| Diary History
Reg's Recording Diary
Fresh from a chaotic weekend terrorising Huntingdon Racecourse, we
locked ourselves in a small studio to recover. Rather than use the
normal venue of Rob's home studio, we needed somewhere that would stand
lots of volume without the ceiling coming down (mildly irritating at
the best of times, but in the middle of the perfect take?!).
Today was loud electric guitar day, so we dragged the magic flightcase
of portable gear to the rehearsal studio. Rob has cunningly constructed
a system whereby we can take a relatively small case of goodies around
wherever we go and document gigs in full on panoramic multitrack glory.
Greatest live album ever recorded, or just some wasted space on the
hard drive, we'll have to wait and see.
This Fostex system was the chosen medium for the backing tracks
recorded previously, and so rather helpfully still had drums and bass
to record to. These backing tracks had all been successfully
transferred to Cubase where they are awaiting someone to give them love
and attention. We'll get around to it eventually.
The first task of the day was one you don't normally come across in a
recording session. Your mission, should you choose to accept it is to
remove all dog turds from the control room. Rob being the real man that
he is, picked it up with his teeth and removed it to pastures new.
It is a great situation to be in knowing that you have the time to
really experiment with microphones, mic placement, amp placement and
all the other little variables that really do alter the sound of the
guitar. We had a selection of microphones, from which we finally
settled on three. It's sad to think that in many recordings (usually in
smaller studios, or those by inexperienced engineers) this bit is
rushed, slinging an SM57 in front of the amp, saying "there's a guitar"
and getting on with the recording. I am a firm believer that it is
attention to detail and effort like this that turns good recordings
into great recordings.
In the end, after 5 hours of gently moving all these wonderful
microphones around, we settled on the SM57 pointing suspiciously
towards to dog's rear end in an attempt to record the next movement of
With Jeff getting the job of tea boy/general assistant for the day (his
fine drum work has been completed), he inserted his ear plugs and did
what no man should ever do unprotected. Standing in front of a Hiwatt
on full is enough to kill most small rodents, but Jeff stood his ground
and awaited our vague instructions telling him which way to move the
various mics. This he did with great skill and attention to detail and
eventually (after about an hour of saying "Hmmm" and "Has the dog
swallowed that mic, it sounds muffled") we settled on a combination of
a Shure SM57 pointing towards one speaker cone towards the centre,
slightly off axis; a Rode NTK Valve mic about 2 feet away, level with
and pointing at the other top cone; and a Rode NT1 condenser used as an
ambient over the other side of the room. With a couple of tweaks to the
Hiwatt's tone controls and absolutely no desk EQ or any processing at
all, we had the sweetest sound Rob has ever played with. It really is
quite obvious when you find the magic 'sweet spot'. You just seem to
know when you get it, and finding it is definitely worth the effort.
With Rob positioning himself and his Strat (mainly the Japanese one) in
the control room away from the amp he could monitor at more sensible
levels and without getting headphone fatigue. It also meant that I
didn't need to press the talkback button every time I wanted to speak
to him - something you forget to do and invariably end up talking to
Getting used to the almost prehistoric feel (compared to some of the PC
software in common use now) of the Fostex again didn't take too long
and we were soon blasting our way through the set of songs we needed to
Rob is one of those rare musicians who is open to suggestions regarding
the parts and the dynamics of the parts, and he also has the playing
ability to be able to respond to those suggestions and try variations
on what he was doing. This essentially means that you don't have to
worry so much about the accuracy of the part, the job is to think
creatively and to ensure that you are recording what the song is asking
for, and nothing else.
In seven hours of tracking we walked away with 7 songs worth of hot
guitar parts. It will be interesting to hear the songs develop from
this point since all we have at the moment are the basic backing
tracks. I look forward to dragging James into a small room, probably
kicking and screaming, and miking up various parts of his anatomy in
order to get the ultimate sound.
Rich (Reg) Millett 17-09-04
Regular readers of this site may notice that this diary page hasn't
been updated for a while, and we've done quite a few gigs since then.
Well, that's because there's been major upheaval! I've lost my job,
moved house, sold 2 guitars, put on 1/2 a stone in weight and probably,
drunk too much red-wine.
Ahh, the complexities of life.
This rambling monologue, you may wonder, is getting us nowhere. And
you'd be correct. The idea was to write a diary about the 2nd leg of
our Belgium trip. However, I'm going to try a mammoth feat and
encapsulate within one whole diary entry, the JEBO experience from
then, to now! This is an undertaking of epic proportions.
Anyway, let's dispense with the formalities. The gigs we've done have
There was the hurricane winds we had to put up with at the
www.soakinbeerfest.com. 80 miles an hour winds that ripped through the
main stage, fields of mud that were raked up by the arranged throng of
50 or so revelers. The sad site of a man in a poncho lamenting the
weather, whilst selling us some scented tea lights for £4.00.
We did a gig there, in a tent, whilst the audience called out: "Jesus!"
Then there was the Monmouth Festival, where the whole gig went
swimmingly until Phil blew up the Leslie cabinet! It's fiery remains
can be seen on our new Gallery Page.
