We welcome guest writer, ‘zine guru, force behind www.betweentheclickandthebang.art and Badger Kull superfan, Giles Perkins who takes us on the ride that was the @badgerkull Twitter account. Join Giles as he shows us how he helped to sculpt the band into the momentary legends we all love…
The @badgerkull rollercoaster by Giles Perkins
“THIS ACCOUNT IS AN ARTEFACT – WE MAY OR MAY NOT RETURN – peace and love to each and everyone (sic) of you!”. That was at 00:12 on 26/08/2017, Badger Kull had left the stage, I was tired and sweaty with a brick and a poncho in my back pack, my self imposed work was done, skull make-up streaky, I said my goodbyes and headed off into the Liverpool night.
I wasn’t really meant to be there – I’d missed out on a ticket during the IT hiccups on launch day, reluctantly I put all hopes of the Dark Ages out my head but a chance sighting on Twitter led me to a resale which in turn led me to the Dead Perch Lounge, contemplating the list of skills.
I’d always been good at swimming, I swam in a squad for the town when I was a kid, that’s why I thought ‘strong swimmer’ was a good bet, least popular, most chance of danger. Fickle Mrs Fate had other ideas, danger wasn’t to be and shortly after 2pm on Day 1 I was assigned “superfan”, basically be a full on pain in the arse about a band, Badger Kull, that at that stage, barely existed. I entered my details in the big book (where’s that gone, what will it be used for?) and shuffled out of the hall at Constellations along with a few other early assignees.
I’ve had various dalliances with digital media over the years and know how to make something, literally out of nothing. Twitter being my medium I registered “@badgerkull” immediately, within a few minutes it was up and running, then began the rollercoaster.
I met Badger Kull maestro Pete Wylie and managed to find some of the band, quickly posted some photos, we had real people that was good. Post fact, post fiction it doesn’t matter. Hang on that’s not right surely, fuuk it there’s a job to do. Post more poorly taken photos – push snippets, create confusion. Within a couple of hours I’d got nearly 100 followers, then I was served with a “cease and desist” from @realbadgerkull seemingly run by one of the 400 tasked to really do social media for the real, fake band of the same name. Arrgghh, too much traction now, fuuk it, compromise agreement made – we’re the fans, too late, it was already the de-facto place for made up Badger Kull gen.
Hassle the band, hassle those around them, talk to people, post anything. Follow, retweet, comment, like, direct message. Relief came in the debate, I could sit and do nothing. End of Day 1, nearly 400 followers. And so it went, into Day 2 – building a pyramid of fans, fans who had as much idea on the outside as we had on the inside, built on the foundations of speculation and misinformation. I linked a sound file of the “Toxteth Day of the Dead” demo I’d got from a guy from a guy in a cafe, things went up a gear, 100s more followers, notifications were off the hook, I’d created a monster.
Sneaky photos, part heard / mis-heard conversations, anonymous tip offs, set-ups – fuuk it, none of it’s real, chase the numbers, chase people in the industry, pester the media, hassle anyone, perch or shark. Grow, grow, grow. Band members, choirs, rumours, fuuk it post it! I didn’t have a plan, no plan, no clue, no idea, but then neither did anyone else.
As I lead the chanting up the dock road, my phone pinged, Echo and the Bunnymen had responded with just a ‘crying’ emoji, that’ll do – peak digital Liverpool attained. With the 400 on the road and 900 followers in my pocket we wheeled into the dock, the ceremony was about to begin.
What the fuuk was that about? I’d posted probably 500 bits of dubious content, achieved a reach of over 400,000 impressions and had contact from people right around the world. I’d played my bit in getting the world’s greatest stupidest band the exposure they didn’t really deserve, or did they?
Then to decompress.
Footnote: It was a letter from the JAMs to my then fanzine back in ’87 that started my journey with Jimmy and Bill, those 3 days have made me itchy again. ‘Between the click and the bang’ is a forthcoming print only ‘zine documenting personal experiences of the 400, you want in, get in touch?
Giles Perkins (page 62)
All Photos courtesy of: G. Perkins.