Hello, for those of you unaware we are no longer called Chickenhawk we are now Hawk Eyes, we have a new sites including a tumblr to follow this change:
Hello, for those of you unaware we are no longer called Chickenhawk we are now Hawk Eyes, we have a new sites including a tumblr to follow this change:
Last year we recorded a Maida Vale Session for Mike Davies’ Punk Rock Show, it looked a bit like this…
A big thank you to anyone that made it down to any of our shows and festivals, bought a tshirt, a CD or told us to get f#cked. It’s been an amazing year for us and we’re very grateful to you all.
Currently we’re making a new album and aiming to record it early next year. Before the album, plans are afoot for another release which we’ll tell you more about soon enough.
In the meantime if you haven’t already purchased our latest album; Modern Bodies is still available to buy here there are a few limited t-shirt and poster bundles also still available.
Download the track ‘Scorpieau’ from Modern Bodies for free here
Chickenhawk & Festivals of 2010 - Broken vans and broken members
The summer was very busy and bizarre for us this year. We played a lot of festivals, some very strange things happened along the way as well as a lot of good times……..feel free to read on.
Camden Crawl 2010
At this years Camden Crawl, we have 2 shows. Today we are playing at the Purple Turtle with Kasms amongst others; we’re playing here later in the year with Trash Talk which should be super brutal. The sound is ace in this place and having heard recently it may be shutting down makes me very sad, sound engineer is a real nice helpful chap.
We go down to find free food with lovely meal tickets, at this exact moment the weather decides to cover Camden with heavy rain which is nice and very helpful. Waiting in the queue in the rain is my new hobby; I’m going to turn it into an Olympic sport. I’m shit at it. Free food is pretty good however every band + entourage trying to get free food from one place is really not fun.
Venue fills up nicely before we play and the gig is really good. A lot of people come out to see us which is really nice to see. I’m always a bit pessimistic about gigs in multiple venues as I presume people won’t bother moving after a few hours, especially when it’s pissing down. Kasms play after us who we’re really good, Metallica patches always get massive ticks with me, fuck off if you hate Metallica, I’m going to marry all of them at the same time.
More free cider, more free beer, delete all memories and forget who I am….
My brain hurts. Today is our second Camden Crawl gig at Barfly with Rolo Tomassi, the lovely people at Crossfire are putting this on. We get a big fat massive dressing room for all the bands to share, none of the other bands really come in though, massive fridge full of booze…win, oh yeah we also get loads of towels. There’s a washing machine in the toilet too. I wonder what happens if you put a toilet in a washing machine or a washing machine in a toilet - Clean heaven? I’ve never played a venue that give you access to a washing machine; this must be what its like to be in Iron Maiden.
Crossfire interview us and ask us about our favourite albums: I think the answers were Shellac, Smashing Pumpkins, Metallica and Dillinger Escape Plan. A few years ago I made a list of all the bands we’d been compared to, it was a big list. It’s pretty cool that people find different things in our music, still waiting for Holst to appear on the list though.
The show is awesome, the room is pretty packed, plus it’s being filmed. Lots of people try grabbing Stick’s arm at the end of the gig whilst wrapped in ‘police’ tape, that’s an odd thing to see. We very much come from a background of endless shitty pubs playing to a few drunken men. Once we played to one man in his forties with butterfly face paint on - nothing will top this.
End of Camden Crawl festival is a mess of free cider, a lot, and Stick getting involved with live band Karaoke and randomly bumping into Tricky’s entourage in a ‘VIP’ room.
Collective brain transplants are needed on the way back to Leeds the next day, by the end of the night we did a lot of crawling in Camden (see what I did there!)
Relentless Nass – Somerset/Bath
This is the first journey Chickenhawk will be making in our newly acquired bus/van/vehicle/moving-room. Don’t let the word ‘new’ fool you, it’s an ex NHS bus previously used by Derbyshire Council and it smells like a GP’s surgery inside. It’s over ten years old and judging by the milometer, it made a lot of visits around Derbyshire doing God knows what to people in the name of medicine. Now it will be host to our touring antics…poor bus… oh yeah, Matt has also christened the van ‘Christine’ after the horror movie, if you haven’t seen it, you should… Twilight is dogshit, Christine is the past/present/future.
