Toby Macfarlaine and Richie Edwards, formerly of Stone Gods, are about to launch their new band onto an unwitting stage and audience:

Ladies and Gentlefolk,
24th February 2012, The Albert in Brighton
O.W.L.S make our debut…
entry is £4
onstage 8.50-9.20pm
other bands:
Come along and t’wit and t’woo

Have a listen to some demos , find out the  and seriously think about attending that gig. We already know that these two are great musicians, blokes and facial hair growers and the demos have a lot going for them!

Lineup is as follows:

Toby Macfarlaine- guitars/ voice
Richie Edwards- guitars
Oliver Wickham- bass
Stephen Gilchrist- drums

O.W.L.S Facebook page


Sixsister take the Temple to the Stone Gods

Wearing as many hats as I could – not least because Norwich lay under a still, cold white blanket – I set off to interview the Stone Gods. Full of LURGY, but that did not deter me. I did deter them from coming any closer than necessary, still plenty of shows left in this tour and the Black Stone Cherry one on the horizon. I’d have been in big trouble if I’d infected them.  Having had brains full of porridge meant that this is not the most flowing of interviews (on my part, the lads were fine!), but it’s better than I remember doing!  For pity’s sake, next time, stop me from going to the next night’s gig when I feel that bad. I’ve only just warmed up from that Cambridge gig.

The set rocked, I must say – indescribable, even – and they are playing better and better every time I see them. Comfortable with their craft, their reception, and with themselves. Plenty of things to look forward to, by all accounts – enjoy!

Ed departs Stone Gods

From the band’s official MySpace:

“It is with very heavy hearts indeed that we have to announce the permanent departure of drummer and founding member Ed Graham from Stone Gods.
Unfortunately Ed has been physically unable, for a number of reasons, to fill the stool-position for some time and won’t be able to refill it any time soon. Right now being in a rock band is simply not the best place for him.
It’s been horrid and heart-wrenching realizing and coming to terms with this fact, but we all have to move on in order to keep this thing going. There is too much passion and love involved from us and from you, our loyal fans, for us to simply draw the shutters and shut up shop.

We realize that there will be some very disappointed and saddened people out there as a result of this, but let us assure you that we are amongst you. Now, more than ever, we all need to pull together and be positive about the future. I promise, it looks pretty darned bright once you see through the fog.

Unfortunately due to all of this, we will be unable to appear at Wacken festival, which is a terrible but unavoidable shame. There’s a lot of that going around at the minute. Still, we’re keeping our chins up and so should you! We’re taking on the world regardless.

We thank you all, from the bottom of our collective heart, for your ongoing and invaluable support. You guys rule.

As always, love, respect and horns raised firmly aloft,

Stone Gods.”

A toast to Ed Graham! We’ve been through some great times with him, and wish him all the very best.


29th June 2008 

Saturday 28th

Well…..It’s slightly out of the ordinary to start a review of a gig before you have even been to it, but I’m going to do it anyway. I hope this will give you an idea of the expectations I have. You may wonder why I, as a member of Sixsister/Optimum Impact and a Priestess of the Stone Gods Temple, have not been to see them live yet. The answer is simple. I was either heavily pregnant or had not long given birth and so was in no fit state (mentally or physically) to go anywhere! Anyway, baby Gray number 2 is now 6 months old and as the boys are playing so close to home I am going to get my arse in gear. I have been listening to as many SG songs as I can get my hands on (repeatedly lately due to excitement!) and in fact am listening to Knight of the Living Dead as I type. This SG virgin is counting down the hours and the excitement is building. I just hope I am not disappointed…….. 

22 hours to go…… 

Sunday 29th 

Oh. My. Effing. God.

I said I was hoping not to be disappointed but you know what? I am…. Disappointed that I haven’t seen them more that is! Those boys ROCK! 

It took military planning to get out of the house on time and even then I almost left with the price tag still on my new belt – yeah great look eh! I picked up two other Priestesses (Angie and Jo) and after the Sunday roast was finished we all made our way back to the car through pouring bloody rain. Me with a plastic sheet on my head I might add! 

We got to the Waterfront for just gone 7pm and through chatting to people and standing outside in the smoking area, we managed to completely miss the support acts Hellcat and Big Linda, sorry guys (and gal!). 

As 9.15 approached we made our way down to the front and were lucky enough to get a spot centre of the stage, albeit next to some guy who wouldn’t stop moaning about people who suddenly appear just before the band come on, but this failed to dampen our mood! I must admit to feeling slightly nervous as the guys appeared, I was worried that I wouldn’t enjoy this gig as much I did for a certain other band. Needless to say I had nothing to worry about, the guys sound and look completely at ease with each other, as if it were “meant” to be this way. Richie has such a powerful voice, and sounds amazing live and he, Dan and Toby seem to interact brilliantly with each other and the crowd, especially towards the end when it was time for the head banging competition (Jo and Angie never entered due to severe hangovers and I was not going to stand there doing it alone!)! There were some truly great moments, such as “Lazybones” which is an absolutely beautiful song and sounds awesome live, but I think my favourite for the night was “Start of Something” due to the arms round the waist of your friends and sing along moment that we Temple girls had, being as this is our “official” Temple song!  

