Playing Brixton Academy.

Day 25

Just shy of 11 miles this morning, and it felt so bliss after having a rest day yesterday. I’m just not very together on a rest day; like a more fragile and venerable version of myself. It does me wonders physically and I do really notice the difference but my mind is on a different page. At least it’s only one day a week eh.

Successful band practice yesterday and then I went to the cinema and saw “A Star is Born” and it was an incredible film – there were some ‘goose bump’ moments and that rarely happens for me when watching a film. With all the music related nostalgia pouring through my head, it’s made me want to tell the story of playing the prolific Brixton Academy. Before I start though, this week’s Wednesday YouTube release is going to be an original song. It’s recorded and ready, I just need to figure out an easy video for it (any suggestions would be great). Just thought I’d update you on that first.


Ghouls @ Brixton Academy. 06/10/2016

Exactly 2 years ago yesterday, Ghouls played probably what has been our biggest show so far. Definitely one of the most prolific venues we’ve ever had the pleasure of gracing the stage, Brixton felt nothing but gigantic, especially when looking out from the stage itself.

In classic Ghouls style, and typical of life, Brixton came about out of nowhere in a period where we were riding high anyway. We were just weeks away from our first ever US tour, which in itself was a childhood dream come true, then out the blue we received a phone call to say we’d won a competition through Fireball Whiskey to support Less Than Jake at Brixton Academy. Honestly, I wasn’t even aware we’d entered such a competition. A swift few shift swaps at work (I worked in Sports & Leisure at the time) and suddenly I felt like I’d been “born a star”.


Arriving to that venue was one of those ‘this isn’thow I pictured this moment’ style stories. I’d had a relatively normal day, woken up, morning run, lunch, got the tube to Brixton, walked through the backdoor, sat in my dressing room, you know – the usual. The rider was worthy of Brixton Academy too, I don’t drink so I wasn’t phased by the beer or Fireball bottles, oh no, it was the gigantic fruit bowl, bottled water (you’d be surprised how often this gets over looked) and then to top it all off, a box of chocolates. I felt important.


We wandered around the venue, just getting a grasp for the room we were about to play and then we got called for soundcheck. Hearing my guitar and voice through that PA filled me up with nothing but pure energy. I wasn’t even phased if the room was going to be a quarter of the way full, this was going to be a moment I remembered for my whole life. Just before stage time; nerves, adrenaline, caffeine, pure endorphin just running all over my body. It was about 50 times the feeling of standing on the Athens Marathon start line. Walking on stage, we were greeted to a crowd that was a lot bigger than I’d anticipated for how early we were on. There’s something about a big stage that makes me incredibly comfortable, I enjoy having the space or my own zone as it were. I don’t remember raising my arms like the photo below but its a move that I stole from Billie Joe of Green Day, that day I saw him play the Milton Keynes Bowl in 2005.


As all prolific life moments, it was over quicker than a blink but I felt nothing but accomplished. We played well, there’d been little to no mistakes in our performance and we’d had incredible reception; I’d recognised some loyal faces in the crowd. The rest of the evening, I couldn’t do much other than take it all in. I didn’t feel like partying or staying up late. My friend and me ended up finding an ice cream parlour and ordering 3 huge scoops of cookie dough or some outrageous flavour. My mind was running over that 30 minute window though, complemented with non-stop grin on my face.


When moments like that happen, you have to remember to stay in the present. They can come and go so fast. You wake up the next day and it’s just another day – the world has hit reset. You can’t dwell on that though, you look back with fondness but then you start the chase for the next one, wherever and whenever it might occur. Here’s to significant life moments, may we all have many of them – big or small.

Peace & love.

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