Marck Whiley talks to the York band making a comeback ten years after they looked set to storm the musical citadel
What was happening back in 2005? In York there was a thriving music scene where a genuine white knuckle ride of enthusiasm and energy was flowing through the bands standing outside Fibbers handing out flyers like their lives depended on it.
As for the gigs themselves, once the headline act had finished, Stonebow was alive with post-gig banter, sweaty exuberance and actual human interactions beyond texting and Facebooking.
Plus there were definitely no posers spilling around outside, half cut, waiting to get into the venue to enjoy a “live” DJ club night (they stayed in from the gig to hang with the Up The Racket crowd!).
YO1 was The Northern Wall and Battle of the Bands was more than a phone-in vote.
How it’s all changed (including the physical layout of Fibbers!) in the intervening years…
One of the more recognisable and successful bands at that time were Black Night Crash. Stomping onstage with Tarzan chest thumping pride to air-raid sirens and regularly playing in front of packed out crowds.
They were The Beatles, Stones and Led Zeppelin somehow all rolled into one.
Pre-online blogs, there was a genuine buzz down the grapevine that these four young sprites from York were going straight up through the nudges on the arcade machine to the jackpot payouts of Reading Festival and NME dominance.
For the first time since Shed 7, York had prodigal sons. But then the line went dead and when called back, there was no voicemail, engaged tone or divert on, it simply got disconnected and we as fans were left hanging on.
Now Black Night Crash – Jim Gipson on rhythm guitar and vocals, lead guitarist Adam Bailey, Jobi on bass and Mezza on drums – have announced that they are back to complete unfinished business with a show at Fibbers on Saturday 24th May
I asked Adam some questions about then and more importantly about now.
Who set the comeback ball rolling?
When Jobi found an old BNC mailing list during a recent clear out, it got me thinking. I realised that the tenth anniversary of our first ever show was approaching and suggested a reunion. Needless to say everyone obliged and here we are.
Having stayed with some local acts, like Grinny Grandad, how does it feel to be back in Black?
You know that feeling you get when you arrive home after a holiday? It’s great to get away and visit new places. But on return you realise that this is where you belong.
Are you familiar with the new Fibbers layout and sure you won’t get lost?
Fortunately I’ve gigged there since the redesign and it looks more like a live music venue now. Although I’ll always hold fond memories of the old Fibbers where I learnt my trade.
Can we expect new material?
It’s certainly our intention to produce some new stuff. Jim has continued to write and we’re looking forward to working on this material.
What are your best memories of Black Night Crash?
Far too many to list however, notably a five-date tour and the camaraderie of being in a band on the road.
How did you feel at the time of the split?
I was a little shell shocked when time was called on BNC. I knew that I personally would continue to play but as part of what, I was unsure.
With hindsight, it was probably the right decision and enabled everybody to move on and gain new experiences, which has brought a maturity to our music.
What’s in store at the Fibbers gig?
Expect all the usual and if you’re lucky, a glimpse of some new material. Our dear friends The Federals are on support duties also.
What can you now bring to Black Night Crash’s sound that you couldn’t last time around?
Eight years’ additional experience, a wiser outlook and twice as many amps! I hope we’re like a vintage wine that improves with age.
Radio 1 ask you to do the Live Lounge. Which song would you cover and who would you like to cover a BNC song?
In true Live Lounge tradition I’d probably attempt an obscure cover of something by Girls Aloud. It would be interesting to see what London Grammar would do with a Crash tune.
How did people react to your return when announced on Facebook?
Truly overwhelming, the FB page received 300 likes within the first 24 hours!
What local bands, past or present, would be in your ultimate festival line-up?
Who in the band is best at getting a round of drinks in?
As native Yorkshiremen, none of us are all that forthcoming when it comes to putting our hands in our pockets and buying a round. You’re most likely to find us hanging around the bar after the show in the hope that someone will buy us a pint!
- Black Night Crash play Fibbers on Saturday, May 24 – more details and tickets from the Fibbers website
- Read more music stories here