Interviews

Masters – Corduroy

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series Masters3

In the early 1990s, something unusual happened and something that has not happened since; two small independent British record labels were formed that defined the entire decade musically. On one side driving the Britpop era was Alan McGee’s Creation Records and on the other, Eddie Piller’s Acid Jazz which flew the flag for eclectic soul and funk. Part of that Acid Jazz roster was a band which may have had modest chart success, but retained a loyal fan base and critical acclaim for every album and single they released. NUTs caught up with frontman Richard Searle to talk about Corduroy and their forthcoming headline appearance at Le Beat Bespoke 12.

01. When did you get Corduroy back together and why?

We reformed in 2013 to promote a Corduroy CD box-set released by Cherry Red Records, featuring 3 of our 5 studio albums plus a Japanese live album; plus a previously unreleased live album via Acid Jazz Records.

 02. When did you first become interested in music?

We didn’t have a record player when I was a primary school kid. I grew up during Glam, (Slade, Sweet, T-Rex); but my oldest friend, who lived down my street (Elibank Rd), had a record player and his brother had two Who albums; so The Who were formative, and are still my favourite band.

03. Do you regard yourself as a mod? How did you get into it?

I bought punk records from 77 onwards, The Stranglers, The Damned, Generation X, Devo, Pistols etc, but I used to follow The Jam, they were ‘my life’. I saw them for the first time in 78 (supported by Generation X and Slade). My first parka cost £14 from Paraphernalia in Lewisham). My first bespoke suit, when I was 15, was from a tailor in Lewisham called James Joyce – the jacket still fits. When the ‘mod revival’ happened, I’d already started listening to psych stuff (the first Nuggets album, Velvet Underground, Shadows Of The Night, Electric Prunes, Love), so when the ‘New Psychedelic’ scene reared its head, I was already wearing more ‘swinging sixties’ gear, my hair was a ridiculous back-combed bouffant. I didn’t fit with the British ‘mod’ look, I was never into Two-Tone. When people ask, I say that I was a ‘psychedelic mod’.

04. How did the whole Doctor and the Medics thing come about?

The ‘psych scene’ was based around a couple of clothes shops, The Regal and Sweet Charity and a Soho club called The Clinic (in Gossips – Soho); the resident DJ called himself The Doctor he was my patrol leader in the scouts. The Doctor (Clive) was given the opportunity to record a single on Whaam Records, so he put a band together. It was only supposed to be for the one single, and a couple of gigs, but we had fun and carried on. I left after 8 years.

05. Which clubs did you visit during the late 80s and early 90s?

In the 80s it was mostly psych clubs, The Clinic, The Taste Experience, The Pigeon-Toed Orange Peel, and the Alice In Wonderland (a club which took over from The Clinic, in which The Doctor was resident DJ and The Medics played regularly). I went to The Bat Cave once – once was enough. In the 90’s I was going through a beatnik phase – Smashing, Frat Shack, Tongue Kung Fu. DJs like Martin Green and The Karminski’s were where it was at.

 06. How did you join up with Boy’s Wonder?

Boys Wonder were friends, they were truly great. They sacked the bassist Chris Tate and I filled in for a hand-full of gigs (a couple of head-lines at the Marquee and supporting The Hoodoo Gurus at the Town & Country, now The Forum).Tony Barber then joined.

Despite being ‘in vogue’ they were dropped by their record label, Sire, and then sacked Tony Barber. The Medics had stopped being fun by this point, so when they asked me to join permanently, I did so. The band then started a long downhill spiral of musical styles, band wagon jumping and failed attempts to get re-signed. By the time Boys Wonder finished, we were truly shit.

07. How did you meet Eddie Piller?

Acid Jazz was one of three record labels that the newly formed Corduroy went to see. Ed Piller booked us into his studio two days later.

His first words to me were… ‘Are you a mod?’

08. What is your assessment of the influence of mod on Acid Jazz and vice versa?

Acid Jazz became a refuge for displaced survivors of the mod revival, mainly because it was owned by one, (Ed Piller), but musically it was all over the place. The Sandals came from the ‘beat scene’, Emperor’s New Clothes were proper jazzers, and Mother Earth just wanted to be Traffic. Some bands initially did appeal to mods (JTQ and then Corduroy) but I think musical tastes changed with the labels’ output, which became quite ‘fusion’ orientated. Fifteen-minute hip hop, jazz funk, jam sessions by stone-heads with pubic beards wearing socks on their heads – just isn’t very mod.

