I am writing within the Manchester Academy compound, a labyrinth of hallways, stairwells, stage rooms, and concert posters. On the NME Radar tour, the band played Acadamy Club. This tour, we have upgraded to Acadamy 3, a 450 capacity venue, and in February, we are booked to play Acadamy 2 for 900 listening ears. We appear to be making progress. The next step of the sequence is Manchester Acadamy 1, where Human League and Goo Goo Dolls play later this year. We can do it!
I met Little Comets, the opening band, for the first time today. They kick around a soccer ball in the nearby lot while we soundcheck. Their bassist, Matt, has a Sergeant Pepper tattoo on his arm, and he’s also wearing a Sergeant Pepper shirt. Now that’s commitment.
Darwin is trying to integrate this foot pedal sample triggering device into our set. Tonight’s gonna be the first attempt. He’s huddled away at his laptop in the dressing room, fussing with a MIDI program on his laptop. “I’m up to my dick in hexadecimals,” exclaims Darwin.
Stephen, head of our label, is urging to not drop Peanut Butter Jelly Time as the intro to our set. Darwin says that PBJ has “gone triple platinum” (band slang meaning the dance is ready to be retired) and he wants to sub in the more subtle Dire Straits intro for the time being. Stephen points out that Metallica has been making their stage entrance to the theme from “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” for 30 years. I imagine being 50 years old and dancing to the Bartman.