Every so often we come across a really special venue. A venue that will treat both the musicians and customers right, making sure at the end of an evening - everyone can go home with a smile on their face. With more and more small venues closing down (including venues we’ve played at – The Watershed, Water Rats to name a couple), these few pillars of the community who still hold themselves to these standards are slowly dying out. Without them, new music has no way to thrive and so will slowly become the preserve of the ‘paternally bankrolled rich few’, as true creativity gets maligned in favour of the biggest wallet. These scattered few are the very life blood of the music industry! And one such venue has more than held on to its’ claim to that philosophy. The place I am specifically referring to is a glorious and magnificent venue tucked away in the streets of Kilburn – North London. They call themselves ‘The Good Ship’, and the name could not be more apt. This ship could not be more ‘good’, in fact ‘good’ doesn’t do them justice.

First up – bands get 100% ticket revenue for every attributable fan (after the soundman has had his £30 cut) – this is far and above the most generous cut a venue has offered us recent years – in fact by comparison - just this week we’ve been offered a slot at a venue in Brighton for a fee of £20 (so long as they are able to attribute 15 fans to us)!! Now it’s certainly not about the money – but as one grocer once said ‘every little helps’… And playing at The Good Ship allows us to more than cover our expenses – of course every penny gets reinvested into the #WonderMachine – music videos, recordings, mastering, equipment, web hosting, artwork and hair products…

But it’s not even the way The Good Ship ‘does money’ that excites me most… It’s rare to play in a pit (rather than a stage), and to interact with a crowd on multiple levels helps us to raise our game – like we’re playing a mini equivalent of one of The West End’s great theatres! And they project an image as the backdrop to your stage (which is cool), and they stay open all night (seriously, last entry is about 3am!)… It’s just a great place!!

Holding steady and proud as the unpredictable waves of the industry strike the bow and lap up the sides of the timber, The Good Ship has certainly sailed their way into our hearts (#BoatPun) and so we’re dedicating an extra special throw-back-picture-blog to our last visit on the 27th of Jan. With the help and the genius of our in house photographer James Owen, and despite the risks of coming across like a buzzfeed article we’ve decidedly picked our 6 favourite photo’s from the night to share with you. Enjoy!

Alex and I reshaping the face of fashion one poncho at a time.

Hitting up the stage (already worked up a sweat by this point)

Backstage with our V.I.P. #WonderFans

Hanging out with our beloved Gary (Who also played a massive role in the photo & video shoots!)

Had fun drawing each other (pretty sure this is Alek’s rendition of Dave, though Chris made the additional effort of the speech bubble.)

If that isn’t enough to satisfy you, you can head over to James’ website James Owen photography, for the whole set.

Thanks for reading #WonderFans, can't wait to see you at the next one!

Oli