Well Summer madness comes to Penarth in the form of a small homage to that obscure and little known combo, the Yammer Band. It came to me, as all great ideas should, as the clock struck midnight and the effects of alcohol had mutated to a pleasant wooziness. It occurred to me as I came up with my three hundred and fifty-third master plan that I could set up my collection of gear into a number of line ups. I had the Fender Baja Telecaster into the Sheldon True Tone and my Tokai 1985 Love Rock into my Blackstar 5W head through a T-Rex Mudhoney Overdrive and was alternating between the two and feeling I was my own Clash tribute band.
I should say at this point that the distorted sound of a humbucker has become something of a crack cocaine addiction and, without the shouts of my family to call me back, I could well just sit there bashing power chords forgetting to eat and sleep as I become lost in the warmth of their decay. I thought tomorrow I’ll record with this set up ready to go but, as I woke in the morning, another spark of genius was ignited inside me. I could capture this idea as images, even before the rather tiresome effort of writing a song could ever take place and so it was a blog was born after a very quiet Summer.
The technical details of these ideas are always somewhat boring and so it was I slapped it all down in rather a hurry with my Nikon D300 and 18-200mm zoom. The first hurdle is to explain to your family what on earth is going on, and perhaps more worrying they don’t even find it particularly weird behaviour. At one point I was accused of looking like George Melly which isn’t really possible is it? Meanwhile James asked if I was time travelling as I kept appearing in outfits from 50 years ago, which frankly is a bit harsh. I knocked the photos out in half an hour, quickly realising I was indulging in a dressing-up game. Naturally the character of each musician in the Yammer Band had to be considered and my considerable experience of various no-hoper musicians came in very handy.
So on drums we have the very sensible Saul Almond, who naturally hates playing drums and believes he can play guitar far better that the wanker up the front. Drives a Ford Mondeo and likes nothing better than to get the power tools out at the weekend and put up a shelf. He only listens to hard rock and believes music died in 1976 when punk did for all his prog rock faves.
On bass we have Hippy Guy, who is actually the best guitar player in the band but knows the others couldn’t be arsed to think up all those bass riffs. Sells veggie burgers off his van at the festivals and then goes home to his mum in Bournemouth for the winter. After he’s had a drink he likes to remind the rest of the band he once auditioned for Wreckless Eric.
On lead guitar is Wright Payne, who frankly would rather be in a blues band, but is so boring he’s been chucked out of every band within a 50 mile radius. He can play all Jimmy Page’s solos and will until you want to hammer nails in your own eyes. He works as a Tax Inspector and thinks Eric Clapton is actually a good bloke.
The singer and rhythm guitar player , Jack Yammer, can’t sing and has no sense of rhythm but is a control freak who owns the rehearsal space. The band call him “Shit” behind his back; they are his only friends. He works as a fire extinguisher salesman and once had a song played on Radio Cumbria.
They all believe success is just around the corner but they have done 3 gigs in five years and one of those they were asked to leave after the sound check.
This is all brought to you with the aid of too little alcohol or too much, but I couldn’t leave without some music – so follow the link for my cover of that fine Beatles‘ song, Her Majesty. The good news is that those jeans I found at the bottom of the wardrobe actually fit and I’m still wearing them …… Phew rock and roll.