09. What was the inspiration for the Corduroy sound?

We each had very different musical tastes, but we all shared a love of film music; this was the main inspiration for the Corduroy sound at its best (the first two albums). By the third album, that uniting force had vanished (lost through ego and endless Steely Dan records). I will always regret not actually leaving Corduroy after the second album.

10. What are you most proud of from your Corduroy years?

Record-wise, I guess the second album – High Havoc. Supporting Blur at Alexandra Palace, (with Pulp and Supergrass), was cool. Seeing the world, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia as well as traveling all over Europe. But my fondest memory is of pulling a girl’s knickers off with my teeth, during an excellent round of strip-dice (a game that I invented).

11. What was it like being signed to Acid Jazz and part of a vibrant scene in music?

The Acid Jazz ‘scene’ meant that people would listen to you, who normally wouldn’t, simply because they were into ‘the scene’. At its best, this meant that there was a family type atmosphere between the bands, and a sense of belonging, plus lots of work. At its worst, by the time Acid Jazz stopped being known as the record label and became regarded as a music genre, the bands couldn’t develop. When Brit-pop then over shadowing things, it became more fashionable than, the Acid Jazz scene, bands identified with ‘the genre’ were ultimately finished. The ‘scene’ itself moved back into the clubs – eventually with Acid Jazz Records buying The Blue-Note.

12. Which clubs did you visit during the 90s? Was Blow Up one of them?

I went to Blow-Up at The Laurel Tree a couple of times, more so when it moved to The Wag… Corduroy played a gig there. I had my own bar tab at The Blue Note.

13. Which bands, music, clubs or scenes have impressed you during the last decade?

Bands: Super Furry Animals, Spiritualised, Verve, Manson, The Dandy Warhols, Kula Shaker, The Prodigy, Earl Brutus,

Clubs: Smashing, was for a year or so, the best.

14. What has been the response to Corduroy coming back?

Very positive; getting lots of international invitations for shows as well as UK interest. We are currently writing new material with every intention of recording a new album.

15. What can we expect from Corduroy at Le Beat Bespoké this year?

Groovy, spy themed, organ-fueled, raw garage, punk-jazz, dirty mod, fun!

16. Are you looking forward to it?

Yes, very much!

 


We are too Richard. Thanks for taking the time to talk to NUTsMag

Corduroy headline Sunday night at lebeatbespoke.com at 229thevenue.co.uk Central London.

Check the bands facebook page here: facebook.com/CorduroyBand/

This interview was originally the one I did with Richard Searle for the updated Influential Factor.


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Graham Lentz

AKA ‘The Baron’ - Like many of his generation, The Jam started Graham's love affair with all things mod back in 1977. He is the author of 'The Influential Factor - A History Of Mod' which was originally published in 2002. An extract from the book was re-printed in Paolo Hewitt's 'The Sharper Word - revised edition' in 2011. Being a self-confessed 'broad-church' mod, Graham's interests range from Modern Jazz to today's up-coming new bands and everything in between. Although he has a passion for mod history, he also has a passion for the new. Whether it's music, clubs, media of every kind, clothing, scooters or art and photography, Graham supports, promotes and encourages as much as he can, because that's how we keep going. 'Give it a chance' is his motto. If it's not for you, that's cool, at least you tried it.

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February 23, 2017 By : Category : Bands Front Page Interviews Music News Tags:, , ,
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Newbreed – Los Retrovisores

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series Newbreed5

Los Retrovisores a Fuzz Soul band from Barcelona. Sounds louder than 1968.

Band Members:
Victor Asensio: Singer
Leo Hernandez: Bass
Pere Duran: Guitarra
Sergio Sanchez: Hammond
Quim Corominas: Drums
Hector Fàbregas: Chorus and Percussion
Edu Polls: Sax Tenor
Alexis Albelda: Trumpet
Francesc Polls: Bariton Sax

01. How long have you been active for and how did you get together?

Since 2006, most of the members came from a Jamaican music band called ‘The Cutties’.

02. What influences do the band members have in common?

We all are late 60’s and early 70’s dance sounds enthusiasts. We love most of the styles: from R & B to soul, reggae, psych or garage, back to rocksteady, and deep into beat… We’re also very influenced by the 60’s Spanish counterpart of that styles, as you could tell listening to our compositions.