We are up at nine to get from Leeds down to Somerset. We head down to our practice room to load in. I hate this part, I don’t mind loading in/out of venues but in and out of the practice room seems so painful, reminds me of an interview with George Clooney when he really excellently (and not in any way shit at all) played Batman. He was describing the process oh how Batman appears to put the bat suit on so easily: “Alfred just seems to look at it and its on”. This is how I feel about the loading in part - I just want to look at it and it’s in the van.
I think I’m going to become an inventor and create something that does this, also might make an interesting concept album. 7 part trilogy I think. Illgive Rick Wakeman a call next week.
Anyway. All equipment in and off we go to deliver medicine, wait, no, riffs.
Our van sounds like we’re riding a jet engine and we seem to be higher off the ground than other vehicles. This must be how Andre The Giant felt all the time. FUCK YOU M1.
Finally we arrive half an hour before we play and there seems to be endless skateboarders and BMXers all around the festival.
We even have a dressing room with our name on it, we don’t use it but it’s quite a nice sight to see.
We get a long sound check but the venue is in a giant barn, so the sound seems to echo round the room. Kids randomly ride their bikes into the barn as we are sound checking…most surreal sound check ever? Check.
We are first on this stage today, when we start playing there are very few people here but the venue starts to fill up gradually. One of the security tries to accost me for standing on the bar whilst we are playing, if health & safety is the issue, grabbing my leg won’t help, I’m more likely to fall you donk.
People grab Stick at the end and ask for set lists and CDs, deffinately worth the mission.
Food, food, food, burgers ahoy with a special burger sauce, the word ‘special’ in food always makes me think its just rnon-specific random shit thrown together.
I found a sealed pack of plastic cups in a skip, win!! This will aid booze time.
We stay over at the festival camping in the ‘staff camping’ area. I thought it would be an idiot free zone; this is incorrect as some morons camping near us take endless delight in shining their laser pen onto people’s behinds and shouting ‘green arse.’ There is really a limit on how many times that can be funny; from research I have realized this number is less than 1.
Due to a minor communication issue ‘King of Sound’ Giles has to share a one man tent with Stick’s brother, Giles is not a small man. After some good time booze, he tries to escape the tent via a pocket. This would be silly for a normal sized person. Giles is slightly larger than a normal sized person, you can substitute the word ‘slightly’ for any of these if you wish: ‘one million times,’ ‘a fuck load’, ‘a fair bit’.
Guilfest – Guildford
Second outing for the Hawk-mobile and another big journey. We are setting off from Leeds at 11am today. Our van struggles with hills as it’s an ageing beast, the journey to Guildford is full of hills, boooooo.
Ryan is travelling separately as he wants to stay for the whole weekend, whereas the rest of Hawk is returning to the land of Leeds. This weekend Guilfest is hosting NDUBZ, Human League, Fucked up and 10cc. Seeing our band name on the same line up as Human League is hilarious let alone NDUBZ. I’m sure Dappy is equally bemused.
By 4 o’clock we are stuck in traffic and receive a phone call stating our stage time has been moved forward, we are firmly informed this won’t affect our stage time given that we are in bumper to bumper traffic. We arrive on site at 6:20 when we are then told we were due to be playing at 6:10.
After being ‘fast-tracked’ through to collect our passes, the following happens:
First of all we arrive and explain the situation to the security on the gate, then we have to wait behind a moron who is worried her wristband won’t match with her delightful ensemble, I imagine you will look a tit whatever you wear so don’t worry about it.
