Wednesday, 30 September 2009


The Rescue Rooms, Nottingham - Saturday 25th

So on to Nottingham and a date I'd been looking forward to for ages. Our friends from Wales had decided to make a night of it as it also coincided with a Birthday. Before that however Zoë, Mai, Robin, Jenny (birthday girl) & Paul decided to have a day at Eden spa in Staffordshire. I had an email from Brian the manager saying the times at the venue had changed and were much earlier which ruled me out from spending the day with them.

As Nottingham is relatively close Sarah decided to make her own way to the venue. I got there for 3.30pm and found the crew were waiting for The Goo to come and sound check. Sarah had said that she would get there just before we were due on so we would skip our run through, the sound guys pretty much know our set-up by now and we are fairly easy to mix. I went for a walk around the centre and got something to eat at Wagamamas, Chili Squid Mmmm.

I checked into the Premier Inn which is a short walk from The Rescue Rooms and returned to the venue, the guys had arrived and were finishing their sound check. I had time to set my gear up and do a quick check, I'm really glad I did as the audio was glitching from my laptop, after rebooting the problem was still apparent so at that point I started to sweat. The only option was to reload all of the audio tracks from my external drive and start again. This would also mean recreating some of the instrument tracks that I play as I'd been changing the sounds to give them a little more presence as they were getting lost in the mix. Most sounds on the album are EQ'd and treated using my SSL Duende, unfortunately however this causes a thing called latency that Logic normally compensates for. It's never an issue whilst mixing but when you play a sound live using this kind of processing you get a very noticeable delay. Therefore I have to tweak the sounds to help them cut through the mix. You can't really tell until you listen to the whole track at volume so I've been making changes as we've been going along.

I got a call from Sarah and Zoë who were both on route to the venue but abruptly said sorry I can't talk and put the phone down, fortunately the back-up fixed the problem. I don't know what caused it so it's something I've been keeping an eye on since.

The backstage area at The Rescue Rooms was literally a corridor with a few chairs in, this was to be shared by us and The Goo. We chatted for a bit and I was showing the guys how I remote started our set. 7.30 soon came and we went on stage. I could see Limahl and a few of the other guys watching our set but as always it was over far too soon.

The night for me really began then and I have to say I was a little worse for wear by the end of it. Limahl didn't fancy going out to meet people but he said to bring a few people back stage to say hello. As always the other Kaja guys came out to meet people. Mai was doing a great job selling merchandise for us so I decided to go back stage and sit down for a while. On entering I witnessed something that will haunt me for a long time. Nick Beggs grinning, sitting with kilt lifted up and his cock and balls inside a see through plastic cup, a small one at that! Nice!

The sound guys were taking my gear to Swansea so that left me trying to sober up and gather my wife and friends so we could head back to the hotel. This took a while and after a few drunken messages from Zoë we finally met them all. Walking into the hotel bar a couple pointed and said you're the keyboard player from Northern Kind, we then had a nice chat with Steve and Madison before heading upstairs to carry on celebrating Jenny's birthday in our room. At 5am we finally went to bed and the rest is just horrible :-(

