Kingston, The Fighting Cocks, 26th January 2010

So, here we are again. Hatchbacks rammed tight with gear, horrific car crashes survived and wallets primed to be ravaged by the ever-inflating price of petrol. Strings were still not changed, drumsticks were cracked and hands were in various stages of healing from frequent bouts of self-inflicted destruction. Jobs, benefits and degrees well and truly put on hold for a mid week break to the south. Yes, Wilson Fisk were back on the road for a trio of shows with our friends in Speak Your Heart, Let’s Talk Daggers, two of these dates featuring our Brighton based barnacle buddies Tall Ships.

Before we embark upon the tale I shall tell of these dates I must at first manage your expectations somewhat. Our stoic guitar played Edward Li AKA Snorlax who is usually charged with the responsibility of chronicling our adventures misplaced his camera after the Kingston show and therefore I have no pictures with which to illustrate my blog. I shall however persevere with Google images as best I can.

( I google image searched lost camera. Don’t. Also if in my blind googling i somehow upload something that is copywrited to high heavens i sincerely apologise and if you email wilsonfisk@live.com i will of course take the offending image down.)

As with the beginning of most runs of shows we do the first day will invariably involve me having to embark on a fairly lengthy drive by myself as I live miles away from my band mates. However the drive from Watford to Kingston is not a terribly severe one and passed largely without incident. However I did make some observations on my journey. I managed to get stuck in traffic on the way to Kingston; however this was not the day-ruining monotony fest that most people seem to associate with being stuck, unable to move, inside a contraption whose primary function is movement. I was fortunate enough to be in traffic next to the Thames just as the sun was setting (I must point out this was the nicer bit of the Thames, near Hampton. Not the rubbish-strewn, whale-murdering tourist channel that said waterway becomes the closer you move to the closing title sequence of Eastenders).

While stuck in said jam, next to said idyllic location, I observed a bunch of people rowing. As Exeter University alumni you’d be forgiven for thinking that I, if not a rower myself, would at least have a healthy respect for this noble sport. I don’t. I think it’s stupid. Firstly, the actual act of rowing itself is almost designed to do your back in. Secondly, once you get the whole rowing technique down there’s not really much more you can do apart from just keep rowing. I’ve never heard in all my hours watching rowing (approximately 0.23) of any commentator saying ‘Wow what a sublime piece of skill there from the oar 3’. Try and imagine a rowing equivalent of the Harlem Globetrotters. Thank you.  Finally I was lucky enough to witness the end of the race and the rowers coming into shore to get out of their respective boats. In no other sport in the world do the competitors go from highly skilled gliding powerhouses during the race itself to resembling a bunch of pissed baby giraffes in an errant lift while trying to get out of their respective boats. If I’m amazing at a sport I want to look cool all the time while I’m doing it.

It's all athletic prowess now but wait 'til you gotta get out of that balance beam buddy.

I arrived in Kingston ahead of the others so parked up in town in an attempt to find a cash machine and a public restroom that would not require any form of purchase for me to use. After paying 90p per half hour for the privilege of parking my car I was fortunate enough to stumble upon a fully-facilitated BHS. Relieved and revitalised I decided to try and look for the fabled Banquet Records. I’ve been to Kingston numerous times before, however I had never even seen Banquet from the outside, let alone been inside. I was starting to think it didn’t exist at all. One of my good friends had worked there for a year while living in Kingston but I even started to question that. It was almost as if Banquet was the record store equivalent of Keyser Söze. I was half expecting to see a branch of HMV with a limp leave a police station and stand up and start walking normally. Luckily it does exist and is great. I felt obliged to make a purchase as I had proved that this fabled land existed so I bought both records by the excellent south coast hardcore band Our Time Down Here who are a great band who stayed at my house in Exeter once and were thoroughly lovely. Me and Will the singer are even facebook friends. Yea, I know.

It does exist! It wasn't that busy when i went. It was lovely

I then had the unenviable task of driving through Kingston. I you live there you’ll know but if you don’t, the road systems in Kingston are terrible and the drivers unforgiving. Kingston’s ring-road system seems to be based loosely on some of Mario-Karts more complex circuits and if you’re in the incorrect lane while approaching your turning you have to go all the way around it again.  If you even think about changing lanes you will be drowned in a sea of beeps from surrounding drivers who will race to fill any gap that might allow you to not have to go around again.

The average kingston resident on their way home from work. It's less leafy though. Far less

After unloading at the venue and scaring a passer-by by attempting to greet Nic in my customary (and rather convincing if I say so myself) angry Scottish accent we were re-united with the beautiful gentlemen in Tall Ships. Just to see there three beaming faces made all the stresses of driving through Kingston melt away. However Ric and I had to re-enter the vehicular fray to go park up our respective vessels (aha!). I ended up getting thoroughly confused and wound up and had to go park in an ASDA to get myself together. After a smoothie, a wrap and a few tears I managed to park right next to the venue for a pound. Win!

I arrived back to see that both the remainder of my own band as well the Speak Your Heart and Let’s Talk Daggers gents had arrived. After pleasantries were swapped and sounds checked the doors were opened and the show commenced. Daggers went on first and were ace as always. I can’t imagine the modest crowd were really expecting three chaps of varying lengths of hair playing Locust-without-the-electronics hardcore but I enjoyed it.

We were up next and had a lovely time. I managed to not punch Ed in the chest this show which I’m sure he appreciated. I ended the show by thrashing around on the floor like a landed pike. I really couldn’t tell you why.

This dude was so stoked he caught a 200 punder.

Following on from us were Speak Your Heart who showed the signs of a band who had been on tour for a while i.e. furiously tight but with a nicely haggard edge that gave their performance a nice bit of roughness. Maybe they should look into smoking forty a day and not sleeping ever for some true grit.

After that Tall Ships went on to a vastly depleted crowd and proceeded to play a seriously fun show. Brutally macho dance moves aside it was great!

After the show everyone was feeling slightly subduded and with nowhere for us to stay we took the executive decision to drive to Snorlax’s very lovely new flat (now named the Poke Ball). Snorlax had to leave half way through the show to take his very lovely flatemate Jamie home so me, Will and Nic had to drive back to Canterbury. We chose to stop off at ASDA on the way home for sustenance with Will promising us he knew the way. However he didn’t. He kept saying ‘I can see exactly where to go in my mind’. This was difficult for me as the driver because what I could see with my eyes didn’t seem to match up with what Will saw with his mind.

Back at the Poke Ball we ate, watched some South Park and then fell into bed. Me and Will got to share Ed’s lovely double bed. At one point in the night me and Will slept with our bums touching and both in a sort of foetal position. From above we must have looked like the Kappa logo. Sweet.

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