When we eventually get our passes we drive through the gate only to be stopped by more security screaming ‘GOT ANY DRUGS, ANY ALCOHOL, PUT YOUR HAZARDS ON IMMEDIATELY!!!!’ Being a new van, Paul mistakenly presses the battery isolation button instead of the hazards cutting out the engine in return, none of us have a clue how to fix it. Cue four band members, four crew and two security staff pushing a fucking NHS bus full of equipment up a hill, past a skate ramp full of skaters shouting ‘PUSH!’ and into a tiny parking slot, interesting stuff!
We literally throw our gear onstage and play the fuck out of our equipment with barely enough time to even see if people are in the crowd. To our relief, there is, as it turns out, quite a lot of people there. ‘Scorpieau’, ‘Bottle Rocket’ and ‘I hate this do you like it?’ all get pummelled by each band member, we seriously played as hard as we possibly could. Paul falls off stage at the end to puke and in his words ‘sometimes it just catches you’. The set was cut in half, but atleast we got to play!
We get to meet Damien from Fucked Up, who turns out to be totally nice and a couple of the We Are the Ocean guys who we are touring with in October.
Food, food, food, pie and mushy peas. I got loads of peas, I love peas. Virtually as soon as we’ve eaten, we’re ready to drive back. Guilford it’s been a pleasure, a short pleasure, but a pleasure. Sometimes I think that the main event is the travel when the gigs are over so quickly like that.
This weekend we are playing Sonisphere on the Friday and Kendal Calling on the Sunday. To avoid Guilfest issues we leave super early.
Early start for Sonisphere leaving by 9am. Mr Thomas Bellhouse from our label Brew seems to think there are supermarkets on motorways, he’s an idiot with no food. Ryan has brought 13 litres of Cider with him for the weekend, I think that’ll suffice. Our van is a bit fucked, i.e. it overheats very easily. We worked out if we keep the vents open and on full blast the heat is taken away from the engine. As a side affect it means anyone in the front cab gets their feet cooked. We finally get to Sonisphere nice and early, roughly 1/2pm. Get our tickets from a lovely chap called Charlie and set up our tents in a field full of sheep shit. There are a lot of black t-shirts out today as well as a large amount of men in stockings. I later learn this was for a world record attempt at the time warp, so hundreds of men turn up in tights, unfortunately no one informed them that the world record attempt had been cancelled, what a shame.
Have a look around the festival. There’s the classic ‘legal highs’ stalls and some gourmet fish and chip stands, later we will become acquainted. We wander over to the main stage just in time to see Europe play ‘The final countdown’ which sounds exactly like the recording. Sonisphere is fucking massive, theres thousands of people everywhere; I think it’s bigger than Reading and Leeds. We are second on the Strongbow ‘Bowtime’ stage, it’s coupled with a bar at the back and the tent is pretty biggggggggggg and very yellow, resembling an old western bar.
We get a sound check which is what happens when you arrive nice and early. Everything sounds awesome. Plenty of time to chill-out, have a lovely beer and get warmed up before we play. A crowd starts gathering about half an hour before we go on. When we actually play its one of the most intense banging gigs we’ve ever done, almost as good as the gig we played to one man with butterfly face-paint on.
As a band we aren’t used to people singing the words back at you, we presumed no one would know who the fuck we were. We play especially tight and I totally destroy my fingers on the fret board.
Stick tells the crowd its Matt’s birthday and he gets happy birthday sung at him as well as our drinks chucked over him. GOOD LAD.
The roar at the end of our set was awesome, thanks Sonisphere, that was fucking SHIT HOT.
Literally throw all of our gear off stage after we play and as a result spend about half an hour packing it away, the stage hands decide to open my pedal board up the wrong way and fuck it up. No energy left what so ever. Chromehoof are backstage as they are headlining the tent, we played with them a few weeks back, thoroughly nice people and an awesome band. Someone is on after us - checked them out for a bit - let’s just say it’s not my type of music. Question: does anyone in bands get band guilt at gigs and tell bands (that you are playing with) that they we’re amazing, even if you hated it, I always try and not to but I can’t stop it. Note: in future if you play with Chickenhawk and I tell you are ace, you are shit. I don’t care if I actually do like your band, you are shit.
