Archive for the ‘thoughts’ Category

Sheashon’sh greetingsh

Monday, December 24th, 2012

Klepsie, Shazomei, Camrath, Blacksnip and Ullan would like to wish all their friends, fans and listeners the compliments of the season. Bah, humbug.

Things have been a bit quiet at Donutsh Central for a couple of months due to new jobs (two) and house moves (one) in the band, but we should be gigging again in the New Year, and even recording more new material. Songs continue to be written for the Difficult First Album.

A piece of advice for your new year’s resolution: people will sometimes tell you to “dance like nobody’s watching”. Well, sod that. Based on our experience, there is only one way to dance, or indeed to live your life in general, and that is to conduct yourself as if everyone is watching, and applauding you frantically.

Remember folks, support independent music in 2013, or there may be none left by 2014.

Ethel! Those filthy musicians are at it again!!!

Friday, July 20th, 2012

The trouble with blog posts is that one never knows quite how to begin them, I find… So let’s just forget the niceties and cut to the chase: next Donutsh gig is Monday 23rd July, once more at the Water Rats in Kings Cross. Half a dozen bands on the bill; it’s £8 on the door, which makes it all the more important for you to tell us you’re coming in advance (sign up at because that way you get in for a mere £4. Cos we can do that. We’re just that awesome, and that generous. There’s a couple of new songs that will be making their public debut, into the bargain, so you don’t want to miss this one, do you? Besides, it’s the last gig we shall be playing before the huge squawking vulture that is the Olympics descends on London and rips the guts out of the city’s finances, transport and social life. Unlike the Olympics we promise not to paint special lanes on the roads or have Boris Johnson blethering endlessly on telly about how good we are (although if Mr Johnson wants to do that he’s more than welcome, on reflection. We’re not proud, we’ll accept anyone as our fanboy).

We’ve also been working on a redesign for the website — watch this space for further developments, very shortly…

“Tonight Matthew, we’re going to be musicians”

Monday, October 31st, 2011

So… yes. We’ve completed what is either our first 4-track EP, or else our first proper demo tape, depending on which way you look at it. And we’re really pleased with it; it sounds astonishing. Soon we’ll be announcing what you can do to listen to the tracks — keep watching!

Meantime, don’t forget the gig at the Standard on 10th November is coming up soon.

But for now, here’s a quote from Mark Radcliffe’s autobiography “Thank You For The Days” which rang a loud bell with us:

“I’ve been in a band since I was fourteen years old… I’d never been good enough at sport to warrant being included in a proper team, and always rather envied those who experienced the camaraderie you get when you’re all pushing towards a common goal. Once I was in a band, though, I realised that here was the gang I’d been looking for. Bands are small private clubs in which peculiar roles apply, unspoken hierarchies prevail, despite lip service being paid to the vague notion of democracy, and shared adventures are guaranteed. Since I discovered all that, a band is just something I’ve had to have to make life seem complete.”

Which pretty much sums up our position to a T. You out there — yes, you – if you have the faintest interest in music, go and get a band together. Now. Don’t wait. Don’t wonder. It’s the best thing in the world and anyone can do it.

Rally round the standard, boys (and girls)

Sunday, June 5th, 2011

There have been frequent rumours about it before, but now it seems almost certain: the Standard, after providing live music (and other entertainment) to Walthamstow and its citizens since 1986, is to be sold out from under its tenants’ reluctant feet and turned into a supermarket, or flats, or some such money-grabbing scheme. No matter that E17 already has flats a-plenty, and supermarkets galore (indeed, just up the Forest Road, the former Essex Arms is being transformed into yet another); no matter that E17 has no other dedicated music venue at all.

Live music will survive, of course; live music always does. But it’s a body-blow to all the local, up and coming bands who have long been given unswerving support by the Standard, not to mention that it will knock out a major venue for that genre which nobody will admit liking but which always manages to fill houses, the tribute band.

