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The nights are getting cold but we still have some hot gigs to come! We are warming up for our November gigs, the second to last at Counter Culture at The Record Factory. It’s one Glasgow corner round from where we started the year, at The Hidden Lane Studios and planning a trip back to that neighbourhood has put this great year into perspective.
The early months of 2015 kicked off with furtive behind the scenes action. We jammed, out of the limelight, writing and developing our sound. Pleased with our results, we took our new sound to a studio (fittingly) new to us, just off Sauchiehall Street in The Hidden Lane. From there emerged our second EP, Between the Bricks.
Launched on March 1st it was perfectly timed for a tour that included March of the Mods gigs across the country – and new territory for us as a band.
As well as finding ourselves on some familiar stages, we’ve been very fortunate this year to hit some new stages and reach new audiences. With two months to go it’s already been an incredible year.
Taking to the stage again at the notorious Cavern Club the night Between The Bricks dropped was incredible. It was an auspicous first venue to play our new tunes, and we loved every minute.
As March rolled on we relished the chance to rock Edinburgh’s Voodoo Rooms as part of This Feeling, our debut gig on the East coast. It was a big success and we loved every minute. A hectic few days followed, including Manchester’s Band on The Wall, then another new city for us, London, The Blues Kitchen. The tour rounded off on familiar turf at Glasgow’s ABC2 – where we had moved up the bill from 2014. What a great feeling!
Returning to old haunts like McChuills in Glasgow and The HAC in Irvine this summer was great. A sell out gig, like the one we played at The HAC, left us fairly chuffed with ourselves and looking forward to our biggest headline gig to date, in March next year at The Magnum Theatre in March.
Hitting a London stage for the first time this year was huge but we were made so welcome and, as we were sure we would, fitted right on in.
The energy that we get from playing alongside other bands is immense. Sharing a set with local talent like Holy Ghosts, Seaside Sons and the Mona Lisa’s gives us the chance to soak up the fantastic creative energy in Scotland right now. Those nights definitely make us proud to be part of the local scene!
There will always be venues and events that mean a lot to us, especially close to home. We are unendingly grateful for the support that has allowed us to reach new cities and fans this year.
Shades and Champers is one of those local events which conjures great memories for us as a band. Last year at Prestwick Airport was incredible and we’re looking forward to raising the roof again at Glenburn Club for our final gig of the year.
2015 has been another rollercoaster year but ever onwards and upwards. We’re looking forward to The Magnum Theatre, and whatever else lies ahead.
Balmy August London days symbolise the approach of the next Soldier On gig. We’re counting down to Sunday, August, 23rd, and our return to Camden for an outdoor gig in a place we feel right at home.
The Mod movement has it’s roots in London. Mod culture was the first truly English Rhythm and Blues phenomenon and grew out of the city in the late 1950′s. The Mod sound was characterised by slick, uptempo music, hard guitars and drums with pop harmonies as well as soul. It’s inspired us individually and as a band and we’re happy to be taking our sound back to iconic Camden.
Gathered in London’s coffee bars, open into the early hours, early Mods were inspired by modern jazz and Rhythm and Blues.
Bo Diddley, Miles Davis and Muddy Waters were followed by The Who, The Kinks and The Small Faces as the Mod sound developed. Dance halls playing Mod music emerged as the culture grew across England, then the wider world. By the mid-sixties Londoners made weekend trip to the dance halls of Margate and Yarmouth.
This first generation of Mods were post-war teens and the subculture was born into a brave, new and modern world. Rebellion was afforded this generation and rebel they did – through the Mod lifestyle: gigs, records, clothes and pills.
For the first time wages didn’t have to be handed over to mum and dad. Working class teens began to own their look. Alongside dance halls and coffee bars, boutiques emerged across London, new styles were copied at home and army surplus stores offered affordable clobber.
1950′s Beatnik and Teddy Boy styles paved the way for the Mod look. Beatnik black turtle necks and Teddy Boy dandy suits inspired sharply tailored suits: thin lapels and thinner ties over rich, dark mohair V-necks.
Influenced by French and Italian fashion Mod style integrated abstracted, pop art style British flags and RAF badges. Fresh European style juxtaposed the rough Americanised attire of rockers. It was fully embraced.
Another iconic Mod symbol came from Europe – the scooter. Practical, affordable and easier to park than a car, Vespas and Lambrettas could be bought on hire purchase and customised with mirrors and lamps. London’s Mods could travel home from dance halls far later than public transport allowed.
Riding scooters demanded that sharp clothes be protected: military style parkas, now synonymous with Mods, were practical and affordable.
Camden’s musical reputation has grown ever since the Irish moved into the area in the 30′s, bringing their traditional music.
Irishman Bill Fuller opened the doors of the Buffalo Club in 1930 and it’s notoriety grew with his transatlantic management and promotion company which drew in bands from Joe Loss to The Sex Pistols and Oasis. The now iconic venue has been the Electric Ballroom since ’78.
