The History of Far-Cue.
1996, and two people in a blinkered small town were getting pissy.
Pissy with Djs thinking that playing two records at the same time and at the same speed meant something really deep.....man, pissy with shoe gazing indie bands and their floppy fringes and sub-Smiths lyrics.
Pissy with the fact that no-one seemed to be ENJOYING themselves whilst playing music.
It had to stop.
Time for something real, something fun, something fast, loud, and yes, even in-yer-face.
Far-Cue crawled out from beneath a pile of crushed beer cans and dirty ash trays, and set about giving the people of Frome something to do.
Badger and Steve, our two disillusioned souls, recruited the Vanity Bass Chick, Helen, and started writing a bunch of songs that they would gig for one month, and one month only.
Just to shake things up a bit.
Just to have fun.
Songs came quickly, first ACGA, named after it’s chordal structure, then the instant classic, still-played-to-this-day, Bananas.
Other such ditties followed, all of which can be found on the group’s first album, Ta.
Ta was recorded in a day’s blast at a technical college in Melksham.
No overdubs, no re-doing, no drop outs, drop ins or fuckery, just press record and play the fuckin songs.
It’s disgusting in it’s beauty.
Then, tragedy....Helen, who had been a rock solid, dreadlocked bass demon, decided she wanted to concentrate on her other band, the rather excellent, Gringo Ska.
By this time, the month our heroes had in mind as Far-Cue’s life expectancy had long passed. Things were going well, songs just kept coming, gigs were offered and hungrily accepted, so what to do?
Stick with the plan? Maintain integrity? Keep face?
Bollocks to that, there weren’t enough people that had had the Far-Cue experience yet, there were more indie kids to upset, more Djs to destroy.
Enter Spike, stage left.....Spike had moved to Frome from Plymouth, and had witnessed Far-Cue at one of their Frome gigs.
A hastily borrowed bass, a quick learn of the whole Ta album, one audition/rehearsal later, and Spike had his membership badge and certificate.
Roll on chaps.....and roll on they did.
Another album was written and recorded, One Day.
Again, recorded in one blast, boasting such classics as Pop Up Toaster, Cheezee Hill and Bord Yet?
The sound of a band accepting the fact that this was just gonna go on and on.
And that sounded like a good thing.
Gigsgigsgigs, accept every gig, even if it’s in your mate’s bedroom.
Gig with broken spirits, broken strings, and in one case, a broken arm.
Just fuckin get out there and play, to anyone who’ll listen.
Far-Cue had long played covers in their set. Covers done out of respect.
And now, now was the time to put those covers on some plastic.
Punx Vs Ravers was born, but Far-Cue couldn’t resist putting a few of their own songs on there.
Punx took longer, mainly because as well as recording that album, Far-Cue recorded their collection of Xmas covers at the same time.
Took about 4 days to do both.
Prolific? You betcha.
3 albums and an ep in 3 years. Good going huh? Yer fancy ass chart fuckers are lucky to record 3 albums in 5 years, work shy lay abouts that they are.
Far-Cue rolled on, recorded another ep called The Last Bus Home, and just kept on gigging.
By now, they were offered regular gigs. Play a place, next thing you know they’ve booked you over the next year.
A good feeling, something to play for.
The biker circuit took an interest, gigs at bike shows, some majors like the Bath & West Custom and Classic took place.
If you earn just one new friend at a gig, it’s been worthwhile.
Next thing you know, there’s enough material for another album, this is here Western Star Recording Studios came in. A great sound for not very much cash, sounds too good to be true....it wasn’t.
Still Waiting On The Money was recorded in two parts, and things were finally sounding good.
The album featured anthems such as We U They, and Karaoke.
It was a corker.
Gigs were now happening at a frequency of once a week.
It took 4 or 5 years to get to this stage, all you young whipper snappers out there pay attention. It don’t come on a plate, if your boat doesn’t come in, swim out and meet the fucker.
Glastonbury featured heavily in things now, having played some triumphant shows there, and working our way up the bills and stages.
You can make a lot of friends at Glasters, from all over the place.
Another year passed, so another album had to be written.
Songs Written In Our Spare Time was also recorded in two weekends, and featured keyboards and an attempt at dub reggae, first hinted at on our cover of The Model by Kraftwerk, from the Punx album.
It was another belter of an album, and things just kept on the up and up.
Exit Spike, stage right......then, tragedy....again.
After a drunken gig in Torquay, things were said, physical violence ensued, and Spike, who had been with Far-Cue through the gloopiest of thicks and the thinest of thins, quit the band.
A dark cloud drifted over Far-Cue, with Steve declaring the band on permanent hiatus, and no rays of sunshine in sight.
A few weeks off the rollercoaster ride did the trick.
6 years of your life, ploughed into this thing, only to turn your back when things get sticky? Not on your nelly mate.
Warm, fuzzy emails and Forum postings encouraged Steve and Badger to patch things up, break bread over a beer or twelve, and hey, they’d done it before, time to do it again....a bass player please garcon!!!!
A guy called Guy.......Far-Cue needed a bass player for a gig they had supporting Citizen Fish. Thanks to a friend in FDS, a bloke called Jaz was drafted in. He did the gig, and did well, but something wasn’t quite right.
One night in the local, The Sun, Steve was talking to an old mate, when it dawned on him that this old mate was a bass slinger.
An audition was set up, and Guy passed with colours that were flying.
To celebrate, Far-Cue decided to do what they do rather well.
Write and record an album.
Always A Pleasure, Never A Chore! was released to absolutely no reviews whatsoever. It was a great record though, marred only slightly by Guy being rather ill throughout the recording sessions. He pulled through though, like the Storm trooper he is.
So what’s the deal? The deal was with Step 1 Records, who rather liked a demo CD they were sent. They gave Far-Cue the funds to record an album. Trouble was, the only studio time the band could secure was in 12 weeks time. This meant writing and perfecting a song a week up until the recording time. This was a tall order, as FC only rehearsed once a week due to commitments elsewhere. Relationships within the band were frought during this period, and both the time before and during recording of Another Day At The Office was not a pleasant one.
It had such an effect on the band, that they would not enter a rehearsal room together for over a year after ADATO was released. The gigs kept coming though, with alarming regularity. It was the strength of the regularity that forced the members of Far-Cue to admit to each other that, for a while at least, they were done. Spent. Finito. The beginning of 2009 saw Far-Cue take an indefinite break. An emotional last gig was played for Lee Setback’s Trailer Park Trash promotions in the Hobgoblin in Bath.
That. Was. That.
All of a sudden, band members were handed their lives and weekends back. It was an odd feeling.
Then one Thursday, completely out of the blue, Far-Cue decided to meet up in the pub that gave them their first gig. The Wheatsheaves in Frome. The plan was to have a drink, a chat, and discuss what the band could do, if anything, from there.
Thursday nights in The Wheatsheaves are band nights, so the opportunity was there to poke fun at other bands whilst talking seriously about Far-Cue. Fate stepped in and ejected one of the bands booked to play that night. One phone call later and Far-Cue, having not played or been in the same room together for over half a year, were on stage playing again. The gig was joyously ropey.
The meeting about the future of the band was not needed.