I was so pleased that I was lucky enough to catch them on the last night of the tour, especially as it was on home ground for Dan and Ed (who sadly wasn’t there due to injury, his replacement did a great job tho *thumbs up*) which obviously made the gorgeous “Magdalene Street” even more special. I cannot wait to do it all again and I am really looking forward to the acoustic set at HMV for the album launch. For those who don’t already know, the set list was 

Burn the Witch

You Brought a Knife to a Gunfight

Makin’ it Hard

Magdalene Street

Knight of the Living Dead

Don’t Drink the Water

Lazy Bones

Start of Something

Defend or Die

I’m With the Band


Oh Where ‘O my Beero


Stone Gods – ‘Silver Spoons and Broken Bones’ (album)

By Lucie

There’s a little rockpocket full of people waiting for this album; the ones who diligently paid to see Thin Lizzy last year for a few minutes of their support, the ones who strived to attend as many nights of the January tour as possible to witness them leading the show, and the ones who caused the EP to sell out as soon as it was released – really, do any of you expect to be disappointed by ‘Silver Spoons and Broken Bones’? Didn’t think so. Expectations are high, but justifiably so. The Metal Gods DVD of the Nottingham gig was ordered by the bucketful, many fans buying it to tide them over until the release of this record on the 7th of July, instantly proving that the music is valued. There are plenty of people that Stone Gods don’t have anything to prove to at this point, but for those who have doubts, the rule is to dive in with an open mind or don’t bother at all – this is a fresh new 13-track fat juicy rawk album, no comparisons of the past necessary.

‘Burn The Witch’ was made to be an intro tune, hence it being the opening song for every gig during the January tour and the title track for the EP. It’s a song to grab the rock fan’s attention with a bowel-quaking force – it’s no wonder this band in its infancy managed to get the crowd singing “we’re gonna burn the witch” along with them even on their first headline tour. The next song is ingeniously placed, ‘Don’t Drink The Water’ being entertaining and jumpy and the antithesis of ‘Burn The Witch’, encompassing holiday fun with an unexpected ska-ish hint of steel drums after the second chorus. ‘Defend Or Die’ switches focus again, and is a favourite of ours here at OI HQ. I defy the hairs on the back of your neck to lie still during the gruff, layered vocals, and I expect all of your hairs to shift violently when the pounding musical backdrop kicks in. This song is pure metal (in the good way, not the Metallica way), a growling, vicious creature.

‘You Brought A Knife To A Gunfight’ is a much-loved favourite from the EP, a show of laddish aggressiveness combined with infectious riffs and an always winning use of the term “fuck you” – that will always prompt popularity. ‘Magdalene Street’ has gained huge esteem since the band made a video of them performing it acoustically and lobbed it on YouTube, causing volumes of people to know the words even before seeing them live. The album version has a wonderfully Brian May-eqsue intro, a haunting theme shot through all aspects of the music, and to me, it’s the song where Richie’s voice sounds the best – clearer than usual, powerful, with a pleasantly surprising amount of vibrato. ‘Where You Coming From’ is crammed with distress and double guitar solos to prepare you before the ballad hits, ‘Lazy Bones’ softening the album and plucking the heartstrings in a love song about compromise, gentle and acoustic, a lighters-in-the-air track.

It’s easy to guess what ‘I’m With The Band’ is about, and it includes a long build-up before the licks turn filthy and the vocals get callous. ‘Start Of Something’ is a song of air-punching defiance, one that’s knowing of the criticism the band do/will receive. It also includes my favourite Dan Hawkins solo of the whole album that connotes optimism for the future and is fantastically elaborate. ‘Makin’ It Hard’, another favourite of mine is fast, dirty, and best played immensely loud or not at all, swinging straight to the only song that hasn’t been performed live yet, ‘Wasting Time’. The song is about much preferring to party and do bugger all than be responsible and grown-up, and who can argue with that? It’s straightforward liberating rock that give you the irresistable urge to enjoy yourself. Preferable at a Stone Gods gig. ‘Knight Of The Living Dead’ is the heaviest track on the record, bitter and jilted, made for headbanging, but it doesn’t deserve to be sullied with the use of those dirty words “heavy metal”. Eurgh.

Just as ‘Burn The Witch’ needs to start a show, the anthemic ‘Oh Whereo My Beero?’ is a finisher, and not since Lizzy’s ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’ has laddish social life been so brilliantly observed in song. The theme of this tune encompasses many of the outstanding themes within the record; Englishness, undeniable masculinity (but not in an offensive way), and singalongability, adding subtle politics to the mix.

The album is, with the possible exception of the ‘Burn The Witch’ (which is arguably metaphorical) a testament to real life, the product of four blokes sitting around the room with a few acoustics, writing about what they know. It’s solid and human in feel, empathetic, and fun. Aside from that, it’s also brilliantly done; the mixing subtle and echoed where it needs to be, and aggressive elsewhere. For the faithful fans that have seen them live, you’ll be glad to know no major changes have been made to any song; a word change here, a tone alteration there, and some added vocal harmonies (YES!), all products of getting an explosive live act onto disc and making them slick, powerful and raw at the same time.

Listen to it on headphones. I guarantee that it sounds better coming in your ears.

