Rhodri Marsden: I’m in five bands. Which is a bit like being in 20 relationships

Life on Marsden

Share
Related Topics

I'm in a band that plays inept versions of classic TV theme tunes. All four of us accept that there's a glass ceiling preventing us from signing a four-album deal with Sony, and that's fine, but it doesn't stop us having impassioned arguments about everything from rehearsal locations to dress code to whether there's any point in learning the theme tune to The Sweeney when the majority of the audience will be too young to remember it.

Things get heated. The bass player calls me a prick, frequently. But this is how you know that you're definitely in a band: you start having intense exchanges over things that don't matter that much. Like a village cricket club AGM, but with guitars.

My hunger for musical fame receded during my twenties at about the same rate as my hairline, but I still find myself putting huge emotional investment into performing loud music to people I don't know. I'm in five bands, and seem to have developed an addiction to starting pointless cultural crusades with musicians who then immediately find themselves fighting over whether a song should end in a double chorus. For some bizarre reason, all these issues seem hugely important. I remember once hurling a malfunctioning keyboard to the floor in anger during one rehearsal; the singer looked at me and said "Oh" in the same disappointed tone she might use if she found a hair in her sandwich. I remember her expression of bemusement as I stood there, seething, surrounded by large black boxes emitting hisses and hums, thinking "Why am I doing this, exactly?"

Things become even more surreal on tour. Weary people crammed into a tiny van that, if it were used to transport livestock across France, would probably be outlawed by a thick pamphlet of EU regulations. You're exposed to the strange personal foibles of your bandmates. You might see them cry, suck their thumb, attempt seduction, or try all three simultaneously. You become depressingly au fait with the unique timbre of their snoring. But all these experiences bond you, tightly. On the best days it provokes the kind of camaraderie that can move you to tears; on the worst it's a failing marriage of convenience, with a series of lumpen riffs your illegitimate offspring. If anyone asks me if I'm in a relationship, I say yeah, I am. About 20 of them.

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Customer Account Manager

£27000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing cloud based I...

Ashdown Group: Product Marketing Manager - Software & Services

£35000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Product Marketing Manager...

Recruitment Genius: Exhibition Sales Executive - OTE £35,000

£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An expanding B2B exhibition and...

Recruitment Genius: QA Technician

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading manufacturer of re...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

If I were Prime Minister: I'd remind the rich that with great wealth comes great responsibility

Peter Tatchell
Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey, who has its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival  

FAO Jamie Dornan: For a woman, being followed is not 'exciting' — it's humiliating and all too familiar

Mollie Goodfellow
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat