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Archive for November, 2005

Recent Activity

Posted: November 22nd, 2005, by Chris Summerlin

Or what I have been doing instead of being here

Listening To: Last Exit “Koln”, Soundgarden “Badmotorfinger”, The Harry Smith Anthology Of American Folk Music Volume 4, Charley Patton “Screamin and Hollerin The Blues”, John Fahey “City Of Refuge”, The White Stripes “Elephant”, Notorious Hi-Fi Killers “2 song demo”, Silver Jews “Tanglewood Numbers”, Bonnie Billy/Tortoise covers LP, No New York reissue and the usual Thin Lizzy/ZZ Top/ ACDC / Hendrix

Reading: Crosstown Traffic by Charles Shaar Murray

Working on: 2 Lords record sleeves, learning a Beatles song to record on Weds for the BBC, sorting a mortgage out, convincing my landlady to drop ten grand off her asking price, selling my Saab, buying a more economical car, getting an Echoplex, draught proofing my house, playing Last of the Real Hardmen song with a tape loop machine, making a solo record from collages, booking a tour

Looking forward to: some rest

Recent Activity

Posted: November 21st, 2005, by Marceline Smith

Or what I have been doing instead of being here

Listening To:

Michael Dracula – Destroy Yourself
The kind of band Glasgow does best. They’re the Lung Leg to Franz Ferdinand’s Yummy Fur which means spiky guitars, screamy drawly vocals and GURLS. I tipped them on this very blog way back when they played with some other band I couldn’t remember the name of (yes, Franz Ferdinand at their first proper gig) but hopefully they’ll get some records out soon (ideally the awesome remix by Optimo’s Twitch)

Annie – The Wedding
Sometimes she’s just too candy cute but this is adorable without making your teeth hurt. It boings and burbles and whooshes in all the right places while Annie whispers away “I do I do I do” til your heart melts.

Black Heart Procession – 3
Mmm, depressing winter music. Time I dug out Cold House by Hood too. Sigh.

Reading:

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
After a few months of reader’s block all it takes is a new Murakami to get me to finally finish a book. Sure all his books are the same but when they’re about libraries and cats and memories I don’t really care.

DIY: The Rise of Lo-Fi Culture by Amy Spencer
A book about zines! It reads like a thesis and probably is but it has artwork by Rachel Slampt and stuff on the Yummy Fur. In a real book.

Working on:

www.misofunky.com
A new craft collective I’m part of with my friends Claire and Jo. We make mostly knitted and sewn things and you can buy them and look fabulous. Or just look at the website which is also fabulous if I say so myself. You’ll all be wearing disco ties by christmas.

A new paper zine
No really, soon.

Looking forward to:

Playing with Data Panik on Friday.
The new Girls Aloud album with Christmas cover versions and limited edition festive cover art!
Snow

What about you?

BOB DYLAN / YELP OF SORDS / JUSTICE YELDHAM Nottingham 15 Nov 2005

Posted: November 16th, 2005, by Chris Summerlin

I didn’t get to see Bob Dylan. There seemed to be about 20 gigs on in Nottingham on one night and even though I tried to lay plans to get into the fortress that is the Ice Arena, Bob doesn’t do guest lists for anybody apparently – let alone me pretending to be someone I am not in order to sneak in.
Next door to the Ice Arena is Bunkers Hill where Yelp Of Sords is playing. When the Dylan crowd begins pouring out of the Ice Arena at 9.30 I can only assume that he’s either reinvented himself again so comprehensively as to drive away his fan base, or that he wants to get packed up in time to pop in and see the Bunkers gig. It is unfortunately neither.
The bar downstairs at Bunkers is rammed with Dylan fans. There are a lot of folks who enjoy the mythology of music as much as the music itself. When you ask them what their favourite album is they quote reviews back at you. So it’s hardly surprising that someone who self mythologizes and invents as much as Dylan has such a huge fan base. Or that their interest in the words and opinions of others means they assume that the rest of the world is just as interested in theirs. So the bar is rammed with failed music journalists shouting their personal reviews of the show at no one in particular.
“A good bar band spoiled by a guy on the side of the stage playing out of tune piano and mumbling” was one. “I had to stop him (points at friend) from leaving” was another. A work colleague told me it was “bizarre”.
It seems quite apt to me that Dylan is in town as, in terms of truly popular culture, he was the first person to really actively seek to undercut an audience’s expectations or to drag an audience to where he wanted them to be – regardless of whether or not they wanted to be dragged. His electric conversion sounds positively pleasant to us these days but back then it was viewed as nothing short of total war by the folk crowd that hung on his every word (nowadays he seems to divide crowds in equal measure for different reasons).
Audience comfort level is something that’s at the forefront of my mind when watching Yelp Of Sords, the solo guise of Dan who previously played in Brighton’s Cat On Form. I don’t think any of COF would object to me saying that their sound was related closely to old school (mainly American) emo. YOS stretches this even further into territory so cathartic and stripped that it raises all kinds of questions as to exactly what the purpose of the music is in a live setting and I all I can conclude is that either Dan wants us to feel as awkward as he presumably does or he hasn’t considered the audience in the first place.
We’re all happy and comfortable to hear a person pour their heart out onstage: what used to be considered to be ’emo’ is pretty much mainstream pop these days and even the more extreme examples of the genre (Moss Icon, Indian Summer, Navio Forge) are relatively palatable due to the osmosis of that ‘twinkly-guitar-with-loud-bits’ style into mainstream chart music. But strip it down to a man with an acoustic guitar screaming his guts out and contorting in his chair and you have to concede that YOS at least proves there are ways of making ’emo’ music that are still too uncomfortable for most folks to handle.
Melbourne, Australia’s Justice Yeldham has a similar effect on his crowd. Yeldham’s live performance consists of grinding his face into a sheet of mic’d up plate glass. It is hideous for a variety of reasons.
One is that the transparency of the glass means you get to view his face all squished up against the other side of the glass like a kid on a special bus wiping his nose down the window as you overtake them on the motorway. Another reason is the sound really is quite nasty. The resonant properties of the glass means as he yells onto/into it and then pulls and squeezes at the sheet, the pitch of his voice wildly varies and wavers and this in turn is run through some truly ugly processing that makes it sound like a Dalek in it’s death throes.
I also have a real aversion to Savlon antiseptic cream too so I was pretty freaked out just 15 seconds after he took to the stage at Cabaret and elaborately squeezed half of a family sized tube of the stuff into his mouth in preparation for his performance.
Quite often, involving objects that have their own subtext in a live performance is gimmicky to the extreme. What I mean is that it could be considered fairly wild to play a guitar with, say, a baby’s head. It would be less wild to play it with a cauliflower. The wildness comes from the object being a signifier of other things – not from the sound created, as the sonic properties of both objects are pretty similar. I could be wrong but it seems to me that maybe Yeldham made a decision to use glass for sonic reasons first and foremost and that the finale of smashing his already bloody face through it is some sort of logical conclusion to his work in the field. I mean this in comparison to deciding outright that itwould be wild to smash glass on your face regardless of what it sounded like – purely for shock effect.
Because after all, we’re in the realm of sonics here right? This is a ‘gig’ even if it’s a strange one. Jonny, who promoted the night, said he was disappointed that more people didn’t turn out and it made me think about what Justice Yeldham’s set really was. It is sonic exploration and improvisation but it also performance art and the performance art has a definite, pre-determined conclusion (that he will smash his face through the glass – I guess the only undetermined part is when it will happen). I guess Yeldham sees what he does in the non-gimmicky category. Otherwise,why mic it up at all? Why not just smash the glass over your face?
Someone I work with said something interesting when they asked me what I did last night and I told them about this gig. They seemed very unsurprised by what I recounted and just said
“Oh, right. Like the Jim Rose Circus?*”
And I thought, well, yes it was – ultimately.
And the weird thing is if you just advertise it as
“TONIGHT A MAN IS GOING TO SMASH HIS FACE INTO A SHEET OF GLASS – £4”
– I reckon the turn out would be colossal. But is that what the guy wants? But even those there (who have an interest in free noise and avant garde music) were there for the pay off – the spectacle of watching this guy injure himself. The gore. How is that different to watching a man pump his own stomach or stick pins in himself?
I guess for him the physical part of things is a partly cathartic process, like performing his songs is for Dan in Yelp Of Sords. It seems with Yelp Of Sords that Dan wants to let out some primal scream style energy release. In fact he says as much when describing the reasons for one song (strangely the one song where he sang conventionally) as being connected to expressing the death of a loved one in a pure release of energy.
So even though they’re unconnected and on different bills if you look at it, Yelp Of Sords and Justice Yeldham have a lot in common – as an audience member at least. In terms of challenging an audience and provoking a reaction I found it fascinating that Yelp Of Sords was harder to watch and deal with than a man bleeding from his face and screaming. And what’s even more fascinating is that, because he plays guitar and sings, Yelp Of Sords is the ‘conventional act’ whereas Yeldham is the ‘left field’ act. But in actual fact the sonic aspect of Yeldham’s performance is more considered and crucial than that of Yelp Of Sords (because it’s what stops Yeldham being purely a freak show) and in turn the cathartic release that you’d think would make up Yeldhams show in it’s entirety is harder hitting from Yelp Of Sords.

Weird.

And even weirder is that whereas Dan and Justice managed to confuse a handful of people with their art, Dylan seemed to piss off several thousand people without injuring himself, or even trying. Seems if challenging your audience is the most important thing then the originator is still the king.

“I don’t get it. Is this a happy ending or a sad ending?”
“It’s an ending”

* Touring freak show from the early 90s featuring Mr Lifto, The Human Pin Cushion and the legendary Bile Beer.

Faust @ Hammersmith Palais, London 10th November 2005

Posted: November 13th, 2005, by Dave Stockwell

KEITH JOHN ADAMS – Pip (Happy Happy Birthday To Me, HHBTM070)

Posted: November 12th, 2005, by Crayola

One day people will look back and say, “I saw KJA play at a bistro in Dulwich”.
Which is a shame because he deserves so much more.

For those of you not acquainted with the joys of how KJA writes songs, and because I’m lazy, imagine a soup blended with all the best cuts of Robyn Hitchcock, The Kinks, Presley, Barrett, Jonathan Richman and Lonnie Donegan.
Yes. He’s that good.

“Pip” is a beautifully warm record. Even moreso than his previous “Sunshine Loft”, the songs here sound as though Keith is sitting next to you telling stories.
The album is all acoustic guitar and fuzz bass, clattering drums and KJA’s delightful asides.
Occassionally KJA has been bemoaned for using humour. I disagree. He doesn’t use humour in a Half Man Half Biscuit this’ll-be-funny-for-a-couple-of-listens kind of way.
The humour on “Pip” is a vehicle for honest emotion.
Take “Dad”, a song about KJA’s father and about the death of his mother. The opening verse made me laugh out loud,

“Comfortable as a pair of old shoes,
rational views on the national news,
drinking our tea in the glistening dew,
that’s me and my dad.”

but it’s tempered by a chorus of,

“when you share a life then you’re really living,
can you really live until you’re really giving,
when you lost a wife and i lost a mother,
but she’s kind of there when we’re with each other.”

which made me cry.
And that doesn’t happen very often.

Further into the album there are moments of touching beauty, like “In Love” with it’s gentle melody and whistled asides (the ghost of Donegan rears it’s head).
“Keep an Eye” is typical KJA tomfoolery. A skewed tune rattles around while Keith asks us to keep an eye on him as he doesn’t want to be “just a little speck floating out to sea”.

So, what else can I say?
A few people will remember him with huge fondness.
Why don’t you become one of them?

THE NIGHTINGALES – In The Good Old Country Way (Caroline True, CTRUE1)

Posted: November 12th, 2005, by Crayola

This year has seen the reissue of all three albums by one of my favourite favourite bands. The Nightingales always seemed a bit overlooked but for the few people that noticed they were a vital noise.
“ITGOCW” was the band’s final album and at the time of it’s original release seemed a rather odd step. The title of the album gives it away. It’s a country & western inflected slab of pop.
With hindsight though, this change of sound makes perfect sense. Main ‘Gale Robert Lloyd was always a country fan and, if you listen closely enough, some of the early records have a C&W flavour even if it’s hidden away under the post-punk guitar scrape.
Lyrically the band were always astonishing. Snapshots of working class toil wound up in wordplay that led to The Independent saying, “Lloyd is the most underestimated songwriter of his generation”.
From “The Headache Collector” onwards, this is an album of stunning and often very funny insight. “How to Age” is a six plus minute journey through unsightly hair and bodily decay over itching violins and glorious bass riffs. The addition of the couple of EPs that came out around the same time make for a complete view of The Nightingales in the mid-eighties.
Anyone with soul should have this record.

VAW/HELIOGABALUS – Vaw/Kingsland Waste (Difficult Fun)

Posted: November 8th, 2005, by Simon Proffitt

Ah, the noble guitar! So many things to so many people. To some it’s a vessel for the summoning of dark spirits; to others it’s an easy way to make quick cash, or a best bet for getting laid. For others still, it’s a warm and obedient friend on long, cold, lonely winter nights.

New Zealand ex-pat Cameron Bain, formerly of a number of varyingly obscure noise and punk bands, and here sailing under the flag of VAW, is someone who appears not to be content with just having a warm and obedient friend to keep him company until spring, but prefers to (is compelled to?) use this friend to summon dark spirits too. It’s a fascinating two-birds-with-one-stone combination, and results in a compelling first side of this split vinyl LP. Mainly the fruits of solo labour, the Vaw tracks are uglybeautiful: dark, scratchy and slightly claustrophobic smears of things that nevertheless contain moments of real tenderness and poignancy. There are wonderful snatches of harmony, sustained afterglows, fragments of chance melodies, all poking out from under a thick layer of dust. Occasionally throughout the set, Sean O’Reilly pops into the cabin to warm his hands at the piano, the shaker or the oboe. It’s low key, lo-fi, but highly satisfying.

The flip side is occupied by oddball duo Heliogabalus, also New Zealand ex-pats, and also veterans of the fertile NZ noise scene. Their side is considerably more rabid, as they channel mischievous poltergeists, rather than the more reflective, melancholy lost souls that Vaw invoke. Interestingly though, it’s all done with acoustic instruments – so instead of rich amp fuzz, we get cascades of feverishly plucked nylon, catgut and steel string, and the layers of silt on this side are entirely due to the joyously outdated recording technology. If at times it seems directionless, that’s because sometimes it’s more fun to just wander around and enjoy being lost than to map out strict routes, and every now and then you stumble across something incredible that you wouldn’t otherwise have seen. Deranged, and, consequently, quite a thrill.

Difficult Fun

AMANDINE – This Is Where Our Hearts Collide (FatCat)

Posted: November 5th, 2005, by Simon Proffitt

Let’s say that one night you come round to my place, just to hang out. No real purpose. Sometimes it’s nice just to spend time in someone else’s house. And while I go and put the kettle on, This Is Where Our Hearts Collide by Amandine is playing on the stereo, and it’s playing slightly louder than it ought to be, really, loud enough so that you have to raise your voice everso slightly in order for me to hear what you’re saying. After it’s finished, we both get that feeling that it’s s shame there isn’t more – neither of us are losing our minds over it, but when it’s over, there’s simply a vague sense of loss. It’s created a nice, warm easy-going reflective mood perfect for drinking tea to that I can’t really sustain with any of my other records. Everything else I’ve got is either too harsh, too minimal, cold, depressing, or intrusive. So I put it on again, and it’s comforting to be vaguely familiar with it second time round. Now – this is the interesting bit – when I tell you what it is you’re listening to, you are totally amazed by two facts:

1. It’s on FatCat records, supercool Brighton based home to such left field artists as Black Dice, Animal Collective, Janek Schaefer, Ultra-Red, Xinlisupreme etc.
2. The band are from Sweden.

You are amazed, because This Is Where Our Hearts Collide is a thoroughly pleasing collection of gentle, intimate and uplifting alt-country Americana. Olof (God, I wish I was called Olof) has a wonderful, fragile-but-noble voice, and he’s backed by breezy guitars, melancholy piano, accordians, banjos, a trumpet and some poignant strings. Most of the songs actually sound like sea-shanties. There’s certainly a sense of traditional folk about this. It’s the kind of music that I’d love to see live in a small coffee shop in small-town US. Or maybe a small, darkly lit chapel. Whatever, there’s an intimacy about this that would be ruined in a large venue. Which, in a way, is a shame, because the more people that hear this the better.

Amandine
FatCat Records

Someone always gets there first…

Posted: November 4th, 2005, by Marceline Smith

Well, I am back from my holidays and will post some thoughts on them soon. However, I see that the only two things of major interest that I did have already been written about elsewhere. Stu Fowkes has an in-depth review of Audioscope 05 over at OxfordBands while Alistair Fitchett once again has stolen my thoughts in his almost perfect post on Tangents about the Turner Prize exhibition at the Tate. Nice of them to do the hard work and leave me free to write some kind of flippant top ten list instead.

UPDATE: You can now look at some photos I took.

BORED AT WORK – a series of interviews

Posted: November 1st, 2005, by Chris Summerlin

In my job I work sporadically. I occasionally work really hard. I then take a well deserved break and email people. These emails exchanges are often profound, really. On Friday we did one of those crappy Myspace 20 questions things and I want to share the mundanity of it all with everyone.

The people are:

ROBERT CLULEY – ‘Bob’ works in some cushy office in Leicester in a job his Mum got him training graduates to do something or other. He is singer and mainman behind The Fabulous Foxes.

GARETH HARDWICK – Works for the Dept For Agriculture in some map logging role. I think. He is also my housemate and makes music as a solo artiste and in the amusingly named Bologna Pony. The night before this he vomited in the hallway of the house I share with him after busting into my room at 4.30 am in his pants. Amazingly, he made it to work at 8am.

MATTHEW NEWNHAM – Works for Experian and knows everything about you. He runs Gringo Records. He is my neighbour and colleague in the Damn You! empire.

IAN SCANLON – Is busy curing cancer in Surrey. He is a member of Hey Colossus, Black Horse and Econoline. He is a grumpy old man.

CHRIS SUMMERLIN – Is me. And I work for Nottingham City Council.

I stole the questions from another website, spelling is the interviewees own.

Is the glass half empty or half full?

RC: At the minute, after a fruitless night on opposite ends of a sofa with a girl, it’s definitely half empty.
GH: half full
MN: I am working. No time to answer questions.
IS: Half empty, and what’s left is sour! That certainly used to be the case, over the past two years though, it has become half full, and the best bit is left.
CS: As I realise the only thing that is for certain is my own death I begrudgingly accept the glass is half empty

Of what?

RC: Guiness, red wine, lust and hope.
GH: at the minute, water
IS: Today I am thinking about mortality the glass is half full of the rest of my life. I reckon I am just about halfway through.
CS: Cum

What makes you angry?

RC: Mainly, stupidity, which is ironic because my flatmate is the most stupid perosn I’ve ever met. Although thinking about it, Ben makes me angrier than anyone so it makes sense. Other than Ben, public transport, pikeys, people in cars who shout things or throw things, jobsworths, bad manners (eg you hold a door open for someone and they don’t say thank you), when you’re walking behind someone in town and they suddenly stop right in front of you, that really gets my goat. You could pretty much categorise everything that makes me angry as “other people”.
GH: noisy neighbours, dogshit on the pavement outside my house
IS: Wasting time.
CS: Internet message boards and the stupid supposed ethical and moral rules that are somehow enforced by a mythical higher power. You can say you hated a band so much you wanted them to drown but I can’t tell you that if I ever meet you I’ll kick your face onto the backside of your head and somehow one thing is allowed and the other is evidence to get me barred from the ‘community’ concerned. The internet has somehow given the right for people to be personally offensive about everyone’s artistic endeavours, even if the artist never wanted anyone’s opinion anyway. To quote Neil Johnson “the internet needs to walk into a pub in Arnold sometime and start talking about what’s right and wrong”

What makes you laugh?

RC: Jokes, other peoples’ misfortune, Homer Simpson. Stupidity. My friends. My stupid friends. The life of Will Green.
GH: dumber and dumberest with Noddy Holder
IS: bitterly, some of the things people tell me; heartily some of the other things people tell me
CS: The Simpsons. My friends. Trading Places with Dan Ackroyd and Eddie Murphy. Other people’s misfortune. Bad taste jokes.

