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Skamouth '23 - A last minute gig and what that looks like!

Amazing event - Amazing people - Last minute everything - No panic just chill


What happens when we get last minute enquiries?

Well...it depends, really. With any enquiry we get, the first thing to do is check the diary. I have a very easy way of doing this, where I keep a 'Gig tracker' on the wall by my desk. It's divided up into months, and I just scribble on there a date and what gig it is, so at a glance I can answer the question 'Are you available' without really having to go and look at anything. To be honest, I usually just know, but it's always worth double checking yourself.



What happened this time?

Well, it was a nice dull day in miserable Tipton, and Sugar and I were at my house, where Sugar was helping me decorate. The phone rang, and it was brilliant and best noise boy Will Staff. On answering the phone, I was asked if I'd seen his message, which I hadn't. Will let us know that a slot had become available at Skamouth, as the act in that slot had had to cancel due to illness, and that he'd heard from Christine Staples about it, as he is their band's sound engineer as well. He said 'If you can do it, let me know, and I'll let Christine know'. So then it was time to get off the phone and back on it with other people.



What happened next?

Probably 2.5 solid hours of phone calls, after me and Sugar had discussed it. Originally, Anna, Sugar and I were going to go and use the hotel booking that we'd been unable to cancel, but able to move, for OneLove festival on Thursday, and that was when the slot was available at Skamouth. We called Anna, who is in charge of all things grown up. Anna said she could move the booking for the hotel room (again, lol. One of these days we'll get there). Then it was time to phone everyone else. Within about 3 hours, I pretty much knew that most people could make it. I was waiting on a couple of people seeing if they could move work around. It was good timing phoning Harry for drums, as he was just about to book tickets to go see a band!



Letting Them Know

I let Will know that we had a band to take along, and he let Christine know. He passed on our details and Christine got in touch that night, which was 21st September. We exchanged details and invoices and all the technical jazz, and I waited for the contract to be sent through.



Contract

The contract arrived and was returned on Monday 25th, giving us the exact details of everything we needed. Obviously we knew where the gig was going to be, because we've done it before. It was mainly for things like accommodation details and timings.



Legends

I've got to say, the whole band is full of legends. There aren't many bands that would jump at an opportunity to go and travel for 4 hours and crash in a caravan overnight at the drop of a hat. But our band love each other, so we just saw it as a great opportunity to play some music and hang out with our cool friends. It was very sad that our lady Dawn couldn't make it and we missed her very very much, but sometimes commitments are commitments!



What was next?

Advertising! One of the biggest things for bands, especially in this day and age, is to advertise. The thing is, it's so easy to do these days for free, that there is really no excuse not to do it.

Once the contract was complete I did the following things:

  1. Updated the gig details, personnel and set list on our shared platform that we use as a band, so that everyone can see the information I have in front of me as soon as possible.

  2. Updated the website so that people can see where we're going - it might not be people's first port of call for seeing who is at events, but an un-updated website is not professional and leads to confusion.

  3. Share advertising on social media so that people can find out about what we're doing.

I've got to say, the Skamouth team were absolutely on point getting all the art work done and everything updated to tell people we were going to be there! It was superb work!



Travel Arrangements

Then we discuss how we're all going to get there. Teebs doesn't live near any single one of us, really, so he always has to make his own way. Clive always travels solo because he's too cool to have anyone cramping his car style. Anna, Sugar and I shared a car. We had Charlie on bass with us and him and Harry buddied up together, which was super because Harry's giant horse van costs all the monies to drive anywhere. I also thought it was a little unfair to ask everyone to travel to Great Yarmouth at the last minute and have a rehearsal, so we were going on no rehearsal.



Arriving at Skamouth

Amazingly, the three of us were the first to arrive at Skamouth, which is weird, because we're always usually late! Almost exactly the same time, Teebs arrived, so we all took one caravan together and had nice hot drinks. Clive, Charlie and Harry arrived not much later and took the other caravan. We'd seen Harry and Charlie arrived and already said hello. I went over to the other caravan to say hello to Clive and he was already not wearing any trousers, which was interesting, but we tried to not let that get in the way of a hug. This is band life, I'm afraid.

When Harry and Charlie had arrived, they'd bumped into someone from management who had asked if we were all there, as the band that were due on an hour and 30 before us (at 6pm) were running late. Once Clive had arrived, we let them know we could play the earlier slot for them, so it was a last minute gig and a last minute slot at the same time. Amazingly, no one panicked at all. We were all just looking forward to playing!



Stage Time

We got down to the v-arena just before 6pm, and they began setting us up. One of the sound engineers was very stressed that everything was running late, but it wasn't our fault, so I sort of reminded him of that, and then he seemed be better! I'm sure, logistically, that these events can be really stressful, but there's absolutely no stress allowed around The Reggulites!

