(This blog was written by Ashley on Myspace in January 2006, we thought we’d share it here. Enjoy!)
OK, there i was, flask and tuna (dolphin un-friendly) sandwiches packed in my action man lunchbox, credit union train ticket in the back pocket, book check, paper check, walkman(original) check, shirt check, skies were clear so that was 7 quid I could hang on to instead of handing it over to Kcabs, with half an hour to make the Dublin train i stepped out the front door with a smile on my face and a hat on my head.
Having a bit of time i decided to take the scenic route, along the south channel of the River Lee and past the Holy Trinity Church, on past Connoly Hall and then a quick left past the Custom House, phone rings, frantic searching of pockets, me:”hello”,
bloke: “erm, eh, Ashley?”
bloke: “from the Frank and Walters?”
bloke: “there’s a problem”
bloke: “yeah, about the Ian Dempsey Show tomorrow”
bloke: “yes, you see Ricky Gervais has agreed to come in so could we put ye back to Friday? I’m sure you understand…. erm, its ricky gervais you see….”
me: “oh, ok”
Now like a lot of other people I like The Office, and even though my day had been thrown into turmoil I wasn’t that annoyed, and even though my Friday had now taken a turn for the worse I could cope, and even though my train ticket would now become null and void because I had filled out the date before-hand i could keep myself calm with the knowledge that I had saved 7 quid on a taxi, and when all is said and done I actually did understand, as bloke said “its Ricky Gervais you see”
But (there’s always a but) this wasn’t a new thing, believe it or not Ricky Gervais has been popping in and out of our lives for a while now, and far from being a pleasurable experience, our dealings with this cheeky master of the awkward silence have always been negative affairs, negative for us that is!
Let me take you back to 1992, Neds Atomic Dustbin were in the charts and the Premiership was called Division 1, the Franks were making their merry way up the London venue ladder which went something like this, White Horse Hampstead, Camden Falcon, Underworld, Borderline, Powerhaus, Ulu, Astoria, Brixton Academy, the World…
Simple, until we came to the Ulu, a university venue but very well regarded, our manager had booked the gig, agreed the date, negotiated the fee and even printed up the posters, all was rosey, that is untill he dropped said posters around to ents officer, “you never faxed confirmation” “what do you mean? We shook on it”
“dont matter, you never faxed confirmation, Alien Sex Fiend have the date now, they faxed confirmation”. Alien Feckin Sex Fiend! Who are they and who were they? What a stupid name for a band anyway, gig was gone, we got over it, did a couple of nights in the lse instead and carried on up the ladder but it still rankles, guess who the ents officer was?
yep, Ricky Gervais…..
Fast forward to 1995, Madonna still looked ok(ish) in a leotard and the championship was called division 1, The Franks had just finished the recording of grand parade and had been invited over to france to play the route to rock festival, it was gonna be great playing the new stuff for the first time, a lot of friends had come over from ireland and England and we were kicking off the second stage at nine o clock on the button, that’s what it said on the programme, but no, Suede’s manager insisted there be an hour left between the opening band and them, they needed that time to set up special lights to make Brett look good or something, so we get thrown on at eight fifteen, belting our little hearts out to the hot dog vendors, when our crew turn up from watching Vanessa Paradis around nine we’re on the second last song, disaster, and who was Suede’s manager?
yep, Ricky flippin Gervais….
1999, (Tony Blair,the Pope,Doritos super trophy) the lovely men at Domestic Films decide to make a down to earth music series where instead of bands telling you how great they are they show you what really goes on whilst making an album/rehearsing/touring etc.
Granada commission a pilot and domestic spend a week each with ourselves, The Fall and Pete Wylie, Granada are happy, it goes out in little ten minute slots about 3 in the morning but its a begining, there’s a buzz, Channel 4 are interested, Channel 5 are interested even though there’s no nakedness, finally the lads agree to deal with BBC2, contracts are signed, dates are booked, camera’s are rented, confirmations galore are sent by fax and the franks are set to become stars of the small screen. Fly on the wall, hopes, fears, aspirations, tragi-comedy, ego, bloated self importance, you know where this is heading right?
It came down to two shows in the end and the The Office got the nod, and rightly so, but as i stand here on the banks of the lee on the 13th of December 2005 with my flask in one hand and my action man lunchbox in the other, useless credit union train ticket in my back pocket and hat on my head i cant suppress the words as i turn into the the wind and head for home…
“Ricky Gervais, you fat bastard.”
Despite the constant (and purposeful) interruptions from Britain’s finest funnyman The Franks have recorded a brand new album and plan to showcase some new tunes at the upcoming live shows which are as follows:
23rd December: Franks Xmas Show, The Pavillion, Cork Tickets here!
17th March: St. Patrick’s Day Zanzibar, Liverpool
24th March: Franks at the Borderline! The Boderline, London Tickets here!
(*Unless Ricky Gervais is in town in which case everything is cancelled)