By the time we’ve packed our stuff away, gone back to the tent for a drink and stock up, Gary Numan is on. Other than ‘Cars’, I don’t really know any of his songs.
He seems to be having a lovely time though. Hang around for a bit, watch Alice Cooper play for a few songs, he opens with ‘Schools Out’. I thought this was an odd choice but then I heard him playing it again at the end of his set too, not enough songs yet Vincent? Head over to check out Chromehoof. Not really sure what happened with the time today as it went so quickly. Chromehoof have a massive robot in silver robes, here is a band I do actually like.
Free bar happens, back to tent, pass out. I went back to the tent for about 2am but everyone else came back a lot later. Wake up in the morning, put toothpaste on Paul’s chest (normal). It is evident that Matt had a lovely time, say no more. Pack up and fuck off….
Off to Kendal by 12noon for Kendal Calling tomorrow. Most people are suffering.
Kendal Calling is the complete polar opposite to Sonisphere. Much more family orientated; there are Deers, a lake and a rider that no one wants you to actually drink. I have no idea where it is or who has it but we do have one somewhere. There’s a man on a bike with a semi circle welded from the handlebars, over his head and onto the back. I’m not doing it any justice but this is the best invention I have ever seen, he rides down hills, slams on his brakes so he tips over his handlebars and the whole bike rolls 360 degrees vertical. The best part is when a regular biker-virgin attempts this…Amazing.
Do an interview and very quickly its time to do a gig again. Tent begins to fill up before we play which is nice to see at a festival that is 99% not heavy, with the likes of Badly Drawn Boy and Calvin Harris being the main draws. Another awesome gig to top of an awesome destructive weekend. Couple of fuck ups but nothing major and generally we play tight. Sound is awesome, some kids grab set lists off us at the end, that’s nice and again an unusual feeling, especially as they are basically pieces of paper to remind you of what’s going on, don’t fuck up!
Really appreciate everyone that came out to see us. I am totally destroyed after we play and having just piled our equipment outside our POWER van in 10 minutes, we just about to muster the energy to pack the gear away. This weekend I have been very proud to say I am in this band, we work our balls off. I don’t do this for people to like me but it’s nice to have people come out to see your band and appreciate our efforts.
Chips. Home. Collapse. Bed. Lets do it again next weekend for Hevy Fest and Boardmasters.
Big, big drives this weekend. Leeds to Newquay is horrendous so we set off on Thursday evening to stay at an Etap in Newport. Jason Sanderson is coming along to do our sound as Giles has been offered work at the Cockpit venue in Leeds. We get to Newport at 12:30/1ish and act like idiots until we fall asleep.
Arrive at Boardmasters at roughly 3pm, its right on the coast overlooking the beach, an amazing location, its just a shame that the weather isn’t the best. We get given some free things and have a wander around the festival to find the campsite. Meet Seasick Steve along the way and have our photo taken with him. I’m sure he’s completely out of his brain at 3pm in the afternoon, lad.
We setup camp, drop our gear off, go back to the tent we’re playing and watch a few bands before its time to smash the coast in. This happens immediately, though it’s easily the coldest gig we have ever played. Everyone’s faces seem to have been ripped off – job done. We set our gear down, pack up and come back to watch Trash Talk and a little of Gallows before retiring to bed. A fairly reserved evening if you delete the part where Trash Talk’s singer kicks a metal railing in half during their set - who needs feet?
We arrive at the festival at about 9pm but end up waiting at the gate for about 45mins before we actually get told where we are allowed to camp, its not too bad though as food is provided while we wait. But by the time we are set up, all the bands are finished, so we compensate by drinking as much free drink as possible. Aiden from The Computers is a particular sight. It’s his birthday this week and let’s just say he really makes sure he enjoys himself, he hates clothes.