Once we were all line checked and set up, it was time to go, and the nice man with the nice shoes did a lovely announcement for us!



Reggae Reggae Reggae

I know Skamouth is called Skamouth for a reason, but we are a reggae band, and I didn't want to stray too far from what we do. We always want to be different. And the crowd really responded to it. They seemed to really enjoy the set. We did cut one or two tunes just to help the event get back on track with timings. It was great on stage. I have to say here, Harry hasn't played with us since early July and Charlie has only played with us once before, and that was in early August. It was flawless! Harry just seems to know everything all the time because he's a shit hot little drumming bastard, and Charlie had obviously refreshed what he already knew and put the time and effort into the things he hasn't played with us before, too. We had an amazing time on stage. The atmosphere at Skamouth is so uplifting! Great audience interaction. Great to see Louise Leech taking the photos. It was super hot up on stage with all those lights, but we had an amazing time. It makes it all that much sweeter when you weren't expecting it, as well. So we were buzzing when we came off!



Frieeeeends

We came off and were greeted by the great Suki from 2-tone village. It was great to run into you, my friend! Sorry we were all rather soggy! Suki has booked us for Coventry Rum Reggae and Ska in July '24, so it was great to catch up a little with him before that rolls around - because they do roll around ever so quickly.

We also met Sax on Fire, which was the band we switched slots with! They were lovely people and we had 'horn talk' which is cleaner that it sounds, before they had to go on stage and get set up! Lovely bunch. We went back up to the caravans and got our stage gear off, and made it back down to the stage to catch the end of their set!



Top Quality

We ran into Mitch, Kev and then rest of the J2B crew, so there were super brummy hugs all around! We danced our socks off to Sax on Fire (check out our reels, where I may or may not have put everyone's dancing to Barbie Girl by Aqua...). Big sounds from stage and we really enjoyed having a boogie, even if half of us can't really dance lol.



Drinks and Chillage

It was all about the hanging around on the picnic benches outside for a while. It had turned into quite a pleasant evening, despite the earlier rain, and we all had a real good time chewing the fat and what not. Anna and Sugar went on an adventure to find Asda and be diverted by road closures that were actual lies. Then they went and got chinese food. We caugh the first half of Johnny 2 Bad. Man, they are a tight band. Very entertaining! By this point, the youngest members of the band (Teebs, Charlie and Harry) were all jolly and ready to be fed things that soak up alcohol, so off we went to eat the chinese food. Clive went and chilled out in the other caravan away from the youths to eat his food in peace, so the rest of us chilled out in 88 and just listened to really great music and had fun. Teebs was shocked at how big a piece of chicken was, and then proceeded to put the whole thing in his mouth, and then was further surprised that 'It's got bone on it'. Hilarious.



Bed Time

Anna announced it was bed time and packed everyone off to bed because she was tired. I have to say, my bed was the worst thing I have ever slept on in my life, but I can't moan because it was free! It honestly did feel like I was lying on plastic kiddy train track parts, though. I had a really bizarre dream that Teebs was a warlock! Oh, before we went to sleep, we overheard a little conversation from the other van where Clive was educating the boyos about the plumbing of taps, and which way round hot and cold should be. Random.



Morning, campers!

The next morning arrived far too soon for most people's liking. Anna and I were the first ones up. I woke up when Anna was talking to Clive through the kitchen window. Coffee happened. Then Teebs got up, because he had to leave and go to work. Sad face. He really didn't want to go! I went round the other caravan when Harry got up, and Charlie was like 'Teaaaaaa pleaaaaaaaase', in his best impression of a desiccated coconut. Drinks and crumpets were provided and then everyone started to look a little more human. Unfortunately, the acommodation was only for one night, otherwise some of us might have stayed and seen the other amazing acts that were lined up. But it was time to hit the road. Not before we were kindly assisted by some Skamouth go-ers in having our picture taken in front of the big letters, though! We so cool.



Reflection

It's been a long time since we were at Skamouth. We played in 2019 and the band was very different in those days. It was nice to return just before this big milestone of 5 years for us. The main thing was the amazing people that we have with us now. We're all such good friends and it's like a big family. Love this band!! Big thanks to Christine Staples, Tom Fahy and Talor Youngs for having us down once again to perform at Skamouth!


What's next?

We'll be celebrating our 5th birthday this coming Saturday together - we're having a little house party! We'll be releasing more and more interviews over the coming weeks - they're all in the pipelines ready! We'll be getting together after that to put some set refreshers together ready for our next gig out in the world, which will be at The Lounge at Boldmere in November. Trust me when I say we'll be working hard in the background, though!


Also, if you did happen to catch us at Skamouth, or anywhere this year, we would super appreciate if you could send us a nice review of your time. Some people have done it so far, and we're keeping their names safely in the hat, but this is what we're doing for those of you who send one in:




Love to you all!



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