed played several songs and were excellent. Holy State played several songs and were excellent. Not quite as loud as usual, which was good. Sometimes they’re a bit too loud for me.
Those curators of Twee Off events at the Norwich Arts Centre Arena know what they’re doing and they think about, that’s for sure.
One day I’m going to get Mike to take a photo of me writing ‘For Real’ on my arm with a Sharpie in the backstage bit of the Arts Centre.
You know, Carl never ceases to amaze me. He has the best song memory of any youman bean I have ever played with. He could remember half a rifffff we played half the time, half a decade ago. He’s like that recreational activity that was popular in parks and on beaches in the 1990s where a ball coated in female velcro was thrown, by a friend, at a hand-worn circular disc coated in male velcro. The ball is a song. The glove is Carl. They just stick together, remembering eachother.
Mike and I, on the other hand, are hopeless at remembering songs.
So, as the old saying goes, ‘the EP will be done soon, best wishes’.
There is nothing on telly.
Personally, I’ve had some difficulties lately. Aweek afore athe aforementioned aconcert, I was practising some technical moves with my favourite ornamental samurai sword in my drawing room when I rendered my little finger in blood and in a state of very near stitchworthyness. I was washing up in the privacy of my own kitchenette when I was a little heavy handed with a very quaint Kath Kidston mug whose ceramic sought to tear through my little finger with ferocious intensity, rendering my sink full of blood and my little finger in a state of very near stitchworthyness.
I think this Bruno Mars song may centre around unrequited love.
If that weren’t enough, that night after the concert I was accosted by twelve vampire townies (chavs, what have you) who were baying for my blood, or iPhone (whichever the more revered by Cash Converters). So, not one to go out without a fight, and being a keen amateur physician and mathematician, I took a split second to establish the position of each chavpire and calculate the perfect ‘one shot takes all’ throw (think Charlie Sheen’s character in ‘A Beautiful Mind’). So, with all my might, I unleashed the most savage underarm throw the world may have ever seen (I’m not 100% on this, I’ve not been keeping track). One by one, each chavpire flinched in slight pain and ran away, crying. Unfortunately, the altercation culminated with my iPhone lying face down in the street. I had smashed my screen. I had just parked in Sainsbury’s car park (Queens Road, Norwich) to get a few essentials when I opened the door and got out. I heard a light bash on the mottled tarmac. It was my iPhone. I had smashed my screen.
Life without my iPhone has proved trying, at best. The toughest struggle was the adjustment to the walk to and from work without my favourite Replacements, Jackson Browne or 70s power pop song for company, until one evening when I just snapped. I discovered the truth. The non-digital media truth. The real truth. I discovered the act of racing one’s self to or from work. Faster! FASTER, YOU TALL, THIN MORON! I felt a huge weight had been lifted. It doesn’t stop there, either. You can get outsiders involved too! Just the other day I had an imaginary race to the chemist with a young couple. I won. I gave them quite the head-start too. I am so fast at walking to work that some people I’ve asked haven’t even seeing me doing it.
We are now putting a film on.
‘the EP will be done soon, best wishes’.
Jem (for and on behalf of Men Inc.)
So, I’ve just finished packing for our first world tour. We start on Friday in King’s Lynn, Norfolk and finish on Saturday in Norwich, Norfolk. It’s a pretty gruelling schedule. Unfortunately, we’ve little free time to absorb the culture of the places we’re playing. However, we are travelling in a luxury vehicle with some amazing features, such as: several mirrors, bins built into the floor, see-through windows and a glove compartment full of mini long life milks. We have also obtained three oxygen tanks to sleep in (special thanks to ebayer latoyajackson69. Good comms, prompt delivery, would deal with again A+).
We will have some new merch on the tour, which is cool. Carl has been working around the clock putting together designs for garments for the Autumn collection. Here is a picture I took of him working:
He has been looking at ways to combine iconic cultural symbols with everyday clothing to create something unique that can really inspire young people. Ladies and gentleman, Men’s Maison de Couture presents…
Taking inspiration from this:
To create this:
Wow, Carl knows what he’s doing and he thinks about it, that’s for sure. The Men version has an enormous patch safety pinned on the back with ‘Men’ in an instinguishable heavy metal font with the words ‘Piss Off’ underneath. The Lumberjoodie will retail at £161.99. Check it out at the non-existent and totally unnecessary Men paraphernalia centre.
I wish my cat would say something.
We haven’t done anything in a while as Carl and Mike are both with-child and are far too busy organising that than to bother themselves with sillyness. We do still have an EP to finish though, hopefully that will be done sooner rather than later but I can see myself still writing that sentence in three years time, about the very same EP.
