One Saturday in May 1998, I was wondering what to do that night when a friend told me they were going to Coakley’s in Fremantle for a tape (bands don’t seem to release those much any more, do they?) launch by love camp 7. having nothing else to do I decided to go and convinced another friend to come with me.
Anyway i get to do the door and I bought a tape – i think it was included in the entry or just ridiculous cheap. ANyway the support bands were crap…and there were some real morons in the crowd, so we went elsewhere for a drink, promising to come back later for the headliner.
We got back just before to see them set up and I remember them starting and the singer being in a shit mood yelling stuff at the mixer. It turned out to be a punk band which wasn’t my cup of rock and cos the sound was shite…we left early.
Listened to the tape the next day. Crap recording…the booklet was amusing if amateur. I didn’t seem to listen to more than 3 minutes of it so i gave it to a friend. I also found out that the gig had finished early because the singer had thrown a beer glass at the mixer. An intelligent thing to do..I didn’t think i’d ever see the band again.
Six months later, the three orange whips had scored a good support of eskimo joe who were just back from an australian tour and sweater had been played about ten times a day while they’d been a way. So i went for the whips and it was love camp 7 opening. I watched out of the fact its a loud pub…still a punk band. But unlike my friend who said they sounded like mach pelican i didn’t agree.
later in the night, this guy came up to me. Seemed really friendly and started chatting to me saying he’d seen me round and i said ‘where do I know you from?; and he said love camp 7 and all i could think of was the glass throwing incident and surprised that he was actually nice. I guess we all make mistakes. Mike was his name.
It was after this love camp (will leave the 7 out from now) played with the whips every bloody week so i saw them more and still wasn’t interested. Meh punk.
Around Christmas a friend sent me some the 5 songs off the cd they had just released, I’m not sure why i gave them another go, probably because the girl who sent them was a big fan. Anyway i listened to them a few times (they were short songs so it was about half an hour) and my brother walked in the room and said sarcastically ‘good singer!’ I just laughed but the songs had grown on me.
In the first 1999 Love Camp seemd to be at every gig i went to simply because they were either playing with bands i wanted to see or my friends wanted to see. I can remember them playing five gigs in one weekend which is a bit insane…more so the fact I was at three of them. Being surrounded by their noise both online and at gigs and listening to those mp3s alot, i bought their cd. The cover a spoof of Jebeidah’s cd…quite funny. The stand out was ‘i’d like to see him go 20 rounds with Satan in a fistfight’. Though I must i related more to ‘where’s me um’.
Being the good buddies they were with the whips they decided to record each other’s songs. Love Camp 7 chose French Movie (the best whips songs) and the whips chose smashomaniac (one of the average love camp ones) and they were going to release some split vinyl. Instead they just ended up on their next releases.
Anyway I pestered Mike to play french movie for a while.. The first time was at the greenwich when i called it out a request and he told me to jokingly fuck off. Being tired on the sunday afternoon i decided to walk out and called out ‘ok i will fuck off, cya Mike’. A bit rude but it was love camp 7 and their joke punk piss people off but they are only messing about. Fair enough.
I did finally get to hear their cover at a gig later on at the grosvenor and it was dedicated to me which was nice. Made up for the earlier Greenwich incident.
They were going to release an album in 1999. It took ages to come out because it was going to be a double launch with the whips. The cd launch never eventuate, primarily I believe because the whips cd was never ready. When it did come out, I was offered a free copyof the album called ‘Clean Em All’ and when I showed up at a gig, the cd had been left at home.
I went overseas for a month and came back and bought the cd one day. On a bad day it made me smile. Another spoof this time Metallica. What wit. It was pretty dodgy recording but their were some pretty decent songs. For a punk band anyway. Most of them i knew but never had known what they’d been singing about before. My favourites include ‘Steamin’ French Demon’ (about Phil a friend of there’s who was at lots of their gigs) ‘.I don’t need no friends cos I got Jack Daniels’ and the ‘reggae version of ‘i like this way’. Also there were some good piss taking metal songs that were a laugh. Oh and the whips cover was pretty crappy.
There comes a time in a joke band’s life when they realise that they’d like to write ‘serious’ songs .It seemed that in 2000 when i saw love camp 7 they played the cd songs and they went down well and the new stuff was actually had a bit more depth but took a few listens. Apparently they were happier with these songs than the older joke songs which obviously lost their humour for them.
They had a lot of lineup troubles that year… the bass player left for a while, but was coming back so they soldiered on without him. WHich meant they kept gigging with or without their replacement bass player. I didn’t catch the bassless shows but i saw them do a ‘country’ set once and lets just say good thing i wasn’t reviewing that gig for a steet press. ‘Cos it was awful.
Yes there were plenty of good Love Camp 7 shows… them supporting Jebediah at the amplifier in July that year was a highlight. They always had good stage presence and the between song banter always made the crowd laugh and the covers that were pulled off by anthony the bass player such as ‘don’t worry be happy’ were hilarious. Not to mention the many allages they played where they went down a treat. Schoolboy Humour I guess.
Towards the end of that year the band fell to pieces. The drummer left and they got a new one but Mike the singer wanted to go to melbourne and when the rest of the band decided not to, it meant the end of another local band i’d seen way too much. I miss those gigs. The soundtrack to many nights around that time when their silly humour allowed me to escape the stress of otherwise troubled times.
Insert suitable emotional lyric here (if only they’d had good lyrics..).