Of course we must declare that we are partisan here. Our very, very first public gig was at the Standard, and indeed we’re booked to play there again on 21st July. But the principal remains the same. Venues such as the Standard are the backbone of music; without the local support that they generate, without the opportunities that they give to musicians, an important brick in the wall is removed. And if you take too many bricks out of a wall, the whole wall falls down. If you don’t believe us, just ask Pink Floyd.

So let us hope that by some miracle these shameful plans fall through and that the Standard is once more spared by the skin of its teeth. And if the worst comes to the worst… well, the local paper confirms that the incumbent tenants must be given six months’ notice to quit, and those tenants, Paul and Amanda White, are on record as  wanting to “make the most of the last six months”.

You get the message, I’m sure. Get out there and get down the Standard. While you still can. Because this is your last chance.

A cellar full of poise

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

How do I get to Carnegie Hall? How do I get to Carnegie Hall?

Thanks again to all those at Thursday’s gig at the 229, both those who came along to see us, and those who came early for the other bands and cheered us on while waiting for them. A receptive and responsive audience is the number one spur that prods bands into giving it all they’ve got. New songs “When I Woke Up” and “The Other Ronald True” saw their debut at a public gig and both went down extremely well. Two more keepers! A tip of the plectrum also to the promoter, venue and sound guy, without whom &c &c.

Some of the audience feedback deserves to be set down for posterity. As we came offstage, the burly figure of the singer from post-punk maniacs We Buy Gold loomed up. “Great songs! So f***ing cynical!” he boomed. “That’s the way we write them,” was Klepsie’s reply (thankfully I just managed to avoid saying “That’s the way we roll in the Donutsh,” which would have sounded like a bad joke).

Meantime another audience member was remarking to Camrath’s girlfriend “They sound like Johnny Cash biting off Johnny Rotten’s head”, a quote which she gleefully relayed to us after our set and which it was instantly agreed by all of us summed us up to perfection. Shazomei was despatched upstairs to the land of mobile phone reception and ordered to put it on Twitter without delay, and it’s going on this website too next time we revise it. (Unless, dear reader, you can think of a better and pithier quote?)

Small wonder, then, that we wended our way home in the best of moods — in my case, with the sublime Sparks album LI’L BEETHOVEN blaring in the car. Next gig, please!

Practice, man, practice! Practice, man, practice! … I practiced! I practiced!

East London roundup

Friday, March 25th, 2011

Having survived jury service, a most unpleasant ordeal I hope never to have to undergo again, time at last to catch up with things musical.

The Romford gig went well despite Daddy Amp (largest of the family Daddy Amp, Mummy Amp and Baby Amp) developing a fit of the sulks at soundcheck, leaving us having to borrow another from Last of the Waiting (thanks again, guys). The Bitter End is a cracking little venue and the guv’nor there very easy to deal with. We’ll be back, I hope.

Next up comes our West End debut on 6th April. We’re first up in a lineup of four followed by Model Railway Exhibition, De Shamonix, and Elize Kellman. It’s another bring-a-flyer-for-a-quid-off do, so cast your eyes up the page a little way and you’ll find a link to download ours from. The promoter sez that if we bring enough people we’ll get rebooked, so if you’ve been meaning to check us out and not got round to it, make this gig the one you get to, eh?

A few plugs to close with. At Romford we also shared the bill with Chelmsford’s The Library Suits, and I think it’s fair to say that if you like our stuff you’ll also like theirs. They’ve just finished recording a new album which should be well worth grabbing once it’s released. Their video for “You Don’t Have To Be A Wizard” is a hoot.

Terrorvision‘s new album “Super Delux” is their first in ten years, with a new drummer, but you’d hardly think they’d been away; it’s a triumphant return to their high points of the mid-90s such as “Regular Urban Survivors” and “How To Make Friends And Influence People”, and they score extra brownie points for making the first two lines of the first song a huge great salute to the late, great Kirsty MacColl. Too often bands which reform are a pale, washed-out shadow of their former selves. Buy this album and send Terrorvision the message that they, at least, are welcome to regroup any time they can bring something this good to the party.