Monday, 28 September 2009


..gets the prize for best dressing room, free booze, water, tea and coffee (although no kettle?!)  Luckily Kaja Steve came to my rescue and lent me a kettle AND extra milk from their dressing room.   This was the last place that we had our own dressing room, all the other nights we've been sharing with the Kaj.  A few more funny tales to tell as a result ;)
This was a cool gig, as my family were there.  It was also a trip down memory lane, as I performed at The Waterfront when I was 18 years old in my first band 'Red Ink'.  I lived in Cromer at the time, studying A-levels in North Walsham.  I was feeling a bit under-the-weather at Norwich (and Wolverhampton) so it was especially nice to see some friendly faces including Paul, Tony and Wout.
Enjoyed it, and Wout took some wicked photos - have a look on our forum if you haven't already.
Vertigo alert!!  This was the highest stage I've ever seen.  As we walked on Kaj were sound-checking, and they looked like the band from the Muppets (although I'm not sure why, as I don't think the Muppets had a particularly high stage?)  Funny the things that come to mind...
A bit of a negative vibe about this one.  Grumpy staff, and they also put us on much earlier than advertised.  Subsequently, people missed a lot of our set.  Quite a few people commented that they only caught the last two tracks, and wanted to see more.  Loads of people have been surprised at how good we are - for a 'support act', brilliant feedback and collecting new fans along the way.
This was brilliant - and nice and close to home as well.  The 'Rescue Rooms' was a significant venue for me, as it was seeing Sam Brown perform here a few years back that inspired me to start singing and making music again after a 3 year break.
Matt's family and friends were here, as well as more loyal NKers cheering us on and modelling our iconic custard yellow t-shirts :)  Makes our fans easy to spot!  There was a lot of whooping and cheering, so much FUN!  I have some weird things happen during our sets.  This night my bra strap pinged off during 'Automatic' (last night in Swansea I got cramp in my leg, was tempted to take my shoes off).  Still the show must go on, haaha.
Had a nice chat with Mooger, Wout, Rob and co - was nice to catch up and we discussed going to the upcoming Marsheaux gig.  Again, lots of amazing compliments and plenty of merch sold (Nice one Mai!)  Lots of dressing room antics as we were all in together for this one - a bizarre but not unpleasant request from Nick as he laid on the floor and asked me to walk on his bare back in my five inch heels!!  I was too worried about puncturing him, so I ducked out.  Can you imagine the headlines? 'Nick Beggs in Nott's stiletto horror!' Was funny tho.
Had a near disaster when my costume bag split and my belongings fell out all over the place.  Jez saved the day, by lending me his Morrissons carrier bag...Rock n Roll.
Made my way home early-ish, on my way to the car park a lady was asking me where Limahl was.  She thought I was his make-up artist.
Prize for the stickiest floor.  EW!
Not really much else to say about this one - a small but enthusiastic audience.  LONG journey, but enjoyed dipping into some great music on the way back.  Rexx the Dog, The Smiths, Benny Benassi, LCD Soundsystem M.I.A and Kings of Leon made the 120 mph drive home even more exciting.

Next stop London O2 Academy....Sarah x


To summarize the last three gigs I would say.

Shit, Brilliant, OK

Obviously we're a support act so the crowd is never gaurenteed to be on your side, they've come to see Kajagoogoo so why should they be subjected to a poxy warm-up act? That's what I normally think and I'm guilty of skipping many support bands over the years. In general however we've gone down really well and the evidence has been in CD sales and the great feedback.

Wolverhampton Friday 25th September - The Robin 2, don't know what The Robin 1 must have been like if MK2 is an improvement.

So Wolverhampton on Friday, we arrived on time at 5pm so catch the guys in the middle of their sound check. The venue (Robin 2) was an odd looking place on the outskirts of town. Although not a club it reminded me of the place from Phoenix Nights, just because of the people working there seemed to revolve their lives around the venue.

The Kaja guys said they had missed us the previous night as the support in Sheffield were quite a rocky outfit so thought they didn't really fit with their audience. It's a shame about Sheffield and to make things worse Steve the Kaja merchandise guy said they had done really well that night. :-(

The humper/sound monkey (I hope he reads this, if he can read) at the venue who can only be described as a C**T, with a thick black country accent he must typify why people from that region are unfortunately considered to be thick just from the sound of their voices. He was sitting at the front of house sound desk with Steve the Kaja sound engineer and I simply asked him which door I could bring my gear through. "Yowl hav ta wait 'til these fuckers r finished before yow cun dow that", I think my reply was "Pardon" in my poshest voice just to make him sound even more thick.

At all of the other venues we have played at, the in-house guys have been great and couldn't be more helpful. As I was unloading my gear Sarah was talking to this cock and he said to her "we owwnly iver git haz beens heerya", well that's what she thought he said.

We were on at 8pm so I had about an hour to kill, I decided I wanted a curry and I headed off to a small balti house over the road. It only had two tables and essentially a take-away but the food was really nice. Walking back into the venue I was greeted by Dan who we had met in Liverpool. He's a big Kajagoogoo fan and he said he'd looked at our site and obviously listened to the tracks.

