In 2000 I left school and moved to London as fast as my skinny legs would carry me. I ended up part of a milieu of people living in Caledonian Road and Holloway, forming an ever changing constellation of bands in a primordial soup mainly formed from ex-members of Kneejerk (my old band) and Abjure (friends of ours, with whom we did our first ever tour).
The two most notable bands who came out of all that were Million Dead and Palehorse. But there were others. Sometimes I can remember more band names than actual bands – Sun Starved Day (featuring a young Andrew O’Neill), The Process Of Weeding Out, Concealed Weapons Of Mass Destruction… It was a heady time.
One of the groups in the midst of all this was The Record Buying Public. It featured Tom Fowler on guitar (originally of Abjure, later in Million Dead); John Atkins (of Palehorse); and little 19-year-old me on the drums. We played instrumental, jazzy post-rock, influenced by stuff like Slint, Karate, Tortoise and so on. We played a few shows (listed here) to our friends and then broke up, like most small underground bands do. I had largely forgotten about it, not least because I’m not the world’s greatest drummer.
A few days ago, Tom emailed me to let me know he’d found some recordings, made in 2001; both the 6-track demo that I recorded on a Tascam multi-track thing I had, and four more songs from a rehearsal. Listening back to them was wonderful, nostalgic and bizarre. I’d forgotten the songs, and it was lovely to hear how adventurous yet melodic we had been. The quality isn’t great (the rehearsal recordings in particular, made at the late great Backstreet Rehearsals in Holloway) but you get an impression of what we were trying to do. John, Tom and I all agreed to share them, so here they are. Enjoy.
In other news we are having a blast in the bottom right corner of the USA with our new partners in crime, Gogol Bordello. Florida and Georgia for now, then north to meet up with Mr Isbell. See you soon.