Posts Tagged ‘back room’

An interview with Phil Markwick – Buffalo Club, Buzz Rodeo, Porch – The Star, Guildford Sunday 14th May

May 5, 2017

I met up with Phil Markwick last Saturday morning, at the Guildhall on Guildford High Street for the Record Fair.  More browsing than buying, then we headed down to the Star for a coffee, and found ourselves a table tucked away in a quiet corner right by the door to the back room where Phil (and others) put on gigs under the name The Buffalo Club.

We started chatting music… and ended up chatting for over an hour, most of which I got on tape.  This piece will cover the Buffalo Club and in particular their upcoming show at the Star on May 14th, other parts of the interview will likely see the light another time.

“So, what shall we talk about?” was about the best question I asked.  As I say, we chatted.  You’re better off just listening to Phil.  His words are in bold.

“The thing I’d like to talk about is the upcoming show that we’ve got with Buzz Rodeo, Porch and This is Wreckage.”  And Space Church, his own band.

“Tell me about Buzz Rodeo and Porch.”

“Buzz Rodeo.  The quickest way to sum them up is like a German Shellac.  I joked to a friend because Shellac wasn’t efficient enough as it is… they’re very stark, the songs are good, classic noise rock songs.  I bought their album on bandcamp a long time before I knew that they were doing a UK tour.”

“I saw they did a post on facebook saying “hey, we’re doing a tour, these are our free dates.”  So I got in contact with them and said “we do a thing in Guildford, would you be interested in playing?  They were. They were really keen.  It was kinda like a happy accident that they were doing a kind of joint tour with Porch.  Porch was a band, a sort of California noise-rock band from back in the 90s.  I was aware of them back in the 90s, I didn’t see them live back in the 90s, but to be honest I hadn’t thought about them since the 90s.  When I heard they were plaing again I thought “that’s cool” and I was kind of surprised, I thought they had missed that wave of “let’s get back together to do All Tomorrow’s Parties”.  It’s incredible that they’re doing a tour of the UK.  I think I fucked up on pricing [£5 – Ed.] because originally I thought it was just going to be Buzz Rodeo.  With the stuff we do with the Buffalo Club 100% of the money goes to the main band, especially touring bands and out of town bands.  They have petrol costs – flights, hotels.”

“One of the things with the Buffalo Club is how you want to be an arbitrator of taste.  Only bands that I really really really like will play.  But then you learn some rules.  You can get away with four bands playing and two of them have gotta be a draw.  Two of them have gotta bring people out, and if they don’t you just have out of town bands that are fucking amazing but all they’re doing is watching each other.  It seems to me that’s the rule for putting on local shows, like 50% of the bands that play have to be local draws, or if they’re out of town they have to be known.  I’m hoping Porch are going to be a local draw.  As soon as you’re involved in a thing you can’t see the wood for the trees.”

“There’s an other band This Is Wreckage, and they’re coming all the way down from Wales.  Which is great, but I’ve kinda broken that out of town / local balance rule with this.

“It’s certainly not about making money.  When you fill out a room and you’re £50 out of pocket that’s brilliant.  You could put on another show and break even and only have 20 people and I’d rather be £50 out of pocket and fill the room, cos you feel like you’re putting on a party.”

“Who is the Buffalo Club, you’re obviously the driving force?”

“I wouldn’t put it that way.  The Buffalo Club was started by four bands. Secret Black Boyfriend [Now called Moper – Ed.], Fauntleroy, Pensevor and Space Church.  You had a link between all bands.  One member of Space Church was in Pensevor.  Another member of Pensevor was in Fauntleroy, and the other member of Fauntleroy was in Secret Black Boyfriend.  In the early days it was very easy to communicate, unfortunately Fauntleroy have stopped rehearsing as a band for a while.  Everyone is still friends but it isn’t as immediate any more.  It floated apart a bit.  It’s become more just Pensevor and Space Church.  I wouldn’t say I’m the driving force, I mean all it is is booking a venue.  I do the posters, because I have a graphic design background, and you have fun doing them.  It’s not entirely selfless.”

“What do you make of the Star?”

“It’s a great venue, you can get nice and loud, the sound’s really good, the only thing it’s got against it is it hasn’t got a back stage.

“What do Porch sound like?”

“Porch, to me, they sound like a lot of those great 90s bands.  When I was younger there were a couple of bands that I noticed for the first time, and one of them was Jawbox and I’d kinda put Porch in the same cate… I don’t wanna say category… memory, memory box because you discover bands at the same time.”

“Any last thoughts on This is Wreckage?”

“Welsh band, noisy as fuck, absolutely brilliant, slightly avant-garde. Completely fucked up, great stuff, great stuff.”

Finally, Phil, I see your next event is at Sanctuary Live in Basingstoke – who’s playing and what can we expect?

Basingstoke will be for the fans of doom!!!  Yeah, that will be the legends Pensevor.  Pat (the Space Church drummer) plays guitar in that band and he just blows me away with his skills.  He showed me a guitar piece to play the other day and I had to say ‘I gotta re-write that bit’, because I just cannot do those ‘puff of smoke and turn on a dime’ changes that he can do.

It’s the first time we are doing a Buffalo Club in Basingstoke so I am at pains to remind everyone that it’s not in Guildford.  I have visions of people turning up at the wrong venue.

The headliners are Skrackoedlan, I don’t know if I pronounced right, but they are doing a UK tour at the moment and they reached out to me.  I have to admit I had not heard of them before, but I thought it was really good stuff.  I asked Pensevor if they would like play with them, they said yeah, so we went for it.  Skrackoedlan are sort of old school, a little bit ‘Hawkwind’ but in a good way.

With this and the Buzz Rodeo / Porch night we are stepping out a little to get touring bands.  It’s bit more work and financial risk but so it’s great how supportive people have been.

Tank 86 are touring with Skrackoedlan also.  I am looking forward to that, they really have some riffs!  I am not super knowledgeable about the Doom scene and I am kind of ‘I don’t know much, but I know what I like’, but they seem to be taking off at the moment.

Gift of Blindness is playing also. Probably the best dark metal band on the scene today. Think of it are almost shoegaze metal as you just have two guys just focused on playing these amazingly epic metal-scapes. I sort of joked to one the members that you should get loads of dry ice and I will sit behind the drums pretending to play with dildos or something.  

 

Event Page on Facebook (Buzz Rodeo and Porch)

https://www.facebook.com/events/1851757875095504/

Buzz Rodeo

https://buzzrodeo.bandcamp.com/

Porch

https://porch.bandcamp.com/

Space Church

https://spacechurch.bandcamp.com/

This Is Wreckage

https://thisiswreckage.bandcamp.com/

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