Andy P - The Wild Family - Gig From Hell Print E-mail
Written by Andy P   
Sunday, 05 September 2010 06:00


It all started out pretty innocently enough about sixteen years ago, when Wild Family band members Russ P, Jeff and myself started putting together our band fanzine that we used to distribute free at gigs. It was a piss-take fueled tome where we "took the Michael" out of everyone and everything including our very own band. The humour was straight out of Monty Python, Ren & Stimpy and Vic Reeves. Nothing in it was ever serious. Russ P even penned some cool 'dog shit' poems for a fictitious "Those Bloody Dogs" prose competition which we didn't actually run that led to a recital on a local radio station with their naughty author barely able to keep his composure.


In the issue that we had available around the time that we were to open a gig for UK rockers Skin, we mentioned that Russ P and I had recently seen the headliners and we ran a wild-family-fanzinecompetition to win their latest single or, let's be truthful, we wrote win their single and 'play along to their wonderful...ahem...anthem...'Tower Of Strength'.   And just to prove my point about this being a "tongue in cheek" tome, the question to win said single was "How many fingers am I holding up? "


Boy was that wise crack going to come back to bite us on the arse.


Up to that point we had already garnered support slots through various industry contacts with the likes of Jellyfish, Little Angels and Thunder, and built up a fairly decent reputation as a result. Then, as fate would have it, we got the support slot for Skin at Bristol University or The Anson Rooms as it is more commonly known these days. Totally forgetting what had been written in our little band 'zine, we duly took a load to the gig and handed them out to all, including our drummer Bob handing one to a member of Skin.


The game was afoot, astute reader.


We were about a quarter of the way through our set and in the middle of one of our songs when, in my peripheral vision, I spied with my little eye an animated figure on the side of the stage pointing at something in his hand. It seemed like he was trying to attract our attention and as I was the nearest I walked over continuing to play. In a surreal moment I realised it was actually Skin guitarist Myke Gray ripping our fanzine in half and jumping up and down on it like Rumpelstiltskin whilst gesticulating that we get the fuck off his stage. Satisfied that I had read the situation correctly and whilst still playing I walked over to Johnny H and furnished him with my new found knowledge. So dear reader with the power pulled on us, we cut our set short and duly obliged by fucking off back to our dressing room where we were preparing to leave the premises.


We proceeded to pack up our gear as quickly as possible, as things were a "little heated". But me being me I just couldn't leave it like that. I walked up the corridor to Skin's dressing room TWF_Marquee_03and politely knocked the door. "What was I going to say?" I had no real idea plus I hate confrontation, I began to think this wasn't the brightest idea I'd ever had.


Myke Gray was certainly not a happy bunny when the door opened, with his face inches from mine he verbally admonished me with choice expletives and I honestly thought he was going to knock my teeth out of my arse. I can't remember exactly what was said as I tried to explain the whole fanzine was full of irony and not to be taken too seriously but it was to no avail. Singer Neville came out and tried to diffuse the situation and was genuinely nice about it all. And at that point I seem to remember our very own Gaz E arrived by my side for moral support. I suppose my explanation for the fanzine was like saying to someone, "you haven't got a sense of humour" which was like putting gasoline on an already out of control fire.


So after what seemed like ages but was probably no more than ten minutes I simply apologised again and we left. What made matters even worse for Johnny H after loading up the van with Wild-Family-TJsRuss, Jeff and Bob, was the stark realisation he'd actually missed seeing Frank Skinner that night as part of his girlfriend's birthday celebrations to sing what was essentially a two song set. Oh well at least he was back in the pub for last orders.


I sometimes wonder if the shoe had been on the other foot would I have taken it the same way as Myke Gray did that night or would I have just thought the support band were cheeky monkeys? I don't know. But with no malice (and none ever intended) it all still kind of makes me laugh. You might never have got to find out how many fingers I was holding up, but I bet you can hazard a guess.


Oh yeah.... as a footnote we got a sidebar write up in KERRANG! about our naughty antics, which at least made some of the agro that I encountered that night worth it.