Then there was Ilfracombe, possibly one of the most soul destroying
gigs ever, the details of which, truthfully, are too depressing to talk
Then we did a gig at St. Michael's Hill, which was going swimmingly,
until the middle class skater boys (Tarquin and Rupert) decided to
offload their decks in the middle of the set. Thanks lads. Then, we had
the indignity of being cut off in the middle of the set, to open the
road. However, 3 hours later, the road was, somewhat strangely still
Hmm. This may be misleading. In fact, I've had some fantastic times
this summer. James has cemented himself as a brilliant, and charismatic
frontman, who takes everything in his stride. His humility is, to be
honest, fantastic. And me mum likes him, and his mane.
Phil has become perhaps the best dressed JEBO-ite, and when anyone sees
his photo they always go: "wow, he looks well cool, like a proper band
person!" Plus, he's playing like a beast. Even though he's a semi-tone
Rob is still chipping away, and Jeff is still a trooper behind the
skins. Just don't separate him and his lady by postcode, or all hell
Reg has done a miniature masterpiece behind the desk, and Steve. The
lovely Steve, is our new tour manager, and gig booker.
And, then there's me. I've grown this summer.. I feel so much stronger
than last summer... Hang on, that's an episode of the Wonder Years
JEBO September 23rd The Fleece. Bristol.
The Trip To Belgium
It was the morning of the 16th of July, another morning as you might
expect, however this was the first day of the much vaunted JEBO tour to
I had already accumulated 2 nights worth of hangovers (Hereford
rock-fest, and an unholy Ashton Court) so I was feeling the pain. A
nice sausage sandwich from the portable cafe might sort me out, I
thought. How wrong I was!
As the van was packed, all I could think of was my workmates, slowly
decomposing in their workplace. The strains and orders like a maggot
slowly burrowing into their heads. It was a dark time after the
hangovers. I took my usual tactic of pretending to be moody whilst
everybody else did the work. And, again, it worked!
Little Lord Fontleroy (Jeff) had used his mammoth spatial abilities,
(he's used to working with big things in small spaces, i.e. himself in
a sports hall...) to fill the van up like a true pro. No alibis this
time, this time the bands van was rented to "JEBO" and was ready to
And what a van it was! A veritable palatial palace on wheels. A
moveable, musical merry-go-round, replete with DVD player, CD player, 2
screens, and leather seats. I've always wanted to feel like Sting. And
Alas, these things never run smooth, and Phil's rather questionable
reading of the email led us to be a little late. No probs when Steve is
at the wheel. We departed.
The journey was filled with much hilarity, and Zappa and Queen DVD's.
As we approached the ferry, we had the familiar strains of Bill Hicks
to cheer us all up. As we boarded the ferry, the journey began. Like
all good journeys, it began with a drink. This was to be my last few
pints of luke-warm, fizzy, wife-beating ginger-ale for a couple of
Fast forward, through the rugged badlands of France, through the border
countries, and then in to the wonderful, medieval town of Gent. Now,
I'm no Michael Palin, but this place was absolutely stunning! Baroque
churches, the quintessential Belgian sloping roof, flying buttresses
that would take your eyes out at 50 paces. Just beautiful. When
illuminated at night, this place was fantastic, a treat for the eyes.
No young men in Burberry hats, and polo necks fighting. No 60's horrors
of Modernism, no paeans to the yoof. Just a beautiful town, preserved
as it should be.
Apart from the public urinals placed on every corner, projecting a
stale smell of piss through the air, it's pernicious acidic bite
permeating every available orifice and nestling burningly on the end of
However, I've lived in Bedminster, so I'm ok (if reading from another
town, insert your own scummy area, Barton St. in Gloucester for
After we booked into our "Partridge" style motel, it was down to the
serious business. Eating, and drinking. We sampled some of the delight
(spag-bol and lasagne) and then went to the festival!
Deediddledyddydydeoldelyelydelydleyleyley (the sound of folk)
Now, I love folk music. Well, I don't really, but after a few beers,
it's jaunty rhythms, and awkward time signatures nestle in your brain.
That is until someone puts "Who Are You" on the band stereo as loud as
it can go! Ohh yes, Belgium awoke to the sounds of the Who.
As we reclined in our venerable vehicle, literally hundreds of would be
Flemish fans flocked to us. James was beset by a gaggle of beauties,
who's attentions, and dubious language skills, he lapped up. Jeff and I
supped copious amounts of beer, Steve was using his not-too-shabby lady
skills on a bunch of ladies, and Phil was just "vibing man." Rob
meanwhile, sat at the back dejected, and sullen.
So he brought out the video camera. Then it all went wrong. There is
evidence folks, of Jeff and I dancing, literally dancing, to the
strains of Queen, (wipe your eyes mum) pictures of a "dead" woman in
the back of the van, hundreds of starry eyed Belgians aghast at the
atrocities of the British band, but like those who watch the car wreck,
they slowed down to survey the damage. In a Cronenberg-esque moment,
some poor souls even joined in.
The night before the day after...
Stay tuned for Episode 2: The gig!
So, the day was upon us to travel to the land of the SAS, our military
heroes and play a gig in the wonderful, Welsh hugging bumpkin-land of
Hereford! JEBO takes to the road once more.
Jeff had obtained the van under the elaborate rouse of taking a dinner
party of Tory peers to a school. It worked a treat. However he did find
on his return that his computer had been impounded.
After a brief stint of highway, M5-ery we were delighted to break into
the free, rolling countryside of this delightful Ford.
As we drove through the rugged, beautiful English countryside, one was
immediately struck by its penetrating beauty. Wonderful, deep green
whizzed past the eyes, imprinting on the retina the chocolate box idyll
of England. This unique rural idle. As we passed hamlet, after hamlet,
through village and small town, one was awed by this wondrous land.
