It was in their mid-80s imperial period when the group settled on the dynamism of the 8-piece. Things haven’t changed much since then. Who will we be seeing?
Shriekback Big Live Band – 2017-2018
Backing Vocals – Sarah Partridge, Wendy Partridge
Bass – Scott Firth
Drums – Martyn Barker
Guitar – Mike Cozzi
Keyboards – Steve Halliwell
Vocals, Guitar – Carl Marsh
Vocals, Keyboards – Barry Andrews
You’ll agree it’s remarkably similar to the band captured in 1987 on the videotape at left. With two prominent changes of personnel. First, by the time of the “Big Night Music” album in 1986, second vocalist Carl Marsh had left the band in the days following their “Oil + Gold” album. Instead, percussionist Jessica Palin was the 8th member onstage. This situation has reversed itself over time. We now get the [extremely] vital contributions of Mr. Marsh instead of added percussion. The second change is that in the years following this video, founding bassist Dave Allen has become quite the tech/industry bigwig, first founding his own World Domination Recordings label, then falling upward to positions with Intel, Beats and now Apple. Understandably, he can’t just run off to play bass any more at the drop of a hat. His position behind the four strings has been assumed by Scott Firth, currently dividing his time with PiL when not playing live with Shriekback.
Back to the finances. Just how much to Shriekback reckon they’ll need to drag eight musicians and crew over here for a six date US tour? [whistles] $94,333. Fortunately, the Kickstarter campaign after just three days shows rapid growth. The total committed currently shows $19,368, or 20% of the total. Of course, these things tend to have huge growth spurts up front only to slow their paces as the heavy hitters all commit up front. Enquiring minds may wish to hear what are the perks of commitment? There are several, simple premiums:
- £1-49 [$1.40-$70] – just a pledge, no reward
- £50-99 [$71-141] – pre-release download of “Why Anything? Why This?” the upcoming 14th Shriekback album
- £100-499 [$142-711] – guest list + download [you pick the show]
- £500-999 [$713-1424] – guest list, t-shirt, + download
- £1000-1999 [$1426-2851] – omni guest list, soundchecks, dinner w/band, t-shirt + download [you + 1 guest can see the whole tour, all soundchecks and have dinner with the band]
- £2000-3999 [$2852-5703] – after party plus, omni guest list, soundchecks, dinner w/band, t-shirt + download [you and guest get invited to aftershow party in LA or NYC]
£4000 [$5717] – living room acoustic gig + all other perks
Sadly, for anyone reading this now, it’s already too late for any well-heeled fans to get a dream gig in their home by the band. All the slots have been filled. But everything else is still game. The band learned the last time that the cost of manufacturing and shipping material premiums ate into the bottom line something fierce, so they skewed towards different perks this time. I have to say the last time that when I pledged my coins for a pre-release edition of their “Elated World” album, I assumed it was a DL and when the CD came, I was shocked. Glad to see they have corrected that thinking.
The mooted tour will take place in June of 2018 [as promised], so start saving your shekels now. I have been eagerly anticipating this event and am pleased to see I didn’t have to wait terribly long for their action on it to be taking place. The last time, they ran their campaign when I was saving for a vacation, so I only had £5 to toss into the till. This time, I should be good for about £35, since I’ve got to put my money where my mouth is if I want this to happen, and I very much do. I have airline credit I need to use so if it happens, I will be there. In Chicago, most likely, where my friend/commenter JT [we bonded over a love of Shriekback, among others] lives and a pillar of support for the band. If you’ve read this this far, you know your duty. Hit that banner and help make it happen. Just look at the unmitigated joy on Barry Andrew’s face below. How can you not?
The setlists from the last few shows are skewed heavily from the ’85-’86 period, but salted with older and newer delights as this representative example from last June shows:
Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London – June 3, 2017
Lines From the Library
Over the Wire
Now Those Days Are Gone
Black Light Trap
This Big Hush
Everything That Rises Must Converge
Fish Below the Ice
My Spine Is the Bassline
All Lined Up
How can you say “no” to that?
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