03. Are there any other bands you’d recommend from your area? Why?

There are so many cool bands in our area: Rubén López & The Diatones (reggae) Penny Cocks (punk 77), Mambo Jambo, The Excitements or Los Fulanos (Latin Soul) to name a few…

04. What’s the 60’s/underground scene like where you’re from?

Barcelona has several bands, clubs, promoters, collectors and festivals… Some clubs we highlight: The Boiler Club, Movin’ on, The Gambeat Weekend, Le clean Cut, Wamba buluba and Pill Box. There you’ll find some of our favorite DJ’s: Xavi Beat, Julian Reca, Jordi Duró and many more.

05. How would you describe the style you play?

We just play the music we love to listen and dance to, without more restrictions. Our style evolved at the same rate we did. In our current set list you can find from Spanish soul to groovy funk, even freakbeat.

06. What are your live shows like?

The audience defines it as fresh and fun. We don’t like the bands that make a script for live shows. We improvise and always try to be ourselves. Our repertoire is compact, short and straight to the neck. No time for solos.

07. What are your main influences in music? Who do/would you play covers by? And who do you despise?

Our influences are as wide as our musical tastes. Mainly Spanish sixties bands, that like us borrowed the patterns from their own references, but projecting their own personality to their songs. We really love Bruno Lomas, Los Bravos, Los Canarios, Los Salvajes, Los Nivram, Pau Riba… We despise too many people to name it here!

08. What are your main influences outside of music?

Our universe is strongly influenced by the sharp & surrealistic Monty Phyton’ sense of humor. The French nouvelle vague and its evolutions are also one source of inspiration for our lyrics and videos.

09. Who writes your songs and what subjects do you deal with?

Everybody does his one’s bit, but to date most of the songs were written by Victor and Pere. This has changed in our last recordings introducing compositions by Leo and Hector.

10. What’s your favorite song in your repertoire currently? What’s your favourite song by another artist?

Our favorite song from the current repertoire comes from our EP Alma y Pisotón. It’s named ‘Me olvidé de ti’ wich, by the way, it’s been just released on video in a ‘Horror B movie’ style. Check it out! Our choice by another artist is Fire & Ice’s Music Man. We loved the complex brass arrangements and changing our regular subject –love- to an ode to that DJs that make us dance party over party, and that’s why we covered it (you can find our version at Alma y Pisotón EP too)

11. How would you describe the current underground scene? Do you participate?

The underground scene, at least in our city, is in a good shape regarding shows and parties. We all participate in one way or another, Victor, for example, is deeply involved with The Gambeat Weekend & the clubs Pillbox 60’s Club and Bread & Groove.

12. What has been the biggest challenge to date?

To forge ahead the band, beside the financial precarity of our members, the lack of public resources and benefits for empowering culture, and the economic depression that we are all suffering.

13. How often do you Rehearse? Play Live? Record? Anything interesting coming up?

We rehearse minimum once a week and play an average of three or four shows per month. More than two years passed between our debut album and our second release “Alma y pisotón”, but we’re reducing the time between recordings and we’ll release our third record in June, one year after the previous release.

14. What do you think of the music coverage in the media?

In Catalonia the mass media doesn’t give coverage to the bands that don’t belong to the mainstream market. For some time now, specialized magazines start to write about us. We also make great use of the social networks to reach our fans.

15. Who/Where would you most like to record with and why?

We’d love to record in London with George Martin and a gigantic strings & brass orchestra, just like Spanish duet Manolo y Ramón did back in 1970. We’d also like to record with Ricard Miralles, arranger for Joan Manel Serrat in the album dedicated to Antonio Machado.

16. What should we expect from you in the future? What are your plans and ambitions? What interesting gig dates have you got coming up?

We’re still working on consolidating our own sound and our show. We’d like to make people outside the scene dance, without losing authenticity or selling out. We’d like to say thanks for our appearances at Euro Ye Ye Mod Festival (Gijon, SP), Purple Weekend, Festival Beat (IT), Soundflat Ballroom Bash (GER) and look forward to our first ever show in the UK (London) at Le Beat Bespoke, Easter – 16th April 2017.