Well, everybody else was. I was heavily depressed, and drinking a beer
known only as "Czech Beer". It was 5.3 percent. Strong and tasteless.
As we meandered through the countryside, I couldn't believe how far
(about 100 miles you idiot: Rob)
AS A BAND! (Smart arse).
It only seemed like yesterday that we're toiling away, moving down the
mean-streets of Derby, playing week night support slots, and here we
were, in the home of the black-eyed man playing a Saturday night!
So we arrived, and checked the venue The Old Harp, and sent our scout
Steve out. The venue was a wonderful sight. The fantastic John had
decked out the "back room" into a venue par excellence, although he had
forgotten to reinforce the drum riser. No long drum fills tonight. The
weight distribution could be disastrous.
Then we pulled a cracker (more of that later...)to warm up the crowd
(at this point people, James is at home crossing his fingers hoping I'm
talking of him...) well I'm not.
Oh, alright I am.
James took to the stage like a pro, and held them onto his every word.
As his lyrics trickled from his mouth, the audience waited for the
splash and then it came. Some of the pauses were so long, I could just
about duck underneath and get myself a pint, by the time I'd returned,
the applause began. You could hear a pin drop. To be honest, I'm
surprised he didn't, if just for the symbolism.
With the crowd now showing 3rd degree burns, rather than the polite
indifference we are usually greeted with, it was time to begin. As we
took (insert 'stumbled' here for me) onto the stage, the time was now.
Bang, we rose and fell in line with the synthed up intro tape Rob had
produced (Jeff made the tea, and so has a co-producers credit, I
criticised it and have a black eye, go figure that one out...) right
onto the Big E. I was rushing for a full hour.
Drugs joke. Bad.
We rocked, I missed an A, Jeff played some blinding drum fills, Rob
threw some shapes, and was not mistaken for that bloke that had just
killed all them people with the hammer. Phil rocked like an absolute
beast, and the crowd loved, and I mean loved his dress. He looked
This was definitely my favourite gig so far, a receptive crowd, a good
venue, and I wasn't too boozed, so I could enjoy it!
As we descended it was a fantastic job badly done.
The night was yet still young. Phil proceeded to perform his "Charlie
and the Chocolate Factory" impression, and our impromptu jam session
involved John, Rob and me, and some lengthy, involved and slight
pompous solos. Jeff proceeded to watch, nervously as his precious kit
A word of warning John: Never, and I repeat never allow a rock band to
stay after hours, and then ply them with free booze. It was all going
to end in tears!!
Although these (tears) were mostly ours when we found out that there
was no shop to get 'babbed' up in.
In all seriousness, it was a fantastic night, and we all had a
brilliant time. We will be appearing at the same place in September
(James has a pending court case for drunken affray at the Hay-on-Wye
book festival. There was houmus smeared on the walls that night!) so
we'll see y'all soon!
The day was hot, and the day was long, and the day was a day for
gigging, this time at the Vaults Music Rooms in Ilfracombe! And the day
was eventful, oh yes.
JEBO time began at approximately 12:30 when Jeff picked me up from
work. I was always told at school never to accept lifts from men in
white vans, but I did anyway. The scars of this particular pick-up run
deep. But, I'll never speak of it again.
First port of call was Bedminster. And a trip to pick up the mighty new
Ampeg cab I had bought (see gear page). After numerous false starts,
the cab was now mine! And its 1200 Watts would be powering the backline
all night long. First however, we had to lift it. Being the lazy monkey
I am, I let Jeff and the other bloke lift it, while I slid it into
Then it was off to pick up the monster of the keys, the
hairy-hammond-hero Phil! Rather uneventful, so we left for the studio.
As tick turned to tock, and the inevitable march of time danced to it's
rudimentary snare pattern, something worrying was happening. James
wasn't here yet. It was at this point I remembered my wish, (when my
friend and I both called someone a **n* at the same time, we made
one...) that the harmonica's be forever stricken from my view!
Alas, he just forgot the right time to arrive. However, I got to wish
again, funnily enough five men all exclaimed "**n*" at the same time
then. It's a funny old world.
Then, Steve depressed the clutch, enraged the engine and we were off!
Last one to the sea front is in a rubbish band!
Luckily, Steve's no runner.
So, the venue was spotted, and the spatial ability of our driver tested
to within an inch of his and our lives. Then it was time to take stock.
The venue was a nightclub, and the band were to play on the dance
floor. On descent, the clubs walls were lined in mirrors, and for a
vain narcissist like me, this was paradise. Seeing my favourite bass
player playing up close and personal. ME!
Setting up wasn't a breeze, more like a gale. The PA was excellently
handled by Phil, James and Rob, with Phantom power, midi ins and outs
blah blah blah. I don't know, I just watched. But they looked busy. And
when we played, it sounded fantastic. Nice one lads!
Then: disaster struck! Phil remembered that his 9 volt power adaptor
was still at home (it's purpose, no-one knows...) So the search was on.
The words Casio and Bontempi were casually thrown about, but the slave
to sound that Phil is, he managed to acquire a Clavinet. I think.
Anyway, the heat was on, and soon was the show.
Our spectacularly short sound check involved much running, to-ing and
fro-ing, and tweaking. But, the button was pressed, the nipples were
erect and it was show time!
First to the costumes!
