Yunioshi are officially ‘noisy bastards’, so says Graham Coxon! High praise indeed from someone who inspired me to pick up a guitar, buy weird effect pedals and thrash the hell out of it. This was the day I got to meet and play with a proper musical hero of mine… and a real honour it was too.
This revelation came quickly after our soundcheck at the awesome Leadmill in Sheffield – probably the best UK venue we’ve played at. Graham came and found us to deliver this news with a friendly grin. We stood around and chatted for a while about how things had been on his tour so far, our joint passion for tea and cakes and all that. It was tricky to keep my inner teenager at bay from being too awestruck, but I think I styled it out – as did the rest of the guys.
We had already been treated to watching Graham soundcheck. It was like something between a private show and gatecrashing a practice session – just us watching on as he and the band went through the set. Myself and Jim had particularly big grins on our faces. We’re almost constantly surprised at how lucky we’ve been to do some of the things that we’ve done with the band – this is just a massive cherry on top and you can see that on all of our faces.
Its time for us to go on and play our set – its just us and Graham tonight. On the way to the stage I bump into Graham again and hear myself asking for a ‘pre-gig hug’ – which he kindly delivers. I hand him a specially made cake which he seems chuffed about and head down the stairs to the stage. We were handpicked by Graham to support him on this leg of the tour and thats probably ramped up the fear a couple of notches on its own. The sight of a massive and constantly growing crowd add another couple of fear points and the fact that I’ve been ill in bed all week adds another.
The crowds are pressed right up against the barriers as we break into our first track Worms. By the end of the tune we can see that they have started bobbing along and we feel like we’re starting to win them over. Next up are the brute sirens of Ghetto and we’re getting more relaxed as the crowd cheer us on.
All too soon we’re giving out cakes – which seemed to go down very well – and we’re up to CTRL, Yunioshirocks and Thunderbird. The sweat sits thick on my back and I hear the last dregs of my voice thanking the awesome crowd for making it an amazing night for us. You lot were properly great!
That’s it for us. We quickly clear the stage and nip up to the dressing room and take a moment together. Its been an amazing experience and we’re really looking forward to Grahams set.
He blasts through tune after tune, tinkering with pedals to make all those kind of noises that opened my eyes to making more out of a guitar. As a pedal geek myself, I can tell you that he’s got some pretty impressive pedals boards. (and yes, I did take a photo!)
The set comes to an end and we all catch up again upstairs in the dressing rooms. We have more chats and thank him for getting us involved tonight. It is not just a massive honour for us to play with him, but really encouraging to know that he likes our music. Everything about tonight has been a treat. I finally crack and get Graham to sign my A&E record. He asks if “we’re sticking around for the disco” but sadly we have to get the train back to Notts.
The night is over, but we’re left with some unforgettable memories. Thank you Graham and thank you to all your team. Will be ace to do it all over again soon!
Rob wrote this
Gig review one
Gig review two
Gig snaps in Clash Magazine
(Photos used taken from Conterfeit Magazine)