Strange name for a band? – The name of the band originally comes from a marriage council guidance course – “those who are unmarried are nowhere near the garden”; the garden being the biblical garden of eden/perfection. Whatever you say pastor! Other theories include (but are not limited to) references to beer gardens, horticultural disasters, plant allergies and the mould growing on Jason’s bed sheets (you wouldn’t want to go anywhere near that garden).
Garden party - The boys once ran up a £1175 bar tab in 4 days.
The guitarist can’t tell Kurt Cobain from James Hetfield - James doesn’t listen to music on purpose, Jason and Rog once had to tell him who Kurt Cobain was.
Metallicas sound man comes to the rescue – Big Mick Hughes once got a call to help the band in a small smokey pub where he fixed a tiny vocal PA that had packed in. He has done sound for NNTG twice. The behind the scene stories this guy tells are priceless!
Young musician of year – when not ‘playing in the garden’ Jason is a classical percussionist; he has played with the CBSO and was a semi finalist in the young musician of the year competition. He graduated from music college on the Friday of Glastonbury. Rog is a classically trained composer (the two met at Birmingham Conservatoire) and has written a number of chamber, choral and orchestral pieces.
Stolen gear – June 2003 the band had all of their gear stolen, £9000 in total. Other bands, friends and fans rallied round and supported by lending instruments and even donating cash. Regional TV and radio support as well. Gear is still missing.
Senheisser competition winners - rog entered a competition advertised in Q. The band came 1st out of 1300 entries from UK and abroad. Band won 1st prize: £2500 cash, £2500 gear (which came in handy after the theft) and a spot on Glastonbury 04.
The live mission statement Even though you might be playing the same songs every night you got to remember that it’s the 1st time that particular crowd has heard you. You owe it to them and yourself to give 110% every time you go onstage - rob
Tall singers – these are a bit of a garden tradition. Just look up.
Short bassists – don’t mention the height thing or he’ll get defensive.
16 band members and counting – To date16 members have gone under the NNTG banner with no original members remaining.
The coldplay piano – rog played the same piano that was used on the last coldplay album on ‘mirror mirror’.
Tea in Columbia – the garden boys once managed to blag their way onto the 5th floor of the sony building by pretending they were stars with an appointment. Once there they established a ‘loving’ relationship with the head of international A&R. Their then manager nearly sent him flowers to say sorry!!! It pays to get cheeky with the secretary.
Charity gigs – Cancer research, Parkinson’s disease, hope for life and Kristy Howard appeal.
Talking fish – the bass player owns a talking goldfish.
Greenfingers – rog started up the NNTG street team in November and so far there are members in UK, Ireland, Sweden, Italy, South Africa, Brazil and USA. Basically these dudes spread the word about the band. Flyering, stickering, e-teaming, contacting local radio stations and a number of crazy things – see website.
nntg.co.uk – one of the greenfingers recently started up the 1st unofficial NNTG fansite. The ultimate compliment.
Losing a singer to sex, drugs and Jesus Christ - the previous singer in the band returned to South Africa, checked into drug rehab and has been born again again. The band advertised for a replacement and had over 250 people respond including the receptionist from channel 4s ‘the salon’. The eventual replacement is so similar that he gets mistaken at gigs…“didn’t you have red hair the last time I seen you?”
Parr street – the band recorded in the studio owned by Phil Collins. Rog wrote some last minute lyrics sitting in Phils’ favourite arm chair…how inspirational ha ha!
TV and radio – the band have been on ITV, Channel 4 and various regional/independent radio stations. Go tell a deaf man was played on Swedish radio thanks to a Swedish greenfinger.
Source: NNTG (July 2004)
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