The Blue Eyed Crafters
What do you go to concerts for? For the music. What do you go to The Blue Eyed Crafters concerts for? To fall in love with music. I only went to one of their Friday showings in the first place just to get a glimpse of my old guitar teacher, my childhood friend and ex-neighbour. I knew he was good, but him playing along with those four strangers who were just as talented and gorgeous as him?
Imagine going back to the very beginning and seeing the big bang with your own eyes, watching the stars burn brightly and fall in to place, knowing that a gillion years from now there would be life on most definitely at least one of those round rocks. It was the equivalent. It wasn't the songs, it wasn't the scores, it's wasn't really anything to do with the music they played but their presence made the sound of legend. I fell in love with rock then. I fell in love with The Blue Eyed Crafters then. I was already in love with Ray Everson then.
After that, I went every Friday to the Crooked Jailhouse (an abandoned old jailhouse some guy bought and turned into a thriving local venue) and listened to every one of their covers and originals. I watched in awe as their fan base grew and grew, with me adding to the collective. I changed from a homely, average, less than exciting book worm to a worshipper of rock, who took the few chords taught by guitar legend Ray Everson from years back and rocked out on a my blue epiphone explorer bought off ebay.
I got into all sorts of bands after that; ranging from Black Sabbath to You Me at Six, from Sex Pistols to LostProphets, from Slipknot to Nickleback and even from Paramore to Bowling for soup. Old, new, serious, funny, screaming, whispers- as long as it was at least part rock, I would enjoy it, the majority of the time. My favourite band ever was still and would always be The Blue Eyed Crafters. They were just a local band, but they had a glow about them. They sang songs so much better than the noise that drilled through my brain when I switched on the radio. Eric Kasey, lead vocalist and second guitarist had the most amazing voice I've ever heard live. He sang the lyrics Ray had written for the band with a fire that got across the meaning and feelings of each song and connected to how everybody else felt, sort of like he was saying over and over again, 'You're not alone.'
They always started a song with either an inspiring bass riff from Robin Guise or a rhythmic beat from the drummer Scott Mitchell. Either way, the sounds always pulsed through the floor and beat against my heart, like Scott was beating the snare, or shaking my bones as the strings on Robins bass did after he pulled it. Then there were the soothing noises in the background that made the songs more up beat and catchy to listen to. This was done by Jack Keaner, keyboardist. The five of them were all blue eyed and rumour has it, each crafted their own instrument. Me, Nicky, Donna, Kirsty, Darren, Paul and the rest of the fans were sure they were gonna win this years competition and go all the way to getting signed. Unfortunately, that wasn't the way things turned out.
I remember the last time I ever saw them on stage. I had dyed my hair red, assuming that was still Ray's favourite colour as he had told me when we were little. He still wore red a lot, so I guessed he might. I thought he might be drawn my bright scarlet hair and recognise my face out in the crowd. He didn't remember me, he didn't know I was there and why should he keep all those memories of his childhood when it probably just brought back pain? Nethertheless, I never forgot him. It was fate that my dad had dragged me along so he could talk to his old classmate, the owner of the Crooked Jailhouse. When he mentioned a band that had played there for a couple of months and was making him quite a bit of cash I was completely in the background, couldn't care less, just kept on thinking of all the homework I had to do. Then 'Ray Everson' that name, it just hung in the air, still minutes after he said it. My heart raced, I knew I couldn't keep away. And then I couldn't keep away for a whole year, but neither could I bring myself to speak to him in person. Until that night.
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