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A Backstage Story from Nottingham: Blue Lipstick, Fake Death, and Super Strong IPAs

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to play an unforgettable gig with my band, Chambers, in Nottingham. Let me share with you a funny story full of unexpected incidents and surreal revelations.

A picture of Aeris Houlihan and Eleanor Churchill at the Waterfront Festival in Nottingham
Elie - Left / Me - Right Post-show in Nottingham

### Dress in Black and Paint in Blue

As usual, pre-show, I donned my gothic attire for the night but with an added twist as the night was fancy dress. I included a red robe for good measure.

Chambers performing at the Waterfront Festival
Chambers performing at the Waterfront Festival

We did our usual routine of playing full-on, heavy, doomy music mixed with a passionate performance. The gig was fun and the crowd was really enjoying it. Our music had always resonated with Nottingham, a city that adopted us after the Notts-based record label, 'I'm Not From London' Records, signed us.

After the gig, we cleared the stage of our equipment, including my giant bass amp, 'Bronson,’ which was as heavy as it was loud.

The next band on was No Nothings. We were fond of their music and had never spoken to them in person. However, that night, that was all about to change.

### Encountering No Nothings

No Nothings finished their set and joined us backstage. What ensued was bizarre and hilarious.

The boys from No Nothings came over to our table after uncontrollably laughing on the other side of the venue. The story they told us was unbelievable. At the start of their set, the drummer and guitarist noticed that the singer appeared ill. They suspected that he might have had a stroke or was even possibly dead and that his muscle memory from all the practices the band had done over the years was somehow keeping his body performing the songs. Kind of like when a chicken has its head chopped off but continues to walk around for a short period of time.

As their set progressed, the singer and band's concern grew, resulting in an increasingly erratic performance. The crowd, however, interpreted it as part of the act and became more and more excited about it.

When the band finally came off the stage, they realized that their singer, who had been sharing the same microphone as me, had my blue lipstick smeared all over his lips, giving him a sickly appearance. The table burst out laughing. Now all of us were laughing uncontrollably. Poor guys! At least they embraced it all with smiles on their faces.

Blue lipstick on lips

### Strong IPAs

We continued the night drinking and talking about music. Really nice guys! Their music is really good. Check them out here if you don't know who they are.

When it comes to drinking. At this point in my life, I would walk up to the bar and ask the bartender. "What is your strongest IPA?" They would reply! Then I would say I'll have that, please. The aim was to reach oblivion and nullify my non-stop thoughts and idea. My brain never wants to stop working on the ideas it comes up with. It's still exhausting to this day but I'm really glad that I don't try to escape it by drinking myself into oblivion these days.

Poor Ellie had to assist me back to our hotel that night, which was no easy task. The next day wasn't any easier. We had an outdoor festival on one of the hottest days of the year, and I nearly succumbed to dehydration a few times. However, we always managed to perform with the same intensity and desire, no matter how we felt, and that performance was no different!

### Ice Creams & Oncoming Traffic

Despite the challenges, our day ended on a high note. We managed to enjoy some delicious ice cream on the journey home. However, while traveling at 70 mph, listening to Chelsea Wolfe on the M1, we spotted a motorway sign warning of an oncoming vehicle driving in the wrong direction. There's truly never a dull moment when you're in a band.


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