Gig preview: The Blackout at The Cockpit, Leeds

The Blackout

The Blackout

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Talking about The Blackout’s forthcoming show at The Cockpit next week, frontman Gav Butler explains: “It should be a good night.”

“I think there’s a club night or something to do with Slamdunk, so it should be a cracking night.”

In fact, whilst talking to Gav, we were reminded that The Blackout were listed as only the third unsigned band to sell out the London Astoria. “Yeah, that was mental,” says Gav, “And I think the Darkness and Enter Shikari were the other two. In fact, Enter Shikari have never been signed, I don’t think, they’ve always done everything themselves, so yeah, that was fun.”

It was a pretty big accolade for a modern day band.

The more pressing matter I wanted to talk to Gav about, was the previous postponement of this tour, and why they are starting it back up now.

“I have a condition that’s called hemiplegic migraine.” explains Gav. “It basically feels like a migraine on steroids. It gives you the same symptoms as a stroke – you lose your speech, you get impaired vision, and you kind of lose feeling in your extremities. That wasn’t the first time it had happened to me, it was the second, so it wasn’t as scary as the first time.

“The first time it happened was last July when I was playing an acoustic show with my friend, Neil from Staging Empires, and it happened and I just couldn’t sing a song or play.”

“We pretty much jumped off stage and went to hospital and I had CT scans, and all that kind of stuff, I was tested for a tumour and a stroke as well. Obviously it came back all clear, thankfully, so from deduction the doctors said it could only be this condition called Hemiplegic Migraine which affects the nervous system. It’s not life threatening, unless you’re driving a truck when it hits.”

The band were only 4 or 5 dates into the tour when Gav was taken ill, so they had to reschedule and miss a few dates off completely over in Ireland.

“It completely sucks, because our plans were to get our heads down, and write some new stuff this month, so it has set us back, but, you know, we love being out on the road, and we love touring, so it’s not all that bad. And there are a couple of extra dates on this tour that we have added in that we didn’t plan last time round so it’s swings and roundabouts really.”

January 21, The Cockpit, Swinegate, Leeds, £11. www.thecockpit.co.uk

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