Le lancement d’album, or, the album launch…

•September 2, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Greetings.

I’ve barely found the time to sit down and write this post – fucking manic.

Friday 27th August. BBC Manchester Introducing @ The Ruby Lounge – the site of the launch of our debut album ‘Sickle Sell Saturday Night’.
With the rugby final, Pride, Reading & Leeds fest, and whole heap of other shit going on over the Bank holiday weekend, there were concerns that the night would be a total washout.

No such fucking concerns!

The place was rammethed all night long, the superb audience taking in quality sets from ParaZali and The Marder and of course our sleazy selves.

You can see BBC Manchester’s  pictorial account of the night here. Top, top night all round, bar some outrageous technical hitches during our set – I have exorcised that particular demon now.

Huge thanks to the cats at BBC Manchester Introducing, The Ruby Lounge, ParaZali and The Marder.

Our ultra rare red vinyl CD versions of the album sold out RIDICULOUSLY quickly – part of a package that included a recently unearthed final copy of the ‘Parade of Piranhas‘ EP and a signed poster.

We also sold a load of the ‘standard’ Black vinyl CD album…massive, massive thanks to everyone who came dow, had a riot and bought the album.
Also massive kudos to those who have bought the digital version from http://www.allhailtheblackknights.co.uk or http://www.recreationrecords.com too!

It literally keeps us going.

More pics from the night (as well as a ton of other content) can be found on our Facebook group Disciples of The Black Watch.

We have a literal fuckload of stuff coming up – I will keep you posted.

Yours,

The Dark Reverend Gary L Hope

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Clarity.

•July 24, 2010 • Leave a Comment

So. Every now and then, people approach breaking point, but before you break you are instilled with the clearest mind you’e felt for years.

This happened to me the other day.

Let’s be clear. I will never break or be broken – there’s a mental toughness imbued in me from the folks and from my experiences that is pretty much fucking invincible.

Exhibit A:
I’ve been (excuse the obvious A-Team symmetry) convicted of a crime I didn’t commit – forced to swallow the punishment being dealt out from a fucking upper class moron completely abusing his position, testimonies and recall of events being changed by the hour, until it sits conveniently alongside his predetermind version of events.

To be informed that I was ‘lucky’ to be spared a jail stretch.

This was nearly five years ago, and the conviction is spent. Finito.
I served my punishment.

Couldn’t leave the house between 9pm & 7am for six months.
200 Hours community service.
£1000 fine.

Why?
City centre brawl, (in retaliation to being unceremoniously headbutted) – at the time where an politically ambitous judge is leading the charge against city centre violence.

I, Dumb fuck, was made an example of.
About to start my English degree at the University of Manchester.
Straight A college student.
Not a token stock dolescumite – nothing to be gained from punishing them.

I’m against city centre brawling. It smacks of low class.
In many ways,  justice was served.

I mused,  sat uncuffed and smoking a cigarette in the club doorway, watching the guy being stretchered into the waiting ambulance, on the uncertainty ahead.

Justice.
Justice is not to have every sentence you utter in your defence immediately dismissed, whilst allowing a continually evolving alternate chain of events be dribbled out and taken as gospel.

Justice is not to have your brief silenced at every turn by the prick with the gavel, in a manner of a bored, impatient child.

Justice is not the opinion of one man – especially the one man who allowed the above to transpire.

But justice prevailed. The alternate events become recorded as fact. Punishment was served on these facts.

Exhibit B:
Moving forward in time; we are making our way back to the car, to load out our gear.
There’s a protest outside the BBC and the police are their to observe.

We pass a van.

A pig leans out and asks me where my permit is.
Thinking he means the protest I say ‘Permit?’
‘For that outfit’ he replies.

Hardy-har. What wit. Except I can’t retort in the standard fashion.
He’s an on-duty officer of the law and knows it. Abuse of power 101.

Don’t misunderstand. The insult was pathetic, but thats not the issue.

The issue is that due to the make up of society, all I can do is swallow it and walk on, seething.

But I don’t break.

Clarity.
What has the above to do with anything?
These are two concrete examples of the things that drive me.
There’s more examples;  i see it daily.

How is this relevant to The Black Knights?
It’s important to understand the situation in which we operate.

When you feel a calling to do something – a visceral, mental and spiritual call that will never go away, it’s important to understand how this call clashes with reality.

The first thing that everybody who creates art needs to grasp is that nobody gives a fuck about you or your art. Certainly in the beginning, and for much of the time you continue to create.
It is fundamental to accept this.

You should strive to create the best art you can muster, that conveys everything you wish to convey. If your art doesn’t, work at it, keep creating and working toward perfection.

Just don’t expect anybody to give a fuck; they don’t.

