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Thursday, October 15, 2009

My First Gig

In honour of the first ever YIS gig (on saturday night at pony at nine-thirty pm for six dollars), today's YISBLOG will take you on a trip to a magical, faraway place that time forgot.

Welcome to Frankston. The year is 2001.

The band was concieved whilst playing kick-to-kick in a Langwarrin street. My cousin Justin played drums, so, I thought I would try my hand at guitar. He was sixteen. I was a year younger. (Still am.)

When I recieved my first guitar; a translucent green asian Strat copy, I excitedly rang my cousin.

"Hey, man, I got a guitar!"

"Awesome, I just got a bass!"

I was not impressed. This had totally ruined my plans. We had gained a bass player, but lost a drummer.

The soundtrack of our lives at that time was pretty much Body Count, NWA and some very forgettable pop-punk rubbish, with a bit of Hendrix thrown in for good measure. I was pretty thrilled when I learned the riff to Lenny Kravitz's "Fly Away" (as it's a pretty awesome riff, despite, y'know, Lenny Kravitz), but seeing as there was no guitar in the verses, and there was no Auto-Wah on Justin's bass pedal, we did not play it.

We found then our drummer, Cam. He was a friend of Justin's. Slightly younger than me. Practice was either at his house, or Auntie Jo's.

By the time our first gig rolled around, I had already graduated to a Godin Radiator; a two pickup deal that was covered almost entirely by a ultra-gaudy white pearloid pickguard. I had one of the first Line 6 PODs for distortion; the only problem being that I did not have the footswitch to go with it, so, changing from a clean sound to a heavy sound meant that I had to reach over quickly and press the button on the unit for the next patch. Not very practical at all.

The first point of friction in the band was the name. I suggested 'Plan B', but Cam suggested 'KTX'. I didn't like it, but he had already he organised a gig, and told the venue the name.... and the plastic marquee had already been made.

So, our first gig rolled around; the Frankston High School Fete. We were scheduled to play sometime in the afternoon, but this was pushed back to the headlining slot in the evening, after the sausage sizzle.

(This has turned out to be the second most popular opening act for a band I've been in, with the first being the Snakebusters/Footbag demonstration at the Eltham Festival earlier this year.)

The set was so short we played it twice for the family members who missed it the first time. Nobody seemed to mind. It came and went with very little fanfare. My outfit for the evening was an XL sized At The Drive-In t-shirt with a beige long sleeve tee underneath; for some reason I thought the long-sleeve under short-sleeve look was quite fetching... not so much after footage from the night surfaced. This was capped off with a pair of Air Jordans and a set of 3/4 length 26 Red corduroy shorts; also beige.

And now for the second point of friction. The guys had found a singer. To me, this was a not so subtle way of telling me that I couldn't sing. His name was Milly. We had one practice with him, from which we wrote our first (and only) original track. It was entitled 'Goddamn Van Damme'; inspired by the lifesized cardboard cutout of the the one-and-only JCVD in his garage. He also made great chips. But I still hated him. He was stealing my spotlight and I would not have a bar of it.

I left the band a month later. By that time, the name had been changed once again without my consent to "Normen".

But I had already moved on to bigger and better things. I was now the synth player in 'Cheese Grater Sodomy'.

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