Canterbury : Thank You and Goodbye

Today I woke up to the news that my favourite band had announced that they were no longer going to write and produce new music, effectively splitting after more than 7 years together. For me, a fan of nearly five of those years, it almost feels like a member of my family has died.

If you know me even slightly at all then you know that I am heavily into my music, it’s not just something that I listen to, it’s part of me. I am passionate about my music and throughout my life I have preferred the rock style of music having gotten into Blink 182, Linkin Park and Rammstein at the beginning of the millennium, but the truly good bands in the industry are few and far and I’ll be honest, I wasn’t a big fan of what the UK was offering at the time.

Whilst I liked Biffy Clyro, I was less attracted to the sounds of indie rock such as Kasabian and other such bands, infact, it took an awful lot for me to like a new band, however, around the beginning of 2010 I started listening to the lesser known rock channels on TV and that is where I first heard of a four-piece band called Canterbury.

mainCanterbury’s line up at the time of the time I heard them for the first time – (left to right) James, Mike, Luke and Scott

I first became a fan of Canterbury in 2010 after hearing their song “Gloria” on Scuzz TV (before it became a channel for chavs) and I was instantly hooked by the catchy lyrics, epic guitar riffs and approach to music.  The very fact that they released their first album for free online would tell you all that you need to know about the band.

They had pretty much become my favourite band overnight after I had spent pretty much seven hours listening to their debut album (Thank You) on a loop. I knew all the lyrics to each of their songs within just a few hours of hearing of them for the first time. “Diver” and “Hospital” were two of my personal favourites from a near perfect album and I couldn’t wait until they brought out more.

“Calm Down” followed before the inevitable trip to watch them for the first time at Sheffield’s Corporation venue in late 2010. Stood right at the front, like a proper little group, I couldn’t get enough of the band and as time went on they, for a time, became pretty much the only band I actually liked. Other British rock cames had come and gone, such as Not Advised (although they later reformed as Natives), Pegasus Bridge and many others, Canterbury seemed like they were in it for the long haul and were getting regular airtime on not only the rock radio stations such as Kerrang, but also occasionally on Radio One and other such stations.

72710_455712167258_1805608_nPhoto I took the first time I saw them….yes, I was that close and yes my neck hurt the next morning

Things went quiet for a while before they released their second album, “Heavy in the Day” and much like the first, it was near enough perfect and it was an excellent mix of several different styles of rock music.

I saw them for a second time in early 2012 at the Cockpit in Leeds, this time I had dragged two friends along, neither of whom had heard of the band before, but I think both ended up liking them and one of them even had a full on discussion with one of the singers in the middle of the concert regarding an all-you-can-eat buffet somewhere.

They were their usual incredible selves on stage and afterwards I got the chance to talk to the band at length. There wasn’t an ounce of ego amongst them, these four were in it for the love of the music, and looking back on it that was one of the best nights of my life.

398583_10150563761928305_513538304_9000309_27785099_n

Me (obviously taken before I was Kate) and singer Mike Sparks

397914_10150563760293305_513538304_9000306_1635045943_n

Me and my friend Luke (right) with then drummer Scott.

A third album comes out, “Dark Days” and it again contains an excellent mix or styles, and some of their songs are the perfect songs to drive along a country lane to, it is incredible music. I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t that much of a fan of one or two songs on the album, but other than that it was an excellent addition to their catalogue. That was in January.

Trip 3 to see them at the Bodega in Nottingham earlier this year followed and they were again fantastic, but after that there was silence. Nothing seemed to be happening, I assume it was just because they were busy or were taking a break, but for Canterbury it was unusual for there to be absolutely no communication with the fans (from what I can remember anyway). Even just a few days ago I was thinking that they had been a bit quiet recently.

As I work nights I sleep during the day and today woke up around half 3. I looked at twitter on my phone and thought to myself that I was half asleep when I saw their street team retweeting from people saying that they were gutted that the group was splitting. After further investigations I realised that this wasn’t me being half asleep, this was actually happening.

Canterbury 2

Canterbury’s final line up (left to right) – James, Chris, Mike and Luke

After the initial shock I actually felt empty and I write this seven hours after finding out and it still hasn’t really set in that I am never likely to hear a new song from this awesome band. They haven’t officially ruled it out but they have said that they currently have no plans to return to producing new music and it just feels wrong, especially when you compare it to the shocking music that appears in the charts these days.

It’s such a shame that shit music has taken over the charts. Singers who can’t actually sing and require a computer to change their pitch for them, that’s not music. I feel sorry for the youth of today in that they are growing up in a music industry dominated by people like Simon Cowell, a man who seems to control the industry and that annoyingly only likes one type of music. What chance does any rock band have in an industry dominated by one man, a man who somehow manages to get a karaoke contest broadcast on TV every year.

But anyway, I digress.

Canterbury are to this day the only band I have seen more than twice. I fully intend to go to their final shows in Manchester and London respectively, and I would urge my friends, anyone who loves music, or anything in general to get down to any of the venues that they will finish at and show them some love.

And for what it’s worth, I know I’m just another fan, but to Luke, Mike, James, Scott (original drummer) and Chris (replacement drummer), thank you for giving us such fantastic music and for being five of the most down-to-earth guys you could hope to meet.

I’ll end this with a video released just after their last album of them singing “Going Nowhere” in an acoustic live set.

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