Other good bands seen live recently include Run Don’t Walk and Hercules Rockafella both of whom were high points of the first Most Rated night at the Rhythm Factory last night in Whitechapel. Herc Rock are another band with a video to check out.

Scruples crumble

Monday, January 24th, 2011

We held out as long as we could, but there was no way around it, and we’ve had to succumb: we’ve made a Facebook page.

Note that this does not mean in the least that we like or approve of Facebook; we don’t. It annoys us just as much as it ever did, as witness the fact that we can’t even figure out the URL of the page we’ve made because it seems to vary every time we click something. But this is the future, and just as there’s no point trying to walk somewhere when everyone else is in a flying car, or eating an old-fashioned bacon sandwich when everyone else is subsisting on a diet of three food pills a day, so there’s no point in pretending that everyone in the entire world isn’t going to be glued to Facebook within the next year or so.

So there you go.

But we hope this page will remain our primary web presence and the place where our loyal, adoring fans (ahem!) will continue to come to first for our quotes, notes, news and views.

Got to love obscure knowedge

Monday, January 17th, 2011

As you’ll know if you’ve looked at it, the flyer for the 27th January gig features a photo of an old train. Which we thought no more of when we designed it than “this is a weird old photo, should look good on a flyer”.

But one of our fans (who shall remain nameless, although he runs the best music shop in Palmers Green) has been in touch to confirm that the locomotive pictured is in fact a “Milwaukee Bipolar” engine, which used to run passenger trains from the Midwest US to such places as Seattle, and that the photo can be dated between 1919 and 1939.

We are all but speechless in the face of such erudition, and can only be heard to mutter in subdued tones that ‘The Milwaukee Bipolars’ would make a great name for an indie band.

Little known band perils #5,271,009: other bands

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

The Dartford gig on Saturday 20th November was an absolute blast. (Setlist, for ease of reference: The Only Fool; We Are The Struts; Rock and Roll Retard; Strange Jane; Rod Serling; Skullhead; Time Is No Cage; The Land That Taste Forgot; Johnny Don’t Care; Happy Birthday To You — this last being trad.arr.Donutsh and rocked up a la Ramones. The birthday girl seemed to appreciate it.) We greatly enjoyed being able to raid the party buffet after the gig finished, and gave out no end of ‘Donutsh’ and ‘Rock and Roll Retard’ badges. Quite did our egos good to see half the party sporting them.

But you’re waiting for me to explain the title of this post, so I shall. Towards the end of the night the end of the pub supposedly reserved for the party was invaded by another band. We never did find out the name of this punk outfit, but we very soon found out that they Don’t Like Skinheads You Know; it was hard not to find this out, since it seemed to be their sole topic of conversation. Several of them cast glances at Camrath’s crew-cut, but luckily he was about twice the size of most of them. “Skinheads are worse than Nazis!” proclaimed one to me. “I saw a skinhead in the audience at our gig, so I stopped playing ‘Rockaway Beach’ and jumped on him.”

“Ah yes, those skinheads and their nasty concentration camps,” I wanted to say, but cowardice stopped me. I’ll say it here though, as the next best thing; arseholes like this are a disgrace to punk music and to all music, and the spirit of Joey Ramone would be turning in its grave if he knew a mean-spirited little sod like this was covering his songs. The Donutsh abhor racism and bigotry, and what’s more, we promise never to stop playing in the middle of a song just to twat an audience member, no matter how much they heckle us.

We gave these mental and musical giants ‘Rock and Roll Retard’ badges to shut them up, and eventually they wandered off  sporting them proudly, with no evident idea of the irony inherent in the situation, to be swallowed up by the night — an unsavoury mouthful.