Cake – A True Story. Part Three.

Dee was a complex character, as mentioned before he had a history of alcohol & drug abuse, & had addictions to other things in his life. These issues plagued the rest of the band. Looking for an AA meeting in the middle Germany or Sweden at 07:00 was just some of the torments we had to endure with life on the road. He made our life hell sometimes, he would also fall in & out of love as quick as it would rain on a scottish hillside, this would drive us insane. He also had a good side to him too, but he had a manipulative side, & this was hard to bare. Does this excuse our behaviour? No, but life on the road is tough, & wind-ups will happen.

Craziness… After Copenhagen, we travelled to other cities in Scandinavia, & soon after we ended up in Uppsala, a rather beautiful swedish university city. The owner of the venue was Irish, & had a reputation for being a gobshite, so we weren’t sure about his part in the wind-up. As it happened our agent had already told him about it, so a plan was set.

Gav our fiddle player was enjoying his birthday on this day, & he had a friend studying chemistry at the university. She came to our soundcheck to say hi & had also been filled in with the ongoing events between Switzerland & Copenhagen. It seemed she had an idea.

Before the start of the gig, she arrived back at the venue, & gave Gav a small gift. ‘Happy birthday’ she said to him give him a hug. ‘Whats this’ said Gav, & as he opened it she said ‘it’s something new, we’ve been playing around with it, but keep it quiet please. Oh, there’s one each for you all. Yes, it was cake. Four little small white pills in a metal box. But what the hell were they? I asked, ‘salt tablets’ she whispered, just plain salt tablets.

She gave us instructions, ‘take it 15mins before going onstage, it’ll take 20mins to kick in’ & it should last for 30mins only, but you may feel a little down afterwords.
We did as instructed (pissing ourselves) & went onstage. Gordy was a great drummer, tight & always in time, he never needed a click-track except when we were recording. 25mins into the gig Gordy start speeding up, Dee turns round & looks at him with a stern face, Gav was a very unemotional fiddler, wonderful player, but never moved his body, ridged. He began moving, swaying as he bowed, Dee was amazed. I just started jumping to the speed that Gordy was playing as I played my bass & forgot about singing any backing vocals. Dee turned to Gordy & shouted, ‘I’m really high’. Cotcha!!!

The venues owner dragged us into his office after the gig, he told us that he knew were on something, closed the door quietly & asked if we were using Cake, & if so, could we get him some?
Dee stepped in & gave a lecture about the good feeling that Cake gives, how it’s made, & how difficult it was to get a hold of, but he would talk to Gav’s friend. How we kept a straight face, I will never know but this what we were used to. We waited to see what he was doing after the gig, so we could do the opposite, which was find a club & laugh until it hurt.

To be continued… Helsinki & home-of-the-opathy

Cake – A True Story. Part Two.

Cake – A True Story, Part One, can be found here.

Once we reached Copenhagen, the first thing to do was set up the equipment before finding our hotel, but there was always time for a beer before any hard work would be started. Dee was looking for guitar strings while the rest of us sat at the bar, laughing about the Cake wind-up. The barman asked what we were laughing about, we told him, & as he knew Dee he thought it would be fun to… string him along a bit. So later that evening when Dee was at the bar getting a pint of Diet coke, he mentioned Cake to another barman (who was in on the act of course), Dee immediately joined in telling them what he knew about it, again the foundation had been firmly laid & was set so hard!!! The barman told Dee that there was a place in Christiania that sold ‘Cake/cake’, he gave him directions & told him what to ask for. Dee decided to go the next day.

We had one more gig in Copenhagen the next night, & while the rest of the band rested, Dee went for a walk to Christiania. Later that evening before our soundcheck, he came back to the venue, annoyed, he couldn’t find the place. What we didn’t know was that the barman had set him up with a friends coffee shop, and had normal cake waiting for him which when asked for would think it was Cake/cake, but obviously failed to show, but he genuinely couldn’t find the place, & thought that his chance of trying Cake would be his last.

We all had our minds set on keeping this going, but how long could we possibly keep it up for? All the venues had staff like the guys in Copenhagen, & all knew Dee. This was going to be good, but how far would we really go??

To be continued…. Uppsala, a chemistry graduate & salt tablets!

Cake – A True Story. Part One.

The following what your about to read is a true story. The events that took place happened over a period of 4 years, & of which I’m not hugely proud of, but as a result has ended up being a one hell of a laugh.

Many years ago I was a musician, a hard working one at that. There wasn’t much time at home, studios & gigs (with many bands at one time) was my job. I founds self playing Scottish & Irish folk music around the mid 90’s, & there was a lot of work around the world for us. At a time when I was juggling between The Journeymen, Hair of the Dog & Shinaig, I chose to play full-time with Shinaig,& with a full Calendar of gigs across Europe with some fine musicians, I made the right choice.

Our singer (Dee) was an colourful character, energetic, stupid & gullible. He had a history of alcohol & drug abuse, of which he was many years sober. He was difficult to be around due to his mental state, but we got by, & onstage we were incredible, so it evened up.

One night (December 1997) we were travelling from Switzerland to Denmark through the night to the next gig, Dee had an opinion about everything, even if he knew nothing about a subject, this was a constant source of amusement to the rest of the band, we would quite often take the piss for our own amusement, it helped the long journeys pass quicker. However, on this trip we started talking rubbish (as you do) discussing a new drug that had the same effect as cocaine & ecstasy, but without the side affects. We called it ’Cake’! Yes, we had just watched Brass Eye, but we knew Dee hadn’t.
He started asking us about Cake, & the other band members gave each other a sign to keep this going. ‘it’s mentioned in that copy of the New Scientist’ is said, somewhere in the back of the van probably, ’yeah’ said Dee, ‘I seen that back there’. We had laid the foundation.

To be continued…