As promised – Steve came up with the goods and found his setlist:
Having found a place to crash for the night with people we know, the weary but excited Box Ticked made their way from Wolverton over towards Stony Stratford for the mid-way point of their tour of Milton Keynes.
Scribal Gathering always attracts a fascinating mix of music and poetry, and this was the first of a new ‘second night’ each month for them. The Box Ticked were headlining the show with a short set, which gave us an opportunity to play at a new venue, and in front of some new people.
The Fox and Hounds has a stage and a PA and it’s a great little venue – it was the first time I’d set foot inside the place, so it was a pleasant surprise to see what a great place it was. We leapt onto the stage and kicked off with Plugging Away – we were buzzing from the previous night’s Craufurd gig, so we were in the mood to rock out.
We played a good mix of current, older and brand spanking new, with both Lucky and Every Seven Seconds getting an airing again. Old Helicopter song Eyeliner was pretty storming if I do say so myself, and we finished on Musical Differences, which is becoming something of an anthem.
A great venue, with a great crowd and I think we rocked 🙂
The Craufurd is a great venue, and the mix of bands in the back room and bands in the bar always gives you choice of styles. It was a Saturday night, and we were playing on the bar stage, and we had quite a turnout of people come along to see us.
The stage was ours for the night, so we were able to do a couple of 45-50 minute sets, which was great fun. We threw a few covers in, but most of the evening was us doing our thing, and it went down really well. One key point for me was that if there was a dip in the energy during either set, it was when the covers came on, which suggests to me that we can be bolder with our set lists moving forward.
We’ve got photos of the set list somewhere on Instagram, which I’ll find and link to later, but for now, key highlights for me were the two newer ones – Lucky and Every Seven Seconds. They’re really coming into their own and becoming staples of the live set, and I can’t wait to get in the studio to record them.
We did Kebab Van for Jason (guvnor of The Craufurd) as it’s his favourite song, and we felt comfortable enough on stage to play fast and loose with the setlist when the mood took us. We’ve got a number of songs that just seem to ‘go’ well after other songs, so while we might have one of them on the setlist, it’s just as likely that Steve (it’s always Steve!) will kick in to one of the others.
It’s good to have people dancing, even if they are the drunkest couple in Wolverton, so thanks for getting down to it. It’s also great to have people singing along to our songs – that warms the cockles and gives us warm and tingly feelings, so please don’t stop.
A great gig
This was one of those where it all just went right. Scribal isn’t a massive event, but it’s a good one. There tends to be some talented people doing the open mic stuff, and the headline acts always have their work cut out to come across as being dead good. The feedback we had from everyone there was great, but what was really great about this one was how great it felt on stage.
We played six or seven tracks from the album and everything just felt right. There were moments where Steve and I were singing at each other, and it all felt worth it. I get a lot of satisfaction out of what we do musically, and it frustrates me that we’re not sharing our music with a wider audience, but every now and again you get that rather lovely combination of a great audience, a good set and it all just feeling wonderful on stage and this was one such moment.
We played Musical Differences, Plugging Away, Daydream, New Song, Corbijn and Muse Killer, and threw in a cover of Five Years which felt great too.
A great gig, and one that will live with me for a long time – cheers all.
This was planned to be the big album launch gig, which didn’t quite work out, as we didn’t get the CDs back from the printers in time, but it’s a great little venue. The evening was made rather interesting by what I’ll describe as a ‘slightly confused’ sound man. He took some 20 minutes to establish that the reason nothing was coming out of the speakers was that his desk wasn’t turned on, and we were relaying on feedback from the crowd to get the sound sorted out rather than him. Nice guy and all that, but made for a frustrating evening in places.
Having said that, it was a good gig. We played pretty much everything off of the album plus some oldies and a few covers and we generally had a good time. We were playing with The Phil Sky Experience, who were good and seemed like really nice guys.
Highlights of the evening for me were Musical Differences, Plugging Away, Sack and a few others – not a massive crowd by any means, but an appreciative one and a venue that we’ll look forward to playing again in the future.
This was one of those ‘conversation in the curry house’ things where Jonathan Taylor said “do you fancy playing a short set next week” and we said yes. Scribal is a great gig, and it’s one that we’ve played many times in the past, but hadn’t done for some time. It seemed like a lovely idea, and Jonathan offered us a slot to close the first half of the evening. I have a feeling that our first ever gig was at one of the earlier Scribal Gatherings, so for me, it’s always been special, and it’s always an interesting experience to see how we’ve changed.