James: Consistent with previous incarnations. A rounded, slightly
exaggerated look, full of dynamic clashing colours and textures.
Rob: The workman like rough exterior of a man, hiding within a soft,
almost childlike quality.
Me: A look of refinement, class and at all times, British reserve.
Jeff: A costume of 70's style, elegance, and that way-out, wacky,
tripped out bliss of combat trousers.
Phil: A delightful ensemble, capped with elegant styling and a
captivating, charismatic choice of compensating colours, and soft
subtle tones, exquisite in their natural resonance.
We mounted the stage, like a matador with a bull, (no previous
girl-friend jokes please) and awaited action.
Off we went, the unholy sound like a JEBO ear-muff to the soul,
allowing nought to penetrate the songs. The sheer weight of sound (wait
for it...) was fantastic, James dancing, dominating and directing like
a true pro, he even had a cheer for the harmonicas.
Ladies and Gentlemen: Mr James Hollingsworth!
Phil sounded delicious, the Hammond cutting swathes of beautiful sound
and presenting it, well wrapped into the laps of the audience.
Ladies and Gentlemen: Mr. Phil Dudd!
Robs' guitar rhythmically chopping, changing, pushing the group higher
Ladies and Gentlemen: Mr. Rob Allen!
Jeff's primeval drumming, the thud of stick against skin, his marching
patterns pushing on the band, ever forward to new plateaus of sound,
new dimensions of space. And he rocked like an absolute beast.
Ladies and Gentlemen: Mr Jeff France!
And some drunk bloke, playing bass.
Ladies and Gentlemen: Lawrie Jones.
Yes, sadly fans, I did take the old Rock Star thing a bit too far, and
became somewhat of a dancing drunk. Beer, its golden exterior hiding a
multitude of sins. The glorious nectar of the devil.
We survived, but not without some Miles Davis/John McLauglin modal
patterns. But this is not Jazz, this is rock. So, I do apologize. I
also wasn't wearing me glasses. So I couldn't see what old Rob was
Lessons dear boy, lessons.
Ah well, the path to rock-nirvana doth not run smooth. Everybody had a
good time, and a good time was had by all. We are booked again, much to
our collective delight, and are thoroughly looking forward to it.
The promoters were fantastic, and unlike some, were thoroughly
professional in their actions. Yes.
Then, we went home. I got 3 hours sleep (curse you, you fucking winged
demons!!! Grrr) and then it was to work.
Till the next time, forsooth, I see the Belgium on the horizon. D-Day
Jones the Drunk
So, the band were about to go on the road again, and this time to the
wonderful, delightful Coventry (I think???) Our assignment: to support
up-and-coming band the Broken Dolls. And it was a challenge we were
Our trusty captain Steve dutifully loaded the van, and as my
coconspirator, attempted to destroy the curse of my existence: the
harmonicas. How can something so sour sound so sweet? Their silvery
exterior hides that siren song that leads weary travelers to their
doom, or Robs guitar solo, whichever.
Their fate is sealed. Maybe not this time, but the next. Grr.
As we arrived at the venue, all I could imagine were the dulcet tones
of Peter Kay's
Phoenix Nights ringing in my ears. Tonight was JEBO'S debut night in a
(sort-of) northern working man's night club. Tonight was the night
where all (bad) bass fills were played looking at a poorly traced
likeness of some 50's losers "Bopping" (according to old man Jeff)or
whatever they did in them days.
These Happy Days are yours and mine...
Fast forward, yours truly was unable to lug his Hiwatt cab on stage
(last gig, bless er') and so he had the indignity (even though it was a
wonderful rig...) of playing through a Hartke. Eeuch. No such thing as
"vintage German valve-tone."
Still, my trusty Hiwatt-DR10-TinyCock held her own, and its puny 100
watt RMS didn't almost blow up the Hartke, honest.
Then, huge surprise!
We weren't the support band! We were in the hallowed position of:
Second On The Bill! Fantastic, then you have to deal with the pressure
of being second on the bill. Hmm, my nails took a pounding, and well,
so did the bar then.
Our support (insert name here) were lovely lads, and played an eclectic
blinder. Unfortunately, their stand in bass player nearly became
"replaced" when he put his pint on my Hiwatt. Still, I (unknowingly)
responded in kind. I do apologize my friend. We should stick together,
not slit like cheap plywood when a little pressure is applied.
Then, it was time. JEBO took to the stage in a hale of dry ice, our
resident Rick Wakeman was in his element: and with a new Hammond
module, and piano module, sounding like it too. After wowing the
pre-assembled throng, it was time to do our best, and take them by
So the rather lukewarm response was only to be expected. But, I didn't
appreciate how well established the Broken Dolls were, and so I
shouldn't have let my miniscule ego get the better of me.
Spurred on by the crowd, who demanded to be won, we played
fantastically. It was fast, tight, dynamic, comprehensive, confident,
stylish, and downright rockin. I hope.
You see, I get a bit of gig myopia. When I'm on stage, I'm too busy
thinking about the crowd, the audience, other people, my playing, my
amp sound, my stage sound (there's a theme here...) than to really
appreciate holistically what their true reaction is. Honestly. I can
truly say, the only reaction a band get is from the feeling of the
crowd. And to be truthful, that's all that matters. Whatever happens,
it is the feeling of the crowd that is the barometer of success.
And I'd love to feel every one of you. Truly, everyone one of you.
