Obituary. The Basement, band. (1997-2007). Members: John Mullin (35), Mark McKowski, Declan McManus, Graham Hassle.
Formed in the halls of st. Patricks High School, Omagh before moving on to the glamorous surroundings of Johnny lomax’s garage, they honed their “craft” to a semi-tolerable racket. Ambitions were high. Outlook however remained bleek. They moved to Liverpool, living together in a charming but highly slug infested rat hole. After a chance meeting with legendary music mogul Alan Wills, they quickly and miraculously got signed to Sony’s Deltasonic records. Some success followed, with tours alongside Joe Strummer, the Coral, The Libertines, The Pogues, amongst others. They somehow found themselves regularly on the pages of the uk music press and frequently told endless lies in interviews. They soon moved to much nicer dwellings with less slugs. They enjoyed a brief stint in the lower rungs of the top 40 charts their with debut single ”Medicine Day”. Their second single ”Slain the Truth” however flopped, but attracted fans including Noel Gallagher of Oasis fame and the quiet guy from Right Said Fred. Around this time, McKowski was violently removed from backstage at an Oasis concert after aiming the F word at Oasis personnel. Gallagher looks back in anger. Several unsuccessful Phone calls to Mr G have never been returned. At the height of the Basement’s hype they were supported by newcomers to the scene, Kings of Leon. A shambolic gig in London resulted in a post gig food fight in the dressing room. The Kings, charmed by The Basement mentality and drinking habits, offered to support them any time. Basement agreed. Kings went on to major global success and world domination. The Basement, meanwhile, didn’t. Kings did not return Basement’s calls.
The Basement retreated to their studio to endlessly work on their debut album “Hugs.”. The album came out to media backlash from the uk press, but got well received in America by the rising Americana scene, prompting a nationwide release in the States.The Basement embarked on a gruelling but pointless American tour, resulting in illness, debt, and heartbreak. Singer, Mullin (35), got arrested in Coney Island for not paying a $1 train ticket fee, while Hassle had a fight with the keyboard player in the back of a New York limousine, resulting in a lifelong wonky tooth. The Basement returned to Liverpool disheartened, bruised, and with an empty pocket book, but their souls remained intact. After having spent a quarter of a million pounds of other peoples money on their wild fantasies, the Basement wisely disbanded to pursue more attainable and cheaper dreams.. Mullin (35) now resides in Lancaster where he is writing a novel on his experience, called “My Side”. He is on the cusp of releasing his own brand of cucumber based health drink. He also holds the record for man most likely to play George Best in a movie. McKowski went on to form Chaz and Dave tribute act, The Lost Brothers. He died on a suspicious fishing incident earlier this year, but his memoirs continue to be printed weekly in the Ulster Herald. McManus formed his own band, The Regrets, and enjoyed success in Germany when he hit big with his cover of the Polka Kings classic ”Polka, Polka, Polka.”. He now sleeps on a bed of money in Gortin. Graham Hassle is living in the Lake District with his six children, his two brothers and his beloved cat. Several attempts have been made to contact him but so far he has not returned any calls.