Gigs: 1997

4/1/97      GUILDHALL ARTS CENTRE, Gloucester

SUBGENIUS
GHOST
TAO
WHEN MIRACLES GO WRONG
ACE OF SPADES
KNIFE PARTY
PURGE
INDUSTRY STANDARD BEAUTY

A 2 minute soundcheck, 30 mins late onstage, an audience of drunk disinterested children and every piece of kit being broken or smashed made for a spectacular but nearly career-ending gig. This was also the gig where AC-151 split up (LIVE! ONSTAGE!! with beer-throwing antics ‘n everything!!) and we started to seduce Rich to THE DARK SIDE (ie our band!)
 

20/3/97     AXIOM CENTRE, Cheltenham

CRIMINAL
SELF
SUBGENIUS
CONSPIRACY THEORY
WHEN MIRACLES GO WRONG
TAO
VORTEX
PURGE
INDUSTRY STANDARD BEAUTY

The first gig with Rich, and the ONLY gig with a REAL drummer – Jason Woodfin (formerly of OIL SEED RAPE) who found the Live Chaos Engine Experience so traumatic, he vowed NEVER to play with us again! Sounded bloody AWESOME, mind you… First gig on the SCREAMING DEAD tour, and apparently a record attendance for the Axiom!
 

21/3/97     CIVIC BAR, Wolverhampton

CRIMINAL
SELF
SUBGENIUS
CONSPIRACY THEORY
WHEN MIRACLES GO WRONG
TAO
VORTEX
PURGE

Round 2 of that Wolves Battle Of The Band thingy…which we lost to some HIDEOUS sub-Space outfit who needed a good kicking. Not that we’re bitter or anything… First gig as a 3-piece (unfortunately, it showed).
 

29/3/97     MERCAT, Birmingham

CRIMINAL
VORTEX
LOWEST COMMON DENOMINATOR
SELF
TAO
SUBGENIUS
WHEN MIRACLES GO WRONG
CONSPIRACY THEORY
PURGE
INDUSTRY STANDARD BEAUTY

Hitching a ride on the SCREAMING DEAD tour again. A great gig, to an audience who remembered us from our support slot with ROSETTA STONE at the Que Club. Flogged more CD’s than the headline band! (which may or may not have caused some resentment…)
 

31/3/97     JOINER’S ARMS, Southampton

CRIMINAL
VORTEX
LOWEST COMMON DENOMINATOR
SELF
TAO
SUBGENIUS
WHEN MIRACLES GO WRONG
CONSPIRACY THEORY
PURGE
INDUSTRY STANDARD BEAUTY

More SCREAMING DEAD shenanigans, but this was a Bank Holiday and only 12 people came. And if we ever see that stoned friend of the van driver again, we’ll show him where to shove his munchies at 4 a.m….
 

3/4/97      THE UNDERWORLD, London

CRIMINAL
VORTEX
WHEN MIRACLES GO WRONG
SUBGENIUS
TAO
PURGE
INDUSTRY STANDARD BEAUTY

Supporting PROJECT PITCHFORK. The stuff of legends…yes, it was a storming gig, yes, we disappeared in a puff of smoke, yes, Rich’s girlfriend demolished the headliner’s vodka rider and was sick in the sunroof of the car on the way home (or a “bad burger” if her parents are reading). If only all gigs were like this…mucho gracias to the PP massive and uncle Nemesis.
 

14/5/97     AXIOM CENTRE, Cheltenham

SUBGENIUS
VORTEX
GHOST
NEXT IN LINE
CONSPIRACY THEORY
WHEN MIRACLES GO WRONG
TAO
INDUSTRY STANDARD BEAUTY
PURGE

Supporting STIMULATOR. Featuring dancing Goths! Wonders truly never cease.
 

29/5/97     JB’s, Dudley

CRIMINAL
GHOST
NEXT IN LINE
LONG WAY TO GO
LAST SUPPER
PURGE
WHEN MIRACLES GO WRONG
GET ME OUT OF HER
KNIFE PARTY
INDUSTRY STANDARD BEAUTY

A huge stage, great sound, the weather balloon inflated to a frightening 3 metres and a lovely crowd. Dreams of fame followed a top night out.
 

4/6/97      CRACKERS, Gloucester

SUBGENIUS
GHOST
SELF
LONG WAY TO GO
NEXT IN LINE
KNIFE PARTY
LAST SUPPER
INDUSTRY STANDARD BEAUTY

Supporting SPACEMAID…have you heard them? If so, can you tell us what the HELL we were doing on the bill?! Worse than Miranda Sex Garden supporting Nitzer Ebb. Bizarrely, we went down a storm!
 