Ahh, then it was the turn of the Broken Dolls. Cocking a sly glance at
every great indie band of the 90's (Oasis, Stone Roses, maybe a bit of
the Bluetones)and some not so great (I did sense some Shed 7 in there)
they truly did headline. There is something like playing in your home
town that is heart warming. So thanks guys, and every success.
The clock ticked on, and the tapped Carling was wearing thin, and so it
was time to go. After loading the van, we said goodbye via the chip
shop. (Jeff's order is alphabetically chronicled in a separate Excel
attachment, available on request, although it is around a 1 gig file
size, so broadband only.) And then home.
A good day out, and hearty pats pats on the back boys. Cos, come a
little closer, this is just to you, yes you there: "I love these boys."
"Not in that way, you understand, but in a purely platonic, 'lads in a
Ooh, and for the harmonicas: I've just purchased an Ampeg SVT speaker
cabinet. So be afraid, be very afraid.
So, the day was April the 1st, the day of the Fool, but for us. it was
another gig, this time in the wonderful northern town of Buxton! Ahh,
taste that spa water. Now, the band, full of gig experience (I can't
remember the number, suffice to say that it is greater than the fingers
on my left hand. "But what of the right" you yell. Well, that's busy.
"Doing what???" Well, you have the internet don't you, and it would be
the first word you used to describe me to your friends after you had
The van was loaded by our logistics expert Jeff, filling every tight
space, nook and cranny available. His expert spatial abilities know no
bounds. Alas, he did however pack those cursed polluters of the aural
dimension, the harmonicas, but, well, it was April Fools Day, wannit.
We were greeted by our women finder/spiritual advisor/driver Steve! As
fine a man as any who have lived. We were ready and raring to go, and
go we did!
Ahh, after leaving the southern comfort we hit the road with tremendous
force, and soon, after departing the M6, we were in the land of the
Peaks! The poetic solitude, the magnificence, the spirituality of those
rolling hills and dales!!! What a sight, this England... Or, well,
that's what Jeff said anyway. I had by this point, adopted the foetal
position on the foam at the back of the van.
On arrival at Buxton, we navigated through the Spa town by the North
Star of any band: the local Curry House. By this point, I was wide
awake, sentient, and ready for action. To the gig, dear boy! the gig!
We were greeted at the venue by the aluminium tones of the first
robotic barman I have ever seen! "You dah band" - "Why yes dear fellow"
- "Early aintcha"
We were, it was only 5.23.
However, we wrestled with our collective consciousness and settled on a
compromise. A smooth, Buxton pint.
Fast Forward to 7pm.
As the last gulp of the golden liquid past my lips, and the glass
ambled its way through its slow pained descent to the table, we decided
that the stage was set!
However, when we arrived, the stage was rather less than set. In fact,
it more resembled a slightly damp bonfire, to me anyway. But then
again, I have no imagination. So, um yeah.
Then, wham! the doors opened and "HE" arrived. This "he" was the
slightly dominating, blue haired Bob. a 6 foot 2 soundman/stage
setter-upper/fantastic character, and as it would turn out,
band-putter-upper. The gig soon began to take shape. We then proceeded
through the protracted ritual of a soundcheck, in no small way,
hampered by a distinct lack of equipment necessary for the performance
of a band. However, this was settled and we began.
Fast forward again...
It was now 9:30. After the hearty ingestion of some chips, (I hadn't
eaten for 8 hours by this point, and was literally wasting away...) we
were to go on. The crowd having been primed by a fantastic Manchester
based band called: The Ending Of. I was reliably informed that their
Nirvana-esque, post-grunge soundscapes were excellent. Thanks boys!
They had to put up with a lot, and for that we are all grateful.
Phew, so, wipe clean the palms, adopt the pose, and whoosh!!! We were
into the first number. Banging through the set, it began to take shape,
and the tangible feeling of air through speaker began to rock. Our
rather unconventional stage set up, and well, the unconventional stage,
all added to the different atmosphere and ambience.
Today was the unveiling of the extended JEBO set! This was augmented by
the scarcely played live: Sand, and for the first time, a few wonderful
Hollingsworth originals. Delivered in trademark style, James had
whipped the crowd into a creamy frenzy, then bang, the entire band rams
home the advantage. A delight, if a little jittery. For these hands
anyway. The atmosphere was heated, and I was just worried that the
police might need to be called. Strangely enough, they already were in
an exceptionally attractive guise.
And then it was over. No trouble, just an enjoyable little gig that
went very well. Then to meet our adoring public! First, to thank the
fantastic promoter Clive, who we have to thank, so thanks. Thanks.
Then to the lovely Amy, whose review we awaited with baited breath.
Look out for a link on these pages to her review very soon! But, a word
of warning, don't trust her with your pets.
Ahem, the post gig world of a band. After some golden warrior with
Clive, (thanks again, thanks, thanks) we had to depart! Only as far as
the majestic Bob's house. The saintly Bob, who allowed us not only the
usage of the floor of his house, but also didn't beat me up when I
spilt wine liberally onto his lightly coloured carpet. Ahh, Bob. Why
aren't there more like you???
We stayed up for most of the night, listening to stories of exorcism
and catholic brutality. Reg shared with Jeff some dark secrets, and Rob
and I ended up in a bedroom together. AHHH. Then it was on to our next
gig, after a day of jollity: Worcester awaited!
Disclaimer: The views within are purely those of the writer a Mr.
