Monday 19th January 2009 – Kris Roe (The Ataris) w/ Canada Water at iBar, Bournemouth

This was a special show. The Ataris’ So Long, Astoria is one of my favourite albums of all time and easily a Top 5 from the 2000’s decade.

Tom Clarke and Mark Davis definitely knew this and when they got the opportunity to put on a Kris Roe solo acoustic show playing SLA in it’s entirety, they very kindly allowed our band to support. 

I can still remember getting the text message confirming the gig from Mark during a lecture and being unable to concentrate for the rest of the hour because I was so excited. 

It was one of only two shows on this tour where Kris’ played this album, the rest of the shows were the Blue Skies.. record. As such, the Bournemouth date sold out. Kris agreed to play a matinee request show so we all ended up spending the day at iBar, where we spent a fair bit of time during these years.

So Long, Astoria had a huge influence on my own lyric writing, I learnt a lot from Kris’ storytelling and how specific choices of words within lines could be used to achieve a very particular effect. Getting to play this show felt like a moment of completion. 

Years later when Tom and I ran Saint November Records we acquired the license to press SLA on vinyl. As it happened, Kung Fu Records, who The Ataris were originally signed to, also had similar plans and we ended up leaving it to them to do the honours. Still, having the legal right to re-release the album was another wild moment in life for me.

Something I didn’t have however, as someone playing in a band on the bill, was a ticket. I picked up this one at the end of the night. It has the surname Child on it. I do know a Child, so I think there’s a fair chance this might belong to them.

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