21/6/97     ELM TREE, Oxford

SUBGENIUS
TAO
GHOST
LONG WAY TO GO
JOIN THE DOTS
GET ME OUT OF HER
KNIFE PARTY
LAST SUPPER
WHEN MIRACLES GO WRONG
NEXT IN LINE
INDUSTRY STANDARD BEAUTY

Almost resulted in the first Chaos Engine Unarmed Combat evening, due to a hideous Oasis-obsessed audience, rude and shit support band and incompetent yet over-critical sound engineer. Huw & Rich had to restrain me from using more physical means to put my views on the quality of the sound across to the man responsible. And as for the laser-pointer incident, I hope my strobe gave you epilepsy and made you crash your car on the way home, worm-boy!

10/7/97     TWO PIGS, Cheltenham

PURGE
LOWEST COMMON DENOMINATOR
JOIN THE DOTS
PHOBIA
SWEET IGNORANCE
KNIFE PARTY
LAST SUPPER
WHEN MIRACLES GO WRONG
TAO
NEXT IN LINE
LONG WAY TO GO
INDUSTRY STANDARD BEAUTY

Supported by PCD. A pleasant enough little evening, even if it was like gigging in a bloody oven. Shame the Norwood crew couldn’t be arsed to travel 200 yards from the other pub to see us…bitter? Me? Draw your own conclusions!
 

12/7/97     FULL MOON, Bristol

CRIMINAL
CONSPIRACY THEORY
GHOST
SUBGENIUS
COILED
PHOBIA
PURGE
TAO
NEXT IN LINE

Supporting 2 full-on metal bands whose names escape me (as is usual for a gig at the Full Moon…). Cool crowd from Bath, and a whole pile of fun… except we had to move all the pub garden furniture to get out early so I could get into work for 4 a.m.(!) – it’s not all rock n roll!
 

16/7/97     CRACKER’S, Gloucester

CRIMINAL
CONSPIRACY THEORY
GHOST
SUBGENIUS
COILED
PHOBIA
PURGE
TAO
NEXT IN LINE

Supporting some bunch of Brit-Pop muppets, possibly called BRUBAKER. They upset us, and as a result it was a FIERCE gig!…to almost no-one.
 

5/9/97      WORKING MEN’S CLUB, Wolverhampton

INDUSTRY STANDARD BEAUTY
CRIMINAL
GHOST
TAO
PURGE
NEXT IN LINE

Not as grim as it sounded; a wicked stage, HUGE P.A. and an audience made up of 60% Kids off their tits on Alco-Pops and 40% Outlaw Biker gang members. Very cool and incredibly short but powerful set, as I recall. Also featured rather sad Battle Of The Bands element, which of course we lost, to MEXICAN SEAFOOD, whose combined age was about the same as Huw’s chest size…
 

6/9/97      POPLAR’S INN, Fovant

SUBGENIUS
VORTEX
SWEET IGNORANCE
PHOBIA
CONSPIRACY THEORY
ACE OF SPADES
TAO
WHEN MIRACLES GO WRONG
INDUSTRY STANDARD BEAUTY
GHOST
NEXT IN LINE
LONG WAY TO GO
PURGE

For our good friend BOOTS’ engagement, and supported by THE SKINFLOWERS, who shone among the screaming children running around infront of the “stage”. Classic incident involved a couple having a weddingy smooch to “Miracles” until it kicked in, and watching their puzzled faces as they accidentally got trapped in their first ever mosh-pit! Children were scared, adults were entertained, and the nature of 3-dimensional food was discussed all the way home…
 

12/9/97     DUCHESS OF YORK, Leeds

GHOST
KNIFE PARTY
GET ME OUT OF HER
TAO
SUBGENIUS
WHEN MIRACLES GO WRONG
PURGE
NEXT IN LINE

Supporting THE MARIONETTES and LIBITINA. A bloody long way to travel (7 hours travel for 30 minutes onstage…) but a great gig nonetheless. Suffered from “Goth-Blindness” for the first time since the ROSETTA gig. (Where the audience all wear black & applaud quietly, so you hardly know they’re there until you get off stage.) And for the record, I was not trying to steal Marionette’s guitar, I’d just had a few ales and mistook it for “another one of Huw’s”…
 

14/9/97     ROCK CITY, Nottingham

SUBGENIUS
VORTEX
SWEET IGNORANCE
PHOBIA
CONSPIRACY THEORY
ACE OF SPADES
TAO
WHEN MIRACLES GO WRONG
INDUSTRY STANDARD BEAUTY
GHOST
NEXT IN LINE

A Goth all-dayer with THE MARIONETTES, CRISIS NTI, EMMA CONQUEST, GENTECH & FAITHFUL DAWN, and, well, someone has to go on first…at 4.30 in the afternoon! Still, regardless of the time of day, we did our mad bastards bit & turned many a foundation-caked head. Met some lovely, lovely people, and awarded our “horniest crowd of ’97” award early!
 