We’re not going to be doing any concerts until March-ish now but will have a bit of a go every once in a while. My project is to use this downtime to start sitting kittens down on an album. THIS IS GOING REALLY WELL. There are maybe seven or eight embryos floating around. Pumped about that. Sure, at the moment they’re just ideas but that was all Charles Darwin had when everyone was telling him the world was flat (as if it were a CD or a DVD) and then he discovered America. There’s a lesson in that.
We’ve very nearly finished the recording, that’s what’s going on. This is great news. Just got some last mixing bits to do, get her mastered and she’s done.
I’ve spent some time fannying about with artwork ideas today. Looks cool IIRC.
Since our last communication we done did some gigs. Boy George did I done did some driving. Here are some pictures of me picking Mike up:
Went to Brumingham and played at Off the Cuff. Really hot in the car again. Always seems to be hot in the car. Got ice creams at Thetford Sainsbury’s. I bought an over-frozen white Magnum, the chocolate was chalky as a result. Uneventful journey, lots of Replacements I think. Listened to a Jerry Seinfeld set. Enjoyed that. Got to the event to find your Computers, your Holy State, your Tangly Hair, your fuck all tea at the venue, your pissdrunx Tall Ships, your militant vegetarian animator Robin Fuller etc. Played well as I recall, went on after both The Pooters and Sunny Day Holy State which was done-in. Had a fun time. This was a very well organised event. Felt very sorry for Kay (Get A Grip) for having to sit on the door all day. Tall Ships were leathered. Holy State care not for parking restrictions:
Shared a joke with The Computers about cleavage. Loaded out. Pissed off.
Two days later we went to Wolverhampton. We realise pissing off from Birmingham only to piss back on to Wolverhampton separated only by one shit sleep and one good sleep is daft but we were supposed to play on the Sunday somewhere. That never happened.
Got to Wolviehamptie to be greeted by three of the best people ever to come from Liverpool; John, Paul and George/Matthew, Ringo and Al. Hot Club De Paris. Heavens, those three men are funny men. Make a decent racket too, listen to that. This was quite a Norwich orientated affair. You’ve got your us, you’ve got your Fever Fever and you’ve got your Holy State (HCDP and Aged Yummy being the exceptions). A lot of people think Holy State are from Leeds because they studied learning there but that’s false. They’re from Norwich - La La Land, City of Angels, home of the brave. Parked. Up stair load in = no good. Nice door man. Nice venue. Nice people. Lovely promoter with a brilliant Failures’ Union t-shirt. Had a lovely time. We played. Carl and Mike thought we were crap. Carl’s stuff kept falling over which put him off no end. My guitar amp wasn’t loud enough. Couldn’t hear anything so singing was probably sub-par. Sorry audience. Didn’t see anyone leave though, that’s something I like to keep an eye on. Left before Hot Club, we had to work the next day. Our ‘Still There At The End Of The Gig’ rating on the Top Trumps ‘Punk Twats’ edition would be -100%. But, you know, Frankie says shit happens and then you relax and marry one.
A few days later we went to Sheffield to play with The 255s, Caves, The Amistad and Good Luck. This is the worst journey ever to make in a car. The A17 sux. Shit services, even that one with the woman who says darling, babes, angel pixie, sweetheart, lovehead or some other affectionate tag at the end of every sentence. She was cool. Here’s a message for all you lorry drivers out there getting your kicks overtaking other lorries - DON’T BOTHER. Listened to a George Carlin set on this drive. He did a big bit about poos and farts and whatnot. We’re no Blink 182. That stuff was not funny to us. Listened to Rancid.
Got to the concert hall. No one was there. The other groups arrived then Craig arrived about half an hour before doors. It was at this point we knew this would be our sort of gig, this sentiment was only reinforced later when Craig said something along the lines of ‘We’ll start when people arrive’. Bezzie. Craig and Sam (and others) are Not Shy of the DIY. By name and by naturelol. We hassled them on several occassions to put us on and we wore them down in the end. Thanks dudes. If you live in or are strange enough to be on holiday in Sheffield - go to one of their gigs. They know what they’re doing and they think about it, that’s for sure. Sam also plays in hit rock group Wooderson who I’ve since listened to and thoroughly enjoyed. I suggest you do the same. Two of my bezzie m8s eva (who live in Sheffield) came, that was lovely. The 255s played, they were great. First time seeing them. Straight up indie rock. Hopefully we’ll resurrect plans to do a weekend together soon. We played. We played the songs well I believe. Presented ourselves well. Mike shined. We enjoyed it, I know that much. Caves played, they too were really great. First time seeing them. Sing-along UK punx. Sadly, heard just one The Amistad song and no Good Luck. Unfortunately, we had to leave early due to work the next day. ‘Still There At The End Of The Gig’ rating now down to -150%. Nice tea on the way home, but served up by a miserable drongo. I know you’re working at night dude but cheer up, the actress said to the Bishop.
