It was Christmas, 1987, and there was a hole to fill – a band was needed urgently to play an unexpected gap that had opened up in the Christmas Ents running order. That’s when the Ents secretary (Mr R. P., Medicine), who happened to be a bass player, called on his drummer friend Mr. O. E. (Mechanical Engineering) and guitarist brother (Mr. M. P., Chemical Engineering) to help. Mr. M. P. also dragged in his keyboard-playing friend Mr. H. G. (Graduate, Zoology) and the resulting collison collective played a selection of classic rock to tumultuous applause from the two people who turned up. I guess you had to be there.
That marked the birth of Karnage. The band made a return appearance in 1988, and then disappeared from view for nearly a decade. It wasn’t until 1997 that Mr M. P. called the band back together, since when it has made sporadic appearances every few years. The apotheosis of the band’s zenith was in 2000, when Karnage’s concert ‘Songs For Eddie’ in St Alkmund’s Church Hall, Derby, raised more than £3,000 in aid of the support and care of patients with meningitis.
This Saturday just gone Karnage regrouped once again, at the Polish Centre in Derby (that city having become the band’s spiritual home) to raise money for a charity that digs wells in a part of Sri Lanka whose water supplies are uncertain. £250 digs one well, and we raised more than £600 – enough for two wells and the buckets to go with them.
For the record the line-up was
Mr M. P. (City Slicker, Surrey) – Fender ’57 reissue Stratocaster (built 1982), Gibson Les Paul, Marshall amplification, ElectroHarmonix Electric Mistress flanger, TC Electronics 12-stage phaser, Boss Turbo Overdrive, Jim Dunlop Cry Baby Wah-Wah, Jim Dunlop 1.0-mm picks (the black ones; not the grey ones, which are 0.6-mm, except on the funkier numbers … listen up at the back, there’ll be a quiz later);
Dr R. P. (General Practitioner, Devon) – Squier Precision bass, Hartke amplification;
Mr O. E. (Designs Wheels for Trains, Derby) – 1986 Pearl Export double kit in Smoky Chrome featuring 10”, 12”, 13”and 14” mounted toms, 16” and 18” floor toms and two 22” bass drums;
Ludwig 14” snare and 8” and 10” Tama MiniTymps and 8” and 10” Remo RotoToms (the latter mainly for decoration). Paiste cymbals comprising 14” Sound Edge hi-hats, 16” 505 crash, 15” 2002 crash, 16” 2002 crash, 18” 2002 medium, 22” 505 heavy ride, 18” 2002 chinese, 12” Sound Creation accent/splash, Cowbell, Woodblock (bright red plastic), Traditional bicycle bell.
Dr H. G. (Scientific Editor, Blogger and Wit, Cromer) – Hammond XK-1 organ, Korg TR61 music workstation synthesizer, Carlsbro amplification.
We played a lot of classic rock by Queen (yes, Bohemian Rhapsody), Free, Led Zeppelin; a few more recent things (Coldplay) and some blues and funk. Given that we hadn’t played for a couple of years, it all went rather well — though the inclusion of the SF rock opera 2112 by Rush did, I have to say, try the patience of the audience…
The next venue in the ongoing Trail of Karnage has yet to be determined, though it is likely that it might make it to Cromer in 2012 (if not 2112) to celebrate – no, not the Olympics, but the 50th birthday of one of its more blogospherical residents.