Who’s your favourite singer?

RC: Bob Dylan of course!
GH: DC Berman
IS: Neil Young/ Stevie Wonder
CS: Will Oldham/Captain Beefheart

And what’s your favourite line from a song?

RC:I haven’t a clue.
GH: ‘In 1984, i was hospitalised for approaching perfection’
IS: “Music is a world within itself
With a language we all understand
With an equal opportunity
For all to sing, dance and clap their hands”
Sir Duke by Stevie Wonder
CS: At the moment it is
“I would rather live in a trash can
Than see you happy with another man”
I’m sure it will change but it does tend to flit from one Silver Jews song to another.

Which song do you wish you had written?

RC: For the wrong reasons Smells Like Teen Spirit, Creep, Song Two. For the right reasons It Takes a Lot to Laugh it Takes a Train to Cry by Dylan or The Hour That the Ship Comes In.
GH: The Artificial Arch Pine Song by Stars of the Lid
IS: Helpless by Neil Young or Queen of the savages by the Magnetic fields or
http://www.mamarocks.com/how_great_thou_art.htm just for the chorus
CS: I think Come In by Palace Brothers would be it, either that or Her Eyes Are A Blue Million Miles by Beefheart.

What could you not live without?

RC: I don’t feel I can answer this truthfully. I had to go two weeks with only £4.30 to my name once, that taught me that I can’t live very happily without money and food, or at least money for food. Other than that, the hope that one day I won’t work in a rubbish office job keeps me going, if I didn’t have that I don’t think it would be living. Looking forward to bank holidays and days off by the sea, with friends, beers, food, cricket on the beach, a test match on tv, a beer festival in the evening with some proper English folk music, a smoke, a stroll to get ice cream and a king sized double bed.
GH: Oxygen, food & water
IS: the few people I actually like
CS: The love and affection of a good woman.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given?

RC: I used to have loads of little adages that people told me and I’d try to stick to but it’s not really worked out for the best, so now I go with Evelyn Waugh who said that advice is something a wise man doesn’t need it and fool doesn’t listen to.
GH: Most things aren’t worth worrying about
IS: Go for it, take good care of your gums
CS: Don’t shit where you eat.

What makes you tick?

RC: What motives me? I’m not sure.
GH: Good company & good music
IS: Hate and just occasionally love.
CS: Heels

If you weren’t you, who would you be?

RC: I’d like to be someone who is naturally good enough at a sport to be a top level professional without having to try. Preferably, this sport would be cricket or golf for the gentle-paced lifestyle and travelling, or football or basketball for the chicks. Not rugby though, it’s for gays.
GH: No idea
IS: Superman or one of Girls Aloud
CS: Robert Crumb

What would you kill for?

RC: That’s a loaded question, kill what? I’d kill a spider for a girl but I wouldn’t kill another person, unless the girl was really hot.
GH: LOVE
IS: Food, shelter, survival, conveniance
CS: My children or my wife if I was married or I was a father. I am neither so: nothing.

What is your favourite work of art?

RC: I like the early works of Palozzi. The ones where he just cut out pictures before he got into making patterns and junk sculptures.
GH: Vir heroicus sublimins by Barnett Newman
IS: gravity’s rainbow by Thomas Pynchon or the rabbit books by John Updike.. if we’re talking visual art..hmmm composition VII by Kandinsky or seurat’s The circus, or maybe Picasso’s Guernica
CS: The white horse sculpture in the window of the first floor flat above the E. Ploton shop on the A1 road into Highbury in London. I would maybe kill for that, actually. Or I would certainly pay a lot of my money to own it.

What is the best drug?

RC: I don’t know. A free one. No, in fact the best drug is the one you can’t quite get. When I was younger we’d go round someone’s house for a smoke, and the excitement trying to get hold of some gear was such that when youc ouldn’t get any you’d swear blind that you’d missed out on the best drug. If that makes sense.
GH: DRUGS ARE BAD
IS: Penicillin, an oldie but a goodie.. newer ones like herceptin and Sorafenib are doing good
CS: Love. Actually, that’s a lie. I’d say cocaine seems to do the job it’s supposed to do with most efficiency but I don’t have much experience in the field.