Our dressing room that night was literally at the back of the stage and basically just a corridor. Limahl said he wanted to catch our set tonight as they weren't going back to the hotel. In the end I think a few of the Kaja guys watched us from the side of the stage, fortunately I didn't see them as it would have put me off slightly. For us and Kajagoogoo probably the largest crowd yet.

I've really enjoyed watching Kajagoogoo and love the sound they get. However The Robin 2 had a peaked ceiling which does something weird to the sound and the stage is pretty high and almost a self contained box. I think the best sound so far was in Norwich.

I captured video of the guys from the side of the stage whilst Sarah was eating her pack-lunch to demonstrate the contrast of the so called "Rock n roll" life. I really hope the video footage comes together, not really had a chance yet to see it all.

We had an average night with merchandise but then a further encounter with "the cock" happened. As I was unloading Brian the Kaja tour manager stopped for a quick passing chat. Just as he did we hear "are yow cunts gowing t hurrey up, ive gotta a howm to gow to", which I actually suspect is a dingy grotty bedsit for him to go and self harm in.

Part two coming soon...

Friday, 25 September 2009


The next three dates are back to back so I thought I would do a mini update for just the Norwich show.

So we set off for Norwich, I could see that the map was giving me the A14 route so I ignore that and continued driving towards the A47, at almost every single junction the voice prompt kept saying make a U-turn where possible, after an hour of doing this I was getting pretty annoyed. I was clearly on the A47 heading towards our destination so why didn't it realise, stupid TomTom.

We arrived bang on time at 5pm, the venue had "humpers" technical term for people who lift things but I carried my own stuff in, Sarah filmed me.

Stuart came and said hello and we had a quick chat about normal life in between shows. The dressing room was nice with a fridge stocked full of beer and soft drinks. Limahl was running late so we watched the guys play a couple of tracks with Nick singing. The sound guys suggested I set-up so we could sound check quickly once Kaja had finished. The stage was pretty big compared to the previous shows with a decent sound and lighting system.

I headed off to meet Wout who had traveled up from London for the gig, we went to a nice place for a Pie & Pint. On the way back to the venue we bumped into Paul & Tony who were admiring a new bridge?

Arriving back our dressing room had filled with Sarahs family who were enjoying the free beer. By 7.50pm the venue was filling up I had my usual pre-gig panic of getting my iPhone to talk to the peer to peer wireless network to remote start the set. So far no problems, we have synchronised our watches with the sound guys. 8pm on the dot the front of house music went down and the intro to On & On began. I then swiftly turn my phone off as not to hit a button my mistake.

We tweaked the set ever so slightly, (I won't spoil it for people seeing the next few shows) the replacement track went down really well and Sarah managed to get the crowd clapping in the middle 8. My jacket is fairly tight so I thought it best not to join in fear of ripping a sleeve. The lighting was particularly good especially in Into The Blue where they gave us a shimmering underwater effect. For some reason I added new notes to the end of the track, I became absorbed in the moment I guess, Sarah gave me the evil stare.

All too soon the set was over. People were waiting for use to sign the CD's they had purchased and as always we got some great feedback. One guy said "I always expect support bands to be shit, but you were OK" and asked me to sign his ticket. Once signed he then asked "What's you name?", "Matt" I replied, "Well that doesn't say Matt". I didn't really know what to say then.

Once the Goo set finished a few more people came up to say Hi, followed by the Kaja guys to sign autographs and get their pictures taken. Sarah's family got a shot with Limahl.

Once the venue was empty we had a chat with the guys who were asking why we weren't playing in Sheffield, I agreed it's a shame but hey we still have FIVE shows left.

I'm really looking forward to Nottingham, my friend Mai keeps emailing me saying she's looking forward to it more than Christmas :-)

Sunday, 20 September 2009


Liverpool O2 Academy - Thursday 17th September

We're filming the tour to put together a little documentary and will be also using clips that people have managed to capture. So far we have played in Liverpool and Glasgow and the footage we have is mainly from the journey and our rubbish regional accents as we approach each city.