Track list:

‘Burn The Witch’

‘Don’t Drink The Water’

‘Defend Or Die’

‘You Brought A Knife To A Gunfight’

‘Magdalene Street’

‘Where You Coming From’

‘Lazy Bones’

‘I’m With The Band’

‘Start Of Something’

‘Makin’ It Hard’

‘Wasting Time’

‘Knight Of The Living Dead’

‘Oh Whereo My Beero?’

For more information on Stone Gods, visit their fansite (partially run by three Optimum Impact writers) at www.stonegods.org or the official website www.stonegods.co.uk.

Stone Gods Live Dates – June 2008

Some Dates

Save up those pennies and look after those pounds, ’cos the month after next we’ll be rockin’ your town…
Stone Gods U.K. June Tour Dates are as follows, people:

10 Liverpool Academy II
11 Cardiff The Point
12 Bristol Thekla
13 Donnington Download
14 Isle of Wight Festival
16 Oxford Academy
17 Northampton Roadmender
18 Brighton Concorde II
19 London Islington Academy
21 Birmingham Academy II
22 Newcastle Academy II
23 Glasgow King Tuts
24 Edinburgh Cabaret Voltaire
26 Dundee Doghouse
27 Manchester Academy III
28 Stoke Sugarmill
29 Norwich Waterfront

We’d also like to confirm that our next single will be released on June 23rd followed by our album on July 7th.

It’s happenning. The good ship Stone Gods sets sail very soon, get on board and hold on tight. Book early…

Love S.G.

Stone Gods 11.1.08

by Guest – Babzz

Stone Gods live @ Eurosonic festival 11-1-2008 Groningen, Holland

A fan’s first Godstricken experience…

It just seemed a very short while ago that I sat in a boring class and received a text from Aimee saying ‘The Stone Gods have a song up on their website, Burn the Witch! And they’re playing a gig in Groningen!’ First thing I did when the class was over was run to the computer room to check it out. I immediately decided I loved it, and that there was no way I was going to miss their first international gig, even when it was in the city that’s the most for away from where I live as possible in this little country! There was of course also no way that Heidi was going to sit at home in Finland when there was a gig to go to in Holland, so flights were booked and tickets were bought.

Finally the day came, I got up ridiculously early to be able to do a silly test in school and then pick up Heidi from the place of horror that is Schiphol Airport. We got offered a ride to Groningen from the lovely Daisy, so after we changed to our custom made (by me) Stone Goddess shirts, we were soon in a comfy car on our way to the north. Since it was a festival there were more bands playing in several venues across the centre of the city, the guys wouldn’t be on until 1.15 so we decided to check out Von Hertzen Brothers, a Finnish band that I would describe as psychedelic rock. They were quite good. We also caught a few songs of Palladium, but we were getting a bit anxious about the huge queues we had seen in front of some of the venues, so we decided to head for Vindicat Mutua Fides. Hope to see more of Palladium if they play Amsterdam sometime!

It turned out that the long Latin name was a bit fancy for a venue that seemed to be built of cardboard and smelled of piss more then your usual public toilet… First thing we spotted when we got in was a few huge flightcases saying The Darkness, yay, they’re actually there! But what we didn’t know was that we still had to survive the band that played before them… Some Portugese metal band that was really so bad we had to cover our ears. When they had finally finished the enormous load of amplifiers, guitars, effect pedals and bits of the drumkit had to be put on the tiny stage, which took much longer then was planned. Because it was such a small room, this all had to happen via the front of the stage, so we couldn’t reserve our front row spots just yet. But after a nasty security guard had been told off by a roadie, he finally let the audience come closer and we practically glued ourselves against the left side of the stage. To be honest I had gotten a little sick with excitement by now, I could hardly speak and I was afraid I was going to cry the second they would come on stage.

But when that moment finally came, after a little problem with Dan’s amplifiers had been fixed, all I could feel was just excitement and happiness, they were on a stage again, where they belonged! They started with Burn the Witch, for us it’s like a classic tune by now so we all sang along and I managed to lose my voice already. The band seemed to be happy to receive such a lot of cheering and headbanging from the crowd. I can’t remember in what order they played all the songs, mainly because I knew less then half of them of course, but we all absolutely adored Gunfight and Magdalene Street! The songs were all, without one exception, amazing and totally rocking. I was so proud of Richie, gone from a roadie to a bassplayer, and now a frontman. And not just any frontman, the centre of the stage is just exactly where he belongs. And Dan, he really seems to be out of this world, with all his gorgeous Gibson Les Pauls and his beautiful curls dancing around his face. This is really a personal thing, but for me it was such a weird feeling to see him in real life again, I have been worshipping this man for so long, he has brought me so much happiness and just completely changed my life, and I just can’t describe how happy I was to see him playing again. We sang along where we could at the songs that we had heard so far, and enjoyed the sight when one of the guys would put their foot on the monitor right in front of us!