In the morning my head hurts but showers provide me with some help. Lots of breakfast and coffee is entered into my stomach and I feel more alive as a result, though other members don’t appear to be feeling as good.
Today we are playing the Rocksound stage at 13:30. Everyone is feeling a little bit poorly today.Thankfully we get given some breakfast which makes me feel more alive, being entertained by someone trying to steal booze from Sepultura’s dressing room also helped for laughs. We load in our gear an hour before we play. Once we sound check, Sepultura’s van driver asks us if we don’t mind moving our van a bit…So lets recap Sepultura are playing the same stage as us, would we mind moving our van for them HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, I now live in ridiculous land. Hopefully Steve Harris and Kerry King will be our guitar tech’s later.
We play very well to an absolutely rammed tent, a Kerrang! review a few weeks later testifies this with: ‘they sounded like they were killing it but we couldn’t get in the tent to see’. Good times all round, after we get nabbed by NME for an interview and then face the horrible journey home which gets even worse 40 minutes into the drive.
Ill paraphrase this for you
Break Down, van very poorly, AA man comes out, thinks he can fix it, spends about 2 hours doing so. Then realizes it’s broken forever. Calls tow truck. Tow truck can only take us to Milton Keynes due to working regulations, so we will need 3 tow trucks to get back to Leeds. Second Tow Truck driver says that when we arrive, he is due a 30 minute break (even though he has been waiting for us for 30 minutes) so this delays us further. The third tow truck picks us up near Sheffield and takes us back to our practice room.
We left Hevy Fest at 4:30pm; we arrived back in Leedsat 5am. Some of us we’re due to go to work the next day, nein danke.
This is the first time we’ve been asked to play a longer set than half an hour. We practiced for this Thursday, Friday and Saturday before heading to Skipton. This festival is literally in the middle of nowhere.
Gear is shuttled via a tractor/trailer and I’m pretty sure the driver’s mind had been altered by substances (facial expressions are the main give-away).
Myself and Paul get interviewed in a caravan, the interview went out live, we managed to hold the profanities however due to the recent death of our van ‘Christine’ our repeated requests of ‘give us your caravan’ fell on deaf ears.
Thomas Bellhouse is in a fairly interesting state by the time we meet up with him, more on this shortly…
We are playing today at 10pm, as we are setting our gear up the tent fills up and by the time we play its rammed. Whilst we never began in this band for people’s adoration or any of that shit, it is nice to play to a home crowd (well almost). There is a compere for this stage that introduces all the bands; before I explain the next bit please be aware that none of the band knew this had been arranged.
The compere comes on, walks up to the microphone and says: ‘ladies and gentlemen please welcome… Thomas Bellhouse!’ Cue bemused looks on our faces, then out of nowhere Mr. Bellhouse walks onstage in the most ridiculous way possible, straight up to the microphone to introduce us, one of the funniest things I have seen in a long time especially as there are a large number of people heckling him as soon as he walks onstage.
We played ‘Reverse 2012’ for the first time which kicked my dick in 100%. The crowd were fucking brilliant and playing a longer set was amazing, one of my favourite gigs this summer. We manage to muster the energy to throw our gear offstage, but then it takes us about 2 hours to pack it away…mainly due to pissed photographers and friends.
We get a fairly big rider, three of us are driving though so that doesn’t really help much, though Matt (the non-driver) enjoyed it for us.
Afterwards we had some photos and an interview on a tractor, as you do. I enjoyed climbing on a tractor, even if I was a bastard to the photographer for asking us to do ridiculous things.
I totally enjoyed the atmosphere at Moorfest, in the grand scheme of things it is a smaller festival, however they really need to increase the amount of toilets, they were pretty fucking grim.
This year, Dance to the Radio has kindly asked us to play their stage, on the Thursday of Leeds Festival. To set the scene, a lot of people arrive at the festival Thursday evening and whilst all the food stands are open, the only stage with bands is the DTTR stage.