We’d decided on acoustic and laid back, which we often do for Scribal. By that I mean that we often decide on acoustic and laid back, but we don’t often actually carry it through – usually the adrenaline kicks in and we play acoustic instruments as if they were electric and ramp up the energy. But not this time. We only played three or four songs, but we remained pretty laid back throughout. That was helped somewhat by my strap breaking just before we started, so I got to play a gig sitting down, which was quite nice and really helped with the whole ‘keeping it laid back’ vibe.
We played Musical Differences, Plugging Away, something else and a Keith Top of the Pops cover to finish with, which was Two of The Beatles are dead, which was lots of fun to play. Anyway, it felt good to be back and we’d agreed to headline the following month, and we were really looking forward to it.
To celebrate the ‘turning 40ness’ of Succettes songstress Nicky Bernard, we were invited to play the headline set at The Craufurd to finish off an evening packed with bands and DJs. It was one of those ‘we’re running late, so any idea of timings is out of the window’ and we were on last, so the odds of getting a full set done were pretty slim. In the end, we took a spur of the moment decision to make up the set as we went along, and ended up playing a set entirely of covered, which we’ve previously never done under The Box Ticked. Technically it wasn’t a Box Ticked gig for that reason, but as it wasn’t a conscious decision, and only happened on the stage while we were playing, it still counts. Probably. Anyway, what it was was a really good run-through of a mix of songs we play a lot, songs we’d played at rehearsals but that had never found their way out into the real world before, and songs that we’d never even rehearsed.
The latter is always fun, and something that requires a significant amount of confidence or a really drunk audience, and on this occasion, I think we actually had both, which really helped. There’s no setlist in existence, as we didn’t write one, and I’m not sure any of us are completely sure what songs we played. I can definitely remember Down in the tube station at midnight, and I seem to remember a medley of Girlfriend in a coma and Only You, though that may have been wishful thinking. Anyway, it was really interesting to play to a different set of people, and a good time was had by all.
The Groovestars are a rather lovely funk/soul tribute act containing a few of our rather good friends, and we’ve opened up for them on a few occasions. It’s always a really interesting experience, because it’s safe to say that as an original power-pop indie rock type band, we don’t really ‘fit’ with their audience but we usually go down rather well anyway. It’s always gigs like this when you get the opportunity to gauge how you go down with people who don’t know you – having people shuffling around to songs they’ve never heard before is always a positive sign, and having people mouthing along with the choruses of songs they’ve never heard before is a real vote of confidence, so that was really satisfying. It’s also gigs like this where you get the well-meaning but ‘not what you really want to hear’ type of feedback of the general British drinking public. A slightly drunk guy came up to me afterwards and said “I really loved your set – really great stuff”. I thanked him, and we chatted for a bit and he followed it up with “I loved that stand and deliver song – you should do more like that”. I know it was meant as a compliment, and I took it as one publicly, but inside, I wanted to assault him just a little bit 🙂 Good gig and full of the Christmas spirit.
We’ve done loads of gigs over the past few months. In fact, we did a bit of a tally up and realised that we’d done more than thirty gigs last year, which is quite cool for an original band who aren’t really on anyone’s radar just yet.
So let me give you a brief tour of recent activity.
A great venue – probably the best stage in MK and run by good guys. We supported a Pistols Tribute and a Green Day tribute, which was an interesting mix. I’d like to think that we share a similar energy and passion as both bands, though we’re obviously a little more laid back at times. When you’re playing with tribute acts, you’re always going to be up against it, as people are there to hear songs that they know, but we had the full attention of the crowd throughout our set. The Green Day band were great – scarily young but full of vim and vigour, which would be a great name for an album. The Pistols were brilliant to be honest – I’d pay to see them anytime.
Within hours of me writing that I didn’t have a setlist from the Brave Old Oak gig, the shame and embarrassment felt by my fellow Boxers led to Steve Box sending it through to me. And it even looks like the real one rather than one he scrawled on a beer mat after he read the last update. One day, someone will go up to a sound man and say “can I have that Box Ticked setlist mate?”. Until then, here’s one to wet your appetite 😉