If you missed part one of Sheldon’s exclusive feature travelling on the road with Imperial Leisure, you can read that on this link right here.
Day 2 of 3 – Salisbury – Arts Centre – Saturday 16th November 2013
Waking up in the early afternoon with a slight hangover, I waited around with Jim talking about all sorts. We pretty much hit the road straight away and heard details of the previous night including pranks with BB guns that were filmed; it was hilarious and had one of the best quotes of the weekend “Revengay” (which was said as a catchphrase before doing the prank). I was quiet for a while; still feeling fragile until we stopped off at Fleet for a toilet break and breakfast.
I started to get used to the banter and the inside lingo they used like slice, bore off, strong, and sweetish. I remembered hearing a lot of noise of band rehearsals back at Denis’s place so I asked about that. He told me his vision about building studios/practice space for bands. I believe that is a solid movement for so many bands that have nowhere to practice or possibly record.
Denis is a very DIY kind of guy; I realized this again when he told me about his idea for doing more guerrilla gigs like they used to. These were important parts of their beginnings; they were even on ITV news. The idea is to have a trailer attached to the bus/car and transform it into a stage so they can perform stationary or mobile, the extremely hard working band have many other interesting and ambitious plans to push forward with, so keep an eye out.
Before arriving at Salisbury Arts Centre (an old church transformed into the Arts Centre) they explained why they are a feel-good band: “we only do it to have fun”. Whether it is in front of 10 people or 100 people, they make each night special and fun. They also dipped into band inspirations, names came up like Rage Against The Machine, Beastie Boys, Reel Big Fish, King Prawn, Madness and of course The Specials.
When we arrived we found out that Random Hand were performing tonight, originally they were performing tomorrow night but they had to pull out which gave Imperial Leisure the extra date. The guys were so hyped to play on the same bill as Random Hand for the first time, a band that they have liked for a long time. Most of the weekend they kept humming ‘Anger Management’ and kept saying how nice the guys are.
I briefly spoke to the organizer of the event and he told me how, prior the refurbishment, this venue had quite the reputation with bands like Napalm Death. The venue was filled to the 400+ capacity with people eager to see the bands that were performing tonight. The night kicked off with Dirty Skanking Love Hornets, which were entertaining from the beginning with their SKA and Rock influences; at one point they threw bananas into the crowd. The right choice for the opening act, only downfall was not many people had arrived just yet.
It soon got packed when it was Imperial Leisure’s time to perform. They came out with a great presence, earlier when they saw the stage they got so exhilarated. As you can see in the picture on the right Tim Kidner luckily caught the essence of every Imperial Leisure gig. Imperial Leisure played a couple of different songs, which was refreshing. Also they got a chance to expand a bit more, especially Dave, Ushwin and Denis going into the crowd during songs and getting involved.
Although the floor was extremely slippery from spilt drink and again Denis’s champagne section, they completely smashed it. During songs like ‘Jenny’ and the crowed pleaser ‘Landlords Daughter’, everyone in the audience was getting rowdy with light mosh pits and dancing preparing for Random Hand and King Prawn. I am always blown away by Imperial Leisure’s performances; it’s more enjoyable when you know the band really get a kick out of it.
Random Hand then took over the stage with a mish mash of genres including Hip-Hop, Ska, Reggae, Rock and Punk. Most of the Imperial Leisure boys watched from the side of the stage. During Random Hand’s performance they apologized that they had to leave pretty much straight after their set, they had to go back up north pretty sharpish but that didn’t stop anyone from having a great time. They had a blistering set list including ‘Bones’ and ‘Anger Management’ getting the audience to go crazy. Energetic and memorable, another band defiantly worth seeing repeatedly.
I met a lot of friendly people at this gig, and some accompanied me while I watched King Prawn from the merchandise stall and they were on point. They also kindly gave me a vinyl of their single that was also designed by Barney Boom from the band Sonic Boom Six, such a small world.
After we packed up, the band spoke to a few fans for a little while. It is nice how they have consideration and keep close to die-hard fans; they even keep in contact for any future gigs in their area and contact them to see if they want to be guest listed. While leaving the establishment in the bus one of the female supporters started mooning at us making everyone cheer and laugh. From Salisbury we headed for Bristol so we had all day up there and could rest peacefully that night.
Stopping off at a petrol station someone accidentally filled the tank with the wrong pump, we had to wait for the AA to save us but nonetheless we did not let that deter us. We had a lot of entertainment on board; also the lads found out I had Fleetwood Mac and other bands they like on my iPod. The night just got more legendary by singing along to songs and conversations about bands and music. This gave me another opportunity to talk about other information regarding the band as they have been around since 2003. Denis told me he highly enjoyed recording the music video for ‘Dead Model” and how they finalize the set list just before the gig or sometimes winging it on stage.
After the arrival of the AA van we were back on the road to arrive in Bristol where we’d be staying the night. I believe Denis’s friend let us sleep at his house, which was extremely nice of him as the place was unbelievable. Filled with expensive paintings and collectable artifacts. It was said that it used to be a church of some kind, converted into a home. It was amazing.
We were trying to be quiet but with Ushwin, Jack and myself teasing Dave it proved to be difficult while laughing. Jack imitated how Dave had previously got drunk and said to Denis “Denis…I’m in love” throughout the weekend they kept copying things Dave had said another example was while Ushwin flattening and shaking Dave he shouted “Make it stop” in such a comical way while having miniature pillow fights. So now I have gathered they are exactly the same off stage as they are on stage, fun living and huge party animals!
Stay tuned for the final part of Sheldon’s exclusive on the road with Imperial Leisure coming very soon!