Over the years, my friends and I have been involved in a number of bands, with each incarnation differing in members, style and seriousness! Here is an account of the bands that I’ve been a part of in my life so far.
Band: My Dog Is A Hero
Members: Me, Mike Lonsdale, Jemima Miles, Jack Foster, Jake Lawton, Gary Lonsdale
When we were about 15/16, a handful of us used to always hang out in our friend Jemima’s basement. There was a drum kit, a bass guitar, a keyboard and at least one acoustic guitar down there and, as me and Mike had recently been bought our first ever guitars and started learning to play, we would often just have a little play around with the instruments, usually just for fun. Mike had started learning a couple of Metallica songs and I think that was how the band began – with Mike playing a Metallica riff and then someone ringing the lyrics over it and someone else would join in on the drums, and before we knew it, the band My Dog Is A Hero was born. None of us even had dogs, so I have no idea where that name came from.
This little band mainly just consisted of us all singing cover songs whilst one of us played an acoustic guitar, which was great fun! One day we took the guitar and some beers to a park with us and wrote a song called ‘Asda’. Here are the lyrics to that song:
I’d heard a couple of Wombats songs, the couple that they had released at the time, and I’d liked them, but I’d never really had much of an opinion on them until I went travelling with my friend Jack in the summer of 2009. As many people decide to do, we went on a month-long trip around Europe with Euro Rail tickets. It was an incredible journey that I will always remember. We have so many memories from that trip and look back on it so fondly. I would recommend it to anyone with a spare month and a bit of money!
Before we went on the trip, we were discussing the albums that we would be taking with us on our iPhones (due to the limited space available on the first iPhone, the album selection process was a tough one!). Jack was a big fan of The Wombats before the trip and insisted that I take their album with me, and so I did.
I listened to that album to death on that trip. We had so many train journeys that lasted hours and hours, that there was really not much else to do but listen to music. And so I gradually became a big fan of this awesome album!
I specifically remember one sunny morning when we were on a train somewhere in Germany (I think), and I was listening to this album and the song ‘My First Wedding’ came on and I said to Jack ‘this sounds like me’. Which is a completely vague comment, but as we’d spent a lot of time together by that point, he knew what I would be listening to and even knew the song and the part of the song that I thought sounded like something I would write/sing! It was big-headed and egotistical, but it was honest! It really did sound like something that we would have sang in our band at the time! Besides, it was just a great moment of synchronicity for us.
My favourite tracks from that album are ‘My First Wedding’, ‘Party in a Forest (Where’s Laura?)’, ‘School Uniforms’ and ‘Little Miss Pipedream’.
And the part of ‘My First Wedding’ that we both were talking about is the first verse:
“This is my first wedding and I hope that it’s my last.
Things would be fantastic if me and the bride didn’t have a past.
So I stand my the buffet and submerse myself in brie.
I’m tactically positioned, yeah, because the bar is near and the champagnes are free.”
But my favourite line from the album is in ‘Little Miss Pipe Dream’:
“And I’ve seen her slam back tequillas like Oliver Reed at an Irish stag-do.”
This album reminds me of a time shortly after I met my girlfriend. I would get the bus from Manchester City Centre to her house and listen to this album on my headphones. I remember sitting on the top deck on the number 50 bus and just being really happy, despite the horrible weather at that time of year! I was so excited to be seeing her and still in shock that someone as awesome and beautiful as her was with me! And I’m happy to say that the excitement to see her every time I’m heading to her house is still there, and stronger than ever! :)
Favourite Lyrics: [ Pretty much all of ‘Marilyn’s Mansion’ – It’s a song about his childhood treehouse! :) ]
I’m going where nobody knows,
To a place far away from my worries and my woes,
Escape for a day in the trees, I can play
In a house made of sticks, on a branch in the shade.
Frisbees, kites galore
Cover the roof from summers before,
Up high, near the sky,
I can laugh, I can dance, if you fall, you will die.
This is my treehouse! No girls allowed!
I just hope to hell the wind don’t blow me down.
This is a fort of sorts,
I made it myself from odds and sods.
Camouflaged by twigs and leaves,
My secret den you cannot see.
From up above you look like ants,
While I eat sweets and make commands.
The first time I heard this song, I was sat in a Computer Science lecture at Durham University. I was sneakily listening to this album with one earpiece in. I had gotten most of the way through the album during the lecture, managing to not laugh out loud and give away my sneaky operation, and then this song came on and I lost it. I just burst out laughing. (Probably at the word ‘chest’…)
Well, it was either this song or ‘Karate Schnitzel’… (“Who ate my f***ing schnitzel?”)
Either way, I got singled out in front of the entire lecture theatre for listening to my iPod during the lecture.
Busted! Worth it.
Are you willing to make the commitment to wakin’ up at the crack a’ noon,
For deep-knee rock squats!? Seven or eight at a time!? In a row?
The album ‘Champ’ by Tokyo Police Club, and more specifically the tracks ‘Favourite Food’, ‘Favourite Colour’ and ‘Breakneck Speed’ remind me of a particular afternoon in 2012. It was probably the sunniest day of the year. It had been sunny all day and I think I had just been lying around in the park for most of the day on my own, reading Empire magazine in the sun on the warm grass. It was later in the day but the sun was still out and there was still some heat in the air. I was walking around the corner onto the main road and listening to this album on my headphones. I don’t remember where I was heading to (probably to a beer garden) but I distinctly remember thinking “What a great moment this is. What a really, really great moment.” I must have been having a good day, and it must have been a combination of the nice music and the rare nice weather, but whatever it was, I know that in that moment I was really happy and content with everything in the world! :)
Tying up your hands ’cause you’re landing back on your feet.
You know what I mean.
I remember when our voices used to sound the same
Now we just translate.
This song reminds me of my friend Mike. When we were in school I used to get dropped off at his house in the morning and we’d walk to our other friend Mike’s house and then all walk to school together. Shortly after the ‘Take This To Your Grave’ album came out, me and Mike were walking to other-Mike’s house and he told me that he had timed the distance between his and other-Mike’s house and worked out that it took him the exact length of the song ‘The Patron Saint Of Liar And Fakes’ by Fall Out Boy to walk there, from the first step out of his front door to ringing the doorbell at Mike’s house.
To hear you tell me “Boy’s like you, you try too hard
to look not quite as desperate”. I’m hanging on.
But I still know the way to make your makeup run.
This song reminds me of when I used to work in a hotel bar in the middle of Manchester. I used to get the bus to work, and on the bus I’d listen to music. I had only just started getting in to the Wonder Years and had just got their first album. I remember walking down the back lane behind the hotel, to go into work, with my headphones in, and hearing this song for the first time, and really loving it. I walked into the building and up the stairs to the employee cloakroom, which was empty. I sat down and listened to it twice more right at that moment and ended up being late for my shift.
We fell asleep last night watching TV
and the images worked their way into my dreams.
We were watching turtles climbing the beach.
The way she’s looking at him is how you’re looking at me.
So if you miss me, or you get lonely,
then you can swim back (can swim back)
You’ll swim back to me
and I’ll be watching the sea
for when you dance over the breakers and waltz up the beach.
Swim back to me, cause you’ve been gone since spring.
You know that we can’t breath alone in the Gulf Stream.