It needs to be fucking understood. This has to be your base starting point.
Some artists wish to put their creations ‘out there’ into society, into the maketplace, to make their art into something thier livelihood.

This is where art meets business. This is the maelstrom.
If you don’t fully understand and embrace the extent to which nobody else gives a fuck, you will be torn asunder.

In the maelstrom, nobody cares about the methods and time it took, or even the meaning behind your creation.
Nobody knows about or wishes to know about the time, money, blood, sweat and tears that go into the creative process.
Nobody knows or cares about the motorway miles, the lugging of gear, the rings you jump through just to get your agreed fee (if one exists).
Everyone is special, everyone is dirt.
It’s an information superhighway (remember that?) of millions of people clamouring for attention – but nobody looks.

With music – this is The Black Knights‘ chosen artform – the only thing the maelstrom sees (if it is even looking) is the finished article, the ends.

It cares not for the means.

Our debut album ‘Sickle Sell Saturday Night’ is finished.
Released into the maelstrom.

It is our finest work to date. And I have been driven throughout its process to completion from despair to elation. It costs less than two bottles of Corona to buy, but is infinitely worth more.
This is unimportant in the maelstrom.

Throughout time:
I have played shows:

– to a party of folk headed up by a one-armed woman, under a railway arch

– to a single, solitary spastic who had an overly-keen intention to take us home with him

– to hundreds of people, outselling the headlining act 3 to 1 on merch

– to a venue full of unknown quantities, initially completely against us, afterwards raving about us

– to literally an empty room before being told to ‘turn down’

– in the midst of a flu virus for three shows in three days


We have been told:

– by one person that ‘i’m not gay but you guys gave me an erection’

– Why not try Britain’s Got Talent?

– on countless occasions by people you know or even consider friends ‘I didn’t know you were playing tonight’ despite being invited, as they arrive for another band.

– that we are one of the best bands in the world

– that we have massive gay appeal

– that we are one of the shittest bands ever (not told directly to us – on a blog)

– by a sixty year old man that we are the best support band he has ever seen

Ignorance in others is the status quo.
Marvel as someone complains when others ignore them, then instantly dismiss someone who approaches them.

Suspend disbelief as someone who has made a career in music radio and TV broadcasting complains about being ‘mithered’ by bands.

The music industry.
It is the only industry in the world that tolerates rank amateurism alongside professionalism.

It is an industry of veiled behaviour,  false smiles, deception, individuals never telling others what they think of them.

The music industry is the biggest blag of all time.
Nobody within it has got a fucking clue what they are doing; they grope blindly in darkness and sometimes stumble upon a crack of light.

Most of the time they are wading in a barrel of tits and still emerge sucking their thumb.

Vast sums of money are thrown behind people, most fail.
If you were to put all costs v income on a balance sheet, and present it to a bank manager, you would be in a padded cell within the hour.

People complain about hearing the same song over and over, but listen to nothing else. And buy the song.  Sorry, illegally download it from an filesharing site.

Whilst stating ‘well the band get enough anyway, greedy fucks’ without being able to even remotely define this income stream

It repeats ad infinitum, sliding from the depths of pain to utter unfettered joy and back again.

We can leave the maelstrom any time we choose. We don’t want to.

We are skint. We are despondent. We are elated. We want to destroy. We want to save.

Some give a fuck, some never will.

I fucking love it.

Clarity.


Sickle Sell Saturday Night – Album Art & Track Sampler!

•July 6, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Yes My Disciples.

Today we are unveiling the artwork from our forthcoming debut album, which will be titled ‘Sickle Sell Saturday Night‘.

Without further to-do, here it is:

mmmm.

Also you lucky, lucky bastards can hear a sampler from every track from the album below! We’ve still a few kinks to iron out and remix but its 95% there!

Enjoy, we do it all for you My Disciples.

Yours,

The Dark Reverend Gary L Hope

Do or die.

•June 25, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Greetings My Disciples,

We are reaaaaallllyy fucking close to completing the mixing of our debut album, and we are itching to unleash it on the world.
Yeah, the fucking world.

We’ve got loads of behind the scenes stuff to sort out (necessary tedium and details that I will not subject you to) but when it’s good to go we are going to be. Ubiquitous. Fuckers.
We’re going to get out on the road  and spread the voodoo trash blues sleaze hard as we can. We’re looking to get into Europe with a couple of shows in Santander penciled in for Oct/Nov.

As long as proactive hungry music enthusiasts who think outside of the ‘I’ll-stick-that-Keane-album-in-with-my-veg-at-the-supermarket’ vacuum exist, like these and those to name but two of the massive number – we’ll be more than ok.

There’s more to come.
Viene Tormenta.

Yours,

The Dark Reverend

Concocting our debut album / Eurocultured Festival

•June 16, 2010 • Leave a Comment

It may have appeared a bit quiet on all fronts recently but nothing could be further from the truth.

