Ray-Gun Hoodlums on their first stadium gig. Too noisy for Carlisle? It’s only Rock n Roll!

We are Ray-Gun Hoodlums and we got booted out of Brunton Park Stadium after six minutes.

It was a beautiful sunny day, spirits were high and the Stella Artois and Jack Daniels were already flowing freely. Some time earlier we had been offered a strange but intriguing opportunity by a good friend of ours, local promoter, musician and photographer, Ste Benson.

He contacted us some weeks earlier as he had had an offer from Carlisle United Football Club, with three dates they wanted him to fill with bands to play in the stadiums East Stand, in an effort to increase their bar takings before the match. Ste had been a fan of ours since the start of our journey, offering us our first gig, back in 2019, in Carlisle’s iconic but now sadly lost Warwick Bizarre’s gig space.

A strange request for a psychedelic acid garage punk band for sure but we don’t like to turn down any gig opportunity and we were getting paid in food and money so… plus how many opportunities are you gonna get to play a football stadium, right? So we were 100% in.

The day before the match disaster struck when our bass player and Jiggy Beastie, Luke was struck down with a nasty dose of the rona. It was looking bleak and we thought we’d have to cancel the gig, when our good friend and Glass Gardens front man, Mitch Davidson messaged and said he would fill in on bass duties. If we wanted him too? Less than half hour later he messaged again stating he’d learned the songs off our Motorcycle Ride EP and would pick up the rest of the set if we could jam that evening. The gig was back on.

After a successful jam that evening we met the following day at 12.30 pm, packed a van full of gear and headed to the home of the Barmy Army, CUFC, Brunton Park. Not really knowing what to expect of the afternoon that lay ahead.

We arrived at the venue with out too many hitches, despite staff trying to put us in the away end (we wanted to leave with our faces in tact) and despite the venue itself being a huge concrete void under the stand with concrete, floor, concrete walls, concrete roof, we sound checked and we were sounding class. We were well up for it. There were a few complaints from the soundcheck and the bar staff were staring on with open mouths as my distorted vocal echoed and rattled up and down the concrete catacomb, but fuck it, we are Ray-Gun Hoodlums. Ste, the promoter said we sounded great. We were happy. Fuck it.

2pm came and we kicked right off with and beefed up intro of Link Wrays Rumble before cutting right in to our first tune, a fast paced garage punk tune, ‘Just Call it Anything (It Doesn’t Matter)’. A couple of minuets in a man in a dark suit, marched himself over to Ste. He had a face on, ay up. As we ended the tune Ste approached and told me that management had given us two options, turn down or leave. Fuck it. We hammered in to our second song ‘Want You’ another fast paced garage punk number. The dark suit was back, shouting at Ste, clearly not impressed, not one bit. By the end of that song Ste told us “that’s it, we’ve been told to fuck off, we’ve got to leave” we’d played 6 minuets.

We packed up our gear and left. We went back to our practice room, aptly named the Ray-Gun Room and after some food and more booze recorded a live stream of the set we would have played, you can view it on our Instagram. We titled it ‘Fuck Brunton Park, We are Ray-Gun Hoodlums’ because that’s who we are, Ray-Gun Hoodlums, you get what you get and we love what we do. No compromise.Mucho love. Ray-Gun Hoodlums

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