The gig was over way too soon, shitty 45 minute maximum. We just sat on the floor having a beer for a while, trying to come down from this more then amazing performance, and chatted to a nice photographer who told us in what magazine we could find his pictures of the gig, and later on when we had all been kicked outside because the place was closing, he kindly told us that the guys were in some kind of portable dressing room outside. We waited and waited and waited watching all the gear being loaded into the trucks, and just when we were a bit afraid they might’ve buggered off trough the other side, they came outside and invited us for a few drinks. It was great to hear how much our support was appreciated! Not to mention seeing Richie dancing to dodgy dance songs. This is not only the most rocking band in the world, but also the nicest one. And for me personally, speaking to Dan again, looking into his beautiful eyes… Wow, I’m lost for words! Toby was really worried about the fact that we didn’t have a place to stay and would have to wander the streets until we could catch the first train in the morning, so Daisy kindly offered us to crash her hotel room. The club closed eventually, and after a couple of big hugs and several kisses from all the band members (three kisses, ‘continental style’ according to Toby) we left for the hotel. Massive thanks to Daisy for sneaking us in and driving us home the next morning. Best weekend of the year so far, roll on Norwich!


by Jo and Lucie

Those Serpico blokes are getting themselves around a bit. After forming in 2002, life got in the way a little until three years later, when singer Mikey got them glued together properly and they started making their mark. They’ve already supported super-big names like Paradise Lost, AFI, InMe, Wednesday13 and rising stars Black Stone Cherry and Lost Alone. Early 2008 sees them supporting OI favourites Stone Gods (if you haven’t visited us lately, they’re the remains of The Darkness plus Graham Coxon’s bassist Toby MacFarlaine), and in February Serpico will be re-entering Chapel Studios (where the Serpico EP was recorded) to create their debut album with Canadian producer Rhys Fulber.
We cornered Mikey for a delightful soiree, recorded for posterity right here.

So, how did you get this tour then? Did it descend as a gift from the gods?

Gods… ho ho ho! We (well, I say we, I mean Jonny, our amazing booking agent/drummer) got in contact with their agent a while ago when we saw the tour announced. We heard that the band was made up from the remains of The Darkness, so that obviously intrigued us, because they were so big a couple of years ago (I’ve got to admit to paying silly money on eBay for tickets to see them around Christmas 2003, I think). We didn’t hear anything for quite a while, then we got offered the tour! So yeah, that’s how the tour was organised… We do all our own booking, got in touch with their agent (who we’d worked with before on the Black Stone Cherry tour).

News like that is the sort of stuff that makes your week!

Yeah, it wasn’t too bad to be honest! This is our 5th UK tour now, we’re gonna have had almost 8 weeks off touring by the time this starts. We’re definitely itching to get back on the road. Also it’s going to be interesting touring with a band who the crowd aren’t necessarily going to know a lot about, other than their pasts.

Continue reading

RE: all things stoney and God-like

by Lucie

Oh yes, they have arrived. After months of Darkling anxiety, The Stone Gods fell upon us in a distinctly pleasurable manner, mainly in the form of 1.14 minutes of song. Impressed? You should be.

With a band that we at OI have pledged loyal allegiance to comes websites, and plenty of them. For starters, the glorious Stone Gods Temple – www.thestonegods.org – built by the same young lady who constructed our fine HQ (tigerlilybolger), with the aid of Rock Blonde and us, SixSister. Our sister site has already accumulated well over a hundred members (and counting) within the forum, all of whom seem terribly impressed with how awesome we are. Then there is the official site, www.thestonegods.com (graciously including a link to our sexy fansite on the main page), the official MySpace (www.myspace.com/thestonegods) and finally the Temple’s MySpace for word-spreadage and such – www.myspace.com/stonegodstemplesite. All of this means nobody has any excuse for not knowing what’s happening (but that doesn’t mean you’re allowed to stop visiting us).

Jo has written some reviews of her four-day ride on the SG Express, so if you want a taster, go read. It’s been widely acknowledged that their first performances supporting Thin Lizzy all went superbly well, and everyone thinks they’re really quite good (visit the official site or the official MySpace for the 1.14 minutes I referred to earlier). The single ‘Burn The Witch’ is the title track for an EP that will be thrust upon us in the new year, with hopes on an album in the Summer. Is all that enough for you? Well tough, you can swallow these tour dates down, too:

8 Dec 2007 19:00
Colston Hall Bristol (supporting Apocolyptica)
9 Dec 2007 19:00
Guildhall Southampton (supporting Apocolyptica)
11 Dec 2007 19:00
Astoria London (supporting Apocolyptica)
12 Dec 2007 19:00
Academy 2 Manchester (supporting Apocolyptica)
13 Dec 2007 19:00
Academy Birmingham (supporting Apocolyptica)
14 Dec 2007 19:00
Garage Glasgow (supporting Apocolyptica)
17 Jan 2008 19:00
Fleece Bristol
18 Jan 2008 19:00
Academy 3 Manchester
19 Jan 2008 19:00
King Tuts Glasgow
20 Jan 2008 19:00
Academy 2 Newcastle
22 Jan 2008 19:00
Corporation Sheffield
23 Jan 2008 19:00
Barfly Birmingham
24 Jan 2008 19:00
Zodiac Oxford
25 Jan 2008 19:00
Rock City Nottingham
27 Jan 2008 19:00
Wedgwood Rooms Portsmouth
28 Jan 2008 19:00
Concorde 2 Brighton
29 Jan 2008 19:00
Camden Underworld London
30 Jan 2008 19:00
Waterfront Norwich

Right, that really is enough. At least until I see them on the 11th… Expect more reviews, photos, the whole kerblammy very soon. Rock-the-fuck-on!