We’ve been locked in a cave with the semi-legendary Giddy Whittle relentlessly putting together our debut album.
The tracks are now all recorded and already we’re very fucking happy with what we’ve put together!

We’ve still got to mix the tracks, but that’ll be a good time; we’re going balls out to make the album fucking stunning.

We’ve got a load more stuff in the pipeline, including a little rockumentary so keep your eyes peeled.

On the live front, we smashed out a show at Eurocultured festival on the 31st May – useless fuck of a sound engineer and partial paralysis of the vocal effects box aside we knocked out a pretty good show – the place was fair rammed by the time we got on and lot of people we’re getting right into the mood of things…kudos.

We’ll be off to the graveyard later this week to get some more pics done. Excellent.

Keep spreading the word of The Black Knights voodoo trash blues miasma, my Disciples.

Viene Tormenta.

Yours,

The Dark Reverend

Sounds From The Other City – Salford Music Cooperative @ The Rovers Return, 2nd May 2010

•May 7, 2010 • 2 Comments

Thank fuck for this show.

Our first ever appearance at SFTOC this was.
We were on the Salford Music Cooperative stage, set up as an answer to the perennial puzzle of

‘Why are there fuck all bands from Salford on at a festival set in Salford and primarily being about Sounds from said city of Salford?’

Why indeed?

This show was a blast from start to finish – we monstered our set, one of the best we have done and the other bands on the bill (Sandbox, Death To The Strange, Kingfishers Catch Fire, John Herring) were all on form.

This came through from the ever-present mm.co.uk:
http://www.music-dash.co.uk/live/live.asp?item=1918
‘If there’s some kind of party going on, then it would be disappointing not to be at least in earshot of THE BLACK KNIGHTS. This fringe styled festival this year sports its very own fringe – The ROVER’S RETURN is free entry and is curated by the SALFORD MUSIC CO-OPERATIVE (www.salfordmusic.com) who today fly the flag for Kingfishers Catch Fire, Sandbox and John Herring.

My appointment is with Gary Hope and his drumming friend. It’s worth it. Today the suit is purple and the cavalcade of rock and roll soul fire blues finds Hope as a relatively unrecognised, but possibly undisputed guitar hero and truly flamboyant talent. His distorted vocal lines and deep swooping blues verge on a Sabbath sized density, as those drums work perfectly and powerfully behind it all. Legends in their own right.’

There was a semi-confirmed rumour that John Hanley (supoib bassist of The Fall infamy) wanted to play bass for us on the back of our performance…hahahahha.

Brilliant.

It wasn’t just the bands though.

In the starkest of fucking stark contrasts to our previous show, the place was packed with interesting & interested peeps from start to finish.

Characters the lot of them, and all committed to reversing this declining trend seen over the river.
Just set up somewhere else and fucking smash it.

It was great to speak to people who were genuinely enthused about what they were doing and why they were doing it.
It goes without saying but there’s literally too many to list! They know who they are though 🙂

As an aside, Everybody (and I mean every fucker) should get down to Helmets for Men at Islington Mill tomorrow (Saturday 8th may 2010) and be part of a fucking great thing.

The rise of Salford as a new power? Who knows; but they’ll give it a fucking good go.

A-fucking-men.

The Dark Reverend.

MAPS Festival @ Night & Day, 30th April 2010

•May 7, 2010 • Leave a Comment

So, the first of our May festival er…fest saw us at Night & Day cafe for MAPS. Late substitution to the bill saw The Witches come on board. This meant a Recreation Records sleaze one-two!
We battled through the pizza available downstairs (fuck knows how long it had been there, but hey).

Omens weren’t good on this one – we were definitely a little more fucked off than usual before we started playing – can’t really put me finger on why…
Nevertheless we grew into the set and delivered a beaut…

Good to see Andrew from 4Q Magazine on the door, and Andrew Chester (Recreation Records) was present and correct as well!

The Witches pummelled out a great set, and Doll & The Kicks duly obilged with a decent set too; overall we had a good night, mostly due to the number of excellent peeps we conversed with during the course of the night.

There was however a slight bad taste for me. MAPS is a great festival.

Promoted well.
Doesn’t cost the earth.
Top lineups.
The issue was that it’s a Manchester city centre festival and whilst the turnout was decent, it should have been more.

This isn’t a slight at the promoters; they were superb; more further proof of the decline in live music in Manchester.

For fucks sake, more people seemed to wanking each other off at the prospect of gawping at some famous man playing some records in a club than be a part of a new chapter in Manchester’s musical heritage.

Dire times indeed.
Try hard hipster cunts.

Par for the course.
Further disenfranchisement at the thought of playing Manchester city centre.

Rum and cigarettes ease the pain.