Discography:

VVAA – “L’Edat Daurada” (Jamaican Memories, 2008) CD
VVAA – “Moderno pero español, vol. 8” (Bon Vivant, 2009) CD
VVAA – Somos los Mods vol.1 (Bip Bip Records, 2010) CD
“La nostalgia ya no es lo que era” (Flor y Nata Records, 2011) LP/CD
“Alma y Pisotón” (Soundflat records/BCore Disc, 2013) EP 7″
“En el surco” (Soundflat records/BCore Disc, 2014) EP 7″
“Sonido Joanic” (BCore Disc/Soundflat records, 2016) LP/CD

Web Links:

facebook.com/Los-Retrovisores
bcoredisc.com
facebook.com/los.retrovisores
twitter.com/LosRetrovisores


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drrobert

I run The New Untouchables organization and events like the Brighton Mod Weekender, Le Beat Bespoké Festival (and compilation series of the same name) and I co-organize Euro Ye Ye with the Trouble & Tea crew. I have run many clubs over the last 20 years in London, where I live and current nights include Timebox, Zoo Zoo, Crossfire, 100 Club and Mousetrap allnighter which has just celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2011. I have been lucky to DJ all over the globe including Japan, Canada, USA and Europe and met some great people on my journey. I run RnB Records to offset my vinyl addiction: newuntouchables.com/rnbrecords for rare vintage vinyl.

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February 23, 2017 By : Category : Bands Europe Front Page Interviews Music Scene Tags:, , , , ,
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Newbreed – Eliphant

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series Newbreed5

Elipant is a North London Power trio formed in 2015. Psychedelic influences mixed with punk-rock sensibilities. Retro with a contemporary twist and a will to sound like no one else. Lyrically in between sensual surrealism and no-bullshit politics. Building a strong following with their high-energy live shows. Eliphant declares war against the stiff and the bored!

01. How long have you been active for and how did you get together?

Eliphant was formed in spring 2015 by Dade and Elian who knew each other from a chance meeting and playing in another band, played our first gigs that summer with our first drummer Marco. We got Nelson on board in June 2016 and we’ve been living happily ever since.

02. What influences do the band members have in common?

We’re united by our passion for music, cinema and arts along with the fact that we both decided to come to London to pursue our dreams and ambitions.

03. Are there any other bands you’d recommend from your area? Why?

Since we started we shared nights with some very cool 60’s influenced bands. The Carnations who pushed us to get together, Creamer & Wesley, Black Doldrums, The pacers, DIN,… They appeal to us because of their sense of originality, tunes and charm.

04. What’s the 60’s/underground scene like where you’re from?

It’s hard to tell as we’ve been away for many years now and are yet to tour Europe. Elian, Nelson and Dade all used to play in bands doing pub circuits back in Paris, Lisbon and Nizza in Italy respectively. There wasn’t much of a 60’s/underground scene like there is now.

05. How would you describe the style you play?

Psychedelic sixties garage mixed with punk-rock sensibilities. Retro with a contemporary twist.

06. What are your live shows like?

Explosive! Live shows are the best representation of our band. We love to take our audience on a trip, between strong songs and improvisations. That way every show is different and surprising.

07. What are your main influences in music? Who do/would you play covers by? And who do you despise?

We all got an eclectic taste in music so anything relevant since rock’n’roll started. In our music, you could find influences from Bowie, Love, Stooges, early Floyd, Pistols, Pixies, Sonic Youth, White stripes and so on. We played covers of ‘Moonage daydream’ by David Bowie, ‘Break on through’ by The Doors. Apart from the top 40 garbage not worth mentioning… Virtuoso music, posers with no songs to offer, any music that sounds safe and formatted (Coldplay?).

08. What are your main influences outside of music?

Each of us in the band, our lovers and our friends. All the crazy characters we meet around this fair old town. Daily lives, socializing at night and Wetherspoons.

09. Who writes your songs and what subjects do you deal with?

Elian writes the basic songs, lyrically dealing with love, lust, social commentary and a sense of freedom. Sometimes abstract to paint an emotion or a situation. other times we use music as a way to make fun of the crap that the media and society push on us.

10. What’s your favorite song in your repertoire currently? What’s your favourite song by another artist?

One of our new songs: ‘She comes in waves’ or ‘Running out of dreams’, two sides of the same coin. Summer beats guaranteed to take you away. These are both inspired by last year’s adventures, trying to find moments of bliss amidst the chaos. Our favourite song would change every day, let’s be boring and say No Fun by the Stooges.

