Recently, as the band has been having a break after a recording session (we’ve got most of When The Vespiares Go Pop done now, among other tracks, which is very exciting!), I’ve been writing my Masters dissertation. When I say I’ve been writing my dissertation, I actually mean I’ve been doing this:
Me, stroking a cat.
While this has been fun, I’ve become increasingly aware of my deadline, so have been trying to be more constructive. Writing this blog is clearly going to help me with my dissertation. In fact, taking pictures of me stroking a cat, uploading it and then writing about it is definitely going to help.
Perhaps more interestingly to you readers, we are just getting ready to start preparing for autumn’s gigs, which include a very exciting gig on the LV21:
Marf is excited because it has a massive lightbulb (its a light ship after all), Gareth is looking forward to leaping onboard and pretending to be a captain, Hannah is just happy because its her favourite colour, and I’m looking forward to the possiblities of travel sickness (I’ve been known to get ill on a pedalo). But one thing that unites us in our excitement is that we’ll be supporting Duotone, who are such an inventive and creative band. I just hope that I can concentrate on playing before their set!
The gig is on 29th September in Gillingham (see http://www.lv21.co.uk/ for more details of where to find the venue) and you can buy tickets here: http://www.wegottickets.com/event/157013 so please come along if you can!
Since the start of the band in 2004, we’ve had nearly 20 different members. Each new member brings something different with them and takes a piece when they leave.
One thing that has always remained is our name.
So. Where did it come from?
Back in 2004 we were a punk band. A punk band that was quite literally thrown together with little direction in mind.
We needed a name and decided to play on the fact that we definitely were not the best band in the world. Los Salvadores was born – it is Spanish for The Saviours – a tongue in cheek reference towards us not being the saviours of music.
I was re-studying Spanish at the time – that’s the cultural link right there – there never was and still isn’t any Spanish stylings in our music.
Does that matter? How many people first looked at our name and thought ‘they are clearly going to be playing Flamenco’? Did any of these people turn up to toilet venues expecting such? I’m not sure.
Recently we’ve discussed the ups and downs of changing our name. How we should have something that depicts our style, sound and ethos now. We’re writing songs whose subject matter fits with the music and whose music fits with the title. Makes sense to do the same with our name, right?
Perhaps. Although a name change at this stage would be a huge undertaking. Websites, social media, emails, hundreds of contacts, logos….the list goes on. What if we changed the name to KENTFOLK-ADORES and someone leaves and we get in a thrash metal lead guitarist who only writes songs about Massachusetts?
Another of my concerns is that people would turn up after the name change and say “Oh, same members, same songs. Why all the bother?”
On the flip side yo, one of the main plus points is that nobody would relate us to the previous ‘punk version’ of the band. Every now and then we still get people trying to book us as a punk band, having not listened to any of our material from the past 2 years. Less so, but on odd occasions we get disappointed gig attendees asking whether we are going to change back to being a punk band again.
No, we aren’t.
After so many years the name is merely an identity tag to me. Nothing more, nothing less…which is shocking really given the variations on our name we’ve had over the years on posters, flyers, venue walls, websites….
The Los Salvadores
You’ve visited our website – typed it in to your browser – how could you still get it wrong?
I might have made the last two up. Only a bit though, that’s the funny thing.
We also get hundreds of visitors a month looking for religious saviours. That’s not us. Sorry. Although perhaps it is and we’ve just not ascended yet.
Again we reach the end of another blog where I give no conclusion.
You probably all saw the weather reports last week about ultra-strong winds around the west of England, looking to batter their way across the country before dissipating and celebrating their path of destruction.
Well, being the bravest band in the world, we decided to pile into a car and drive head on into those winds. We fight weather. Drive into wind. Punch rain. Insult warmth. You name it, we’ve assaulted it. Isobar? Lame-bar more like.
Our destination was Llama festival – Lynton and Lynmouth – in Devon, on the north coast, opposite Wales. The country, not the outlaw.
We set off late afternoon and conversation was appalling. For the first 100 miles Vicky and Hannah discussed, in minute detail, every aspect of the few days that had passed outside of each others company.
“My alarm went off and I pulled back the duvet. I pressed the button on the alarm clock that doubles up as a snooze and alarm shut off button. I twisted the lower half of my body eastwards and then downwards, hence directing my feet towards the floor. I placed said feet on the floor and sat motionless for approximately 18 seconds. I stood up…..”
You get the drift.
So we decided to play the most awesome game in the world.
THE NAME GAME.
Someone thinks of a ‘famous’ person. The others each get a turn to ask questions which allow only ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers. Here are some examples.
Except we get bored quickly and on a previous trip to Wessex, these were the first round names.
Hannah chose ‘Pikachu‘.
I chose ‘I, the Ventriloquial Figure‘.
Vicky chose ‘Guinevere‘.
Gareth chose ‘The velociraptor from Jurassic Park‘.
This time however, there was some excellent questioning to decipher who the names were. After driving past a Little Chef, with new logo and everything, I was inspired to choose the TV chef who likes science (but more importantly helped jazz up said roadside restaurant).
This round went on forever.
Is it a man?
Is it a human man?
Is it a character from Pokemon?
Does he have a beard?