Lawrie Jones, and are not meant to cause offence. They are a comic, and
slightly ironic look at the formulation and subsequent ejaculation of a
band into the live arena. Any relation to any characters living, or
dead is purely irrelevant, because I hate you all
The Fleece and Firkin, Bristol
So, as darkness descended once more, as darkness always does (not The
Darkness, obviously) the rain clouds dissipated and the night was upon
us! And this night was not like any other night, this was a Jebo night.
The event, a show with Malago, and a relatively new band made up of
very good looking, slightly effeminate young men, known only as the Red
Top Matches. The night was there to be rocked, and rock it we would.
Approaching the gig with the kind of trepidation one usually has when
inspecting the toilet bowl after a large, and rather fiery curry, we
nervously embarked. Logistically, there were no problems, although we
soon found out when we got to the venue that Jeff had packed 58 packets
of Haribo Tangfastics instead of his trusty Japanese maple kit. Damn.
James meanwhile took the rather sneaky option of getting to the venue
on time, bringing with him the bane of my existence, my nemesis: The
Harmonicas. There little plastic/mettaly exterior like a dagger to my
heart. There sound, like a sirens song, leading me to commit atrocities
of the solo-bass variety.
The venue: The Fleece. For once, a venue big enough to hold both my
ego, and my inflated sense of self-importance. A dream venue, indeed.
By 7:30, we were firmly ensconced in the pub next door, working out the
master plan. By then though, Phil had arrived, so we just started
babbling like babies. The plan would unfold like this. We would all
learn instruments, form a band, play some songs, and experience the
adulation of the crowd. Oh, that's what we were doing. Back to the
By 8.40, the checking of the sound had been done, by the Mighty Reg.
Reg, for those of you who do not know, is our 22 year old sound
man/wizard/lucky charm/get out clause if we ever become sectioned. His
skills behind the desk are legendary. He extracted perhaps the best
sound anybody has ever had from a desk built entirely of Licorice
allsorts. Turning the pink ones with black in the middle is his
Then, boom, we were off! Flying, like the metaphorical condor. Straight
into Sane Man. Our stage act now resembling sex in a long-term
relationship. Slow, steady, we know what we're doing, don't want to
rush, but there's still a little spark, that little glint in the eye
that says "I know you well, surprise me..." So, surprise we did. James
lulled the crowd with some lyrical foreplay, Rob caressed the curves
with some guitar heroics, Phil applied the silk bed sheets of the
sound, whilst Jeff and I supplied the penetrating rhythm. Rock solid we
were, and we kept it up for over half an hour, with a couple of beer
breaks, and the odd slip up!
Damn. The gig went super-fast. Between the segued songs, the dynamic
Sinking Without You, and the fabulous Nowhere Left to Hide, and ending
with the solid What Dreams, we supplied an evenings entertainment worth
paying for. Not that we did, obviously. Co's we're the band dummy!
All that was left then was to pay our respects to the other bands,
which literally involved me pissing in the sink in the dressing room.
Sorry mum. Then to meet our adoring public. The make up of which was
astounding. 2 gorgeous young women from my workplace, my stunning
girlfriend, my old teacher, and some other people who paid.
Ah, this is the life!
So, the gig went well, and we're on a roll. Well, Jeff's had 10 today,
so he's on the plural. Jebo are soon to depart to Derbyshire for a
mini-mini-tour of epic proportions! So watch out for that diary! ...and
the ensuing resignation of every one in the band.
Oh, so you want to know more of what happened?
Well, we had more drinks, Rob and Jeff drank and were merry, Jeff's
lovely lady friend came along, we watched the other bands, cleared up,
and ended up in Stokes Croft covered in greasy chippy take-away!
Ta ta for now.
The Vic Inn, Derby
The day had come for yet another one of our little trips up to the
"Jewel-of-this-sceptic-Isle" - Derby. And what a night it was going to
be! A 3-some with a singer songwriter, Kubrick, who's influences
include "slab heavy metal" and the "Stone Monkey Surfers" who's
influences include Led Zepplin, and Nirvana. A veritable bedrock of
self destructive rock gods! Well JEBO anyway. (Who the fuck are Slab
At this point it is probably pertinent to introduce you to our
manager/rock theorist/musical mentor Dave/Groggy/Greg McNicholas. A man
that has put Derby firmly on the map as a musical high point for
challenging progressive rock, just by booking JEBO! Now, I'm sure that
all of you Derby readers, (if you can read, just trail that finger
across the screen, there you go...) know Greg, but for the rest of you,
he is a fantastic man who has secured us some wonderful gigs, and put
on the rock fest that was about to unfold! To Greg, JEBO SALUTES YOU!
Now, Jeff had tried to convince the van hire firm that today was about
picking up a Regency Period, mahogany chest of drawers, with a
beautiful petina (the beautiful colour of naturally aged wood: David
Dickinson 2001.) from an aged old lady who had just passed. But after
the band detritus left last time, no one believed him. So he ran away
with the keys, chuckling like a chubby school boy. After this minor
indiscretion we were on our way, Hiwatts in hand, ready for the job!
Forward wind 2 hours, Derby, we had arrived. Nice!
We unloaded the gear, and walked past a hugely drunk man (Irish I
think, but don't all drunk people sound Irish...) who we thought for a
second wanted my autograph, but alas wanted to know where the toilets
were. Curses. My first fan. But little did I know that it would not be
long until I met some real ones.