In October ’66 Chalk Farm, Camden hosted England’s first major Rock and Roll gig when Pink Floyd and the Soft Machine played The Roundhouse, a converted railway shed. More legends followed over the years: Hendrix, The Doors, Cream and many more.
Recording studios, gig venues, shops and stalls catering to the subcultures of the music world gather in this corner of the world beside the people who create and promote music. Camden now is a rich, creative environment where musical minds gather.
One Camden gem is Modfather – whose offerings are clothes that celebrate the Mod era in every incarnation and we’re happy to be playing there this weekend. Owned by father and son Mario and Dan Warner it offers British street style fashion from the Chalk Farm/ Roundhouse end of Camden stables and ships internationally through their website. They offer clothing from Lambretta, Trojan and Merc as well as vintage mod threads.
What a night we had at Champers & Shades at Prestwick Airport on Saturday night!
It was great to see so many people turn out to support Sarcoma UK, both in the crowd and on the stage. While on the stage we played a mix of our own material, including tracks from our first EP, Eggs For Breakfast, as well as some covers, like Itchycoo Park by Small Faces.
For those who missed out, you’ll find a short video of us performing Keepin’ On Feeling at the bottom of this post, along with our set list from the night.
However after a crackin’ night there, our attention turned to our next gig, at the HAC, Irvine, this Friday. Those who follow what we get up to will know the HAC’s a favourite haunt of ours; we’ve played there many times and each time’s been a belter. This won’t be just any gig though, this time we’ll be supported by a young band, Dogtooth. And when we say young we mean with an average age of 12! Amazing!
This is a ticketed event, so if you fancy coming along to hear both good and new music, call 01294 274059 to reserve your ticket, or you can pop into the HAC in person. Hurry and make sure you don’t miss out!
Then, on Sunday night we return to the Kilmarnock Dirty Weekender. Last year we had a great time playing at this event so to be invited back is lovely. You’ll find us on the Emu Bands Stage at the Liquor Lounge; it’s a night not to be missed.
To find out more about Soldier On, including our upcoming gigs, head over to our website, or catch us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can also book us by dropping an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Champers & Shades Setlist:
The Dirty Swan
Keepin’ On Feeling
Knots & Crosses
I Go Crazy
Get It On
Eggs For Breakfast
Those who regularly check our website and catch us on Facebook and Twitter will have seen that we’re gigging again this weekend.
Saturday sees us make the short journey to Prestwick Airport to play at Champers & Shades, a music event designed to raise money for Sarcoma UK.
We’ve recently played a few charity gigs, including the Clutha Fundraiser and two dates for March of the Mods. Playing these sorts of gigs are especially enjoyable, surrounded by good people and good music while helping a worthy cause – we’re delighted to be a part of them.
And it’s not just us who jumped at the chance to play at this gig. On the bill alongside us is; Blackberry Jack, Seaside Sons, Kinkystone, The Tripps, Dizzy Heights, plus loads more.
Sarcoma UK is the only cancer charity in the UK focusing on all types of sarcoma. But what’s a sarcoma? They’re rare cancers that develop in the muscle, bone, nerves, cartilage, tendons, blood vessels and the fatty and fibrous tissues. They fall into three broad categories; soft tissue cancers, primary bone cancers, and gastro-intestinal stromal tumours (a type of soft tissue sarcoma found in the stomach and intestines commonly known as GIST). Now you see why this is such a worthy cause!
Wondering how you can lend your support this Saturday? Buy a ticket of course! Tickets are priced at only £10, pretty cheap considering it buys you entry to see 5+ bands, and all of the money goes to Sarcoma UK. To book your ticket just call: 07850332426.
To find out more about us or to see what other upcoming gigs we’ve lined up just head to our website, or our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. You can also book us to play at your event by clicking here. Go on, you know you want to!
By now you should all have seen our brand new video, our very first in fact, for Eggs For Breakfast.
Since it was our first video we thought we’d go all out, using Árpád Horváth, Winner of NME Music Photography award 2013, to shoot the video. Nothing but the best! We were also able to include our good friend, Holly Kirkpatrick in the video too.
You’ll also see that we pop up in various locations, including the Magnum Theatre and Fullarton Woods!
Having watched the Rolling Stones video for Angie, the ‘live performance’ style video enhanced a raw aesthetic. We wanted to use this technique to the best of our abilities to display our rough sound through a high quality, retro-styled video.
Towards the end of the video, the scenes are shot in the very forest which was host to our first photo shoot, so there’s a certain amount of sentimental significance in that location for the band.
We have to say, now that it’s all finished we’re pretty chuffed with it, and seems you guys like it too, over 1000 views in two days! Thanks to everyone who’s shared it, it’s really appreciated.
To learn more about Soldier On including upcoming gigs, just head to our website, or check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. For booking enquiries you can just drop us an email and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.