Stone Gods 24.11.07

by Guest – Gill H

Well it was a cold and windy Saturday evening when I and three of the lovely, and incredibly dedicated, ladies from the Stone Gods fan site walked up the steps and into the Regent Theatre, Ipswich. While two of the gang had already been treated to the joys of the unleashed brilliance of the Stone Gods, two of us were in that delicious state of anticipation that is felt in those moments between seeing the gift-wrapped box and opening it. Would the present be what we wanted? While the others showed no doubts, my confidence varied between the arrogant “They are going to rock this place into next week” and a whimpering “But what if I don’t like it?”

As a kick in the goolies to the doubts, I bought the Stone Gods t-shirt. None of us would allow the lads to fail due to lack of visible support!

Anyway minutes were ticking down and the real decision time was coming near. Would my t-shirt go into the ‘too good to wear on ordinary occasions’ or the ‘OK to clean the van with’ pile? Excitement was really getting a bit unbearable.

Noise! We shoot across to the doors at the back of the arena. A sound check. Not much to get excited about, but it means they are really there and all the hopes and dreams of the last year are about to be put to the test. It was trip to the loo time – there was no way I was missing a note of this set!

The doors open and we find our seats, three quarters of the way back, but with a great view. But the place? Oooh, crickey! An old cinema, it is an all seated venue with a “sit back and come and entertain me” feel. Not what you would call a great atmosphere for a new heavy rock sensation. Had the cards been stacked against the lads before they started?

Shouts went up as they bounced on stage – there were a lot more than four Stone Gods fans then – and as they let rip with “Burn the Witch” the numbers were increasing every second. The sound just filled the auditorium like a storm that ripped any final doubts to pieces. Why had I wasted time worrying?!!!

Richie immediately dominated the stage. This is a man who was born to front a top-line rock band. Toby settled into the classic bassist role – driving the music along while seeming to be doing nothing. Ed laid down a solid foundation for the edifice of sound. And Dan? Well as soon as the head started to bounce backwards and forwards and the hair fly over the face it was obvious that he was back where he wanted to be – making great music with a great band.

The set flew by. Richie interacted with the audience, leapt in the air, asked for hands and got more and more people involved. Hands clapped, the noise got louder and the appreciation increased in leaps and bounds. I tried to get to grips with unfamiliar tunes but failed, always left wanting to hear them again. I could have happily sat through the whole thing again from start to finish. No! That’s wrong! There is no way I could have SAT though a minute of it! It would only be possible for someone with no love of great music and ears of stone!

Anyway, the end came too soon. There had been problems. Guitars had been changed perhaps more often than was usual and guitar techs had appeared on stage at unexpected times, but the problems did not spoil an excellent evening of superb music.

Stone Gods are on the road now and I urge you to do just one thing – give your ears a treat, your music soul a kick up the arse and GO AND SEE THEM.

Stone Gods

by Jo

4 nights. 500 miles. a Tshirt, and a messy car…

Travelling Light – Leicester 22.11.07
As one does… armed with only a choc bar, a change of boots and some face powder, it’s time to set off. Stone Gods are coming! The birth is to happen onstage at 7.40 tonight, with Thin Lizzy providing the birthing pool – Leicester De Montfort Hall. I saw my first gig here 24 years ago – Wham!

Today was the launch of our website, less than 24 hours after the bands – nice work! But I won’t see it until Saturday at the earliest – gigs to go to and stuff. Left work at 4, set off at a cracking but legal speed across the fens, stopping only to wee in Peterborough. No time for messing about! I got all the way there, even across Leicester thanks to signposts (my home city is notoriously bad to drive in) but could I find the car park? NO. found the venue and everything… ended up asking random people and phoning Tezza, but a yellow jacketed man was spotted and driven at. Yup… here. Boots changed, powder done. Raced into the venue to find toilet, cloakroom, drink and tshirt. That done, time to look for the girls – ah here they are… BIIIG hugs. I don’t recommend that anyone interfere with an ex-darkling reunion. Dangerous moments! Not least the dash for the front, even if there was no one in our way. Waiting, watching for signs…

This moment, I think, was full of anxiety. Happy to see the lads back on stage, of course. But will we like it? Have the months of waiting and supporting been in vain? Only heard a little bit of ‘Burn the Witch’ that was sent to me via phone. WAAAAAH they’re coming! Surprising how much noise four girls can make, and how much we surprised those round us. Hee. Oh well. The lads are straight into it. Loud, heavy, metally throughout. Start with Burn the Witch… After that the song titles are a complete mystery but the songs ARE distinguishable from each other. Even one with an easily singable chorus, which we all got stuck into. Yeah. You are on your way, and no, we don’t care what they say either. It got harder and heavier, towards the end. There can’t really be any doubt of the musical direction, and that it’s so far from The Darkness you can’t see one from t’other. Full throated, deep, rock screams forced their way out of Richie, with admirable vocal back up from Toby and Dan – but they won’t be able to keep up with that voice. Richie proved himself a star tonight, with a presence and assured manner – interacting with the crowd and the posh seats, geeing us up. Not that the four down the front needed it. The lads were obviously joyous to be back on stage, and very well practised like the professionals they are. Dan’s floof was in full force, headbanging technique intact. Toby, the master of his area. Ed – he was a bit tricky to see, but sticks were flying! Toby mentions a mistake in his blog, but tbh, it was small stuff. Many many bands would want their first gig to be this polished, and to get the warm reception from not only their own fans, but a good few converts. A special night for us all.