The gear dominated the stage, and the imposing sight of the monster of
the drums (literally not metaphorically) made everyone proud to be
here. Again. Mr Mc.Nicholas shepperded us into a dressing room that
looked slightly like a schizophrenics Turkish bath, which is where the
master plan was hatched., I hide the harmonicas and everyone else
pretends they saw them left on the side of the road in Bristol, Magic.
But that Hollingsworth is as cunning as a fox, or I'm as dumb as an Ox,
cos it didn't work.
CURSE YOU GOD FOR MAKING ME THIS WAY!
At 5.30 pm. the drinking started. Pedigree, Stella and a white wine
spritzer with an umbrella for moi. Then came the soundcheck, which
resulted in the blowing up of the desk. (It weren't me, honest, I
weren't even there.) Fast forward another hour, after a very good set
from young Mr Morrison was...
Straight into the opening bars of Sane Man. Crash, through the segue
into Lighthouse and we were off. Today was fantastic. The band locked,
Phils keys soaring, Robs onstage acrobatics and Bez-like dancing, my
static, slightly pertrified bass-manshsip, Jeff's rock solid rhythmic
foundations, and the soaring vocals of the man H. Damn, we were pretty
The crowd seemed to enjoy, and it was good to see Derby again. I'm
sorry if the "in-gig" descriptions are rather vague, like I said, it's
like a teenage fumble, the excitement actually burys any real
enjoyment. Until the postmortem happens.
AHHH. The first taste of ale, and the reality sank in. Then, there they
were..Our eyes met across the bar. A famliar face, a recognition, a
distant memory (can you guess what it is yet...) OUR FIRST FANS. Oh
yes. They had stuck with us through thick and thin. Through the missed
notes in Sane man, through to the missed chorus in Sinking without you,
through to the triumphant beer festival, and here today at the Vic Inn.
These were true fans, the real spirit of JEBO incarnate. However, the
ale had kicked in, and I can't remember any of their names. Alas...
Derby, we will return.
Fast forward another two, slightly damp hours, after the obligatory
clean up, and the unobligatory 6 or 7 pints of beer, it was to our
other fans we went. The men of Nads Kebab shop. Purveyors of the
finest, perhaps, the worlds finest kebabs. Mine was a large Chicken
Tikka shish in a naan with chips. I'll never forget our first date. It
was of course our last. Why O Why do I always destroy the things I love
the most. WHY!!!
Homeward bound, a brief (two hour, I slept and snored all the way
home...) we were back to Bristol. After the briefist embraces and
back-on-the-pats we were away.
Another fantastic gig, to go down in the annals of rock history. Lennon
and McCartney at the Cavern, Townsend and Entwhistle at the Elephant,
Hollingsworh and Jones at the Vic Inn...
You'll do for me.
11-02-04 Part 2
Saturday Feb 7th Derby Beer Festival
This was a special one, JEBO's first gig at a beer festival. However,
for your favourite author the evening was blighted by a terrible and
debilitating cold, which left him tissue in hand, snot streaming down
his face not in any mood to drink at all.
As we assembled for the mammoth trek to the wonderful north midlands
county, none of us could expect what was about to happen. Yes, an
audience that actually appreciated the subtle tones of a harmonica, the
middle aged throng of a beer festival!
After a journey that was as subtle as Jeff getting out of the bath, we
were there. Although, when I walked in on a choir, I thought we had
definitely got the wrong place. There were cassocks all over the place.
And for a heathen like me, with a cold, it was too much to bear.
Alas, the masses were amassed in an outer room. Bringing in our
equipment, the hall seemed huge, and through my sinus affected nasal
cavity, I could smell the stench of beer, and on top of that the scent
of trouble. Harmonicas + Beer =Tragedy.
After a wonderful soundcheck, (when will we meet these awful soundmen
that I so long to meet, hmmm) we decided to pull back to our lair and
wait for the evenings work. To indoctrinate the Derby masses to the
Bang, it was 7:45 (yes, I know, early, but not at all a problem, they'd
been drinking all day you see) and on came the band. After all of us
heaving Jeffy onto his drum riser we were ready. A momentary pause for
me to clear the green, slimy liquid from my nose and we were away.
The crowd, all beautiful seemed to love us. However, after the first
few segued songs, we stopped, hoping for a rousing round of applause.
Nothing. I looked around, nothing. Then I remembered. How do one armed
people clap, they can't can they. How can people clap with a beer
glass, they can't can they. Ahhhh, (I can see you all now going ahh
too, but you were as lost as me there.)
This was the time for the full set. Luckily, I wasn't bothering with
any spontaneous bass solos, my mind was on other things, but even
without that fundamental aspect of our performance, we played a
blinder. Strangely, the same Scottish man who unceremoniously touched
my back with his unwashed hand in the toilet, shook my hand again. How
lucky I felt. Our first real traveling fan!
Then, we met some of Turkey's finest, with perhaps the best Kebab I
have ever tasted. Thank you Kebab man.
That was our two gig odyssey completed. Back home, and ready for the
next time. I really feel this band is getting off the ground now, into
something we can all be proud of. Except, maybe the harmonica's. Or the
spontaneous bass solos. Or Jeff's impromptu drum fills that last for an
eternity. Or Rob's constant insistence on us playing his songs, when my
16/8 time opus still goes un mastered by the rest of the band.
Sigh. Still some work to do. See you all soon.
