Saturday, November 8, 2008

A brief history of time..(err COYH's timeline in the history of Zohara)

It's been nearly 2 months since I last blogged and over that distance many a time I have thought about blogging but haven't been sure what detail to include in writing. Sure, I've known WHO to write about but haven't known WHAT to write. So since I'm stuck at home with a suspect chest infection, I have decided to sit and get this blog done, otherwise I will probably explode. KABLAM!

Ok, so I've wanted to blog about Cut Off Your Hands. They are one of my favourite bands, and even though I'd like to label them as Australian, our dearest neighbours (of the New Zealand variety) need some sort of recognition. The first I had heard of this band was when they were formally known as 'Shaky Hands'. I'm not going to go into why their changed their name because every other blog or interview featuring COYH will go through that, but what I will say is that I have been drawn to these guys since I heard their tunes in the courtyard of the Abercrombie Hotel during a Purple Sneakers night back in September 2006. I could not see the boys but the music skimmed over the heads of a mass of people who had turned up to dance and perhaps to see this new and exciting New Zealand band. Let's just say I was smitten by the music and so were the majority of the courtyard. Next thing I know I'm hitting Candy's Apartment in March 2007 to attend BOOM BOOM MEGA BOOM where COYH (they changed their name by then) were playing alongside The Ghosts (now Ghostwood), Bridezilla, The Holidays and The Hate Game. Those were the good ol' times of Candy's Apartment. Sigh. But anyway, at that gig their music hit me extra hard, especially when my friend screamed "I LOVE THIS SONG" when "You & I" came on. All of a sudden I was educated and down with the sound of COYH and wouldn't go back. Their energy grabbed me, Nick's frontman antics amused and allured me, and their danceable pop tunes were irresistable. It's funny to see photos from early last year, the boys had long hair and they look markedly younger!

Moving along, I ran out and bought their EP 'Cut Off Your Hands' which was under the artist name of Shaky Hands. The EP is just gold. It's the kind of album that would make you pulsate in unusual bodily movements of dance.

I got to see them later in the year when they played at Spectrum, whilst teenagersintokyo were playing I was sitting near the staircase and got introduced to Michael, I said hi but I'm painstakingly shy sometimes when it comes to musicians because I usually embarrass myself. I perhaps should have some sort of filter on my mouth but instead I just be polite and don't end up saying much. But of course a bit of alcohol lets me relax and I can pretty comfortably have a conversation. The boys later came on and had matching shirts and Nick was jumping, ramming and spitting on people. It was pretty fun. Although I ended up on the floor when he decided to stage dive and everyone moved out of the way except me, where next thing I know I'm facing the ceiling and he's wriggling around the floor like a bug on its back, singing with microphone in hand and all. That gig was great, I just remember having so much fun. That was just after they had released their EP 'Blue On Blue' with adorable songs of young love such as 'Oh Girl' and 'Still Fond'. Those songs make me swoon. Then COYH appeared in The Brag (the front cover is still on my wall), Drum Media and 'Blue on Blue' was being mentioned nearly everywhere. I must say, the choice of 2 covers to 'Blue on Blue' in either red or blue with differing braille (that spelled out either 'Blue on Blue' or 'Cut Off Your Hands' respectively) was just genius.

They were then meant to come back to Australia in December in 2007 which I was anticipating but unfortunately Nick took an 18ft dive in the UK and fractured some bones. Ouch. So The Scare played instead. It was another few months until they returned to us in July at Oxford Art Factory with new tunes in hand and everyone except me ended up going; uni committments can be a total pain in the ass at the times when one of your favourite international bands turns up after a year of being away! But at around the same time I took up writing as a 'Backstage Blogger' for Levity and COYH happen to be the other guest bloggers for the month which I was pretty happy about, although they totally stole my spotlight in The Brag when an exerpt of one of the backstage blogs featured everyweek. I managed to get my blog in on the first week (but that was only because they hadn't submitted any blogs yet, but after that they took that column. It's justifiable though..they were the ones on tour doing fun things whereas I was the "gig-pig" who wrote about some mundane happenings in the music scene in Sydney as opposed to their trip to Japan. Trips to Japan win over talking about I have no hard feelings haha. I turned up to Levity Nights during the month of my Backstage Blogger ramblings and saw Philadelphia Grand Jury (which was AWESOME!) but COYH were the guest DJs and it turned out to be a pretty fun night. Talk about sardines in a can, Hotel Hollywood was buzzing and we were loving every minute of it.

I smiled again when I heard they were coming back to play a gig, this time, at the Gaelic Club on November 6th. Once again..uni committments came up..but Speak and Spell ran a 25 words or less competition to score a ticket to attend their gig. It was pretty much like a coin toss..if I win I go, If I don't win I get to stay at home and finish my assessments. I structured my words well enough and won so I skipped to the Gaelic after work and a one hour bus ride to catch the gig just before the boys got onto the stage. It was an interesting crowd this time, lots of new faces (I notice these kinds of things) as people have been drawn into their music as of late thanks to their debut album "You and I" featuring the single "Expectations" and some other familiar tunes from the previous EPs and some new electrifying gems such as 'Happy as Can Be' which is such an uplifting song.The album is taaaaasty!

It was great to see them under the lights again (this time without matching outfits..awww) but what was new was an additional drum located next to Nick's microphone and he bashed away at it. It was pretty be honest I wanted to jump up and steal his drums sticks and have a go myself. It definitely added something new and exciting to their live performance. Brent seemed to be working hard but still having fun on the drumkit, Phil's cheeks must have hurt from all the smiling he was doing (probably because he had a mass of people at his feet who were getting go of their inhibitions and were totally kicking it out). One of the most interesting images embedded in my memory is of Michael who was playing the guitar on the left of the stage infront of me..he was leaning forward when he was playing and the lights hit him at a particular angle that allowed me to see the silhouette of his jade/green stone Maori pendant for just a second before the image disappeared behind his cotton shirt once the positioning of the lighting and his body changed.
There was stage diving, lots of singing along, suspectedly young-looking people who jumped on stage after Nick's cue and it was all so bad-ass with one security guard at the stage trying to pull off and control about 20 people who jumped on stage. I laughing seeing his frustration since it isn't very often that the security guards can't take control of these situations at gigs. But anyway, COYH delivered some slower songs that allowed us to cool down a bit under the fans. But we all went nuts again when they came back with the encore and played "Shark Attack" by another great NZ band, Split Enz". I noticed something different between this gig and the one I saw of them ealier at Spectrum: this time Nick didn't spit and although he still stage dived he apologised if he had hurt anyone. It's good to see a band with manners!

Well well well..I have a forensics science/forensic law exam to do tomorrow so I should probably stop reminiscing and start dreaming.
Wow scrolling up that is a scarily long blog about a band..but I guess it's all just accumulated over the months...

Signing out!

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