Vigilant followers of the Layers’ blog may have noticed a few months passing between instalments and feel aggrieved1, for although easily mistaken for barely coherent ramblings with a smattering of filth, a deeper study2 of said blog reveals an epic tale full of barely-averted triumph and disaster earned by the skin of our teeth3, full of heroism, life-affirming lessons, comedy and tragedy.
Never more so than last week, when we discovered that our drummer, eye-candy and official photographer, Roo, has sustained long-term nerve damage and is unable to drum for the next couple of years.
Alert readers (unlikely, given the levels of medication) will be aware that Roo is no stranger to injury striking at inappropriate times. From injuring his back in Vienna to playing through life-threatening influenza in the less salubrious environs of Swindon, he’s very much the battered warrior of the group. And no, Caleb, battered warrior is not a deep-fried snack.
Roo having been, as well as the foundation of our rhythm section, one of the great driving forces that’s kept us going through some tough times, we were shocked and upset to hear the news. There are times to let your butler tell your agent to get his people to arrange some representation to look at the procedures for dealing with something and there are times4 to get together over a pint. If there’s one thing at which The Layers excel5 it’s talking bollocks over a pint: thus resolutions were established and a turning point in our history negotiated.
So the good news is that we’re not losing Roo; he will continue to be the beating heart of the band. He’ll be contributing to the songs, playing some backing on stage and hopefully able to make even more of his vocals. But for a while at least, we’ll be playing with a new drummer. Look forward to meeting (yet another) new Layer in the very near future. In the mean time, the ever-dependable Dusty Jopling is stepping in for our gig in Stroud. It’s such a pity he lives in Leeds, otherwise this would be very easy.
We never hesitate to take the piss out of our beloved drummer. We’re reasonably sure that it doesn’t upset him that much. We rarely take time out to praise him but it has to be said that this is the kind of situation that can break a band up, alienate someone or be incredibly difficult for any other number of reasons. Roo has taken what could be a crippling blow for some and not just taken it with calm dignity; he has turned it into a reason to be excited, to find new possibilities in the music, take on a new role and get more involved as a photographer, video director and to use the change to drive us forward. We’re unlucky to be losing his services behind the kit but we’re unbelievably lucky to have him in the band.
We’re playing Headstock music festival at the King’s Head in Kingscourt, Stroud on the 9th. Come and see Roo’s debut as a multi-instrumentalist6 and look out for a new-look Layers in the very near future.
1. As most of our followers are far from alert due to regular, heavy doses of psychotropic medication and are using the bulletins as evidence that giant, sentient prawns have taken over the US government, we feel confident of getting away with it.
2. Deep study of the Layers’ blog is undertaken entirely at the reader’s risk. No responsibility will be accepted for deep psychological scarring (quite likely), eyes gouged out to avoid further reading (not unknown) or sides split from laughing (there’s always a first time).
3. very occasionally, vice-versa…
4. Like the times when you realise you can’t afford any of those people.
5. You’d hope there was something…
6.The last three syllables, at least, are guaranteed.