The Spines very first gig
We’d been unable to decide from a long list of terrible attempts
It was a packed University hall at lunchtime orientation
Malcom McSporran was going to introduce us and he asked me what we were called
I looked down at the set list…
All through the Negative Theatre days we had laboured over the list and the order of songs
It’s like an anchor in a performance – a place to go to with confidence
A map subject to change – a lifeline
These are the songs we are doing – this is who we are at the moment
They are all originals and there is a good chance this is the only time you will hear some of them
The first song and the last song have to be special
…The names of the songs for this new band I’d started were pretty eclectic
Something Wrong With Me, Only a Gnome, Like a Chainsaw, Desperate Weekend
I didn’t have much time
And we needed a name…
If I could do a time-lapse video over the various Spines set lists over the years it would boast over 200 different songs
When we supported the Buzzcocks we decided to start with our hardest hitting song of the time – Where She Walks and then just keep bombarding from there: Subhuman Love, Here Comes My Ruth, If I Were You…
In the 80s Wendy used to work out the song list and she would stick to it and make sure Ross and I did too. It was great for me – I could just get on and sing them.
But I always like to have a set list at my feet on stage. I generally have a look down towards the end of a song to see what’s next. It’s a guilty admission because I like to be in the current song with the audience – the character singing the song is temporarily seeing who he will be next.
My songs are like that – there is always a different person singing each one. These days I extrapolate that out so a set of songs involves a series of protagonists that relate to each other and I can just slide from song to song.
Desperate Weekend, The Raid, Crime, Get the Car Out….
It’s the nature of the band these days that we do a wide range of shows – supports, festivals, album releases and strange showcases. And they all want a different and specific list of hitherto unknown songs.
…Only an Act, Simple Things, You’re a Day Late…
They were dodgy songs but they all had something – some little thing that made them worth doing
…In Your Wound, The Melting, The Spines…