To rarely cleaned pub-venue The Shithouse in Kingston, South-West London, where details are emerging of an unexpected and potentially groundbreaking melding of DIY advertising techniques for the future paymasters of up and coming bands; the British record industry. To gain a full explanation of this incident, one that took place last weekend, we spoke to Ronald Nappy, lead guitarist in up and coming indie “I was in The Shithouse on Friday, drunk out of my mind, talking to the barmaid about how brilliant our demos were.” Nappy told HDUK. “Then I must have blacked out for a while, because the next thing I know I’m standing by a toilet bowl, staring at all these words written up on the wall. There must have been about twenty band URLs [Uniform Resource Locaters] scrawled there, and in my wrecked state I got a bit angry I couldn’t find one for The Twats. Luckily I always carry a permanent marker, so I quickly checked for CCTV, but there wasn’t even toilet paper so I doubted any kind of high-tech system was monitoring me. Then I wrote down our website managed to get it down quite legibly, although the next morning I noticed that my shoes smelt of piss.” “Thinking about it later on,” Ronald continued. “It seemed like quite a stupid thing to do. Had I been caught, I could have got barred from my local. Not only that, when I told the rest of the band they were quick to ridicule me. No one had heard of anybody memorizing some link happened upon in a communal toilet, much less going online the next day to have a listen. Shows how much they know.” Indeed, very soon Nappy and his bandmates were extremely glad the guitarist had drunk six pints of snakebite and defaced private property, because the very next evening grizzled A&R man Borgnine Catheter happened to be in The Shithouse, checking out the monthly ‘Battle of the Bands’ night for Quasimodo Records.
“I’d just seen yet another bunch of sneering punk throwbacks and was rapidly losing the will to live.” Mr.
Catheter told Illegal Downloader Magazine. “So I decided to pop to the bathroom for some sustenance. When I
lifted my head from the cistern after snorting the first of several lines I'd chopped out on it I saw some writing that
was to change my life. ‘The Twats’ I thought. That’s got a bit of a ring to it.”
“In fact,” The A&R man went on. “I did so much coke over the next quarter of an hour that their web address
ended up seared onto my retina. I was still seeing it when I woke up the next afternoon. The only thing for it was to check out their music, so I logged on and had a listen. Turns out they trade in exactly the kind of soaring, singalong anthems that cretins and people who don’t really like music lap up. After that I simply had to see them in person.” The following week, after witnessing The Twats live for the first time and concluding “they were all very pretty, apart from the bassist”, Mr. Catheter snapped the group up, signing them to a three-album contract with Quasimodo, a deal whereby the band retain absolutely no creative or artistic control. The Twats were understandably delighted by this turn of events, while the struggling record industry was left to absorb the repercussions of this new way of conducting operations.
“It was a landmark moment in the history of the business.” Industry watcher and sometime dirty handbag DJ
Charlotte Doink told Home Defence. “The way we enjoy music has been revolutionized over the last few years,
and many of the dinosaur labels are struggling to catch up, especially in the field of Artistes & Repertoire.
There's an obvious need to develop fresh models for recruiting talent in this brave new world. This means
the A&R job specification will no longer involve trawling the nation’s toilet venues in the hope of chancing
on the next Coldplay, Snow Patrol or Scouting For Girls. They’re already online.”
“But the trouble with the Internet,” Doink explains. “Is the sheer scale of the thing. Thousands of bands are out there, all vying for your attention. How to separate the wheat from the chaff? In this situation an attention-grabbing piece of spontaneous ‘viral marketing’ such as placing a sticker above a urinal, stencilling your band’s My Space address on a paving slab, or running a finger through the dust coating a white van next to the words ‘Clean Me!’, can be worth its weight in gold.”
In the wake of Borgnine Catheter’s unprecedented signing, some speculate that up to 25% of UK chart acts could now be discovered via graffiti spray-painted onto public places. Meanwhile both major and independent labels are recruiting volunteers who will scour gig venues and alternative pubs with clipboards for band names scribbled above sinks or stuck onto hand dryers. However, The Twats’ erstwhile guitarist took a break from rehearsals for their forthcoming dates supporting The Holloways on ‘The Landfill Indie Tour’ to sound a warning note for those looking to follow in his footsteps.
“You’ve got to get your name out there, but having a good quality felt tip and a bit of courage isn’t enough.”
Ronald Nappy (pictured right) told us. “There has to be the talent to back it up. The reason us Twats are
taking it to the next level is our music. We cover the whole range, from Libertines-inspired rock to Biffy
Clyro-style stadium singalongs. No one knows what to expect from us next. That’s what makes listening to The Twats such a unique experience.” Meanwhile Borgnine Catheter is pleased with the progress of his latest high-profile signings and grateful to have a job in the current climate. “I’m just glad I didn’t fixate on a section of toilet wall a few inches to the left while I was out of my mind on the old marching powder that night.” He laughs. “Otherwise I might have remembered the URL of an entirely different band. Or phoned Large Barry for immediate sex.”