Dogs lie with cats, fish fall from the sky, Coldplay produce a listenable record, The Shapes reform in their original line up. All of these things are equally likely it seems, but only one of these is in fact true. The Shapes are to reform in the original classic (read:shite) lineup from 1979 to play a mini tour of the UK. Why has this come to pass you might ask? You might not ask in fact, but I'm going to tell you anyway. Despite the fact that less than a year ago, the majority of us would have rather set fire to our penises than play again, it all seemed like many things in The Shapes history, a good idea at the time, and so once again, The Shapes are wheeled out of the garage, the tyres kicked, and we see if we can start it up again. If all goes according to plan, we'll all hop in it, drive a short distance, the wheels will fall off, and a small fistfight will ensue. After this, there will be a short interlude for tea and biscuits. Whether any playing will actually get done is another matter entirely, but the first part is probably a certainty if past performances are any indication of future events.
So what was the spark that got this crapfest on the road? Well, I blame the chaps at the Rebellion Festival. Yes Rebellion, I'm looking at you here. For those of you that don't know it yet, The Rebellion organization in the UK is a fine setup, whose sole purpose in this world is to track down aging punk rockers and drag them kicking and screaming up onto stages again in some very fine events around the UK whether they like it or not. They have become so good at it, that if you missed any bands the first time around in the late 70's on the entirely likely excuse that you weren't actually fucking born yet, it's a good idea to keep a close eye on the Rebellion chaps, as it's more than certain that they will track down those seminal punk acts and get them to play for you.
It doesn't matter if you only released one cassette and your neighbor's dog ate it, you will be found and forced to play, so you had better get used to the idea.
However, it also became more and more certain that with the re-release of the Shapes Overground CD in 2008, with a further release in Japan to follow in 2009, and with the fine work that Messthetics have been doing, that sooner or later The Shapes would come under their steely gaze, no matter how many piles of coats we hid under in the hopes it would all go away, and thus it came to pass. A chap called Bradders from Rebellion tracked down both me and Seymour and put it to us that we should in fact play the Rebellion Festival in December 2008, in olde London town alongside such luminaries at The Damned, 999, the UK Subs, Penetration and many other acts all notable for being better than us. Like all other offers for The Shapes to play, it was followed by the traditional response, that is, assuming the fetal position in the back of a cupboard and refusing to come out unless tempted out with cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off.
After this we, sprang into action, if by sprang into action, you mean did bugger all. I think it took some time to realize that they were actually serious, and actually wanted us to play. As the year wore on, it became somewhat clear that having already agreed to do it in that first flush of excitement, we should probably arrange something so that it isn't just Tim up there doing the Southern Regional train timetable through the medium of interpretive dance, though having said that, I'd pay an American dollar to see that. There are one or two problems with it all really, and that's before we get down to the usual one of The Shapes uncanny ability to fuck things up in very short order. The first of these is that we haven't actually all been in the same room together for over 28 years, and I personally haven't seen Dave or Steve in all that time. I haven't seen Seymour in over a decade either. We're also all separated geographically by over 5000 miles, what with me living in California. We couldn't get it together to rehearse when we lived in the same town most of the time back in 1979, and getting us anywhere to play on time was a Herculean task at the best of times, so how we expect to get this done is anyone's guess. One thing is for certain, it won't be me organizing it. I'm far too busy organizing my laundry and staring out of my front window at passers-by with my cat.
So the first order of business is of course to track down all the original Shapes. I'm quite easy to find, as I usually spot myself quite quickly in the mornings when I roll back the sheets. "Aha, there I am" I thought. That was easy. One down, four to go. I say four more because we have decided that due to the recent European Union rulings allowing short people more access to common society, that Steve Richards will be reintroduced to the fold to complete the classic five (4.5 metric) piece line up that recorded the records and the Peel sessions. He's quite easy to find, as he's exactly where we left him 28 years ago, in Andover, where he works for a printer that produces glossy magazines for the mentally challenged lower social orders, and raises horses in his spare time. Quite where he puts them is another matter we don't go into. The horses I mean. I suspect that the magazines could just go into the recycling. As far as I know, there is no official system for recycling horses in Great Britain at this point. It's something to do with the curbside bins being a bit heavy for the council workmen or something, but I digress. Anyway, he seems genuinely enthusiastic to get involved, and pretends to ask his wife if it's O, then leaves throwing horses behind him to mask his trail.