This Is The End, My Friend (The Rise And Fall Of An Unsigned Band – Pt 14)

The Shores returned to Macclesfield, Cheshire, a place where they just say “Grinning like a cat.”

View All Photos | The Shores on The Path | The Shores

Macclesfield, 2002. Photograph by Neil Hackney.

The Shores did not finish immediately. Rehearsals were attended, and gigs were played. Lethargy and apathy were the enemy of The Shores. Particularly me. Rehearsals became a drag for me, the same songs over and over, the same showcase gigs with younger (but no better) bands. Haircuts changed, but ‘promoters’ and venues didn’t. One notable gig we did play was with The Grim Northern Social at Night and Day Café, Manchester. They had just played Glastonbury and were on the way back up the road. Craig and I had seen them at King Tut’s the Christmas previously and they were the only band that we ever thought were better than us live. I contacted them, cut out the promoters, and hired Night and Day Café. A final V-Sign to the promoters who refused to put the gig on “How can they sell tickets? They’re from Glasgow!” – Fuck off you lazy bastard. I’ll do it. Filled the venue.

We would stay in touch with Phil Cunningham, and would see Bernard Sumner a couple of times after as well. Phil also came into a couple of rehearsals to see if we could spice things up with him playing guitar along with Danny. Phil would go on to form ‘Bad Lieutenant’ with Bernard Sumner and Jake Evans. Ryan and I went to see them in Preston and I was sick in the car park. Good that.

David Nolan is an author of fine repute. In 2006 he contacted us through MySpace to say he was writing a Biography of Bernard Sumner. I passed his details to Phil, but I don’t know what Phil done with them after that.

The Book, Bernard Sumner – Confusion: Joy Division, Electronic And New Order Versus The World, is a cracking read. Bernard Sumner eventually agreed to contribute to it, but it is by no means an ‘authorised’ biography. Mr Nolan liked The Shores and wrote the following kind words: (on page 171, paragraph 6, lines 5 and 6… not that I’ve memorised it.)

” [Support slots were given to] Phil Cunningham protégés, The Shores, whose handsome brand of U2-lite is as easy on the ear as it is on the eye.”

View All Photos | The Shores

Ryan at The Cygnet Club, Congleton.

The final gig was unintentional. It took place at ‘The Cygnet Club’ in Congleton. The Shores would say goodbye to approximately 50 people.

There’s nothing wrong with that, you know.

We weren’t owed anything.

At times, in blind optimism and ignorance, I believed we were. We absolutely were not. I mentioned in an earlier post about 100% commitment… The Shores cannot be credited with that, sadly. As Craig now jokingly says “We were in the Yellow Pages, where did it all go wrong?”

I remember we played well at The Cygnet.

Just as well really, ANYBODY could have been there to sign us…

From Nevertheless to The Shores and back.

What a fucking ride.


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