That was that. Thanks to all who let us play their events, we loved it!
Our next concert is in Swansea with The Computers. If you live in Swansea and aren’t Trev, come:
Pumped about this one. We’ve been trying play Swansea for ages now and we’ve finally sorted it. What’s that? Yeah, we know it’s a long drive but a marathon is long run. At the end of those all you get is a tin foil coat and a Mars bar. At the end of this drive we get a gig.
This is probably our penultimate gig before Carl and Mike take paternity leave from the group. Mike and Michelle are having a girl and Carl and Tasha are having a boy. Please submit baby name ideas to: firstname.lastname@example.org. All entries will be considered. Winning entries will not receive a tin foil coat or a Mars bar.
If anyone sees Sauna Youth anywhere, tell them to sort a weekender with us. They make good sound and are nice men.
Also, if anyone has any pictures of us playing live, we need them. Please send them to: email@example.com.
So, drums are done.
Carl is doing some single hits for Terry to sell to beatmakers on the internet for a sweet profit.
Carl and I had a fictional falling out. In the interest of time, he wouldn’t let me make a cup of tea. No longer will I follow him on Twitter and no longer shall I be his friend on Facebook. However, if he adds me on Friends Reunited in 5 years time, I will consider him.
IT IS REALLY HOT AT DAN DARKNESS’ HOUSE.
Terry has no shirt on.
Mike is nearly asleep but is warming up his bass skills by comparing the performance of an iPhone 3GS with an iPhone 4.
Since my last sentence, Mike is now setting his sweet bass rig up so that he has mountains of tone coming out of it.
And so continues the ongoing saga of recording songs with my friends…
PS: Here is a photo of how hot I am at the moment
So, here we are; blogging our heads off.
Myspace is rubbish and that MP3.com link doesn’t seem to work now so we’re going the double B (blog and bandcamp) route. That’s progression, dudes.
For the last few days we’ve been scooting about some cities in England with three angels from Falmouth called Tall Ships.
I am now going to relay memories from brain to blog. Carl, if the grammar and punctuation is incorrect, I apologise.
Friday, went to Brighton. Got stuck in a traffic jam at Thetford, for 2 1/2 hours. Carl bought a TomTom. No soundcheck. I think we played well but I didn’t sing very well. Sometimes I don’t. Only saw a couple of Tall Ships songs, the room was packed for them and Grubbs burgers were too great a prospect to ignore. Mike was honest with someone. Went home after because the England squad were playing a game as part of the World Medal of Soccer tournament so no concert was booked.
On Saturday, I can’t vouch for Carl or Mike, but I played Skate 3 all day.
Sunday afternoon, left for London. Would you believe it, got stuck in Thetford again! Got to London eventually. No soundcheck. Saw friends. Lots of people there. We were crap. We couldn’t even talk our way out of that one. We were really bad. Sometimes it just doesn’t work out. Stayed at Sunbury Travelodge which is a fantastically equipped, newly built Travelodge.
Monday, went to Thorpe Park. ‘Saw - The Ride’ was excellent, ‘Saw Alive - Live Action Horror Maze’ was not. The maze is not a maze, it is a series of dark rooms through which punters have to awkwardly do the conga with strangers whilst being tickled by people pretending to be poorly. Nemesis Inferno was fantastic. Colossus was an excellent legs-downer, nice length. Pizza Hut buffet, reasonably priced. Reminded me a bit of a jumble sale. A jumble sale of pizza. My kind of jumble sale. Mike ate loads. Carl didn’t eat his crusts but had much more variety than Mike and I. I was disappointed that tea was not on offer as a drink. I spilt a whole cup of 7Up (was disgusting anyway) because the paper cups were of a weight I was unfamiliar with, so we bailed. I hadn’t spilt a drink in years. Stealth was the highlight. Ride assistant Sarah told us the indoor ‘coaster was shit so we didn’t bother with that. Had tea, during which we debated, at great length, the pros and cons of leaving after the aforementioned tea or going back and going on the Saw ride again. We left. Drove to Southampton, met Tom who was a fantastic promoter and a lovely man. Thanks Tom. We played and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Others seemed to enjoy it too, which was good. Tall Ships were excellent. Grown Ups and Into It.Over It. arrived, they were fantastic people AGAIN and made us laugh an awful lot. Both their concerts were a joy to watch. Carl taught them the international sign for pouring boiling water from a great height to make a nicer cup of tea. We talked about lots of lovely things including how pretty and magical cats are. Met Chase, an excellent man. Rumours about going to play in America next year. Went to Subway because it had a free tea refill offer on, had tea with Chase and Evan. Talked about whether U2 are better than The Get Up Kids’ output after ‘Something…’. Inconclusive. They left. We went to the Travelodge. Had to leave our car full of very expensive objects on a road and dreamt about it being stolen by a nasty man. Great dream. Terry Travelodge messed the bookings up so we got a double room each! All slept diagonally in double beds and got three times as much tea as usual.
