The Bloodstick Chronicles - by Peter Gray

Seeing as we are all (or should be) on lockdown, I thought I would use the time to write up this chronical from notes I made a few years ago. I present it here as an ongoing series, and I will add to it as time goes on.
If it brings a smile, or even a laugh to someone in these troubled times, it has been worth it.



Introduction

Bloodstick, is an enigmatic group of musicians, that have been together for some years now. According to their literature, they play their own kind of ‘stratificatious, delamination of plainchant’ which I managed to translate to ‘melodic heavy-rock music’. Given that ‘stratifictious’ isn’t a real word, I have come to assume that the band, isn’t the usual run-of-mill group of muscicians that I am used to seeing.
Bloodstick are unusual in many ways, for starters, they describe themselves as a ‘none-band’, and I am not sure what that means either. It could be to do with the fact that this apparently excellent group, rarely play live events. Very few people can claim to have ever seen them and I know of no recordings of their work. There are of course their three albums, but of all the people who claim to possess one, only a single fan has actually allowed me to see it. I wasn’t allowed to play it though as it would ‘destroy the singularity experience of that particular recording’. So although Bloodstick are seen by their army of fans as the ‘best band never to have made it’, and of a quality of musicianship ‘unmatched by any of the famous super-groups’, I cannot appraise the band personally in any way due to the almost secretive and hermetical following that accompanies their work.

The band themselves take a similar approach to their personal lives shunning all and sundry when it comes to photographs and interviews. I was told by one particular long standing fan, John Bellbank, that Kerrang in their early days did an interview of the guitarist, Jock McLain, but I have not as yet been able to find a full copy of the interview. All I have found is a comment by a Kerrang reporter as saying that Jock was ‘sublime to the point of being impenetrable’ but once again, I have no idea what that means. The band, however, are not difficult to find. Mr Bellbank told me without hesitation that the band moved to a remote village in the Highlands of Scotland after they ‘made it big’. When I pointed out the band had never made it big he simply smiled and said,
     ‘What’s big to one person can seem quite small to another.’
     ‘But big in the music business is being well known and successful,’ I replied.
     ‘That,’ insisted Mr Bellbank, ‘depends on which end of the binoculars you are standing.’ I realised at that moment that finding any more information about Bloodstick was going to be traumatic, so I abandoned that approach.
He did tell me where they had moved to however, a remote village called Kindale in the north Highlands. There is a Wester Kindale and an Easter Kindale I was told but they lived in Kindale proper. Again, there was some ambiguity about this and when I looked on Google maps, I couldn’t find the place, so once again, the information was… flawed.

My approach thereafter was more cold. I decided to wait, to forget about the whole episode. Why the interest in the first place? That is another odd story that will have to wait until another time but suffice to say, I was emailed, yes emailed by a man who confesses to have no email address. Andy ‘Suppertime’ Taylor is the bass player and singer with Bloodstick. Early in 2018, I received an email from this Andy Taylor wishing to know if I would be interested in meeting the band. My obvious answer was ‘why?’, after all, I had never heard of them. To be honest, that isn’t exactly true. I had heard rumours, overheard conversations in pubs, mentions on forums on the internet. They seemed like an urban legend, like the whistle of a ghost train on a disused line that can only be heard on certain nights of the year, when there is a full moon or Saturn was in conjunction with Uranus. But, that was all, and so when I was asked if I wanted to meet Bloodstick, I immediately thought, ‘the name vaguely rings a bell’ and then, ‘why do I get all the crank emails?’ I declined, but the chap was insistent, and so I asked why he had chosen me. His answer was as usual, strange, which I will explain later, but I indeed, eventually accepted the invitation, and I will probably regret it for the rest of my life.




The Chapters

Chapter 1
Chapter 2



Bloodstick and the Bloodstick Chronicles are copyright of Tricky Imp Publishing and Peter Gray | © Tricky Imp 2020.