A drink in the bar, a happy exchange of congratulations with a group of bouncy lads who appeared shortly after, and time to go home. Back in bed by 12.30, much earlier than expected.

Stone Gods . Day 2.

No one dropped out or evicted yet. An interesting day at work, followed by another instant departure – to Cambridge this time. Not quite so far, and I had time to get changed properly, take make up off and get it back on again. Again, no time to eat! Partner in crime Mistress duly gathered up from the train station and swept up off to the venue. Completely in the wrong direction, due to incessant nattering, and a phonecall to the Rock Blonde was necessary to put us right. Where are we? Next to Lloyds Bank… what? Multimap doesn’t have the bank? Poor!
The Corn Exchange is a bit fuller when we get there, though we’re not at all late. Got to the front without a great deal of hassle but with a lot of shuffling. Most people are staking their claim for TL, or Elizabeth as they’re referred to by our lads. Mistress has only had my excited jabbering to go by, but I know what’s coming… This time I pay a bit more attention to sorting out the songs in my head, aided by the set list I wangled last night. Not so many photos either. Too absorbed, and singing along where I could, Bouncing most of the time, and drinking in all that I’d missed. This was smoother than last night, though last night was something that can’t be replaced. Richie talks from the stage about it being an honour to play for the crowd, who respond to him – it’s pretty damn fine to be down here, to be played to! He’s obviously more confident tonight, crotch grabbing in front of lots of people is not something you do when nervous!
Is there anything I don’t like? ummm… lots of guitar changes in the middle of a song. Took me a couple to realise there wasn’t a tech problem.
Lads still excited in the bar afterwards. More congratulations, and an exit. They’ve written their own blogs on myspace, you can read those – but Toby’s account of being accosted by the drunk unintelligible guy was very funny. Suitably rocked, we left and headed off to bed. Still not seen any Thin Lizzy. Never mind. Although… how odd to see TL shirts in the crowd, and the banner up on stage, and not to see the logo on Dan’s chest…

Day 3 – Ipswich

Even closer to home, and being a Saturday, no rush. The Rock Blonde arrives from Leeds, still jetlagged from LA and Van Halen (not sure which one was worse). We sit and eat, chat and recover. I get a chance to look at the site, which is pretty damn impressive. And the member count is impressive as well! The launch is a huge relief, now we can get started on what we need to do.

Blumming eck, Ipswich is even more of a nightmare than Leicester to drive in. We end up at Gill’s hotel to park, put a final bit of slap on, and set off to find venue and food. Gill agrees to act as bodyguard, though quite why is a mystery – for whom? 😀 Lipstick is completely ruined by my dinner, and Rock Blonde has to endure all sorts of teasing about wet patches when her coffee ends up in her lap. Threats are issued about mentioning it later, which we largely ignore. The venue bar is open, thankfully, as it’s pretty cold. This is a proper theatre. Seats. *sigh* We are allowed to look through the auditorium doors at the sound check, ten minutes before we’re let in. Bodyguard and Rock Blonde get themselves all wound up between listening to that and getting their t shirts on. We’re in row Q, but we refuse to sit down at all. Don’t like not being at the front, I generally can’t see anything! It’s a good view of the stage, I suppose. What? We’re not allowed to take photos during the performance? What sort of stupid rule is THAT? This is a rock band, not an orchestra! Thin Lizzy, sitting DOWN? Waah. Well, anyway, we’re on our feet for the entire set, and from where we are we can see most of the audience. You can’t do that at a normal gig. Interesting to watch their reactions to ‘our’ boys. They clap, and cheer, and get their hands up in the air, but apart fron the very front row of about 7, they stay seated… I can’t get my head round that! Finally though, it becomes apparent that the audience DO like them, and it’s not just us, and things are going right. That’s an emotional moment, when everything falls into place. The springboard.
Some time is spent in the pub chatting, with a well earned vodka for me. I’m about on my last legs! Bodyguard is taken back to her hotel, we depart, and three days of mayhem is over. So many things have happened this week, all of them good, and we feel like it’s all been worth it. All the waiting, support, hard work and worry are behind us, we hope.
Still not seen any TL!

Day 4

A few days’ break, and it’s just me this time. Norwich UEA, home ground, and supporting Thunder. Met up with a couple of old friends and some new ones once I got my bearings, and before I skipped off happily down the front. I got some good photos this time! Yum. I did my best all night to spread the word to the people I was standing near – no harm in a bit of pimping. I was able to sing along a lot more, which always helps the enjoyment levels. The lads went down really well with this crowd, with local support a factor, but by no means the biggest one. They made a LOT of friends tonight. The crowd were calling for more when they went off, and that’s quite an achievement. The lads themselves weren’t too happy about how it went, perfectionists as they rightly are – but. But… there are more people ready to buy than there were before the gig, more fans, more people telling me they wanted to buy tour tickets. Naturally, I have a totally different perspective on things, but people are keen, loved them, and wanted more. A success of a gig in my eyes, way down here.

For those of you wanting tech info and comparisons with other bands, my apologies. I’m not a tech, and I am NOT a rock chick. I neither know nor largely care whether they have elements of Metallica or AC/DC, as I was told by lots of people. The British thrash punk Metallica was the longest label I heard! That might give you an idea, but – these are Stone Gods.

