Tuesday, November 06, 2012
"Come on baby, let's kiss this thing goodbye..."
Through the prismatic filter of social networking I see that Our Glorious Leader has found a copy of the As Is Danish tour programme from 1989. “A tour programme!?” I hear you exclaim. Well, yes. We didn’t have the time (or money) to organise any t-shirts to claw in some badly-needed merch cash on the road, all the extant cassettes featured the previous line up, and we thought that if nothing else it might be a nice souvenir of the trip – mine, I believe, is still in a box of yellowing press clippings at my parents’ house. Anyone confused by the terms ‘cassettes’ and ‘press clippings’ had probably best step away from the blog now, as not a lot else of this will make sense.The jaunt was extraordinarily enjoyable – there are some first hand recollections on James’s personal site here - http://www.jamespartridge.net/as_is_mk2.htm - not least because I was sleeping on his kitchen floor at the time and it was nice to get out and about a bit, even if I did end up sharing a dormitory with the rest of the band while he got the table tennis room to himself – the one with the double bass in it. I remember that we all shushed each other and listened to him writing a song called ‘Love Me’ through the wall. Bass player Ross wrote ‘Hey Therese’ and I had something else that we, ahem, put down onto side one of the second cassette from ‘Rolled Gold’, since it was the only recording medium we had to hand. Having sellotaped over the space where the recording tab would have been we plugged two microphones into a music centre deck and then simply pointed one at the guitar and one at the singer. It came out with lovely room reverb, and not too bad a stereo mix, as I recall. For years afterwards I would intersperse listening to the end of ‘Gimme Shelter’ with the start of ‘Where Two Seas Meet’, another of Ross’s on the road compositions.
The tour programme itself was a nifty little A5 booklet wherein James put together a guide to the towns we’d be playing (including a pre-tour warm up in Grimsby, reasoning that this was as close to Denmark as we could get without buying ferry tickets), I really can’t remember what I wrote, Ross did a great art-school essay about the Jim Morrison poster on his wall and Malcolm, as the drummer, contributed a wordsearch puzzle. There may also have been cartoons and we compiled the thing on a clunky old computer-cum-word processor in the Venue for Ipswich Campaign* office on the corner of Crown and High Street just in time to run some copies off before we left to catch the boat.If things had turned out differently this’d be a time for alerting Christie’s, scouring eBay and possibly even occasioning a remastered boxed set just so we could include the entire live show from Aalborg, from which James once compiled a quite lengthy tape comprised entirely of my betwixt-song introductions. Even allowing for the generally excellent standard of English-speaking over there this was probably a bit much to be getting on with. As it is I shall probably take a look when I go over at the weekend and with the sagacity that age and experience brings we’ll chuckle to each other “Well, I wouldn’t have used that font…”
*We never did get that venue, by the way.