How would you like to be remembered?

RC: Just being remembered would be nice. But really being thought of as the thinking man’s punk rocker is what I’d like.
GH: A good guy
IS: By my grandchildren as a good chap
CS: Fondly

What is your earliest memory?

RC: Timescales get pretty messed up when I reminisce so I’m not sure if it’s my earliest memory but I can remember some birthday parties with cakes made to look like hedgehogs, family Christmas before my Auntie died (something which somewhat trumatised my family I think) and school.
GH: falling asleep on the living room sofa after playschool
IS: Clear memory, My brother opening the door of our house in Hereford in 1981 and the snow being up to my shoulder coincidentally that was just after I got my glasses which explains why up ’til the age of 5 I have no visual memories just sensations of it being dark or bright and sounds I remember being terrified by one sound, that was war of the worlds by Jeff wayne NO
SHIT.
CS: I think my Mum telling the teachers at nursery that I had a crush on a girl playing on the trampoline called Charlotte. I’m sure I remember something earlier but I can’t place it.

Who would you have paint your portrait?

RC: I have no idea.
GH: Would anyone want to?
IS: My grandchildren (eventually), nowadays my nieces and nephews
CS: Crumb / Don Van Vliet

Favourite comic strip?

RC: Life in Hell.
GH: Modern Toss
IS: The Watchmen
CS: Anything by Crumb

What’s your favourite fairytale?

RC: The tortoise and the hare.
GH: Any Brothers Grimm
IS: Its a Wonderful Life
CS: Little Red Riding Hood

And favourite joke?

RC: At the minute: A penguin walks into a bar, orders a pint and says to the barman “I’m meeting my brother in here, has he been in yet?” The barman responds, “I don’t know, what does he look like?”
GH: When is bedtime at the Neverland ranch? When the big hand touches the little hand.
IS: chris summerlin
CS: The priest and the fucker fish

What is your biggest regret?

RC: I have three joint ones. Firstly, not playing cricket in my youth. Secondly, wasting years being a wimp. I have a supportive family who’d have been happy for me to have a go doing something I loved but for some reason I’ve drifted doing things I didn’t mind. Three, Josie Faulkner.
GH: Going to university
IS: Being too interested in being a “proper” rock careerist to either pay attention to being good at chemistry, or practicing/ gigging enough to be any good t music/ also not actually getting involved in the DIY scene when i was young enough to really get stuck in and tour/ go to europe and not have to worry about “real” life/ jobs.
CS: That I am not living in Australia right now.

Has your heart ever been broken?

RC: Sadly, yes it has. By girls and family.
GH: Yes
IS: yes on a number of occasions but never irrevocably
CS: comprehensively

Where was your best-received gig?

RC: That I played? Leicester.
GH: Q-Arts Derby, June 2005
IS: econoline groningen the Vera, Jet Johnson Brighton Freebutt , cash cow the laurel tree camden, hey colossus Brighton freebutt, Last of the real hardmen bardens!
CS: Wolves Of Greece, Radio One

What would your last meal consist of?

RC: Meat and plenty of it. For a drink, possibly human blood and LSD.
GH: Bangers and mash
IS: I would be allowed to cook it and it would be roasted squash, goat’s cheese, and forest mushroom rissotto with rocket salad
CS: Brie and mushroom parcels with sweet chilli sauce.
Steak with some sort of mustard sauce and loads of chips.
Apple Strudel with ice cream exactly like my old neighbour Polish Katie made.
A pint of beer.

OK, you’re facing the firing squad. Any last requests?

RC: A pardon. Or that a vampire would bite me, that way I’d become an immortal undead, spending nights rocking out in goth clubs and partying. Having to kill and drink blood would be a downside but if I stuck to pikeys, hippies and goths I think I’d be doing the world a favour in an odd way.
GH: Can I go now?
IS: Can I shoot a few people first. I have a list.
CS: That they don’t shoot me. Failing that, I would like Ron Asheton to play the opening riff to TV Eye by The Stooges really loud through a wall of amps as the process takes place.