It’s been a year since we entered the rehearsal space. Walking through the doors for the first time in a long time after regrouping. The smell of sweat and stale beer and the odour of green leaves hits my face as I walk into the room. The feeling of happiness flows through me as I see the drums sitting in the corner and the all to familiar target on the ceiling. It’s time to shake off the dust and hit the skins again. I can’t stop thinking about bands that break up and get back together all the time, find new members and find new styles but when you get that one band, the one band with the right members, it’s just magical. Everything fits together perfectly, it has a glue that’s stronger than others and you make music better than anybody else in the world and you do it all in that tiny smelly room for 2 or 3 hours a day and you come out stinking of sweat and blisters on your fingers. I just hope that we are still that band, a year can change a band. We have broken up and got back together so many times before and this might be the last time we go for it.
I sit behind the kit after setting up and start to play, but I’m rusty as a garage door and I play heavy, it only took a year and I’ve already lost that feeling. I just can’t bloody play, I try and try and try and it’s just not working. I don’t have the feel any more, I cross my sticks and I stutter. My foots never been the best at the peddle and I’ve never been a flashy drummer but please give me some slack at least. I turn to the bassist as he strums his string and he barely makes a noise and he looks at me and shakes his head “It feels crap don’t it” I say to him
“Yeah, it aint good mate, but fuck it”. And then the guitars kick in and they make a sound like Godzilla. We start to play an old song and we barely recognise it, we’re out of time and we keep slowing down and speeding up and the vocals sound like boiling vegetables. We’re not the band we used to be. Is this how it was for Led Zeppelin when they got back together?
For the first hour and a half we just run through all the old songs and it’s not working, nothing is clicking, we just can’t get our rhythm back . Has it been too long this time? Have we lost all feeling of being a band? I just think to myself we left it too long, we should have carried on like we used to and kept going, not take a year off, look what it’s done to us, we can’t even play, I keep dropping my sticks and missing parts, the singer keeps getting out of breath and the guitars and the bass sound like old cars trying to start in the winter (Marc Bolan never had to go through this). “Let’s take ten minutes, have a quick beer and come back in” the bassist says through a whistling microphone. So we go outside and sit on the wall with a can of fosters in our hands. The singer says “It’s just not working”
“Well lets just sit here for ten fucking minutes and see what happens” I said.
“Well alright than, by the way what’s the deal with the Ramones? The guy can’t sing”. I can’t believe what I’m hearing one of my favourite bands is being put down “What do you mean he can’t sing, of course he can’t fucking sing, it’s the bloody Ramones” I say with an anger of a small child who opens up a Christmas present to find clothes have been delivered “Yeah but he can’t sing”
“I don’t want him to sing, shall we just go back in I’m getting bored”.
We get in the room and I sit back behind the kit and I keep thinking in my head that this is abit of a waste of time, it’s not working and I just want to get pissed. “Lets do another old song, The Destroyer” I said, so we start to play, but something happens and it comes out of nowhere and it clicks, we can play again, everything is in time and the speed is right and the vocals fit. This is how it should be, it feels like a band again, it feels like we can play.
When we finish the song I shout “That’s how you fucking do it, lets do another” so we play another and another and it works again, it feels right and it’s magic. That old band that was missing, the band we left in this room a year ago is still here, we just couldn’t find it. It was lost somewhere and we found it again, we just had to search for it and when we did we found it with a smile on it’s face and a sign that said play me. We play and play until we have to finish and when we finish those blisters had come back, the sweat is back on our backs again and we really need a drink.
The first practice in a year is over and when we leave the feeling of relief hits us, we can still play and we can still play pretty good. Our fingers might be in pain, sore and blistered and we might be hot and looking to get drunk like a proper band should do but we played well, we found what we were looking for in that room.
We escaped the world for a 3 hours today and we played music and we played it well. We might have done gigs in the past to 3 people and come off stage the silence, we might even have played a gig to 30 people and played shit but when you’re in that rehearsal room everything can fall into place better than anything, you turn into the best band in the world. The world outside just doesn’t exist while you’re in there, it just moves on and you’re not apart of it for that time. When we leave it’s just like that, it’s just the same as it always is. The world is moved forward without us. Somethings happening with EU, a poor politician has been killed and Nigel Farage has pissed people off with a poster but at the moment we don’t care because it didn’t happen on our time. And it’s ok not to care because for that moment we weren’t apart of it. Everyone else saw it but we didn’t. And that’s ok, we’re a band, and that’s all that matters.