We fucking rule.

Last night was great.

Hell, if I didn’t know better I’d say we were on our way to the top.

We were a bit apprehensive about the gig, seeing as how it was a club night and the average age was easily half of our own. We figured folks would be far more interested in getting drunk and laid rather than watching a band their parents loved. So imagine our surprise when we went on to thunderous applause and shrieking!

The KoKo is the newly remodeled Camden Palace, and they spared no expense with the PA system. We actually had an inkling that the gig was going to be really good during sound check. I arrived a bit late and walked in on the rest of the boys running through “Believers” and it sounded FANTASTIC!!! The on stage monitors could possibly be the most powerful I’ve ever heard.

Of course it was only 1PM – we had eleven hours to kill before we went on. Combine that with my jet lag and I wondered if I was going to make it.

I needen’t have worried. The audience were so amped they could have jump-started a pickup truck. We fed off their energy and added a bunch of our own. We saw a lot of familiar faces (Morris, Steve, Kari, Patrick, Rob…) and a whole bunch of new ones, including our good friend Claire’s daughter Luna, who is as lovely as her mother. (Claire did the voiceover in the middle of Blind Spot on Manic Pop Thrill.)

Thanks to everyone who came last night – I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!

Fans Interview the Petrols – #2

4) – Which of the three 2008 gigs did you like the best, and why?

Raymond: All three shows definitely had a different dynamic for me. The EP was undoubtedly my favourite as that was the show we had actually reformed for in the first place and that stage felt like the most natural for a band of our past reputation and stature to be standing on. If that gig had gone badly or indeed if the atmosphere hadn’t been as vibrant, expectant and loving, or if we had experienced some terrible, unforeseen technical hitches or received a poor or muted response at that particular moment, then ultimately it wouldn’t have mattered how well the other two previous smaller shows had passed off and we wouldn’t be writing these questions now. Luckily there was magic in the air, we played a blinder and came off feeling like kings. It actually took me about six weeks afterwards to come down off the high from all the shows but most energy was expended on this particular one.This was the one which mattered the most.

However saying that, the other two shows were wonderful too. London was a great way to kick off proceedings, on home turf in front of family, friends and the invited from this very site. On the night the atmosphere was very warm and heartfelt, I felt like we were just surfing a tide of goodwill and good vibes.I wasn’t nervous in the slightest for once (rare for me) and as such was just able to enjoy everything about the whole event – the happy faces, how good we still were and watching Steve’s crowdsurfing!

I was a bit apprehensive about Dundalk beforehand for reasons which seem silly now, but that turned out to be very enjoyable also. The youtube footage of that night (chemicrazy) was interesting for me to see. I’m not actually on camera for virtually all of the song however I appear at the end coming off stage and I am just beaming – that in itself tells the whole story. Storming version too!

I feel like we belong on the larger stages all the same although obviously we’re comfortable playing anywhere. Over the years we have learned and honed our stagecraft – we know how to project, plus we have the most dynamic and watchable front person in the business.The music possesses a beatific power and a positive energy which can uplift,move and entertain any audience or any number of people big or small.

I still have big ambitions for us. I had a dream a while back that we were playing a triumphant show at Madison Square Gardens. Some may laugh at this perhaps but never underestimate the power of dreams, if you have a pure desire they may well just come true…..

Steve: That’s tough. On the one hand, the Electric Picnic was so incredible, because there’s something undeniable about 5,000 people screaming. That was the moment for me when I realized my recollections of the past weren’t rose-tinted, that we were a powerful band that could move a crowd and in fact still could. The fact that teenagers were chasing us afterwards for autographs was icing on the cake. Hey, if the kids still get it, we’ve still got it. And on the opposite end of the spectrum, London, because it was explosive. It was fourteen years of pent-up rock angst. People fainted. It was like church, a spiritual experience. Magic.

But that’s not to discount Dundalk at all, either! I had relatives there who had flown all the way from Florida, and we rocked so hard that chunks of plaster came off the ceiling. I only wish I had been able to join in the shenanigans after the gig. My wife ended up drinking with the staff until 4AM, by that point in her jammies (our bus was parked outside the venue). Me? I was deathly ill with the flu and sweating my brains out in my tiny little bunk. The show must go on!

