It’s not every day you get an invite to do a live recording session with the BBC, but we got one from the consistently supportive Andrew Marston from BBC Introducing Hereford & Worcester a couple of weeks ago. He’s been playing and plugging our ‘gentler’ tracks on his weekend show for a couple of years now – tunes that we rarely play live – so our initial reaction was ‘FUCK, how are we gonna play 4 songs that don’t have any swearing in?!‘
After some joint research, and dismissing tracks such as You Keep Coming (not sweary, but about women wanking), we settled on tweaking the odd word in Hungry Little Human (about breastfeeding), Call Off the Dogs (about escaping domestic abuse), the Ren penned R U Happy? (about mental health) and Plant Roses In It (about the state of society). The chorus of the last one is ‘Yeh yeh it’s all shit‘. More on that later.
Off we headed to Malvern, and stayed by a brilliant, friendly little pub in Newland called The Swan. The beer was well kept and the menu is well worth checking out – they even have a whole page for vegans! We planned to busk in the day, but it was Sunday, and Malvern was a ghost town. Instead, we set up in the garden of a nice pub called The Unicorn, got a few quid in the hat, and talked some of the local old boys into coming to the gig later.
The Malvern Cube is a great community venue, and host to this particular BBC Introducing session. Great spaces like this exist everywhere, but are regularly in danger of closure, and need supporting. Life without live music venues would be rubbish.
We got there early enough to support the other 3 acts on the bill – Neon Creatures, Gordon Star and RAB, and were given the drill. They all did their thing well, but Neon Creatures stood out for all of us. Half of the 6 piece are women, and the singer’s voice melts your brains.
Gail was ill from a sulfite reaction after too much dodgy cheap red wine a few days before and Ren had strained his picking hand tendons. Luckily, Aimee and Lizzie were in full energy mode and it was rubbing off. We played follow the leader with Andy, their photographer (all pics on this blog are his) and then it was time for our stint.
We successfully dropped the ‘whore‘ out of Hungry Little Human and replaced it with ‘boar‘, swapped the ‘fucks‘ in Call off the Dogs for ‘cares‘ – but Tom Robinson didn’t when he played us on 6Music the following weekend – though the instrumentals were removed. You can hear that on his Saturday night show, and his Sunday night MIXTAPE for the next 3 weeks or so. The fire alarms went off during R U Happy, due to an overzealous smoke machine which we’d requested not to have on, Haitch, our band Mum, accused us of breaking the BBC and then it all went a bit sideways for Plant Roses in It..
We’re not advocates of censorship, and it’s pretty tricky to replace words you’ve muscle memoried in for so long, so the inevitable ‘shit‘ came out, and Gail lost hers after the second attempt at a take.
‘This is bollocks, they say the cuntword on Radio 4 all the time. It’s not the 19 fucking 50s’ followed by all of the expletives like a naughty kid who’d just learnt them.
The organisers remained cool and professional, and just told us to play it as it’s supposed to be, but keep ‘shankers‘ instead of ‘wankers‘. Looking forward to hearing how they clean all that shit up!
Reckon overall it was one for the experience bank, and we definitely had fun.It’ll be broadcast, or the songs and some of the interview anyway, on 24 and 25 August. We’ll share the links when they’re up. Meantime, here’s some snippets of video from Haitch & Dan’s phones.
‘Beautiful, quirky and humorous lyrics about life’s little challenges in a must-see live show.’ – Andrew Marston – BBC Introducing