In the past, a traditional stag night – or ‘bachelor party dude’ if you’re from North America – would be nothing more than a simple pub crawl before tying the groom to a lamppost, stripping him naked and smearing boot polish on his testicles. Staggering home optional.
No-one knows how or why, but someone along the way decided that one night on the lash will not suffice. These days, groups of thirsty men have to arrange overdrafts and fly to far-flung European destinations, before drinking themselves daft and wasting a perfectly good tin of boot polish.
In April, five men visited a Hobgoblin festival to taste various beers and make the all-important decision on what to serve at the groom’s wedding. After thirsts were slaked and legs became wobbly, attentions turned to the stag do. Fuelled by beer and bravado, it was decided that the five men – whose stock in trade were riffs and bellowing – should form a band and play at a European festival. Bleeding Antlers were born.
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The band – who feature the stag Simon (Daken, vocals), Good Luke (The Defiled, guitar), Bad Luke (The Parks Dept, keyboard), Ben (Daken, bass) and Pete (Black Spiders, drums) –scored a slot at Belgium’s Roadkill festival and began to take their forthcoming party very seriously indeed. Perhaps sensing their role in the band’s formation, Hobgoblin were on hand to film a documentary, which features the band playing their London warm-up show, their European rock festival debut, getting matching tattoos and equally painful hangovers.
“With hindsight, jettisoning all non-essential items like amplifiers and back up instruments to make space for ale and liquid latex had set the scene for what was to be 72 hours of non-stop rock n’ roll,” says Simon. “To have walked out on the main stage at a festival, surrounded by great friends and great musicians really made this the mother of all stag dos. Plus, we are possibly the only stag do to have ever taken beer into Belgium.”
That deserves a certificate or something. Check out the documentary and gallery below.
Bleeding Antlers’ double-A side single Sweet Meat / Thumb It In is available on iTunes and Spotify. The band play London’s Black Heart on December 16.