As we're on a tight budget we're staying at cheap chain hotels, I must say Travel Lodge leaves a lot to be desired! There's no point being rock'n'roll and wrecking the room, you wouldn't be able to tell. We learnt that Kajagoogoo were also booked into Travel Lodges so that made us feel slightly better.

Arriving at the O2 Liverpool Academy Thursday evening we were greeted by eager Goo fans waiting for autographs, they got excited when we pulled up to unload as we're in a fairly smart car but then looked completely disinterested when they realised we weren't in-fact anything to do with Kajagoogoo. As we entered the venue Nick Beggs came straight up and said "Hello, you must be the kind northern people", then insisted in helping us unload the rest of gear into the venue with the rest of the band. They were waiting for Limahl to arrive to finish their sound check, they couldn't have be more apologetic about keeping us waiting, normally we just have a line check so being able to do any kind of sound check is a bonus.

Limahl soon arrived and their sound check began. I haven't seen Limahl for about 15 years and although I knew him pretty well I wasn't sure if he would remember me. As they were leaving the stage with us waiting to go on he said "I know you, it's Matt isn't it?" so then we had a recap of the last 15 years and a quick chat about NK. Originally he's from Wigan so the Liverpool gig was local for his family, he said he was disappearing after the gig rather than traveling with the band but we'd have a proper catch-up at some point.

Brian the tour manager issued us with our back stage passes and Andy the promoter gave us a tour of the venue. From dressing room to backstage it's about a five minute walk and what seemed like a labyrinth. We decided to open with the original On & On intro from the first album, that meant a good 60 seconds of track without requiring me to play a note, so I came up with a way of remote starting the set with a simple iPhone application called Novation AutoMap. This connects to the WiFi connection on my laptop and controls the Logic software and allows me to start out set backstage.

Just before our set I bumped into Dyl and John, John is the guy who has set-up the NK forum so we managed to have a quick chat before we had to dash back to the dressing room and find our way to the back of the stage.. Our set went OK, sound wasn't particularly loud through the monitors on stage and Sarah felt a little disconnected from the audience. I played a few bum notes and ended 'Into The Blue' a little prematurely but know one seemed to notice :-)

After, we had a long chat with both John & Dyl whilst Kajagoogoo played, a few people came up to us to say they enjoyed the set and we signed & sold CD's. After the Kaja show Nick, Stuart, Steve & Jez came out to sign autographs whilst Limahl went off to meet up with his family. Andy & Dave the promoters came over to say they enjoyed the set, they also promote for Howard Jones, their company is called Hide & Seek to an obvious reference there.

I was pretty hungry after the gig but the best we could find was a Mc Donalds, Sarah is a bit of a health food freak but made do with a Fillet of Fish.

We shared a room at the Travel Lodge, I won the toss for the big double so Sarah had to make do with the sofa bed, I'm such a gentleman! It was Sarah's idea to toss a coin though.

Glasgow The Ferry - Friday 18th September

As compensation for the sofa bed I said Sarah could have the big bath towel, to get her own back she used my towel to stand on, nice.

Having never eaten in a Little Chef I said I would like to have a good breakfast to see me through the long drive to Glasgow. Surprisingly it was really nice and not at all greasy. The drive took about 3 1/2 hours passing by some of Great Britians most dramatic scenery, Sarah did a little video interview as I was driving. We arrived at The Ferry venue at 3pm. The Goo guys had also just arrived so I helped them unload their gear and inspected the venue. As the name would suggest it's floating on a permanent mooring on the banks of The River Clyde in the heart of Glasgow, just down from the S.E.C.C.

We talked to the guys about the joys of Travel Lodges as they were about to leave to find their hotel, we decided to have a scout for some food and managed to see the Kaja guys at Harry Ramsdens, when it comes to food I'm a bit of a snob so we decided to skip that plaice :-)

We unloaded our fairly modest gear into the venue and I managed to drop my Ultimate Support stand and break one of it's tiers. Fortunately I was able to sit the laptop on my rackmount case.

