‘Starting To Fly’ was written from an amalgamation of the story of my Great Grandfather who fought in both Somme offensives in WW1. He was one of 13 men out of 900 who survived the first round but was then injured and captured the second time. Plus a look at the topical subject of what our soldiers go though today, and in reality, what they receive in return, or are left with, after giving their lives for debatably pointless causes.
The decision was made to do a short film to accompany the track, instead of a generic music video. I felt it would convey the meaning behind the song perfectly, and after reading a treatment written by Louise Dooley about an ex-soldier suffering from mental illness after war experiences, who had turned to drugs and lost his family, not only was I blown away by the whole project, I decided I’d like to play the part myself especially because of the personal element of my Great Grandfather’s inspiration in the writing of the track.
By the time the day of shooting came around, I’d done a month of research into the character, as well as the physical preparation of growing my hair and beard. I’ll be honest, it wasn’t the most pleasant of roles, and it did take a good three days after shooting to shake it off and cheer up again. The first three scenes of the day were pretty emotional and difficult, not made any easier by having to swap sets for the ‘house raid scene’ twice, due to locking ourselves out….
But apart from a few minor set backs it seemed to all run pretty smoothly. Well, that was until I was arrested!!! You see, the climax of the film finds the character on a set of train tracks with a train coming towards him. We had the spot in mind where we could get onto the live tracks so we headed down for the last scene of the shoot. When we arrived it was clear from the fence, barbed wire and signs about trip wires and prosecution etc. that we probably should have abandoned the idea and done a re-write for the ending. We didn’t! On top of that, I was unsure if the track had a live current running through it or not because there were no overhead lines……
In hindsight I have no idea why we carried on, it seems crazy now, but at the time adrenaline must have been in control. So I climbed the fence and we got the shot we needed, but we also had a visit from the fun spoilers in blue suits, they spotted our camera man (Dino) on the bridge filming down onto the tracks and clearly thought what the f*** is going on down there?!?
In all fairness to them after a detailed explanation in the back of their car and showing them footage on the camera of the days shoot they were actually good as gold, a bit pissed off, but fair. No fine, No caution, and we got the shot we needed, so as far as I was concerned all’s well that ends well!!
The song itself, the short film and the cover artwork which is by Kevin Donnelly, are three different representations of freedom and release. I hope you like it……
So as we go into winter we can look back and say that October was an absolute classic month for PSR!
The month started with preparations for our home town gig at Bar S7VEN in glorious Coventry. We were discussing which songs to play from our album when we decided we should let our loyal home town fans hear most of the new songs we’ve been working on. This meant the debut of six new songs all in one show! We knuckled down and perfected the sextuplet of fresh meat then on the big night let them loose onto Coventry! It has to be said…..the crowd were fantastic and the response to the new material was extremely positive. So with the sound of a large room full of hardcore fans urging us on in unison, we felt the new songs were more than strong enough to stay in the set for
our next trip, a day later, to the Big Apple!!
Our reason for the trip to New York was to appear at several shows as part of the legendary CMJ Music Marathon. The first show of the trip was on the lower East Side at Arlene’s Grocery which is a funky little venue that has fantastic sound and organisation you learn to expect from an American venue, so refreshing! We refined the new set for America and also got a pretty good quality DVD of the night for posterity, we also hooked up with one of our favourite NYC people, Gianluca Tramontana, the most knowledgeable music journalist alive!
The next night was the big one, the Live4Ever website showcase at the Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, which is just over the bridge to the east of Manhattan. This was some venue to behold! Modelled on a sister venue in New Orleans, it’s a huge 600-capacity main room with a bowling alley running down one side! Full of kooky, old-school Americana artwork and with a menu full of soul food, we knew we were going to have a good night! After seeing our dear friends, the mighty Fifth Nation do their fantastic thing, we gathered backstage and turned the dial to ‘Smash Mode’!! We had a fantastic reaction from the capacity crowd and by now the new songs were sounding enormous! A fantastic success and another unforgettable night! Also on the bill were The Minutes from Ireland, Figo and Damndogs from America plus our own The Duke Spirit. Also present was NYC DJ Abbey Braden who had interviewed us earlier on, we love you Abbey XX
It was then back to our old stomping ground, The Bitter End on Bleecker street in the heart of Greenwich Village. We shared the bill here with a pal from Coventry who now lives in New York, his name is Declan Bennett, as well as doing his own music he also played in the Green Day musical here on Broadway, so the place was rammed to see for the first time ever in NYC……. two Coventry acts on the same bill!!!
Boy did we have a party after this, but as it’s NYC it seems to be normal life to get on the subway at 4am plastered!