Jones 'The Voice'
11-02-04 Part 1
Thursday 5th Feb at The Croft, Bristol.
So, the day had come, and whence past, the night of our first Bristol
gig was upon us! The venue: The Croft (you didn't know? you weren't
there? shame on you!) The only major problem was with the proximity of
the venue. Opportunities to obliterate the harmonicas would be limited.
When we got to the venue, the first problem was size. Jeff's size,
although undeniably he is a big boy. Not his weight, but the size of
his kit, stage etc. To see the mighty JEBO on the road is a sight to
behold, but the fright our gear gave to people is immense. We have a
Anyway, after a fantastic soundcheck by all of the bands present that
night, we assembled, or rather huddled within the confines of The Croft
to discuss our strategy. Unfortunately, Phil had at this point gone
missing, due to the first of this evenings unfortunate run-ins with the
police. It seems that parking on double yellow lines in front of a pub
on one of the main arteries to the centre of Bristol is a crime these
days! What the fuck is the world coming to hey?
Then, the night took hold, and before long, it was 9 p.m., and oh shit,
time to brave the masses of arranged friends and family. Rob began to
pluck away and his shimmering, iridescent cadences began to hit the
crowd and "Boom" we were into the set. For the performing musician,
this time goes quicker than an adolescent wank, with about as many
highlights. It's a blur that if not controlled can turn you blind. (A
tiny reminder to our youthful following).
I do remember a dancing blond woman with a rather fetching black eye,
performing hand-stands and pretending to have a diary (you had to be
there, and I'm really rather disappointed that you, especially you,
Then, after the crowd had disassembled to the bar area, where all post
match banter takes place, we concluded that Bristol isn't such a bad
town, and as I had previously feared was not populated by absolute
wankers. Only the stage area was prone to this phenomenon.
A big thank you to all that came, and especially the wonderful, and
beautiful photographer that came to take pictures of me, although Big
Reg did tell me that her camera was angled suggestively towards my
crotch area... (and no, she didn't have to use a huge lens, you
Oh, on the way home we were accosted by Bristol's finest Police
officers, randomly searched, and then me and Reginald were
unceremoniously booted out of the van and had to walk home from the
Thekla nightclub, to the end of Hotwells. Which was nice...
Lawrie 'The Voice' Jones
Here is one of Lawrie's wry looks at life on the road with the mighty
This is about the gig we did before Christmas at The Shed in Leicester.
And so, the clock had marched its inevitable way forward to the 18th of
December, which meant only one thing, (apart form another chocolaty
window of opportunity for Jeff,) no, it was JEBO night, in full effect.
Jeff hired out the van, this time under the elaborate rouse of a 'Young
Conservatives Day Trip' to the beautiful Sneyd Park area of Bristol,
and my goodness, they believed him!
So, we started the unenviable task of loading up the van with our gear.
Someone commented that this was like Jeff squeezing on a pair of 34"
waist jeans, but nobody batted an eyelid, because the task was at hand.
Once carefully squeezed in, we departed with much haste, though
obviously stopping for Haribo Sour Mix, the unofficial sponsors of all
of JEBO's gigs. Once on route, things went reasonably smoothly. Phil
began to talk, incessantly, Reg was released from Southmead secure unit
just in time (believe me, its true), and James managed to carry the
huge weight of his harmonicas on board.
We stopped once, at a 'Secure Stop' or whatever that parallel universe
is where sweets cost ten times more than they should do. Now, at this
point I could recount an unusually disgusting anecdote about a blocked
toilet, to which I added to, complete with an absolutely appalling
addition to the toilet seat, but, well, that just isn't pretty. Suffice
to say, I'm glad as hell I didn't have to clean it up.
When we arrived, we were reasonably surprised that we only had to drive
round Leicester's one way system for an hour before we found the venue.
So we set up on the stage, a feat that was considering the size of my
ego, and Phil's Hammond, a great deal more difficult than imagined.
Leicester hadn't seen that many Hiwatt's since The Who were last in
So, we sound checked, watched two other fine bands sound check, and
then retreated to the cellar bar, then BOOM"!!! It was 8.45 and we were
Smash, we went in to the set, which, well, shook the place. After the
first three songs the young good looking Leicester folk were loving it.
Whoosh into 'Nowhere Left to Hide', and the best Christmas present I've
ever given, was.... our finale... 'What Dreams', its live hymen well
and truly broken.
Bang, Leicester, and the audience enjoyed. We had a rousing round of
applause, and were very happy. So, we did what every great band does,
We had some fantastic pints with the lovely staff there, including a
wonderful young lady named Sam (who Clare if you're reading this has a
boyfriend, and I'm not interested in in the slightest)..(Phew, got out
of that one hey.) and a fantastic man on the door who in all honesty
offered us some excellent feedback.
As for the other bands you say? Well, after reports from James, and
Phil our two erudite and articulate scouts, the response was a
fantastically big thumbs up. (He's got huge hands Phil,only joking).
Now, we've got some gigs lined up, (see our links) which may even
include a one off Bristol show in early March .We'd love to see some of
you at our next gigs, especially you there, yes you, with the keyboard
and the mouse, and the monitor, and the eyes. You'd better come along
and see us, or I'll 'ave you!
ADIOS! (I went to Spain: kulchural, in it)
- on Bristol Rocks
- on Bristol Rocks
2006 - album tour
2005 - Albert Hall!
2004 - Belgium, man.
2003 - first gig!