Following on from last week’s interview with Thee Scarecrows AKA where we found out about how the band began along with their influences and recordings, today we talk about their live performances.
We discuss why they have two drummers and all the festivals that they’ve played: from pubs in Kent, the psychobilly weekender Bedlam Breakout to huge festivals in Belgium.
THEE SCARECROWS AKA LIVE
Why did Thee Scarecrows AKA decide to have two drummers?
Well pretty much because two of Thee Scarecrows were both able to play drums! The two of them are inseparable most of the time anyway and so when they came up with the idea of playing on the same kit whilst gazing into each other’s eyes adoringly we couldn’t really say no!
OTHER BANDS WITH TWO DRUMMERS
Adam and the Ants
The Glitter Band
Urban Voodoo Machine
Sique Sique Sputnik
Thee Scarecrows Aka play a variety of gigs and festivals, psychobilly and otherwise, from small pub gigs to huge festivals – Bedlam Breakout, Rochester Sweep and Sjock to name a few. What have been your biggest and smallest audiences?
Our biggest crowd to date was at Sjock festival in Belgium this year. The tent we were in was vast and we wondered how we’d ever fill it. But when we started playing the tent was full to the brim and the reaction from the crowd was amazing.
We’d been told beforehand that we had to stick to strict timings and if we wanted to do an encore then we had to finish our set early and do one of those ‘fake encores’ that bands do. We didn’t want to do that so played right up to the end of our time and then left the stage, only to be pulled back on by the stage manager for a ‘real’ encore due to the demand from the crowd!
We ended up running over our time and stealing a few minutes from the next act which was a certain C J Ramone – Hey Hoe! Let’s Hoe!
We don’t play a huge amount of gigs so we like to spread ourselves around where we can. We love playing the psychobilly festivals like Bedlam Breakout and Pompey Rumble but we’re just as happy playing at festivals with a mix of different music styles like Red Rooster or Outcider Festival.
One of the smallest gigs we do is when we play at Sweeps Festival in Rochester every year. The festival mostly takes place in the High Street with different bands playing in different pubs all weekend.
We play in The Eagle Tavern which is a fairly large pub but by the time we’ve set up we’ve taken up most of the space and then it gets rammed with people that are usually right up against the drum kit.
We’ve played there for the last 3 years running and each year it’s getting busier with longer queues outside and unfortunately, not everyone who wants to go manages to get in. We’d thought about playing a different venue for next year’s Sweeps but decided we like it there and if people really want to get in all they have to do is turn up early!
Tell us about Thee Scarecrows AKA experience at Outcider?
I hear there were lost heads and broken feet involved?
Yeah, that was a fun Cider festival down in Somerset we played in August. It’s a great little festival set on a farm with two alternating barn-covered stages. It’s a fantastic mix of bands and lovely people and has the slogan “No tribute bands. No X-Factor. No Carling lager. No tossers!”. What can go wrong in a field full of lunatics fuelled by scrumpy cider?
Poor old Saucy Nancy managed to topple over and twist her wooden ankle within an hour of our arrival. She assures us she hadn’t even touched the scrumpy cider at that point! The lovely medics on site managed to patch her up with some gaffer tape and rum and she managed to hobble around OK for the weekend. The show must go on!
Just before we were due to take to the stage one of the Diablo brothers decided to change his head (don’t ask, it’s something us Scarecrows do from time to time!). He took off his old head, put it down and then next minute it had disappeared! Luckily one of the boys happened to have a spare head and we managed to get it screwed on for him just in time. Unfortunately, it was an angry head and he had a bit of scowl on for the whole set but I don’t think anyone noticed!
Rather than play your album release party at a huge venue, you chose to shuffle onto the stage at sundown at The Timber Bats in the middle of nowhere – how and why did that come about?
The Timber Batts pub is in Bodsham, near Ashford in Kent and is a favourite place of ours. It’s a 15th century pub and forge in the middle of nowhere full of animal skulls, false limbs, stuffed animals and all sorts of unusual curios. It’s worth a visit just to see the inside of the pub (plus their food and beer is great!).
We were first asked to play there in their tiny music room a couple of years ago. It was a bit of a tight squeeze but we love the place and fit right in.
Now they have an outside stage with a lighting rig in their grounds overlooking the Kent Downs. It’s an amazing setting with outside moonshine bar, fire pit, catapult range, barbecue and Cajun food and the two most awesome hosts in Sarah and Ross.
It’s like the place was made for us so we’ve hosted our last two album launch parties there. They’ve both been great gigs and we had people travelling from as far as Wales, Somerset and Norfolk! We love the place.
Anywhere else you’d like to play?
There are some big old festivals that we’d still love to play. Muddy Roots in Europe looks like one we’d enjoy and Pineda sounds like a ball. We’d also love to play again at Red Rooster and Sjock when they’re ready to have us back. But really, we’re happy to play anywhere where there’s good music and good people.
What’s next for Thee Scarecrows AKA?
We’ve got one more gig for 2019 on Sunday 15th December. It’s our Christmas gig at The Eagle Tavern in Rochester, Kent as a fundraiser for a local homeless charity. All details are on our Facebook page.
For 2020… Well, we have a few gigs currently being discussed but the only ones confirmed so far are the Yorkshire Psychobilly festival in Leeds on 7th Feb and then our 3rd time at the legendary Bedlam Breakout on 15th March. After that, well you’ll just have to wait and see…
There could even be the release of our 4th mini album in as many years if we can get our straw arses in gear!
Anything else you’d like to add?
Just a few thank yous to some people that Thee Scarecrows AKA couldn’t do without:
- Thee Scare Crew – Matt, Ray, Verge, Leigh and Martin – Our roadies who tirelessly set up our gear at every gig, fluff up our stuffing and get us assembled and then pack everything away again afterwards. We couldn’t do it without them.
- Sarah and Emma for manning our merch stall at every gig.
- Josh the knob twiddler who runs our PA for us at pub gigs.
- And every single one of you lovely people that come along to our gigs and buy our merch. Thanks!
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I’ve really enjoyed interviewing Thee Scarecrows AKA, I hope you have enjoyed reading it too. If you missed part one you can read it HERE.
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