So we continued to rock on in NYC, with further gigs including Bar East way up on East 90th Street, Desmond’s bar on Park Avenue which is one of NYC’s oldest Irish bars. Now here’s a thing, when we first played in America at SXSW Rocket hung a Union Jack of his mic stand and because the gig went so well, we just kept doing it. So in this Irish bar up the Union Jack went….. It wasn’t until afterwards that we realised the significance of what we’d done, but hey the Irish bar staff didn’t say take it down and what with the Queen visiting Ireland this year, maybe we’re also part of the peace process that good music can bring people together!! If you wanna wave your flag at our gigs you’re more than welcome!!
So after five gigs in six days, it was time to go home we have to say a massive thanks to the Live4Ever team for putting us all up, Paul Bachmann, Michael Smyth, Liz Lomax, Colin Ryan and also his band Portmanteaux for lending us their gear, we thank you all!!!!
So the four of us sat at JFK airport exhausted, but as the final song on our album goes, we were “The four faces still smiling, so pleased with it all”
And one thing we know for the future is…… the songs for the second album sounding fucking amazing!!
Peace and talk soon
Baby Dave x
One of the best memories of my life will always be driving in the RV camper van from L.A to San Francisco, with our friends ‘5th Nation’! 8 hours driving across beautiful Californian scenery! We stopped at a service station and I asked the lady behind the counter where we were. She pulled out a map and pointed to a big area of nothingness! We were in the Mojave Desert at that point, and not a town or city for a hundred miles plus in any direction! Probably the best part would be driving into San Fran, listening to the awesome Paul Morrell & MNVI re-mix of our track ‘Twisted Soul’, rocking the hell out with ‘5th Nation’ and arriving at the venue 10 minutes before stage time!
So there we were, after 11 hours of uncomfortable anticipation and the worst airline food yet, we finally stepped out into the most amazing sight any of us had ever seen…….Los Angeles!!!!
There’s no denying it, we had come a hell of a long way from Coventry, and we were ready to make the most of it! We were here in California to tour first L.A and then San Francisco with our friends and fellow rock and roll merchants, ‘5th Nation‘. First things first, we needed to pick up our transport and home for the next two weeks, the RV camper van.
So after the mayhem and malarkey of Austin we touched down in NYC for our second visit, the first being back in December 2010. We were once again put up by the legendary Micky and Paul from the live4ever website, who kindly agreed to help look after us while we were there, true dedication to the Rock ‘n’ Roll spirit! Also very deserving of a mention was their friend Liz Lomax who is now part of the PSR family also! We could never have done this trip without their help and we remain eternally grateful, always.
So we came, we saw, and conquered Austin Texas’s famous SXSW festival!! What a truly magical experience to visit a city so musical and so friendly and open to travelling musicians. A great example of ‘Austin Hospitality’ was when we were waiting for the bus into Austin city centre when our manager decided to try hitchhiking. The first truck to pass stopped! And we met Mr Harry Miller, a rancher living in the local area. Not only did he drive us to the city that day, but he also offered to take us around all week!!
This is it!! After all the months of hard work, tweaking and re-tweaking, the album is done and ready to be exposed to the world!! ‘Spell It Out’ will be available worldwide from itunes as of Monday 7th March!! We are very proud of the finished article and we hope you will all love it when you finally set ears on it.
We will be holding a huge release party, including a performance of the album in its entirety at Coventry’s ‘Blok’ on Friday 11th March, and it is going to be huge!! A limited number of tickets are still available from Hannigans or from the venue itself so feel free to get involved!!
What’s up everyone?
So it’s been a while since I blogged but I have been inspired to write about our first Trans-Atlantic shows, which we played in NYC earlier this month.
We were invited to play a showcase gig at Webster hall in Manhattan by the excellent Brit-rock website ‘Live4ever.uk.com‘, and it seemed rude to say no! We also scheduled a further two gigs both side of the main event, and turned it into a 9-day trip. We played ‘The Rock Shop‘ in Brooklyn on Sat Dec 4th and ‘The Mercury Lounge‘ in Manhattan’s East village on Tuesday the 7th.
If you’ve seen PSR’s video for the new single Hazy Days then check out the Hazy Days ‘Mix Tape’ here…
It’s a compilation of songs mixed together by Pint Shot Riot to go with the single Hazy Days. Now you can watch video and imagine lead singer Rocket sitting in his darkened room alone, the Mix Tape is the music he would be listening to.
Enjoy and let us know if you have any suggestions to add to the mix.
Much Love, PSR x
Hello once again!
It’s been a wee while since my last blog so there’s quite a lot to catch up with so I’ll get right to it! Our live highlight of the summer was probably the Guilfest Festival. We took a huge van with all the things we needed to make a pretty awesome base camp and partied the night away!! I’m told the gig went pretty well but all I remember is waking up on the sofa from Mini’s front room, then realising I was in a field somewhere!!