5. Chapter Five
“Oh my god, I can’t believe this is actually happening, we’re sixteen and someone is actually interested in signing us! That’s just insane!” Margo was saying exuberantly on the bus to the Revolt Records building. “Just calm down Margo or they’ll kick us out. We’re meant to be punk rock, not a 90’s boyband with hormonal womanly feelings.” Adam laughed, Ellen hit him. “Oh come on, Elle” “Piss off Adam” Ellen responded. The bus came to a sudden stop as it jolted them forwards. “About time” Jose spoke up. They clambered off and stood nervously outside the kingliness of the large venue before them. “Come on then you bunch of gits, let’s smash this” Strolling in with exhilarated faces and good intentions, Lossteel shook hands with a debonairly dressed young woman who led them through to a large room. Anxiously, they exchanged fearful glances before dawdling in to the space. In front of them a man with dark brown hair, which was slightly curly and greying at the edges, smiled at them approvingly. “Welcome” he greeted, rising from his seat to shake each of their hands in turn and to learn their names. “Lossteel, where did you come up with the name?” “Urm urr” Adam stammered “We were making up words and sentences and using different bits of them to sort of mash them together. Two of us would say a sentence at a time and then directly after say a word from each of those sentences together. Ellen and I each said a sentence: ‘loss of life’ and ‘strong as steel’ and then immediately after we said in unison ‘Lossteel’ and it just worked and sounded right.” Margo said, surprisingly casually. “Luck of the draw then, I suppose. Anyway, kids, my name is Harry Davis and I own Revolt Records, one of the biggest punk rock labels in the UK. And you have been invited to have an attempt at becoming a part of it.” He had a shockingly captivating tone to his sturdy voice; it drew them in like a fly to ultraviolet light. “Let’s cut the small talk. Let’s cut the questions. Let’s cut the crap. I don’t care about whether you can talk for England or not, all I care about is if you can play music and have the sound we’re looking for. Is that cool with you?” “Yeah” they chorused. “Then let’s migrate to the performing lounge” he showed them out the door and they followed him like sheep to their destination. “Laura, can you open the suite please” the woman who had led them to Harry’s office strutted in her jet black heels and unlocked the door to their performing space. After setting up their equipment, they stood tall and proud, yet tensely behind the shield of their instruments. “This first one is called Inaction Means Acceptance, let’s go!” Margo yelled. Harry Davis’ face was unreadable as they banged out the riffs and tunes to one of their most popular songs. Ellen caught Adam’s eye and he mouthed mockingly the lyrics as Margo sang them. Giggling and shaking her head, Ellen shred out the last part of the song in daunting improvisation, which turned out to be one of her best yet. As they looked up expectantly, Harry glanced sideways at Laura who remained focused on the foursome in front of her. Ellen began to finger pick on the acoustic the intro to Honest. “This one is called honest” Margo said softly “it’s about the harsh reality of today’s society and how we all have to conform to the rules of popular culture, when really we should just be ourselves” “If I’m honest with you I don’t really wanna know what’s up with the latest television shows I shouldn’t have to pretend that I wanna see everything wrong with sodomy. But if truth be known all I wanna be, is the one who says this is wrong this is wrong, but it’s right that we lie. If I’m being honest I don’t want to be a part of a society that points out everything that’s wrong with me, that breaks me down, shuts me up, uses force, I’m not good enough, no. But I can’t be honest, I have to make sure that I’m on it, that I know who has slept with who, that I feel like a fool. That I make jokes and pretend it’s okay. It’s not okay, if I’m honest.” After that chorus, Jose introduced a piano riff and Margo looked as if she were about to cry. Eventually, the song finished and they were stood, grinning expectantly. A moment’s silence past. “And the third song?” Davis said Margo’s face dropped like the thought of ever being a part of this record label did. They were only told to prepare two… The silence was so long that it became apparent and obvious that they weren’t prepared, that they weren’t professionals; that this was out of their league. In the moment of stunned silence and awkwardness, Adam raised his sticks in the air. “ONE TWO, ONE TWO THREE FOUR” he began to play the complicated opening drum sequence to one of the bands special favourites entitles ‘Bullshit’. It didn’t make the original cut because they perceived it to be too immature, but they had to play it now; the deal was so far away after that anyway that they might as well have fun. The remaining three were quick to realise what was happening and began to play with eternal passion, their upbeat punk rock spectacular. Men from outside the room, who presumably worked for Davis began to gather in the doorway. Heads bobbed, feet tapped and Davis actually began to look impressed by them. All too soon, the sweet melodies dispersed as their minor crowd did too. This time, when Harry stared at Laura, she nodded to him, turned back and gave a mini round of applause to the sweaty and out of breath Lossteel. “That’s more like it, you let loose on that song, saved the best ‘till last, produced a unique punk sound that stuck to the heart and soul of what this genre is all about. This is why you came here today, to perform songs in that way.” Adam and Jose grinned at each other, while Margo and Ellen stood awestruck at his words. “I’ll get back to you via email” he droned with his usual tone of authority, as he made to leave. His head popped back round the door “oh and in the meantime, this space is yours on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 4-6 o’clock.” Laura noted this down and followed him out. The bands let out an enormous sigh of relief, endured a group hug and briefly screamed at the top of their lungs as a dream they’d held for a lifetime was finally starting to come true.