The vibrant melodic, math pop-rock Birmingham based 4 piece Conquistadors or Conks for short are good friends and a familiar name to the site. Each month throughout the year, the four men have their own monthly feature here at Circuit Sweet. Each month I sit and read what is about to be posted, each time crying with laugher. As we hand the site over to Conks for their What’s Conkin? feature we can assure you that the band will keep you entertained, shocked and in hysterics at their stories. As Conks have settled into taking over the site we leave you in the good hands of the men and their fourth instalment and their first on the new look site. Trust me this article is gold…
‘Don’t Give Up the Day Job’
‘Don’t Give Up the Day Job’
When Conquistadors started out as a band, we took the idiom “Don’t give up your day job” so seriously that we never have actually given up our day jobs (aside from being students) and have instead dipped in and out of being in a band. Sure, we may not tour the Midlands, play gigs in High Wycombe, sell CDs by the wheelbarrow load, and get features in top shelf magazines, but when it comes to choosing a sandwich at a local Tesco Metro/Express, we can skip the value section and go straight for the Tesco’s Finest. Why sell out when you can afford to enjoy a New York Deli themed triple decker anyway?
Occasionally, we have been lucky enough to work with each other and on odd occasion alleviate some of the boredom that inevitably comes with the daily grind. When we have, mild hijinks ensued.
These, are those hijinks.
A Hospital – Andy, Oz, James
The three of us were ward hostesses, which basically entailed dishing out meals and cups of tea before collecting it all up again. Depending on the size of the ward and the cooperation of its patients, this could be quick and boring or long and even more boring. Andy enjoyed the food service element for its perks, as, somewhat like the Warden in Arrested Development, no one sold coke (Hash Browns) in that pen (Hospital) without Daddy (Andy) getting a taste.
One night, knowing their roles the next morning required minimal brain power, Andy and James hit it pretty hard at a party the night before a shift. After a 7am start, a fire alarm went off at 10am and the building had to be evacuated. After 20 minutes Andy was still missing and was later found sleeping directly beneath a blaring fire alarm. Years later he would also be present at Eddie’s, Birmingham’s 5th most popular dive nightclub, on the night that it burnt down. Just sayin’.
You may also note our official job title was ‘hostesses’. That’s because it was seemingly a girl’s job. I had relatively long hair at the time, and it was a reasonably regular occurrence for an elderly patient who had lost his faculties called me love or dear. They also thought Andy was Jamie Oliver.
A Showcase Cinema – Ad
Pablo Picasso once said “It is your work in life that is the ultimate seduction”, and that’s probably what Ad was thinking as he scooped a shit off the floor of the ladies loo at a Showcase cinema with a bit of broken strip light. Although Ad didn’t work with any of us at this time, he did work with other close friends, which included¾ of Brummie legends Blakfish. Granted, that’s not much of a consolation when you’re scooping up shit, but it’s the small things that get you through the day.
The White Horse Pub – Andy, Oz, James
James and Andy had previously worked in the kitchen of this pub, but when it entered its Italian Pizzeria phase the three of us began work behind the bar. Between trading Pizza’s-with-the-lot for beers with the kitchen staff and giving our friends excellently poured and well-priced beverages, there wasn’t a lot else to do – aside from, you know, working and stuff.
That’s why, when ordering one of our Pizza’s-with-the-lot from our friends in the kitchen, I arranged for James to have the spicy one that waitresses would deliver to anyone who hassled them in the restaurant. Free from the worry of someone complaining to the manager, the kitchen staff went all out and lathered it with every conceivable hot topping. James, eyes streaming and sweating profusely, realised it was a prank but refused to admit it was hot, and I guess he kinda won this one as he choked down the last slice and croaked “Free pizza is free pizza, no matter how hot” – a mantra he keeps to this day.
Our bar manager was a motorbike enthusiast and one day he bought in his new toy – a ‘mini moto’, which is a motorbike that actually looks like a toy. Despite never having ridden anything like it, he eventually convinced me to give it a ride in the car park outside… straight through a hedge and into some fencing panels. Also, Andy stole loads of Nobby’s Dry Roasted Peanuts from behind the bar. You’ll notice a pattern emerging soon.
Manchester Britannia Hotel – Ad
On another solo run, Ad was slaving away at England’s Manchester Britannia Hotel in Manchester, England. He’d been asked to bring some strawberries and cream to a hotel room and when he arrived, knocked on the door and said “I’ve got your strawberries”, they shouted back “Well it’s too late now!” So he walked away. He even got to eat the strawberries, so it’s not all that bad really. At least he wasn’t confronted by an old naked guy spread eagle on his bed, wanking, which is another Hospital story that couldn’t fit into an already bloated Hospital section. But there you go.
A video rental shop – Andy
Andy remembers this job as the one where he had to call someone and leave a message on their voicemail because they were over a week late in returning their rental copy of ‘Balls Deep’. We remember it as the job where he felt Coke and Pick ‘n’ Mix should have been free. The video shop didn’t, and sacked him. I told you there’d be a pattern.
The Glee Club –Ad and James
It was here that Ad finally got to work with a bandmate and even found himself in the position of being his boss. In the words of James, “this was pretty cool until you found yourself in a quandary, like the time we went to a store cupboard and found a guy pissing against the wall. In that situation, the bandmate thing goes out the window and is replaced by the manager/subordinate relationship. Effectively, Ad could do only one thing: delegate. That piss wasn’t gonna clean itself up, and neither was he.”
Ad convincingly countered “I think I may have helped with the Piss clear up, I can’t remember,” before reminiscing about the time the Glee had a burlesque musical act playing in the smaller room.
She finished her show by stripping off and going back to her dressing room. After 5 minutes the lights went up and everyone got up and left, leaving only a few remaining customers. A few more minutes passed and she burst back into the room in a new dress and realised that everyone had left before her encore. She proceeded to cry and run back out to the dressing room. Dara O’Briain was drinking at the other bar, and in the space of a couple of minutes witnessed a woman run through naked, then back in a new dress and then back out again, crying her eyes out.
So there we have it. Piss, Shit, Strawberries: all in a day’s work for Conquistadors. Buy our stuff.
The EP is also available via I-Tunes – http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/on-tape/id436891439