Kiss of Death?
Okay, 3 weeks in and I already have a kiss of death. I lovingly waxed about Monday
Unsigned Bands night at the Attic, only to find that last week was the last one due to
arguments. Hopefully I'll be able to provide you with details of a new location soon.
Lets hope that was my only slip as I just with to plug a band I saw last week. The band 'Minus One Raver', are a Evanescence type group with
female lead vocals who are well worth checking out. The twelve string acoustic guitar sound adds
something a little different and they have one of the best female singers around who really has
decent stage presence. However what I think I'll have a natter about for a bit is band a names and
the various issues that I've spotted with them.
I might as well start of on a negative, about a band that seem to change their name every few
months because word gets round not to play with them. I first encountered them as an arrogant and
mildly tuneless bunch called 'One O'Clock Roadblock', which featured a strange looking vocalist
who masked all his words in a long slur. I have seen very few complimentary remarks about them,
and probably due to this and the amount of equipment they damaged (small note, breaking your own
stuff is cliché Rock and Roll, purposely breaking venue equipment is vandalism) they changed
names. The new name, 'The Oubliettes' was fairly apt as they really needed to be left in a corner
to be forgotten about. This lasted a matter of months as they reappeared at a night hosted by my
alter ego, The Master Bluesman, The Comic Protector of the Blues (www.mbluesman.com). This time
their name was 'The First Half Second', apparently under which they are realising a single. This
time out, they refused to stop playing at the end of their slot and blew up the stage electrics and
went on to blame the promoter, so a case of new cover to same story.
A band I am fortunate enough to have seen a bit off last year, was the seminal 'Pink Fluffy
Cloud Machine'. Pioneering Hetrocamp, the name and the image sat intertwined with each other,
being the softer and more approachable side of punk with their feather boas and pink wigs. It is
also one of the more memorable names I have encountered on my travels with is important on the
'PFCM' disbanded late last year, and its members have gone onto other bands. The
singer/songwriter took with him the current drummer and bassist to form a band called 'Frank'. It
turns out there was another band called 'Frank' in Manchester, so they did the honourable thing,
changed their name, and became 'Frank Is Dead'. It
seems that other bands in Manchester aren't so honourable.
When the first 'PFCM drummer', David Novan left to start his own band, 'Narcissus', he was the first user of the name in the area, so
all's fine. However another band started to gig in Manchester using the same name, and have
decided not to change it, leading to much confusion with venues, fans and promoters. The newer
'Narcissus' are not partially happy with people confusing the two bands and have recently been
fairly rude to people who have innocently gotten the two confused. In my humble opinion this seems
rather rich, all the fuss could have been avoided if they had changed their name in the first place.
While it may be an inconvenience for fans, turning up to see the wrong band, name thieves can
have financial consequences even in the low money world of unsigned bands. Some of the bigger
venues in Manchester operate 'The 21 Day Rule', where bands can't play within 10 miles 3 weeks
either side of the gig. This is a good way for the venues to protect their interests if they are
paying out good money for the bands to play. The original 'Narcissus' played recently at a venue
operating this rule, only for the other band to pop up 10 days either just down the road. It would
be easy for either venue to withhold money, which can be hard to come by for bands in the
Bands up here are trying to do their own thing to reach the top, and it is far easier if they
cooperate with each other rather than pulled each other back.
Well unto next week, with more from the music scene in Manchester