We watched Kajagoogoo sound check and they performed a couple of new tracks that I'm not familiar with, they sounded great out front. Time was precious tonight so I only managed to get a line check which was fine as the guys had digital desks and were able to recall the set-up from the previous night.

We were shown our dressing room / cabin below deck and I decided to get changed and head for the bar. The Ferry had sold tickets that included a meal before the show, so the tables were now occupied mostly by groups of women in their early forties who were obviously original Kajagoogoo fans. Having to wear my Kaja back stage pass meant I got stares from people as I walked through the bar / restaurant. Jer (Afront) and his mate Paul arrived just after 7pm so we had a drink before disappearing again to get ready. I'd missed the door to the stage and by that time the Kaja guys had gone off to get ready. We decided to make our approach to the stage through the crowd which turned out to be a bad mistake, remote starting the set meant I had a quick dash to make the first note of On & On fortunately I made it.

The atmosphere was great and it was good to see a few yellow NK T-shirts in the audience. After the Goo set we hung around to sign some autographs and a couple of nice lady Kaja fans asked me to go and get Limahl from the backstage area. I duly did as they asked but as a compromise he said bring them back here in twos, so for the next 30 minutes he spent signing stuff and posing for photographs. Jer made me laugh out loud when someone asked for a shot of me and Sarah with Stuart the Kaja keyboard player, Northern Goo (a new hybrid band) as he shouted out loud. We then sat back stage and met Brad Snelling the man behind Retrofest, he invited us to play in 2008 however we didn't manage to meet him at the time.

We then said our goodbyes and began the long 5 hour journey back to Leicester, we decided to drive back rather than accepting Jer's kind offer of a place to stay for the night. I really wanted to wake up in my own bed plus I'd promised my wife I'd spend some time with her and our daughter.

Next stop Norwich - Wednesday 23rd.

Saturday, 19 September 2009


OOoooh!  It gets better and better :) The gig was at The Ferry, a floating venue (!) which was slightly disconcerting in 5 inch heels, wobble.  Nah, it's actually very steady and doesn't feel like you're on the water at all...pretty cool place.
A bigger audience for us this time, and they were totally up for a Friday night shin-dig which was fab!!  A great reception once again, met loads of lovely people - including Jer aka Afront of  More fab vids, including some groovy after-show snippets, thanks for that! These are on the forum also.
Matt and I made a point of watching the Kaj set more closely this time, really great.  A very talented group of people, which is obviously why they soon found fame in the 80's.  Had a few drinkies after the show :) have to 'unwind' daahlings.
Looking forward to Norwich now, whilst enjoying a lovely rest in between - will write more next week X


A fab first night, quite a 'gentle' crowd which was a nice way to ease into the gigs and channel those first night nerves!
Met the Kaja's - really friendly and and helped us unload our gear, ded sweet.
I tell you what - they're bloody good as well!  Very talented musicians and they're gig is a lot of fun.  I asked Nick what he was wearing for the show and he wouldn't tell me, though he said his costume was hand-finished by Boy George and John Paul Jones from Led Zeppelin - it didn't disappoint, sparkly skull and cross bones!!!  Rock on!
Kaj and their fans gave us a warm welcome.
Finally got to meet John & Dyl who set up the NK forum recently :) Lovely fellas, and would have liked to chat more but kind of got swept into meeting and greeting, selling merch and signing stuff (can't complain!!) They took some great photos and vid, which you can check out on the forum (link below).
All in all, a memorable first night - thanks to everyone who came xx

Saturday, 12 September 2009


Thanks for all the messages from people listening in this morning. This is the interview grabbed from the BBC iPlayer


Wednesday, 9 September 2009


This coming Saturday 12th we will be talking live on air about our forthcoming support with Kajagoogoo and all things NK. We will be joining Chris Baxter on his show at 11am. Tune in to the live internet streaming here

Next week will see the launch of our official forum, you will be able to get a couple of free remixes of Crash by Parralox and Oblique by registering. This is the link to the Forum however registration is currently locked.

As you will hopefully know our support tour with Kajagoogoo kicks off next week in Liverpool, Can't wait and hope to see you there.