Fans Interview the Petrols – #1

Some of you may remember that the fans put together a list of questions to submit to the band last year after the first set of reformation gigs. Well, it has only been a year, and we’re finally getting around to it. The idea is to answer one of these every few days. Think of it as a sort of TPE Advent calendar, if you will.

As the list grows, I’ll put them all on a special page, but for now they’ll just be on the blog. So! Without further ado, let’s get this started:

5) – It’s general agreed that those gigs were incredibly tight considering the band hadn’t performed together for 14 years, do you think you’re better musicians now than in the TPE days of yore ?

Ciaran: While its not really for us to say ….I absolutely agree. Steve’s voice sounds stronger and the band don’t push quite as hard as we used to – i.e. we are still v. tight but there’s a kind of looseness happening which lets the songs breathe and groove a bit more. Probably due to a) getting a bit older; b)not playing all the time and therefore making a routine of it; c)listening to a wider variety of music over the years when we’ve been having a break. Every show since we reformed have been winners.

Steve: Aw shucks. It’s not just me – I think we’re grooving better as a band now than we ever did back in the day. Without wishing to sound too cliched, there is a certain power to maturity, knowing that less is more, that showing restraint can be far more powerful than losing control. Speaking of losing control,  there were a lot more stimulants involved back then, legal or otherwise. And finally, after having spent a decade and a half _not_ playing together, I think we’ve all come to realize the unique combination we are. The sum is much greater than the parts, and I think we’re all much better able to understand that now, and cherish it accordingly. By letting go and surrendering to the whole.

December TPE Dates Finally Confirmed

DEC 4 London – Club NME @ KoKo
DEC 5 Minehead – All Tomorrow’s Parties “Nightmare Before Xmas”
DEC 6 Dublin -Academy
DEC 7 Belfast – Spring and Airbrake (NOT Limelight as previously announced)
DEC 8 Derry – Nerve Centre

And of course for the stateside fans:

DEC 12 Brooklyn, NY – The Bell House

“Detonate” is Amazon’s Free Song of the Day tomorrow!

UPDATE: This is US-only, I’m afraid. :^(

I’m sure most if not all of you already own it, but this is a big opportunity for us to get exposed to thousands if not millions of new potential fans. So if you have any blogs or email lists that you post to, send ’em over to Amazon.com/mp3 or amazonmp3.com and look in the top right.

(In case you hadn’t gathered, there’s a free song every day here – it’s never a bad idea to visit!)

Cross your fingers for us – let’s hope some folks love the track, buy a few downloads, and come to the shows.

TPE in NYC

Yes, that’s right.

Bring your ice skates, get ready to catch a live filming of The Daily Show or 30 Rock, but most of all get ready to rock in NYC.

It’s an awesome venue, and is guaranteed to be a freakin’ great time. We’ve been putting this together for quite some time, and it’s finally come together. Come spend the holidays with us in beautiful New York! Or, actually I should say Brooklyn, as we’re playing the Bell House in beautiful Park Slope:

Buy Tickets or just look at this cool venue.

This will be the first time we’ve played stateside in… oh wait. We played SxSW this year. No matter. If you forget about that, then it has been… twenty years !!! (I think) So save up your pennies, find that companion airline ticket, or cash out those air miles. We’re on our way.

New TPE Digital Releases with Unreleased Tracks

Hey All –

We’ve finally managed to get Fireproof and Final Flame released digitally. We’re working directly with IODA to make them available to all music sites, and can verify that they’re available on iTunes and Amazon. Woo hoo!

But there’s more. This release of Final Flame restores the original running order and full length of the original shows. Some of you may have heard these six unreleased tracks via the “unofficial” versions (I believe I may have sent some of these myself), but this is the first time they’ve officially been made available.

We will also be releasing physical versions of these two releases through a partnership with Amazon’s Disc-on-demand. More on that later.

In the meantime, we would absolutely love it if some of you wrote some reviews!

TPE do ATP!

The band has been invited to join the bill for this years All tomorrow’s parties “Nightmare Before Christmas” festival on December 4-6 as curated by KEVIN SHIELDS of MY BLOODY VALENTINE. More details as they come in. So far Sonic Youth, De la Soul, EPMD and the Sun Ra Orkestra have been announced.