We play 3rd at roughly 8:30pm to roughly 4000 people; this is the first Chickenhawk gig where I haven’t been able to see the end of the crowd. It seriously looked like a never ending sea. From the off, people get fully involved and by the third song, extra security is called in (I don’t mean this in a gloating sense), but I’m just wowed at how far this band has come in the past year. This was easily one of the best and biggest gigs Chickenhawk have ever done, so much so, I couldn’t quite fathom what had just happened. The lovely Danny North came down to shoot us, to help build my massive ego; he shouts ‘shiiiit!’ at me as soon as the set is finished, I love you Danny. He took some shots of us before we played too, which ended up being featured on the NME’s website.
After we play we have to walk all of our gear to the van. Apparently they only allow vehicles to the side of the stage at certain times, and we have a transit load of equipment, ridiculous? Yep. Ryan reaches boiling point after the 4th/5th/6th/7th/who knows journey and tells one of the security exactly what he thinks of this situation. Whilst it wasn’t meant in a jovial sense, I do take a fair amount of enjoyment from watching a fairly large security guard look positively embarrassed by Ryan’s comments.
The rest of the festival gives us a chance to relax, watching other bands including Leeds very own Blacklisters and Pulled Apart by Horses as well as Health, QOTSA and more. There are some awesome clips on Youtube of the Dance to the Radio stage, hunt them out.
Offset is the last festival of the summer for us, boooooooo. Last night we played at the Old Blue Last as part of Holy Roar’s Offset warm-up show. It was free and they gave away a lot of booze for free, needless to say a good time was had, including our first attempt at becoming Jagermeister scientists, that’s all you need to know but please send me Bunsen burners, beakers, lab coats and goggles to continue my analysis.
Today we are playing Holy Roar’s hardcore stage at 4:30pm. We arrived at Hainault Park at about 2pm. Ryan and Matt came here last year as punters and came back raving about it, so we we’re muchos looking forward to today.
Jason Sanderson who recorded our ‘A. Or Not?’ EP has travelled down with Lavotchkin, he informs me that about 70% of the bands on this stage he has recorded at some point so it’s now the Jason Sanderson stage, what a silly mosher, however he is boss at pressing record and not being expensive. If you are in a band, I would consider using Jason Sanderson to press record for your band too.
The tent is filled by the time we play; the sound is mega and the band play very tight. Matt’s got a new snare; a bit of mid song tuning is required but its ok because it sounds MASSSSSIVVVVVEEE. Recently we have been giving ‘My Name is Egg’ a trial outing which is a lot of fun to play today. Stick punches knuckles with someone mid song and he informs me after we play that this is a sign we are ‘metal’ (I have no idea what this means either).
Everyone is completely destroyed after we play but definitely a good way to sign off summer festivals for 2010. Giloscope and a few other people grab us for some photos after, then we get to watch some bands and relax. On the way home we spy a house that I presume is being knocked down, the whole front has been ripped off so we go inside and climb the stairs, looking out across Hainault Park from the second floor of a house with no front wall. This makes me feel like I’m in Sin City. The rest of the journey back to where we are staying is a mess of drunken jokes about Mad Max and Tina Turner which ends up forever on the internet via Twitter, who knows what is beyond thunderdome… We also watch some of Moonraker, re-visit this film, its bizarre.
At 15 years old, I would’ve exploded with excitement if I’d known I would play so many festivals in one summer, it has been a fucking ride.
Double the amount next year? Yes please.
Hey! we are about to go and record our second album, 2011 is shaping up to be very busy for us, so the answer is possibly maybe, watch this space!
Video of the Day//Tool Lateralus arranged for 8 piece Koto ensemble//”Over thinking, over analysing, separates the body from the mind” - now go and listen to the original.
‘Modern Bodies’ has arrived folks! Check it out… Pre-orders:
With a free Signed Poster:
With Limited Edition Tshirt:
Some videos from the recent tour with WATO went up on Youtube. Heres ‘My Name Is Egg’ from the Liverpool show, more are available on the YT site!