With Death onboard The Merkins were born. We now had a band: Me (Pug) on bass and vocals , Death on guitar and Pete on drums. Death had a few songs already written, so after finding a place we could practice we soon had some material to unveil to the public. I was finding it hard to sing and play bass at the same time, so the decision was made that I would play bass and we would find another singer. This is where Heath comes into the Merkins family.
Having known Heath for a good few years, I asked if he knew of any singers we could try out, and to my amazement, or amusement, which ever way you want to look at it, he said he was thinking of having a go at fronting a band himself !!!
So after arranging an audition with him, Heath came down to Merkin HQ and just sat there looking rather scared of the mic. That's when I decided to give my bass to him and sing myself... The Merkins mk2 were born... More songs were written and practiced to perfection, and it was decided that Whitby Now 2007 would be the chosen event at which to debut our music.
Everything was slowly dropping into place what with our place on the Whitby Now bill confirmed. Things were looking good, until Heath dropped the bombshell that he wouldnt be able to play with us at the gig due to him having tickets to see Ian Bloody Brown of all people... Anyway we didn't give up on our big chance. We'd worked bloody hard to be ready for it, so we called in Death's nephew Dave to play bass with only 4 weeks to learn the songs from scratch! That was just six practices.
With a 6.30pm time slot, and me being rather drunk after knocking back large amounts of Southern Comfort backstage with Jay from Yabbadabbadoo, we were ready to ROCK! And rock we did!
What a debut , what a night. I think we went down ok and sounded awesome from what we were told after we finished, despite the sound onstage being terrible.
Debut gig out of the way we could now get down to the business of writing and rehearsing . With Dave putting in such a sterling performace on bass, we asked him to stay on with us as second guitarist and The Merkins mk3 were born... In this guise we continued to practice our set and played a few gigs at the Rifle Club Rangam events that Heath organised, and all was going well until Pete dropped another bombshell for the band. He was getting married and moving back to London... AAAAAAARGH!!! Will we ever get anywhere as a solid unit ????
We organised another gig at the Rifle Club as a farewell gig to our best mate and founding member, and we thought that would be it. Then we noticed a Whitby Now fundraiser coming up at the Resolution, so we bullied Jean to let us play it with Pete for another final farewell. Between Pete giving us notice of his departure and the farewell gig at the Resolution, the decision was made to carry on. With Pete gone we needed to find a new drummer and fast. Enter Matt on drums. We wanted to introduce Matt as Pete's replacement at the Resolution, so we wrote a new song so to make it easier for him to learn. With Pete helping me on vocals while Matt drummed, we had a blast at Petes last gig.
The line up was now Me (Pug) on vocals, Death on guitar, Dave playing second guitar, Heath on bass and Matt our new drummer.
The Merkins mk4 were born.
After a few months it was clear to us that Matt wasn't the man to step into the void Pete had left upon his departure, so the decision was made to replace him, but who with? The search was on yet again for a drummer, but everyone we asked was already in a band or too busy.
Was this to be the end of The Merkins? No way! In comes Paul "Harry" Harrison on drums. We all knew Harry from school days, and he fitted in from day one. Having not played drums for around 10yrs, it didn't take him long to get to grips with our tunes. It was like he'd been there from day one. We've even written a couple of new tunes, and we'll be unveiling one of them at this year's Whitby Now on Friday 14th November. We'll be taking to the stage at around 11.30pm.
Be there to witness the live debut of The Merkins mk5. We can't wait. Hope to see you all there. Thanks for sticking with us, it will be worth the wait. We've already started recording our debut ep, and we'll be finishing it off after Whitby Now, so keep your eyes open for it. Comin' in your ears soon...
This post (in case you hadn't worked it out) was written by Pug.
It appeared originally as a blog on their MySpace site.
Go on, send your band biography, or anything else for that matter, to Popwatch.