Is it still a man?
Eventually Hannah twigged who it was.
Heston Bloomin Summit.
Heston Bloomin ‘eck.
T’Heston T’Bloomin Hot Pot.
At which point me and Gareth piped forth with some hilarious alternatives.
Heston Bloomingdale Winton.
Heston Bloomingdaley Thompson (we are nothing if not topical).
Heston Bloomingdaily Mirror.
Have you guessed yet?
Yes, well done to those of you who guessed it was Heston Blumenthal.
Then we arrived at the Solstice services where we felt obliged to make love to trees and dance around oddly.
Several moans later (about the prices, not from making love to trees), we set off on the final 3 hour leg.
Blah blah blah eventually we found the campsite.
It was windy.
About 70mph winds.
At half 11 at night.
It was dark.
About 70mph dark.
Tents in such conditions aren’t our friend.
A ten minute job turned into an hour of tent poles in ears, guy ropes down trousers and pegs on nipples, but that’s something private only me and Gareth talk about.
We had a wonderful night of beautiful, serene sleep.
No we didn’t.
It was horrendous.
Between the four of us we managed about 7 minutes sleep, Gareth having 6 of them. Greedy.
All night was spent with each of us wondering whether to talk or not, convinced that the others were sleeping through the devil wind.
Coffee and baps for breakfast didn’t help much, but the scenery and sun brightened our foul breath/moods.
We packed the car up and drove down the steepest roads known to man to get to the festival site.
The stage was set to an amazing backdrop of tree covered cliffs, about 100 metres from the sea, running waterfalls and rivers and a Tea Pigs stall. Top 3 gig in terms of setting, mos def.
We did our thing and played evil folk to the not-evil folk of Devon. One man tried dancing to the stop start rhythms of Mistress of Distress, got confused and walked off, leaving his shoes behind – and he didn’t come back to get them.
We had a brilliant cream tea before we left for the epic trip back to Kent, ready for Stowfest the next day.
Leaving for Stowmarket around 9.30am on Sunday morning we managed around 15 minutes before a coffee stop. Then we listened to the whole of Divine Madness, hearing it in all it’s surround sound glory. I mumbled words, I fumbled words but had mainly forgotten them all.
Getting to Stowmarket was like a high street crusie compared to our previous couple of jaunts. 2 hours up the A12. Easy. Plus, it was signposted better than any other festival we’ve been too. Good work Daniel!
Stowfest is a free festival, of the same ilk as Create in Ashford, but on a slightly smaller scale. The crowd here are more attentive to the music than at the similar Kent fest and we go down pretty well, getting a comment afterwards around the words of “It was quite odd, I really enjoyed it”. That made me happy.
The windows in my car are completely worn out now. The other 3 were constantly winding them down and up all weekend. I seem to have much, much more gas than anyone. I’ve blown a hole in my seat and the windscreen. It’s pretty weird to be honest, but I also take great pleasure knowing how ill I can make people feel with the power of bodily output.
Today is Tuesday and I’m already really excited, because we’re four days away from setting off together (awful) to play our first summer festival booking. We’re going to be playing on the main stage at Wessex Folk Festival, which we know we’ll enjoy because we played on their smaller stage last year and had all the fun of the fair (see our video for evidence).
We have learned a few lessons from last year. Gareth learned that when the big yellow ball in the sky is hot, you should avoid getting burned by wearing sun cream/staying in the shade. We laughed a little, but had already got too drunk to understand what had happened. The second lesson we learnt was to do with booze and hangovers, but in all honesty we’ve learnt that lesson over and over again and it doesn’t look like it’ll ever stick.*
There he glows.
The third lesson was to bring bowls with us if we’re camping and want to eat cereal.
I’m hoping that Marf will agree to make another video of this year’s trip, documenting all the other lessons that we might learn. And that Gareth won’t kill me for posting this picture.
If you’re in the Weymouth area on Sunday – come and see us play!
*I don’t know whether to use ‘learned’ or ‘learnt’ here. Feel free to email us with the answer, or email us with anything else really. Or you could post us presents. That’s always acceptable. Or you could transfer some money into my bank account.
All of those who have bought our latest EP should have the password to enter the secret section of our website. It’s not that secret that you can’t find it. It’s on the menu titled ‘Secrets’. The password is written on a voucher like piece of card on the inside of the CD case.
Other select people, like Hannah’s nan, also have access to the secret place.
So, for those of you who do have access, there is some new content! It’s only taken 6 months. That’s pretty good. There are a few high-res posters available for download, should you so wish to print them off and promote gigs that have already happened.
There is also a demo of an unreleased track, called Danza de la Muerte. It’s the second part of a piece about death. Not a great deal of surprises with the subject matter. It depicts DEATH!!!!! and his band of merry dancers on their journey to Dode to pick up the last remaining survivor there – the legendary Dode Child.
We just keep on giving.
Every 6 months.
On a more boring note, we’ve changed the website slightly so that our bio is now the home page. We figured that there wasn’t a proper reference to us being a band should somebody stumble across our page. They are more likely to think we are a group of alcoholics who enjoy wrestling and bird watching. Well, actually, they’d be right.
Come on Koko B. Ware! Look! A massive blue parrot!