21/9/97     KING’S HEAD, Fulham

NO SET LIST

Why? Because we didn’t play a single NOTE! So we turned up 10 minutes late for soundcheck after losing Rich in London. The support band, whose names I can’t be arsed to remember soundchecked first, and left the microphone smelling of hideously cheap peerfume so I almost choked on the goddam thing. When they took the stage, they sounded like HEART with extra cheese, fronted by Vic Reeves doing the pub singer round on “Shooting Stars”. As they crawled into their last number, the promoter, who looked like a 1970’s Led Zep roadie gene-spliced with a Radio 1 presenter (EURk!) limbered up to the front of the empty stage and told them to play for another 15 minutes. When they finally left the stage in a cloud of “Charlie”, the promoter came up and told us that because they’d run over, we’d have to cut our set down to 20 minutes – and could we keep the sound down? Two things The Chaos Engine don’t like to hear… So after much ranting & debate, followed by Huw looming about like he might break someone’s legs or something, we just packed up and went home. If you were there, and were waiting to see us, e-mail us, and we’ll come round your house and play to make it up to you!!
 

28/9/97     BORDERLINE, London

GHOST
KNIFE PARTY
GET ME OUT OF HER
TAO
SUBGENIUS
WHEN MIRACLES GO WRONG
PURGE
NEXT IN LINE

Supporting ATTRITION and FAITHFUL DAWN. another Nemesis gig (which is as near to a guarantee of quality as we can get). A gig so good, it hardly felt like we were in London at all! Lovely friendly crowd (…eh, Huw…!), balloon in full effect, lots of new friends and one great hideous noise! But what was Mr. Attrition doing with that sheet of paper??
 

30/9/97     AXIOM CENTRE, Cheltenham

NEXT IN LINE
SELF
THE DARK
PROTEIN
KNIFE PARTY
LAST SUPPER
WHEN MIRACLES GO WRONG
GET ME OUT OF HER
EUPHORIA
PURGE
TAO
INDUSTRY STANDARD BEAUTY

With support from, erm…No-one! Having scared off both support bands (!) we took the stage for one of the wierdest gigs ever; stage trashed in 30 seconds, resplendent with broken mic stands & battered keyboards, as the audience sat in a line infront of the stage, making it seem like some peculiar festival tent. And the crowd cheered at ANYTHING. So it must’ve been the Pantomime Tent. It was like someone just twinned Cheltenham with Eerie, Indiana for the night, which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing…
 
 

5/10/97     LAUREL TREE, Camden

CRIMINAL
LAST SUPPER
COILED
PROTEIN
LONG WAY TO GO
TAO
NEXT IN LINE
EUPHORIA

All I’m prepared to say regarding this rather unpleasant experience is NEVER trust a sound engineer wearing sandals and a cowboy shirt!
 
 

6/11/97     JB’s, Dudley

CRIMINAL
LAST SUPPER
COILED
PROTEIN
LONG WAY TO GO
TAO
NEXT IN LINE
EUPHORIA
VORTEX
INDUSTRY STANDARD BEAUTY

Proving lightnig seldom strikes twice…our return outing to this top venue provided us with an audience of students who saw us as a major inconvenience before getting drunk on quid-a-pint cider and dancing in a comedy fashion to Reef at the disco. We were great and no-one batted an eyelid. This has potential to be our epitaph…
 
 

19/11/97    THE SHED, Leicester

SUBGENIUS
SWEET IGNORANCE
PHOBIA
PROTEIN
GET ME OUT OF HER
WHEN MIRACLES GO WRONG
TAO
THE DARK
EUPHORIA
PURGE

The first of the StreetCulture “KERBKRAWL” tour dates didn’t really put us in the mood. Another splendid rehearsal to a few close friends on a peculiar L-shaped carpeted stage, with the sound skillfully mixed by a friend of the sound engineer due to his illness, who didn’t know one end of a jack-plug from the other. Thanks to Gary Skinflower & Mel for being the enthusiastic audience. Unfortunately, this was not the last occasion where I could individually name the audience…!
 
