In my other life as a public transport operative (bus driver!), I get many passengers asking how I split my time from being the diligent and courteous driver that I am, and the dashing axe wielding rock warrior that I become with the mighty Sack Trick. The answer is to be found here, my dear readers. I kind of stumbled upon rock stardom.
Before I decided to concentrate my energies on the safe transportation of the general public, I worked for a music public relations company in London. One of our many clients was the then ex – Iron Maiden warbler Bruce Dickinson. If you are a Sack Trick fan, (and let’s face it, who isn’t?), then you’ll know that Bruce employed the talents of Chris Dale on bass, Alex Dickson on guitar and Alessandro (Sponder) Elena on drums. At the time, it seemed that my main job with this band of reprobates was to get them drunk as humanly possible, blag them free CDs and concert tickets and try my best to eat them out of house and home (cheers for the pasta Sponder). I also wrote the occasional press release and tried my best to get the band as much coverage in the press as possible. When this band went the way of the pear, I decided to let them know that I could strum a few chords on the guitar in the vain hope that they would say ‘that’s amazing bobby, you’re exactly what we’re looking for for our next musical project’. Alas this was not the case, as it was literally only a few chords I knew and I wasn’t a proper musician. Alex went on to form Fling and recorded some amazing tunes, which you can find on his own site, and Chris decided to form Sack Trick after a particularly messy night on Weiss bier. Well, Sack Trick isn’t your bog standard band, and I felt my chance had come at long last. I recorded with the band on their debut album (Music From) The Mystery Rabbits, and I believe that my contribution made a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. A fact that Chris will attest to as long as I pour hoegaarden down his neck all night!
My live debut came in Glasgow as the band toured their second opus – the magnificent ‘Penguins On The Moon’. I joined the band onstage, on my birthday, to play the classic ‘Alcoholic Bulimia’ and the Black Sabbath standard ‘Paranoid’. And so my journey into rock stardom had begun.
As the tour rolled ever onward – 3 years and counting – I suggested to Chris that I would be available to play on a handful of dates when I wasn’t safely transporting the people of South London. He decided that this was a jolly good idea, and we set about rehearsing diligently in his kitchen. After 2 solid evenings of back breaking work, tears, tantrums and a few alcoholic beverages to steady the nerves, Chris decided that I was ready for my first full gig (that, and the fact he couldn’t find anyone else free at that particular time!) and we rolled off to the heady metropolis of High Wycombe. The gig went as well as can be expected i.e. I remembered most of what I was taught and we set off for somewhere else (my memory isn’t what it used to be these days!). The second gig was a complete disaster for me, as I completely forgot how to play guitar that evening, so it was with a heavy heart and a very tight sphincter that we rolled into Glasgow for gig number three. Glasgow is as close as I get to a hometown show for me, being a native of Greenock, so there would be people that I know in attendance (cheers Chippy!!!) and expectations were high especially after the complete nightmare of the previous gig. After a few libations and a pre-gig rehearsal with Chris in the dressing room literally minutes before the show, we took to the stage and totally rocked the place. I remembered how to play the guitar again and it’s the second best gig I’ve ever played with the band. Sack Trick exists purely for the kids – no other reason – and the kids went home with huge smiles on their faces that night.
If you want any more recollections of my time in Sack Trick, then let me know and I’ll tell you.
Bobby The Bus Driver
Bobby sure Rocks!