Brand X and Andy Hicks

The following reflection was written in 2003, when I was between 25 and 26 years old.

“Well, I guess I’m still disenchanted, but we did a show tonight, and it was mighty fucking cool. LABELS, LAMEASS, ANYMORE, and OR IS IT were done. I also sang on WILDERNESS, a song by ken, and lead the band in a rousing rendition of DOMINATED LOVE SLAVE. We did END OF THE WORLD and WALK LIKE AN EGYPTIAN towards the end, pretty cool shit. still no chick, a job at purity, still a virgin, but i think, i’m a bit happier about it.”

That was what I had to say in my paper journal immediately following Brand X Detergent’s first gig with Andy as guitarist, and our first gig back under the old name after a couple of shows as Sigma Six.

The set-list looked like this:

  1. Labels (Clark/Clark, Johnson, Hicks, Dubner, Murphy, Martin, Mills)
  2. Leprechauns Sledding Down A Hill Of Vaseline (Hicks)
  3. Supersonic (Oasis)
  4. Or Is It? (poem by Clark)
  5. Wilderness (Mills)
  6. Goodbye Baby (Martin/Hicks, Dubner, Murphy, Mills, Clark)
  7. The Pied Piper Of The Westford Valley Marketplace (poem by Hicks)
  8. Tree Song (Hicks)
  9. Dominated Love Slave (Green Day)
  10. She Who Is (Hicks)
  11. Anymore (Clark/Dubner)
  12. Faded Memories (Martin/Mills, Johnson)
  13. Country Feedback (REM)
  14. The End (Martin/Hicks, Mills, Dubner, Murphy, Clark)
  15. —-ENCORE—-
  16. It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) (REM)
  17. Walk Like An Egyptian (The Bangles)
  18. Blister In The Sun (Violent Femmes)
  19. I’ve Got A Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
  20. Day-O (Belafonte)

A few notes about this show: We did poems for some reason but Jon didn’t do one. I think he might have pulled his at the last second or did one extra song in exchange. I read ‘Or Is It?’ which I’d written about my crush on Tammy earlier in the year and Andy read something funny by the name of ‘The Pied Piper Of The Westford Valley Marketplace’ and both were relatively well-recieved, considering this was supposed to be a rock show.

‘Wilderness’ made it’s only live appearance here and I sang on the dreary, Civil War-inspired song that KenMills had penned. I think he had planned on singing it originally but he couldn’t sing and play the keys at the same time. ‘Tree Song’ eventually became ‘Orange,’ the Brand X classic. ‘The End,’ our epic nod to the Cure and other such wonderfully melodramatic and emotional bands, also made it’s only live appearance here. I forget how long it stretched on for but the key problem with ‘The End’ is that we never knew when to end it.

The title of this entry also points out a chief characteristic of the show. It really was Brand X and Andy Hicks or Brand X featuring Andy Hicks or whatever. He brought in finished songs of a higher caliber than we’d ever developed with Paul. He helped us fine-tune the old songs and soon he would be helping us write new ones. Andy was an infusion of energy into the band and we would never be the same, for better and worse.