11. How would you describe the current underground scene?  Do you participate?

There’s a lot of exciting nights around town and many great talents to be found. The key is to be united and have a sense of community among bands, artists and DJ’s. We’re delighted to be part of this.musical landscape, looking forward to traveling around by inviting bands to a gig in our area and vice-versa, play festivals around the country.

12. What has been the biggest challenge to date?

Making a living in London while having enough time to do what we love and let it rock!

13. How often do you Rehearse? Play Live? Record? Anything interesting coming up?

We rehearse every week, as for gigs, at least once a month. We once played 2 gigs in a day, that was a little crazy but fun. We’d play once or twice a week if we could. there’s nothing like playing live to get tight and hot as a band. We recorded two EP’s so far and we plan to capture the true essence of the band on tape in the very near future.

14. What do you think of the music coverage in the media?

If you’re curious, the internet and social media make it real easy to find out where the action is, at least in terms of events. We only wish genuine artists who write and sing their own music would be represented more fairly in the media, but at least we don’t own TVs. New bands now do all the promotion themselves and pay Facebook and Spotify for sponsoring and getting their music out there. This is quite sickening when you think of the profits these companies make on behalf of artists works.

15. Do you rate any current mainstream or underground bands?

We like bands with a 60’s/70’s touch like Foxygen, Lemon Twigs and Public Access TV from across the pond. There’s some exciting bands around like Cabbage or Estrons, great shows.

16. Who/Where would you most like to record with and why?

It would have to be someone we get on well with, but the list could be long. It’d be intriguing to work with Dave Fridmann (MGMT, Tame Impala) he seems to be a sonic wizard. Abbey Road would be thrilling for obvious reasons, but if we could choose, why not go to a place like Sunset Sound in California? Absolutely everyone we love has worked there at some point. That, or a trip to the desert with Josh Homme.

17. What should we expect from you in the future?  What are your plans and ambitions? What interesting gig dates have you got coming up?

We’re looking forward to experimenting and take our sound further, make new videos and have an album ready by the end of the year. We’ll be going on a tour in Italy at the beginning of March and we’re buzzing about it! Then we play at Le Beat Bespoke in London at Easter (April 2017). Ideally, we’ll continue to create and spread our music across the world and never feel old.

Free at last!

Main Site: eliphant.co.uk

Social Networks:

Facebook:  facebook.com/eliphantsound
Twitter: twitter.com/eliphantsound
Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/eliphantsound
Instagram: instagram.com/elian.eliphant


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drrobert

I run The New Untouchables organization and events like the Brighton Mod Weekender, Le Beat Bespoké Festival (and compilation series of the same name) and I co-organize Euro Ye Ye with the Trouble & Tea crew. I have run many clubs over the last 20 years in London, where I live and current nights include Timebox, Zoo Zoo, Crossfire, 100 Club and Mousetrap allnighter which has just celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2011. I have been lucky to DJ all over the globe including Japan, Canada, USA and Europe and met some great people on my journey. I run RnB Records to offset my vinyl addiction: newuntouchables.com/rnbrecords for rare vintage vinyl.

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February 15, 2017 By : Category : Bands Clubs Events Front Page Interviews Music Tags:, , , ,
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Newbreed – The Arrogants

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Newbreed5

The Arrogants are part of a growing wave of young musicians who, unlike many other teenagers of their generation, are not interested in video games and hipster bands name-checks. These particular young men, alongside a number of others in various countries (some of whom you may know from other Dirty Water Records releases) have happily spent their teens investigating classic 20th-century music: blues, rock’n’roll, garage-rock, rhythm’n’blues!

And they decided they wanted guitars in their hands rather than games consoles. The Arrogants began their musical archaeology first as a 14-year-old duo, then as a 15-year-old trio… Then with an organist, as a quartet, they were ready to be heard by the wider world, with their debut EP, (‘Introducing the Arrogants’ on Dirty Water Records). And now, with the addition of a fifth band member, a rhythm guitarist, to further fill out their sound they are ready with their first long-player.

Whilst digging the sounds of the past, they have successfully developed their own repertoire, writing their own songs and gaining recognition in their home-town by playing as support to their heroes The Pretty Things, and appearing at the Lille Vintage Weekend in front of 15,000 strong crowd. And, recently, they appeared in front of 57,000 people opening for Lenny Kravitz at the Mainsquare Festival in Arras, France.

