wow. it sold out in 11 seconds. which is obviously amazing and a real achievement for our website after the crashes thru the Advent Calendar.
The fact that show is happening is ridiculous. It’d been talked about for a while and the cocks and the banquet shows there seems to have an international reputation as some kind of hardcore town that you must play.
The nature of the bearded beast of such shows is that some people won’t have got a ticket. sorry. some people have. well done. It’ll be filmed by Everything Sucks and thats a video i want to see.
If this is your child, please bring him to a show.
As the year kicked off we were partying the night away just as this year will end at New Slang at The Hippodrome. 1750 on-the-whole indie fans in that room is such a feeling and we’re massively looking forward to doing it all over again. But back in January the anger and rage over Propa-slang was still very much in everyone’s minds. We were forced to open New Slang on the first Thursday of the year as our new rival was also on that night and was aggressively out to get our customers. The hurt we felt was massively surpassed by a huge sense of community as the indie world of Kingston and beyond backed us. In turn we gave a third of the door to Princess Alice Hospice in memory of Jack Webb, a Kingston lad who is still sorely missed.
The ‘Return Of New Slang To Its Original Home’ story couldn’t have been written any better than Vampire Weekend asking if they could get on to our first planned New Slang of the year. Originally this was supposed to be a Good Shoes headline show, but they happily made way for one of the biggest guitar bands in the world to come play our indie night. New Slang was back at its original home, and despite the very long wait (VW had 4 gigs that day, having just stepped off a plane) we were provided with one of the most legendary New Slang shows there would ever be.
In fact, the first month of being back at the newly named ‘Hippodrome’ was a great time for New Slang, with shows from our buddy for life Frank Turner and the long overdue first New Slang show for Hadouken! also being January highlights. In amongst these shows we also had the pleasure of doing an album release show for local emo-pop friends You Me At Six. Theirs was the first show we did back at the venue and embarrassingly the stage kinda fell to pieces during one of their songs. Thankfully Josh didn’t sue us and we had a great time and sold a lot of copies of their ‘Hold Me Down’ album.
Some amazing shows again in February. The biggest was the album release show from now-superstars All Time Low, who played an acoustic set to 1000 screaming fans at a daytime Hippodrome show. We Are The Ocean also played an all ages daytime release show and we had a sold out show from Rolo Tomassi at The Fighting Cocks too. New Slang continued with high quality headliners including Pete And The Pirates, Blood Red Shoes and Man Like Me while the punk gigs we did included The Skints, Crime In Stereo, the first of three sold out Gallows shows in Kingston during 2010 and the one-off show from Think 182. February also marked five years of Banquet as we know it.
March saw us put on five instores from the likes of Laura Marling, Los Campesinos, Polar Bear Club and Hot Club de Paris. So many more shows besides, from Souls Of Mischief selling out The Peel to a Lady Gaga tribute night at DANCE. We also saw, not for the only time this year, a crazy triple gig clash as Chuck Ragan, Hot Club de Paris and Strung Out all played Kingston on the same night. Careful scheduling meant some folk managed to see all three headline bands!
Record Store Day 2010 took place in April and was the single busiest day we’ve had in our store’s history (even going back to Beggars Banquet days). At Banquet we’re so involved in record release shows, our club nights and the like that our attention is often on shows, yet Record Store Day saw people getting excited about physical releases, and physical releases only.
Previous to 2010’s event, Banquet as an entity had not been very positive about RSD, but this year loads of our favourite bands, like Futureheads, Foals, Slow Club and Pulled Apart By Horses were involved and the quality of releases was so high, added to of course by Blur right at the last minute, that the buzz was massive. A great day, both in spirit and cash in the till. It’s easy to forget that on that day we also put on two daytime shows with Cancer Bats plus a massive Tinie Tempah PA at D.A.N.C.E., the week Tinie went to number one with ‘Pass Out’. New Slang played host to Foals, Futureheads and The Pipettes, and the standout punk show of the month was from a very sweaty Lawrence Arms at The Peel.
