Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Stalled- The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Gnus

Every year the gnu starts out with the hopeful intention of being able to organise Vic & the Sect...........and every year it lasts about a week. This video by Trigger is the first in what we hope will be a series of 'Tales from The Sect', hopefully amusing anecdotes of life on the road with Vic and Subway Sect. To set the scene it's 2007 and it's the 1978 Now line up with Leigh Curtis on guitar, Trigger on bass and Mark Laff on drums.

 Below is the whole gig the following night in Edinburgh courtesy of Murray Ramone.

Going through the receipts (Tax Return) led to more recollections and reflections of things that happened over a year ago. April 2011 was just after Dan Ashkenazy ( previously in Bitter Springs) finished his temporary stint on bass with the Sect, sorry to see him go, and Yusuf B'Layachi (Dear Thief and B'Layachi)) was welcomed in to the fold and by April 2012 Paul C and Myers had bedded in, bringing a northern soul flavour to the live set. There were 5 different live line ups in 2011 including guest appearances from Sect Alumnus Trigger and Joe McKechnie (Factory Star and Blue Orchid amongst others) and Vic played with the Sexual Objects.

Extract from: To A Mouse, On Turning Her Up In Her Nest With The Plough by Robert Burns
''In proving foresight may be vain;
The best-laid schemes o' mice an 'men
Gang aft agley,''

Wryly noted on the 'best laid plans' front that like this year, 2011 & 2012 began with plans to record and release 1979 Now, being laid back about it now- Vic's renamed it 1979 Whenever.As long as it doesn't become another ' lost album '-oops forgot you have to record an album for it to be lost. At least this year starts with 4 songs recorded and mastered and Caught in Midstream and You Bring Out The Demon In Me are being released as a 7" on Aed Records, due out .......not sure but hopefully soonish. Fantastic cover by Andrew Shaw.

SUCCESS- RELEASED 1st FEBRUARY-  Vic to Vic, 7" recorded by Vic in Vic with Mates Mates in Nov 2011.  1.Les Parts Del Cos 2. (Oh Alright) Go On Then and 3.Whip Rules-

Filing the Tax Return gets later and later every year. Used to get done by September, then when on line filing came in was determined not to leave it until the last minute which lasted two years of symbolically filing on 31st December.  It is a stressful process at the best of times but this year Vic offered to help and the gnu inexplicably and rather foolishly said yes please. By the third day of sorting, re-sorting, counting and recounting,etc,  the gnu was pulling her hair out and Vic deciding that discretion being the better part of valour  disappeared under the head phones to work on his two new Latin numbers until it was safe to come out. Thankfully over for another year.

 It is going swimmingly on the gig booking front with some more great posters by Andrew Shaw-see some more of his creations at: www.vicgodard.co.uk  which is itself an a Shaw Design.

The Symptomatic one is the gnu's favourite design so far, so expect a T shirt is coming soon.

29th March Symptomatic Presents @ The Water Rats London

5th April Spinning Chilli Presents @ The Green Door Store Brighton

17th May     New Continental Preston

1st June The Brudenell Social Leeds

Then came the hopefully singular gig postponement of 2013. The only other gig Gertie can recall the Sect  themselves having to postpone in recent years was December 2010 when the weather intervened at the last minute-reminds me haven't re-scheduled yet!!

You obviously want to avoid cancellation whenever possible, whatever obstacles arise and as a result there were some great one off shows with one off sets of songs chosen specifically for the particular one off line ups. Big Up to ''The Subway Sect Stalwarts'' Mark and Kev, for taking it like a gnu whatever life on the road with the Sect throws at them, eg  04/06/2011 Greystones Sheffield when they and Vic did the gig as a trio with Mark swapping around from drums to bass, when Vic would bring into play his trusty old drum machine, working it  with his foot while playing the guitar  and Kev moving, swiftly, from bass to guitar to keyboard and back throughout the set. Went down a storm.

Vic is lucky he's got access to such a talented bunch of musicians and that what ever the Sect line up they  always put on a damn fine show.


 Ruminating with Vic over the oldish ground' reminded that-  Vic and the many layered Sect(s) covered a LOT of ground and played an eclectic mix of venues and places between April 2011 and April 2012 including trips to Vienna, Porto, Aveiro and Coimbra, Vic, Barcelona, Petit Fays, Brussels and Lyons; travelling by train is much more enjoyable than by car or plane but very expensive, am now getting into the split ticket thing even though it's a bit of a pain. ( ridiculous that it cost over £1000 for 5 to go to Lyons and back by train, ok was half term but was Feb); spent a lot of time at Doddington services, Beds, also stopped at many more off the A1, always the preferred route north ; the gnu missed quite a few gigs, lots of reasons; le grand mal took its toll, clades odiosus, dogged the band's footsteps for over a year, casting a general pall of doom gloom over events. By late 2011 it had thankfully run it's course, sighs of relief all round; Vic doesn't do many home gigs south of London, only the Spinning Chilli one in Brighton. In fact other than the always enjoyable Spinning Chilli gigs can't recall Vic playing south of London since early 2000's. (Vic and the Sect are back in Brighton on Friday 5th April-see left and above).