Tuesday, went to Cardiff. Beautiful city, lovely weather. Mike spent the morning recovering from an accidental retweet. Planned to enjoy tea and cake with Tall Ships but didn’t. The venue was incredible. Messed around and shot the shit with Tall Ships all afternoon. Went to a music shop, Mike fictionally bought a Gibson SG bass. The specification of the earplugs on offer was insufficient for Tall Ships because they’re too heavy. Soundcheck. This was my favourite performance (of ours) of the whole thing. This is how we should play all the time but it doesn’t work like that. I think Rick from Tall Ships agreed with me that it was the best one. Really felt that we presented some of our songs in a positive way. Jen the promoter put on a lovely spread including a really nice cake made by her nan who likes Dinosaur Jr. Carl accused me of being Elwood from the Blues Brothers because I ate a piece of bread with nothing on it. We hashed an interview and sounded like dickheads, so enjoy reading that. Spoke to Swansea based cycle enthusiast, Jack, who told us a story of how Chris Hoy once challenged him to a race up a hill and how Hoy sabotaged his bike by pouring sand in the frame. Throughout the whole conversation I had the image of Chris Choi (the newsreader) in my head. Early finish. Tall Ships wanted to go and film an amateur episode of Booze Britain (narrated by Morgan Freeman) but we didn’t. I don’t think they did either. They stayed at Jen’s and washed up everything she owns, including her nan. Went to the Travelodge. New build. There was, what we assumed to be, a hardcore band playing unruly street soccer in the car park. Kelly Rowland was on Graham Norton, she claps like a seal and wears the clothes of a twat. Graham Norton says a lot of things as if they are sexual innuendos but they aren’t at all. He’s either really clever, knows more about sex acts than me or takes advice from Kelly Rowland’s clothes. I’ll opt for the latter.
Wednesday, went to Birmingham. Really hot day. Parked behind Tall Ships, were concerned about the car being full of expensive things again and debated at great length again about whether it was safe to leave it there until the venue opened or not as, nearby, there were two unsavouries drinking orange squash. We took a gamble and went to meet Tall Ships at the International Food Fair in the nice part of Birmingham. The sun was too bright for me, earned a thick head. Tall Ships were leathered on German beer, they had been there since 9am. Carl used some of Rick’s surf-approved sun cream. Matt said that the girl from Paramore is the most beautiful girl he has ever seen in is whole entire life (and he’s been to a Katie Price book signing) and that he wanted to marry her. We said that he stood no chance as he doesn’t use Twitter. All wandered back to the venue. Half watched the World Shield final, skim read a local music magazine. Loaded in. Tested the sound of the things. Ria also put on a lovely spread but hid it in a room under the stairs, sadist. We played, I don’t think I sang too well again, must work on that. We weren’t mind bendingly incredible but that was largely due to technical problems. This was a shame because it was the finale. Tall Ships were mind bendingly incredible. Jamie moshed into the crowd like a crazy loon and did a drum roll for ages. Met Kay from www.getagripstudio.com, she has printed some sleeves for us. Loaded out. Pissed off.
So that was it. Over in a flash. No sooner had Tall Ships entered our lives, they had left again like a holiday romance.
To summarise: I can remember Wednesday much better than I can last Friday, lots of tea, lots of talking rubbish, some great sets, at least one shit set, friends, Travelodges, services, soft water areas, meeting wonderful people, driving, listening to Karate and The Replacements, packing the car, unpacking the car. A nice time.
Tall Ships really are a great band. If you haven’t heard them and you like Tortoise, Tristeza, that Misery is a Butterfly album by Blonde Redhead (if it were a lot happier), The Sea and Cake etc then you would probably like them. http://www.myspace.com/tallshipsfromfalmouth
They know what they’re doing and they think about it. That’s for sure.
Thank you to everyone who made the effort to leave their homes to come and see us. Thank you to the Freebutt, Jen, Tom, Ria and Kev for making the effort to organise concerts, we appreciate it more than we probably make known at the time. I hope I haven’t forgotten anyone. Thank you to Tall Ships for letting us use their Tre Cool signature and related expensive objects, for listening to us talk absolute drivel and for entertaining us. Lets do it again some time.