Whats Conkin?- A monthly feature bought to you by Conquistadors [What’s Conkin #2]

March 9, 2012
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. This year as previously mentioned they men have their own monthly feature  as we hand the site over to Conks for their What’s Conkin? feature. To familiarise yourself with the great sounds of Conks you can find their recent record streaming below. After the hysterical first article to hit the site which you can re-read here– We are in for great things. Regarding the posts- I warn you now anything can be found in their monthly article- but you are all in for a treat from these talented men. Continuing with their second edition….

What’s Conkin’? #2: Our Favourite Crazies and Haters
By James

Part of being in a band is accepting not everyone is going to like you. For every gig to a packed room, we play five to a cluster of raised eyebrows, wide eyes, and unmitigated headcases.

But these shows usually give us the funniest stories, because anyone who talks to us afterwards is either pissed off or verging on the wrong side of crazy.

I guess if you’re trying to make an atypical math-pop omelet, not everyone is gonna appreciate the four guys thrashing around in a big bowl of broken eggs, and if they do, perhaps they can’t be all there. Or something. Either way, this is a run down of some our favourite crazies and haters over the years.

1. The Cat Stevens fan in Leicester

We cover Cat Stevens’ classic Matthew & Son, although ‘cover’ is a loose term. We kind of took the song, deconstructed it, lost the instructions, attempted a rebuild and ended up with a fucked up version, vaguely recognisable version of the original. A reviewer once called it ‘Math-rock and Son’. We love it, but the sound guy at the Sumo bar in Leicester was less than impressed.

“Was that a straight cover of Matthew & Son?”, he asked after the gig.
“Erm, not really. We wanted to play it our own way…”
“Well, I’ll tell you something: Cat Stevens will be spinning in his grave, lads.”

Now, we’re not saying his opinion is wrong. We’re just saying Cat Stevens isn’t dead. Whatever; we’re not sure who won the argument. Probably Cat Stevens.

2. The people at Bar Rouge in Halifax

Without a doubt the worst gig we’ve ever played was at Bar Rouge in Halifax. As venues go it was great, provided what you look for in a venue is a) plasma TVs playing the latest radio friendly R ‘n’ B hits, and b) by day, it’s a carvery.

We loaded in anyway on the basis that we hadn’t driven for four hours to not play, but alarm bells were ringing when we had to clear the carvery stuff from the stage before setting up.

Eventually, we played to an audience of seven people. Three were members of Shapes, one was Wiz of &U&I (who was driving us), and the others were the promoter, the barman, and some guy who was, by default, the only person not being paid to be there.

After the show, this last guy said to us “Boys, you are the worst band I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen more bands than you’ve had hot dinners. Plus, my wife’s a punk, so…”

Then the promoter chimed in with “I can’t understand it. Halifax’s biggest band played here last week and the place was packed.” It turned out they were also playing that same night at a club round the corner. Then she said “I don’t think the other band can play if they’re as loud as you guys. Sorry. Here’s half the money we promised you.”

So the upshot was that Shapes did drive for four hours to not play, and the guy whose wife was a punk was no longer the only person not being paid to be there.

3. The Nordic drunk at the Running Horse, Nottingham

Sometimes all you need to lift a gig’s atmosphere is an overzealous Nord banging his fine, curly, golden head completely out of time with the music.

Then attempting to sing along to songs he’s never heard, that aren’t in his native tongue.

Then air guitaring like a total pro.

Then getting onstage and just, sort of, wandering about.

Then getting thrown out. What a guy.

4. The X-Factor wannabes in Rochester

We played a killer show in Rochester in this tiny venue that was packed out with an audience who were totally up for going crazy – it was great. We’ve never seen so much Newcastle Brown flying about.

Sadly, one of the supports, Z-Stacks, didn’t have such a great time of it. Halfway through their set, a woman walked up to them. She had two young girls with her, as well as a boy in his school uniform who couldn’t have been more than seven. She went up to the singer and said “My daughter’s going to be on X-Factor. Can she sing a song now?” He laughed for, like, a second, then realised she was being deadly serious and there was a lot of awkward, increasingly heated discussion about it.

Then, just when you thought it couldn’t get any weirder, a massive dog appeared from nowhere and started running around the stage. Total mayhem. We loved it.

The EP is also available via I-Tunes – http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/on-tape/id436891439
We can’t wait for the followup instalment Until then get closer to the four by checking their links below. 
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