We’re up and running. The Stone Gods, and the fans. Long may it continue.

Visit us at our sites for news, chat and live photos.

Gaining a new religion

by Jo – for and on behalf of all of you who contacted me about this

So, been debating on whether to write this or not for ages. But, on the eve of something about to happen, it doesn’t seem like I’m doing my job if I don’t. The Darkness forum, home to so many of us, has been shut down for ‘maintenance’. Ostensibly, this is because there is big news coming, which indeed there is. We’re expecting the launch of thenewband… aww for christ’s sake. The Stone Gods. I’m sick of having to step lightly about that name. It’s on every ticket agency in the land, why should I worry about putting it on here? Darklings have at least been aware of it being the likely name for months now, after it was ‘leaked’. I’m not going to put the tour dates up here until the band do. You can find them on the ticket agencies as well, and you probably already have tickets anyway! I’ll only be in more trouble with the band than I probably already am, for pre-empting them, and I always said I wouldn’t… trouble is, it’s getting more and more difficult not to talk about this stuff here when it’s all over the net. All our information is coming from secondary and tertiary sources, nothing is being confirmed or denied, and we have nowhere to talk about it at the moment. No one truly understands what’s going or not going on, everyone is concerned. I can’t deny I’ve wanted to walk away from this situation. I’ve never come across anything quite like it, and to be honest, it’s made me feel like I’m pretty worthless and that all my efforts have been in vain.
We’re talking about a band that we’ve supported through thick and thin, all of us. Tickets have been bought and flights booked merely on a promise, on memories, and expectation. Until next Thursday(today is 17th November, that’ll be the 22nd) no one even has a clue what they sound like. (Something might go up before then, maybe… it’ll be different live anyway.)How’s that for faith and loyalty? It’s good, I’ve been told. It damn well should be! These are four lads with talent and determination that have spent a bloody long time writing, recording and mixing this until they are satisfied that it rocks sockless. They’ve worked damn hard for this.
Our hopes and prayers are right behind them. The edge of the sofa has long been worn away and the carpet is bare with our nervous pacing. The desire for them to succeed burns hot and strong. May the Coming of the new Gods be bright and glorious…
May it be so for the fans and the band alike.

Rockumentary + boys’ equipment on fire

by Lucie

Anticipation brews on Darkling Island (shortly to be renamed?) as news of a rockumentary reaches our eyes. Aye, the as yet unnameable new band of the century (Richie Edwards, Dan Hawkins, Toby MacFarlaine and Ed Graham to those outside the loop) have been taking time out of their busy schedules to keep us abreast of such things; but I’m here to give it to you in short.

Ed and Toby have both alluded to a film to accompany the album, shot mostly by Ed, which will document the process of creating and recording their collection of monster rock choons. The Darkness were seemingly plagued with bad luck when it came to making DVD’s, with plugs being pulled and whatnot (much to our dismay), but these lads are sorting it out themselves, just for us, bless ‘em. Last we heard, they were trying to get someone else to take over filming from Ed, so everybody gets interviewed.

On top of all this sexy stuff is the update from Richie that the boys are very much being boys, and blowing stuff up. And I quote:

“In the last 2 days we’ve blown up a Marshall SL100 guitar head, a vintage Marshall JMP 50 guitar head, a Marshall Hand Wired SL100 guitar head, a Marshall Hand Wired 18w combo, a Vox AC30 and a Marshall SL100 fitted with KT88 tubes, they clearly just can’t handle the rock assault we’re unleashing on them.”

Clearly. And it just goes to prove that this is going to be a record that shakes foundations and deafens thousands. Let’s hope so!

P.s. Possibly even more exciting is the revelation that Ed’s finally got a computer. Now THAT’S news.

Confused and possibly dazed

by Jo

This is an updated article.. Since this went out , the band via Richie and Toby have issued statements apologising for something that wasn’t their fault in the first place. All respect due to them for that, it was seen to and the fans kept informed. Thank you, boys. Your input is like rain on a very thirsty desert! The link is..


Now.. I’d like to apologise if this article gave offence to boys who weren’t aware of any problems and didn’t cause any, either. My job for OI is to report, reflect, comment – wouldn’t be doing this right if i didn’t include what the fans tell me in myriad ways. I got a lot of good feedback about it, and if the situation changes, more info comes to light – hell, I ain’t afraid to put things right, say sorry. But.. I’ll NEVER say sorry for making clear the current mood, to any of you, cos that’s not journalism, however amateur. Gone are the days when I was terrified of criticizing for fear of being ostracized. There are one or two people out there that would like me to sink without trace, but I’m not going to. And no one questions my integrity or commitment as a fan for doing it. The people who matter are aware of my feelings about this and everything I do for the band, so…

The original piece, then. Unedited.

Ok.. lots of boy news in the press again. A poorly rehashed version of several weeks’ myspace blogs hits the press – well, the Sun and the internet anyway. All such old news. ‘At least the PR engine HAS spluttered into life’ I thought. ‘That means something will happen soon.’ Good. Excitement all round, all sorts of bouncing going on across cyberland.