May was THE month. What a month. We kicked it off with a massive dubstep night featuring Joker and Hatcha and we met and subsequently befriended the bands fun. and The Swellers who both played instore and at shows for us following recent album releases. The highlight of May’s New Slangs was probably our Shy Child / election special, which saw ‘Jon Snow’ in the club giving out flavoured vodka drinks according to which parliamentary seats were declared for each party. The cheers the Lib Dems got meant there were a few orange VKs going out, but no-one even thought of mixing these with blueberry versions. The frustration a lot of our punters felt at the formation of the ConDem government initiated our Fat Wreck inspired ‘Not My Prime Minister’ t-shirts, which sold fairly well!
But May was a-May-zing for punk shows. Capdown played the tiny environs of The Fighting Cocks for the first time, A Wilhelm Scream played two shows in one weekend in Kingston for us, and The King Blues played instore. Alkaline Trio played their acoustic set at New Slang, which was quite a performance. Some didn’t like it as much as a regular show, others appreciated it was some guys having fun playing stripped down versions of classic A3 songs, even if they were a little drunk whilst doing so. A fantastic show we thought, which would have been the highlight of the month had it not been for a phone call we got from Set Your Goals asking if we could sort a last minute show for them whilst they were over here to play Slam Dunk. Of course we could. It sold out The Fighting Cocks in seconds and there was a great buzz about it. But when we heard whispers that some special guests were joining the party… well, we had to bite our tongues and wait and see. Sure enough New Found Glory jumped on to the show and played a short set at The Fighting Cocks, a gig that will go down in Kingston music history. A real life-affirming moment as the band played an unannounced punk rock gig with their mates, for no reason other than just having fun. A real “I was there” moment.
June followed on the back of SlamDunk with some more crazy shows. Four Year Strong played a special acoustic instore for us and it was great to see Fireworks (who also got on that SYG/NFG show days before) play a proper headline set, plus Gallows played The Fighting Cocks!
New Slang had some sick shows with The Cribs playing a Glastonbury warm up and Example, who was just breaking through at that time, playing Kingston again. We’re stoked to see him grow - he’s been a good supporter of ours over the years and his success is justified. He brought Ou Est Le Swimming Pool along with him for what would be their third Kingston gig for us. We also put on Clement Marfo And The Frontline for the first time at that show!
A couple of the year’s best New Slangs happened in July, with Darwin Deez providing one of the most fun shows we’ve ever seen, and with there-couldn’t-be-a-more-relevant-band-to-New-Slang-than-them Mystery Jets finally playing our indie club night. Professor Green performed at our urban/pop night D.A.N.C.E. filming half of his latest video there and we also welcomed local lad Wilkinson to DJ for us at our drum n bass night Repeater Sessions.
Young Guns played an ace all ages album release show for us at The Hippodrome. July also saw the Cambridge Estate fire which saw 100 Kingston families made homeless for weeks.
Our website creator and long term friend of the shop got married this month and JT’s best man public speaking was practiced while being interviewed on BBC 6 Music. For July’s charity fun, we celebrated the anniversary of our buddy Liam Clayton surviving an horrific car crash and doubled the cash spent on Liam’s fave records
No let up in the quantity or quality of shows in August. We welcomed back friends in Sky Larkin, The King Blues, Big D And The Kids Table, Fucked Up, Funeral Party and Paint It Black to the various Kingston venues and put on bands such as Off With Their Heads, 7 Seconds and Adebisi Shank for the first time. We were very disappointed that our planned New Slang show with The Drums was postponed / cancelled (just like Mumford And Sons and Les Savy Fav in the past, we’re sure they will honour it one day) but having The Walkmen play instead was as good a replacement as we could have hoped for.
