Monday, 8 March 2010

The Roger's Trout Farm Live Experience

As I write this, I'm listening to a tape of Roger's Trout Farm playing at the Moles Club in Bath in 1990. The joy in this exercise - beyond listening to myself playing on songs I would happily have sworn to have never heard before today - is in our interesting between-song repartee.

We all had microphones, y'see. And great big flappy smartarse mouths, me especially. And a bit of a moany attitude if our gigs were less than total sellouts, which they all were. And - I can't emphasise this enough - all five of us love to bicker. Yes we do. Yes we do.

I, for example once had a half-hour long row with a man in the music shop in Weston-Super-Mare in which I had a Saturday job, because he claimed Snips wasn't using his wah-wah pedal 'properly' on our demo tape. Ever the loyal bandmate I pointed out there's no such thing as properly in music, and to illustrate this, I offered to hit some drums with a flute. My friend Emma was there at the time. She plays the flute very well and was not impressed at all. A point won, a larger, more sensible point lost.

Transplant that kind of row to a stage in the West Country in the late '80s, and end it with something like "this song is called Shutchaface Mr Chapstick, come on hurry up", and you've captured the very essence of our stagecraft.

That, and playing the already-too-fast songs even faster. Oh and if there were any dynamic starty-stoppy bits, one of us would always jam an extra note or beat in the gap to make the others giggle.

You know how in an earlier post I said we are all confused now about what we thought we were doing then? Yeah.

But for all this, we were also a most diverting live spectacle. Yes, a bit like picking porcupine quills out of your face is diverting, but so what?

Here's proof. A song of James Agnew's called 'Mr and Mrs Harbinger Of Doom', complete with a little chat about a man and his coat, a dig at the audience, a cantankerous ending and added random parps.


  1. I remember the argument about the wah pedal. I remember deliberately playing it with my left foot so that it wouldn't always be in time,
    what, what, what was I thinking

  2. I can read this blog, but can't hear the samples on this computer.

    I cannot WAIT to listen to this stuff. Or see this gig.

    (James & James's bandmate)