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u.n.p.o.c. doing gigs

At Popaganda 
Aftershow party performance (5th June '04).

Record out, reviews in, one or two little gigs done and then I was back at uni, heading towards exams. That's when, out of the blue, I got the email asking me to go and do the Friday 8pm slot at that first big Swedish festival.

Here's the full list - only 27, but such nice shows - Sweden 6 times in 5 months, Alexandra Palace, a Bavarian wedding and a London showbusiness birthday too!

Below the list there are some bits from the scrapbook, worth a look if you were at one of the shows!

31.10.03 Anstruther, Ship Inn Fence Collective Night, Two songs, first live show.
16.11.03 Dundee, The Art Bar Fence Collective night, filmed for MTVe TV show
21.12.03 Glasgow, King Tut's supporting James Yorkston. First proper gig!
20.03.04 Anstruther, Erskine Hall Big Fence "Homegame" weekend
28.05.04 Stockholm, Sweden Popaganda festival, main stage, 8pm on the Friday.
29.05.04 Karlskrona, Sweden Rundgang festival
05.06.04 Stockholm, Sweden Popaganda aftershow party show, with Kenny King Creosote
10.06.04 Edinburgh, The Venue Fence Collective show. I paid full-price to get into this one, by mistake, not knowing I'd be asked to sing. The Venue was my favourite Edinburgh venue. It's an art gallery now, which is actually quite nice because I can have a wee look inside whenever I want.
21.06.04 Glasgow, King Tut's Supporting The Concretes
22.06.04 Manchester, Hop&Grape Supporting The Concretes
26.06.04 Glastonbury, UK Guardian tent
06,07.04 Malmo, Sweden Accelerator Festival
07.07.04 Goteborg, Sweden Accelerator Festival
08.07.04 Stockholm, Sweden Accelerator Festival
(guest vocals by The Concretes Lisa, Maria and Victoria).
08.08.04 Goteborg, Sweden GoteborgsKalaset
11.08.04 Pittenweem, Fife Fence @ Pittenweem Arts festival
(guest vocals by Victoria Bergsman, of The Concretes / Taken By Trees).
07.09.04 London, Bush Hall Supporting James Yorkston
28.10.04 Linkoping, Sweden Klubb John Doe, Herrgar'n - Oldest indie club in Sweden!
29.10.04 Lund, Sweden Blekingska Nationen
09.01.05 Anstruther, Ship Inn Fence Collective night. W/ Steve Mason (Beta Band) guesting on drums, fantastic!
03.04.05 Anstruther, Erskine Hall Fence Homegame2: The Rematch
(guest drums courtesy of Steve Mason!).
02.07.05 Bavaria, Germany Wedding show near Rosenheim for Nick & Manuela.
22.10.05 Putney Club, London Special Party gig for 40th Birthday of Laurence, the Domino Records chief.
27.11.05 The Caves, Edinburgh 25 minute set, part of a Fence night.
03.12.05 Alexandra Palace, London Supporting Franz Ferdinand.
23.04.06 Anstruther, Fife Part of Fence Homegame 3.
03.06.06 Conway Hall, London Part of "Homefires 3".

Art Bar, Dundee, 16 Nov 2003.

I did 3 songs at this one.

Glasgow, King Tut's Wah Wah Hut, 21 Dec 2003

James, me, Johnny, Kenny, with music stands for lyrics. Xmas hats for 3 kings allusions.

King Tut's was the first proper unpoc gig. I remember the start really clearly - they knock the door, saying "5 minutes!" then they come back with the torch and you jump in behind them and you're hustled through the crowd, single file, pretty fast, right up to the stage, up to the steps, and then you're up there, and you're plugging in and then you'd better be ready cos it's all happening.

We did another King Tut's 6 months later.

Popaganda Festival, Stockholm, 28th May 2004.

I think this says unpoc topped critics' annual Best-of-Year lists, and that this would be our first Nordic show.

It's such a beautiful language. There we are in the programme, on the Stora Scenen, The Big Stage, 8pm on the Fredag. It was a really good slot. We had only been in the country 5 hours at that point. We came straight from the airport.

I had never been to a festival, or to Sweden, and this was only my third proper gig. I was pleased to be asked across, even if few people there would know of us. Big audience. Bit nervous.

Apparently, the audience looked sort of perplexed as the four of us went on. A weird, vacuum-type silence, was how James described it. The audience would have been wondering who we were. We figured to get through the set and maybe win a few people over.

But as soon as we started, there was a sort of step change in the crowd, like they realised it was us, and they began to join in, started singing along. It really built up. They can't have all been singing but a lot of them were. And it turned out that they knew all the songs, and they sang them all with us. And then, between songs, the volume even went up, with everyone shouting "Yeeaah" and whooping. I saw people hi-fiving. What a thing.

At the end, we were asked to do an encore. We had not anticipated that, and had used all our songs, so we did the first one again, like a lap of honour. It was a very unusual situation. What a great place.

Rundgang Festival, Karlskrona, 29th May, 2004.

The day after Popaganda, we flew down to Karlskrona, right in the south of Sweden, for a tiny festival called Rundgang. It means feedback.

What a contrast. The tiny audience squeezed themselves in at the stage front. One person looked a bit squashed so we had him join us onstage to help us with the tambourine. It was that kind of show, the perfect thing after Popaganda.

Here's my wristband and hotel instructions. It would be a nice place to live, Karlskrona.

Rundgang had a great poster.

At the airport with Kenny, Johnny, James (percussion, percussion, guitar), all still looking a bit shocked.

Accelerator, Sweden, 6-8 July 2004.

Accelerator was a terrific, big 3-city touring festival. In Gothenburg, we were sound-checking as the audience was let in. They were running towards the stage, maybe thinking they'd missed us. We were playing Here On My Own.

I liked being part of the big troupe of bands travelling together; it's a nice feeling, being part of the circus.

Getting ready in Malmo.

Goteborgskalaset, Aug 8th, 2004.

It means Gothenburg's party. The Goteborgs Posten cutting here says we had become Sverigefavoriter, which has to be a good thing.

James (guitar) was away, so Theo (more a drummer), stepped in. Johnny (tambourine) got the crowd to boo James and cheer Theo. Goteborgs Posten gave us 4 lighthouses out of 5, I think. I met singer-songwriter Nicolai Dunger backstage too, nice fellow.

Linkoping & Lund, Sweden, 28/29 Oct 2004.

I did these two headline shows as a trio with Alan bass and Theo drums. We rehearsed for 6 weeks solid. It was Linköping (Club John Doe at Herrgår'n) and then Lund (Blekingska Nationen). Turns out that headlining is like having a great tailwind.

Alexandra Palace, London. 3rd Dec 2005.

This was my biggest indoor show, playing to 8,000 Franz Ferdinand fans. It was the last of four nights they were doing at Alexandra Palace, to round off their UK tour.

What a big hall. There I am, having a pre-gig wander while some of the Franz crew are kicking a football around.

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