On that day though, there was a whole gang of other stuff going on. Two sold out shows, one from Kids In Glass Houses and one from Against Me! playing another ridiculously small gig at The Fighting Cocks, meant Aug 26th was giving May 25th a run for its money! Probably the best thing we did in August though was the Madingley Fire Fundraiser, where five local bands and a bunch of caring locals gave up their time for free and helped us raise over two grand for the people made homeless on our doorstep from the previous month’s fire. Charles Haddon of Ou Est Le Swimming Pool died in August, a sad moment which shocked everyone who’d met him here.
As the football season kicked off with Banquet’s renewed sponsorship of our local team, Kingstonian FC, September started with one of our fave bands of 2010 playing instore and at New Slang, as Two Door Cinema Club provided the third Hippodrome sell out of 2010 (up to that point). Chase And Status made their third visit to Repeater and caused some of the craziest pits we’ve seen, but we’re as proud of welcoming new and emerging talent to Kingston as we are the massive names, so shows with Summer Camp and Kurran And The Wolfnotes were also pleasing.
1600 people left the New Slang Facebook group after a bombardment of “Tom Pennington has changed the name of the group…” notifications popped up every fifteen minutes, which led to a barrage of Facebook abuse - some funny, some not - because of some kind of bug. Either way, the message got through that Tall Ships were playing, and on this second of their third visits to Kingston they proved they’re a very good band to watch out for in 2011.
A solid run of shows in October as we witnessed the first Kingston show for six years from 65daysofstatic, our new friends Clement Marfo And The Frontline playing instore for their debut single release and also getting The Hippodrome jumping on a Saturday night and we saw The Skints, Jehst and The Wombats sell out their gigs. To the sound track of “being a dickhead’s cool…” our new New Slang lighting rig was installed and as a live music venue it took another step up in the month we celebrated its 4th Birthday!
In November the band that went on to pick up the Banquet Album of the Year Award, Tokyo Police Club, played instore and at New Slang. If there was a typical and defining Banquet band then they may well be it, and it was a brilliant day all round. Devlin played on bonfire night for us in the shop and it was great to welcome back Gallows, Bomb The Music Industry and Good Shoes to Kingston as well as meeting and falling in love with The Menzingers and Dry The River for the first time. One of the most surreal moments of the year came when we had a marriage proposal at our D.A.N.C.E. club night. Quite unbelievable.
As December slips away we can already reminisce about some fine shows we’ve had and some we should have had. Futureheads had to postpone till next year because of the UK snow and Tigers Jaw also had to postpone, this time because of the US snow. Still, Set Your Goals played an all ages show at The Hippodrome and the day before, Specials legend Neville Staple played at many people’s fave ever New Slang.
We also had a great New Slangta Claus with our buds Tellison and Johnny Foreigner, welcomed back The Swellers and had fun with Man Overboard. The Advent Calendar took a step up with some great giveaways covering ground from limited edition shoes to free 7”s, signed test pressings to football scarves. We don’t know how we can take it up a step in 2011 but be sure we will! The year finishes with plans being made for New Year’s Eve New Slang to finish the year just as we started!
So there you have it - some memorable highlights of the year, some great records and a few more passings of note. Thanks for reading, sharing and contributing in whatever way you have this year. In 2010 we’ve said “so long” to Milly, Danny and Del, but we’ve welcomed Max, Tim and Scouse Jack to the Banquet fold. Sincere thanks to everyone who makes Banquet what it is,and therefore enables us to do what we do. Personal thanks to Mike, Dave, Jane, Gary, Simon, Oscar, Piers, Tom, Salty, Ollie, Baylis, Aaron, Max, Harry, Hessel, David, Harriet, Dasha, Sean Leery, Sean Sheehy, Tim, Sheby, Scouse Jack, Milly, Danny Sloan, all the work experience people (especially Megan) and everyone else who contributed in 2010.
Well done if you’ve read this all the way to the end
Jon Tolley, for Banquet