 

21/11/97    STAR & GARTER, Manchester

CANCELLED due to a jack-knifed lorry and a cracked windscreen. We’d already played there, so we knew exactly what we were missing (or not!)
 
 

24/11/97    FLAPPER & FIRKIN, Birmingham

GET ME OUT OF HER
WHEN MIRACLES GO WRONG
…sulk!…
TAO
THE DARK
EUPHORIA

The stuff of legends and nightmares! Due to a ludicrous and unadvertised 11pm curfew, and some of our label”mates” spending longer doing their bloody hair than soundchecking, we took the stage at 10 to 11, at which point Rich’s amp fucked up. I screamed “THIS WILL BE THE BEST AND SHORTEST FUCK OF YOUR LIVES!!”, we played two songs at random and stormed off, shouting “BEDTIME!”, leaving a stunned audience baying for more. To the fury of the management, we came back on to play 3 more songs with an aggression that would’ve had Henry Rollins running for cover. Arguments with all and sundry ensued…and the gig got a good review in Kerrang!! Rock and Roll!
 
 

26/11/97    THE FORUM, Tunbridge Wells

PHOBIA
PROTEIN
GET ME OUT OF HER
WHEN MIRACLES GO WRONG
TAO
THE DARK
EUPHORIA
PURGE

Whoever looks at a disused public toilet an decides to turn it into a music venue is either totally insane or a post-ironic genius. Someone, however, had forgotten to tell the smelly little tramp at the front of the stage about the change of ameneties…the hairy vagrant seemed to be well into the music (probably due to the several cans of Special Brew smuggled in his baggy trousers – well who was going to frisk him?!) and his little dance made the journey worthwhile.
 
 

30/11/97    ROCK CITY, Nottingham

CONSPIRACY THEORY
GHOST
JOIN THE DOTS
PUNISHMENT
KNIFE PARTY
SELF
PROTEIN
PURGE

Hello Donna & Tony, hello Doc, hello StreetCulture bods, hello bar staff…hello ENTIRE AUDIENCE! Hmmm, not one of our finest & cherished memories, this one, especially after the previous goth-fest at the same venue. Still, I can’t think of anything I’d rather do on a sunday evening…
 
 

3/12/97     THE BROOK, Southampton

CONSPIRACY THEORY
GHOST
JOIN THE DOTS
PUNISHMENT
KNIFE PARTY
SELF
PROTEIN
PURGE
INDUSTRY STANDARD BEAUTY

Any gig where we can have a cup of tea and watch a documentary about alligators before we go on stage is going to be great. A splendid evening with a few familiar faces in the crowd. If only we hadn’t clashed with the industrial-goth club down the road, this could’ve been a career highlight. Still, nice tea.
 
 

11/12/97    XPOSURES, Birmingham

SWEET IGNORANCE
PHOBIA
PROTEIN
GET ME OUT OF HER
WHEN MIRACLES GO WRONG
TAO
THE DARK
EUPHORIA
PURGE

Take a roundabout on the ring-road of Brum, hollow it out, fill it with neon, mirrors, poor American beer and poodle-permed tassled-jacketed RAWK fans who live for Bon Jovi. Add one evil-mooded Chaos Engine, light blue touch-paper & retire to safe distance…like Coventry! Hecklers? FANTASTIC!! Total vindication for our existence!
 
 

12/12/97    THE UNDERWORLD, London

GHOST
KNIFE PARTY
GET ME OUT OF HER
TAO
SUBGENIUS
WHEN MIRACLES GO WRONG
PURGE
NEXT IN LINE

The end of the “KERBKRAWL” tour, just as it was starting to pick up steam. A great gig to a few fans, media folks, assorted wierdos and drop-outs. And substantially less smoke than last time…although this didn’t stop me falling on my arse twice.
 
 

16/12/97    THE ATTIC, Cheltenham

GHOST
TAO
PURGE
WHEN MIRACLES GO WRONG
EUPHORIA
NEXT IN LINE
SELF
VORTEX
PROTEIN
BROKEN SHELL
KNIFE PARTY
INDUSTRY STANDARD BEAUTY
FAIRYTALE OF NEW YORK
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY

A sort of homecoming…Not without its problems (what turned out to be a broken elastic band on the 4-track gave us enough trauma to ensure the gig was played without fingernails!), but we got by with a little help from our friends – an acoustic version of Self with Andy Cheeseburger (morphing into Sympathy For The Devil for a few bars…) and an appearance by Candi from Inkubus Sukkubus to duet on Fairytale, and with a shoutathon from Candi & Gary Skinflower on that old Slade chestnut made this the perfect way to end 1997. Look to the future now, it’s only just begun…