The boys played a stormer. Their last gig, after 8 years of the band. It was late 2004 when two of them and the P1000 (Piet the drummer) launched the band down The 12 Bar on Denmark Street, London.
I just asked Tim why Piet was called the P1000. He eyed me up suspiciously, said it was a Terminator 2 reference, and that I should never write ANYTHING about popular culture. But I digress.
Tim, my old friend, and new boyfriend at the time, was singer. Adam, his oldest school friend, bass. And drummer Piet was a sound engineer they’d met on London’s acoustic circuit. Because of the stage setup we couldn’t see the tops of their heads, but that didn’t matter. All our mates danced around with pints of beer like mentalists and it was great.
The band changed, grew. The boys spent years developing their sound, enlisting Tom and Andy, the brass section. Leon took over from the P1000 – he was the only man who could. Together they played festivals, sent their EPs to radio stations, sold CDs at gigs. I saw how much work it was – practices and lugging equipment and plugging gigs and recording over and over. But I could see it was worth it after each gig. Tim would walk over, pupils dilated, smiling sheepishly, T-shirt almost too drenched with sweat to hug, almost…
He had the hunger to take the band to the top. He planned for no other future. It’s what he’d always wanted to do.
So I thought the last gig would be a sad thing. But it wasn’t. This music had been the soundtrack to many major events in our twenties; house parties, gigs, festivals, weddings – it was a celebration of the good times. Friends old and new, family, everyone was there to share it. It was great.
They never got a record deal. But they did fulfil musical ambitions solo. They found meaning in their day jobs. They made homes with the women they loved. They had daughters. They all got what they wanted. And for that night on stage, they were what they’d always been: the band, rocking out with their friends, just like every other time before.
I took pictures of the gig. Here they are. The band are called Running Club.