Now, by the end of the week, some things have become clear. There appears to be some kind of press battle on between Justin and the other lads, what with the Eurovision thing being made public. (Please note that this is not coming from Jus’s side) Pushing and shoving to keep the lads in the public eye. This was compounded with the release of the new homepage and evidence of a new photoshoot, which unfortunately does not coincide with the new band name release. ‘The Darkness’ is still plastered over that photo.

A good many fans are just happy to see a new pic. BUT.. another good many are expressing disquiet. (paraphrasing of blogs and posts follows) They’re tired, bored, fed up of being kept hanging on, being drawn into what looks like a PR war. They want it sorted. Want to be treated like adults. Longterm fans are now talking about walking away before they hear the new stuff.

Fans are confused, a little dazed.. and now they’re infuriated. Not to mention incensed, frustrated, incredulous, infuriated… Waiting is not a problem. Being treated like children, idiots, merchandise fodder IS. When your most dedicated start to be angry, you should really start thinking hard.

Toby MacFarlaine

An e-dalliance with Toby MacFarlaine

by Lucie

Interviewing via t’internet is never ideal, but it can occasionally be productive. And I think this was. Never have I conducted such an in-depth and noggin-straining interrogation, and my questions became so deep, probing, and personal, that myself and Tobias are no longer on speaking terms. Also, I’m paying for his counselling.

Actually, that’s all bollocks. The following interview suits perfectly.

Tell me Tobias, what are your musical influences?
Wide and varied, innit. First record was Fore! by Huey Lewis & The News when I was about 10 and they got gradually heavier the older I got. The first band I saw was Megadeth with Alice In Chains and The Almighty in support. I still cite Hank Williams as a major influence. Love a bit of yankee folk moosic, me. Nirvana changed it all for me. They kind of reintroduced me to my beloved Beatles, too.

Top three bands:
The Beatles, Nirvana, Huey Lewis & The News

Top three albums:
At the moment… ‘Back To Black’ by my mate Amy Winehouse, ‘Ys’ by Joanna Newsom and a best of Talking Heads compilation. These change regularly. I’m not good with favourites.

What got you into music?
Been singing since I could breathe. My dad plays Jazz drums and my mum was briefly in a hippy band called The Wayfarers (don’t look for them, they’re not there anymore). Music was always in the house. I’d say trying to attract the attention of girls made me pick up the guitar (7 years old) and I kept on doing that because I was shit at sports and general conversation. I’m still shit at sport.

What’s on your iPod/MP3?
Far too much to list. Rock, country and alternative from most bands you could mention.

How long have you been playing?
A reallllly looong time

What’s your perfect festival line-up?
The Beatles, Nirvana, Megadeth, Blur, Pavement, Joanna Newsom, Amy
Winehouse, Goblin, Slayer, The Social and this new group what I’m in… Not in this order. I’d have to be playing because I can’t deal with not having a dressing-room to hide in at festivals anymore!

Favourite sandwich filling?
Cheese and onion. Classic.

What style/pattern of underwear are you sporting right now?
Some very expensive green Paul Smith trunk things I got in Japan. Very supportive.

Is there any celebrity that you’d just take an orgasmic
pleasure in slapping across the face? And why…

Jade Goody for her racist thickery. James Blunt for ruining singer-songwriters for everyone.


Are you quite prepared for the task of satisfying a hoard of starved, half-crazed Darklings?
Yes. Nourishment shall be provided forthwith. And possibly psychiatric help. Hopefully everyone will realise that I’m not some kind of indie spy hell-bent on deconstructing rock.

Gimme a little insight into how this incarnation differs from The Darkness (besides the members, smartarse).
No catsuits or operatic wailing. The sense of fun will remain, because we all share a similar sense of humour. It’s big-arsed good-time rock music. Riffs aplenty and just great songs. Tougher than that other group.

Tell me about the plans for your glorious emergence. Are there big sparkly schemes going down?
Schemes bigger and sparklier than you can possibly imagine.

How do you feel about so suddenly being in the limelight? So many more people know your name than did a month or so ago…
I’m used to a bit of limelight, innit. Done alot with Graham over the years. Indie limelight, I suppose, but half-light nonetheless. Reflected glory is something I’ve basked in for the last few years. I don’t really know what that means actually. If you mean people looking at you like you’ve got two noses when you’re walking around, or being stopped and asked to write my name on something or pose for a photo and that, then I love it. Great fun! I love massive gigs and audiences and stuff. Interviews, the whole shebang. Great. People knowing your name is all part of the fun, for me.

Are you going to be “styled”, and have glamorous photo shoots? Or is it all down to grass roots, now?
I think we’re gonna try to avoid any over styled stuff. It’s all a bit fake and uncomfortable to me and, indeed, us. Obviously we’ll be
coordinating our “Look” so we don’t look as if we’ve just fallen off a bus. There will be some roots involved because Ed’s allergic to hair-dye.

Who does the cooking in the band?
It’s a shared experience.

What would you say on a soapbox on Hyde Park Corner?
“What the fuck am I doing on a soapbox on Hyde Park Corner?” followed
swiftly by something nice and comforting like “The nend is high.”

Who would win in a fight between Sonic and Mario?
Sonic. Mario’s too busy thinking about that darned princess. And his
inimitable moustache.

What IS the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?
Roughly quicker than a chaffinch in a parka.

There you have it, fruity as a nutcake. Just the way we like it.

PS The new site for the lads will be online VERY shortly. Watch this space.