The most ridicu­lous game Fight Like Apes have heard be­ing played by other tour­ing bands? “Hav­ing sex with each other. Loads of bands do that”

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Music -

One game sucks mu­si­cians in again and again, and that is, oddly, Con­nect 4. Kanye West and Com­mon are big fans, but the lead­ing light in Con­nect 4 is one of the most an­tic­i­pated acts at Ox­e­gen on Sun­day, Bey­oncé, whose abil­i­ties gained some­what myth­i­cal sta­tus among tour­ing mu­si­cians (as Kanye West re­vealed a few years ago, “ev­ery now and then peo­ple would speak of this leg­endary Con­nect 4 cham­pion: Bey­oncé.”

West played the game “for hours and hours – it helped me zone out” while on tour in Europe. In 2008 he got his op­por­tu­nity to play Bey­oncé in Las Ve­gas at Jay-Z’s 40/40 club. Out of 10 games, Bey­oncé beat him nine times. Sub­se­quently, footage sur­faced on­line of the rap­per Con­se­quence play­ing Jay-Z. Con­se­quence later gave an in­ter­view to MTV on the back of pro­mot­ing his de­but al­bum. “We went at it [Con­nect 4] when we was on the Glow tour [West’s 2008 Glow in the Dark tour, which fea­tured Ri­hanna, Lupe Fi­asco, N.E.R.D. and Nas]. Jay flew out for the show. I had just fin­ished snap­pin’ ev­ery­body. Shout out to Com­mon, he took a whole bunch of as­s­whip­pings. Me and Kanye go back and forth . . . Kanye is good. He’ll play me un­til I get dis­in­ter­ested, then start whip­pin’ my ass. Then I’ll come back the next day and whip his ass.”

Con­se­quence was pretty much un­beat­able, thanks to a strat­egy he for­mu­lated that saw him win al­most ev­ery game un­til Jay-Z cracked his code. “It’s a brain game, like chess,” Con­se­quence told MTV when he fi­nally sur­ren­dered the Con­nect 4 crown to Jay-Z. to a shop we’d put ran­dom ob­jects in his man­bag: cheeses, den­tal clean­ers, ran­dom stuff re­ally. The idea was to find the stu­pid­est com­bi­na­tion of stuff for him to steal un­wit­tingly. Things with tags were a ne­ces­sity. Then you stand back and watch him try­ing to leave the shop through the se­cu­rity gates.”

The band is now on Champ 2.0: sim­i­lar name, re­mark­ably dif­fer­ent con­cept. “This game also re­quires an ex­tremely pa­tient tour man­ager. You wait for any op­por­tu­nity to get their phone. Send a mes­sage to ev­ery pro­moter or artist li­ai­son on the tour say­ing how much you are look­ing for­ward to meet­ing them, how you had a good feel­ing about them and that you felt that you re­ally con­nected when you talked ear­lier.

“Guess­ing their favourite colour in ad­vance can also add a lot to the out­come. When you ar­rive at a gig you get to wit­ness the sheer awk­ward­ness of it all: your tour man­ager be­ing re­ally friendly and down-toearth and the pro­moter be­ing ter­ri­fied and sketchy.”

The most ridicu­lous game Fight Like Apes have heard be­ing played by other tour­ing bands? “Hav­ing sex with each other. Loads of bands do that. We pre­fer Champ.” The Min­utes, who play the Voda­fone Stage at Ox­e­gen on Satur­day, are fans of “mind games” on tour, al­though they also ad­mit to hav­ing a weak­ness for Fifa, Zelda and slot ma­chines. Stick­ing to com­puter games and gam­bling seems prefer­able to the stren­u­ous game they heard Dizzee Ras­cal was play­ing re­cently.

“When he was on tour in the States, he would make the whole bus – band and crew – get out and do 40 laps around the bus ev­ery time they stopped at a ser­vice sta­tion,” The Min­utes in­form us, “be­cause they were eat­ing shite and play­ing Xbox, and Dizzee said no.”

The Min­utes used to make up quizzes on tour, but not any more. “We tried to make up a game once on the way to Cork. The last ques­tion was ‘name all the parts of the fanny’. Never played that game again.”

So be it play­ing foot­ball with Deloren­tos or Who Wants to Be a Mil­lion­aire? on their iPhones with Roy­seven, stretch­ing be­fore go­ing on stage with The Coronas via the art of hula-hooping, or try­ing to beat Twister ex­perts Scout­ing for Girls, the art of the band game lives on, per­haps stronger than ever.

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