THE SAS TOUR
This tour was a passing thought that turned into a curious request that quickly became a stark reality. In our naivety myself and Andy Noize Anoize thought we could make people realise that punk is all about back to basics and passion rather than fashion. Nice idea - or so it seemed.
Since day one we have been dogged by gear problems, late pull-outs, poor turn-outs and a lack of commitment by people who promised more. This was intended as a great opportunity for lesser known bands to make a statement and say out loud that 'we ain't just support act's'.
Overall the bands what set out with an understanding of the SAS ethos have benefitted and most, if not all, have enjoyed this tour. Each and every gig I attended went well and everyone present had not a bad word to say. Everyone had heard of the tour and the bands played out of their skin and in general I could hardly find fault with what we did. So why the poor turn-outs?
Basically punk is in a sad state at the moment with too much on offer for an already overfed punk rock dog. The wretched cur is almost choking on its vomit with gig after gig coming its way. I remember why punk first came about and it wasn't to set up a stale social club for people who are so lethargic and mundane that a safe little pool in which to swim was a haven. I remember laughing at old time Ted's and Rockers and swearing that punk could never be about nostalgia and trying to re-live the old days. The fire burned bright once, albeit briefly, but now the fire seems almost gone, with emphasis on being seen in the right clothes, at the right places with the right people. The mental state of this nation at the moment (including most so-called punks) is frightening and harkens back to the mid-seventies when everyone went about their business with their heads screwed on back to front. I really thought punks were up for something different rather than retrospective yearning and big time American bullshit.
On reflection I know to a certain extent I was wrong - but the minority help me keep the faith. The bad press I have heard regarding myself seems ludicrous in the extreme - 'Oh he's a drunken bastard', 'he's so disorganised' and 'my my what an arrogant promoter'. Yeah being truthful and having an opinion is indeed arrogant, having one to many beers is a disgrace and as far as organistation - all gigs ran smooth despite the constant hiccups - punk rock my arse!
The question now remains - will me and Andy do this again? Can we summon up enough motivation to send out another batch of under appreciated bands who need a kick start? Can we still maintain our punk ethics and believe that what we are doing is the way forward despite all the snide remarks and vultures waiting for us to fall on our knees?
Of course we can. It may be a different format (as we have learned a few things on this tour) and our laid back approach with bands may need a sterner touch - but we will be at it again.
This year in general has for me been a learning curve and I still mainatain that I have enjoyed all the gigs I attended. I am proud of this tour and proud of my co-promoter Andy Noize Anoize and proud of all the bands who gave it their all. There are too many people to thank so I will just say you know who you are and the ones who mistreated this tour and all the slaggers - well you know who you are too.
This is all about belief and doing right by the good people who want it - maybe next year we will struggle again and the punk scene in general will miss out on something rather special - I for one hope it doesn't.