            Live Line Up MK 2-(Myers/Paul/Mark/Kev) 
 07/01   The Thunderbolt 124 Bath Road, Totterdown, BS4 3ED Bristol
 11/02   Le Trockson Montée de la Grande Cote 69001 Lyon
 12/02   Le Citron 20 Rue St Georges, 69005 Lyon, France
 24/02   TV’s Over @ Stereo 54 Gillygate, YO31 7EQ York  
 10/03   Symptomatic @ 229 the Venue Great Portland Street W1W 5PN
 14/03   Vic and the Sexual Objects The Old Queen's Head London
 22/03   The Verge  above the Cheshire Ring 72 Manchester Road,Hyde, Cheshire, SK14 2BJ
 23/03   Sounds in the Suburbs @ the The Accies 15, Helensburgh Drive, G13 1RR Glasgow
 24/03   SITS @ the Voodoo Rooms 19a West Register Street, EH2 2AA Edinburgh
 25/03   Beat Generator Live! 70 North Lindsay Street, DD1 1PS Dundee
 28/04   Keith Allen Presents Stroud Valley Arts 4 John Street, Stroud, GL5 2HA

 19/11    La [2] d’Apolo  Nou de la Rambla Barcelona  Line up as below
 18/11    la Jazz Cava Vic Catalunya   Mark, Trigger, Yusuf and Vic
 29/10    Spinning Chilli @the Hydrant Brighton  Paul C Myers Kev Mark Vic
 28/10     Symptomatic presents @Nambucca Holloway Road London  Line up as above 
22/10    States Club, Coimbra, Portugal
21/10     Associação Cultural Mercado Negro, Aveiro, Portugal
20/10     Amarzem do Cha, Porto, Portugal
15/10     The Verge, Hyde, Cheshire
11/10      Rhiz, Vienna, Austria
15/09      Williamson Tunnels, Liverpool  Joe McKechnie on Drums Mark back to Bass
09/07      Petit Fays, Ardennes Belgium
04/06      The Greystones, Sheffield    TRIO Kev, Mark & Vic 
30/05      Purcell Room, Southbank Centre. South bank. London
19/05      Lock Tavern, Camden Town
29/04      The Lexington, Islington. London
Line Up: Vic Godard-vocals and guitar/Yusuf B'layachi : bass guitar and backing
 vocals/Kevin Younger: keyboards, guitar Mark Braby drums

Rhiz Vienna 2011 by A M Leka
Stayed at lots of hotels 2011/12 mostly gig related and recommendations are personal (but keeping my favourite secret). I haven't included any comments about the breakfasts as I'm not usually up in time-

Manos Stephanie Brussels, good location, lovely hotel and staff and very reasonable at weekends
Heath Court Hotel  Newmarket- great position and room had views over a stable yard but didn't meet my basic clean and helpful rating, completely lost me with the sticky bedroom carpet, yuch. Next time would stay outside of Newmarket.
The Village Hyde- clean and comfy, reasonable rates, helpful staff, restaurant ok and has a heated pool. http://www.village-hotels.co.uk/hotels/manchester-hyde/welcome
The Pond Glasgow-stayed here a few times, clean and comfy, reasonable rates, helpful staff and the actual pond is next door, great for twitchers. http://www.glasgowpondhotel.com/
Hotel Can Pamplona Vic- a one off and one of my favourite hotels http://www.canpamplona.com
The Hilton Dundee- great position overlooking the river Tay, helpful staff, very clean and indoor pool.
Hotel Seattle Brighton- in the Marina complex so not a pretty location,modern, 'trendy', clean and comfy, quite expensive in my opinion, room had balcony and view over actual marina, helpful staff but not many visible, especially at night when the street door is locked and you have to access the hotel via 'clockwork orangey' walkways from the multi-storey car park, neither Gertie not the gnu would feel safe doing this on their own. Also a lot of external noise from entertainment/food outlets at night, might not bother some. http://www.hotelseattlebrighton.com/
For special occasions:
Storrs Hall Lake Windermere- stunning, the grounds border the lake. Very attentive staff and good food. Went in winter so not sure what it would be like once the season gets going. Look out for offers!
The Salty Monk Sidford- Lovely position, rooms not big but very comfy, owners very helpful and welcoming and very good food .http://www.saltymonk.co.uk/content_contactus.asp
Lumley Castle Chester le Street- stunning setting overlooking The Riverside ground at the front and with the Wear running through the back gardens. Welcoming staff, very comfy and very good food.

Only booked one place so far this year- Headingley, overlooking the ground, for the Brudenell gig-will report back.

STOP PRESS: Vic is making his debut as DJ Vic ll at the Social London W1 on 26th February
June Glasgow-Reprise of Glasgow Tea Party set with James Kirk and Mick Slaven on board.
Look out for the March issue of Uncut, big in depth piece about Vic, bit miffed there's no mention of gnu inc.
Also Vic's doing a Resonance interview with Victoria Yeulet in March, details to follow.