Produced by French Londoner Healer Selecta (a.k.a. Yvan Serrano of the Dustaphonics) and mastered by Pete Maher (who has worked for U2, The Killers, Rolling Stones, and Jack White, amongst other famous names), these eleven tracks were recorded at the vintage studio of the National Belgian Corporation in just three days. Serrano remembers seeing the sixteen-year-old Arrogants on stage for the first time, ‘It was a strange feeling, as though I was watching an original garage band. Their garage sound is pure, minimal and wild. To make true sixties garage, it should have this youthful energy and not over-do the technical ability to make for a real musical experience.’

The London album launch was on 31 October 2015 at the Fiddler’s Elbow, NW5 in a joint promotion by the Dirty Water Club and Weirdsville. The French album launch was at the Roubaix Vintage Weekender, a major festival attracting tens of thousands of revellers.

It’s been a rather busy 2016 for these ‘fab five’ from Lille, France having been interviewed on French national television along with mainstream magazine features, countless articles, reviews and international radio play. The group produced in grand style, their first video for the title track and single off their scorching hot debut album ” No Time To Wait.” The band has been touring all over Europe including a concert at the legendary Liverpool Cavern Club (Home The Beatles).

Major Influences: 60’s Mod sounds The Who, The Small Faces. Garage Rock The Standells, The Shadows of Knights. Psychedelic sounds 13th Floor Elevetors. Blues Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker. 50’s Rhythm & Blues Chuck Berry, and Bo Diddley!

The Arrogants consist of Thomas Babczynski in the lead guitar and vocals, Louis Szymanowski in the bass, Martin Tournemire in the organ, Hugo El Hadeuf in the drums, and Emilian Mierzejewski in the rhythm guitar.

01. How long have you been active for and how did you get together?

The band started in 2008 with Thomas & his younger brother Luc. At this time as the band was just two guitar and two fuzz pedals. Thomas started singing and they both plays guitars. Luc was 13 and Thomas was 14. They did their first big gig in Brussels in 2009 for the National Belgian Radio & Television Broadcasting Co, then Luc stopped guitar and started the drums. They met Louis who became the bass man and then found an organist. Then Luc left the band.

At that time they changed the line up: the drummer and then the organist. Thomas met Hugo the new actual drummer in his neighborhood (he was playing so loud that we can hear him from his own bedroom…) One morning, he knocked on his door and just simply asked him if he wanted to join a rock n roll band and he said ‘yes’ of course. He met Martin the organist at school and him and some others were skipping lessons whilst playing music for the Church part of our school that’s where he first heard him playing the organ – he was amazed so he asked him if he wanted to join a rock n roll band and he said ‘yeah’! Thomas met Emilian, the rhythm guitarist in our Town.

02. What influences do the band members have in common?

Bo Diddley, Small Faces, Shadows of Knight, The Fabulous Wailers, The Sonics, and The Seeds.

03. Are there any other bands you’d recommend from your area? Why?

The Gentlemen’s Agreements cause they are very good!

04. What’s the 60’s/underground scene like where you’re from?

Pretty Mod inspired at the moment.

05. How would you describe the style you play?

Fuzzadelic! What we’ve created is a mix of everything that we like: sixties music and the revival stuff that came up in the eighties and some of today’s sounds too

06. What are your live shows like?

Energetic and very wild, we like a ‘crazy’ crowd!

07. What are your main influences in music? Who do/would you play covers by? And who do you despise?

60’s Garage Rock, just one cover “Gloria” by Them. We don’t like the mainstream pop of today.

08. What are your main influences outside of music?

60’s Culture in general, Modernism, and clean Design!

09. Who writes your songs and what subjects do you deal with?

Mostly Thomas. It’s all about life, dreams, experiences and gals.

10. What’s your favourite song in your repertoire currently? What’s your favourite song by another artist?

That’s a new one “No Plan”.  Out of Our Tree” – The Fabulous Wailers

11. How would you describe the current underground scene?  Do you participate?

Interesting but without much media focus on it. Absolutely, we get out and about!

12. What has been the biggest challenge to date?

Main Square Festival Arras France. 57,000 people!

13. How often do you Rehearse? Play Live? Record? Anything interesting coming up?

Once a week, once a week, recording as much we can, we look forwards to our Spanish Tour soon!

14. What do you think of the music coverage in the media?

Could be better, Is there any music coverage by the media?

15. Do you rate any current mainstream or underground bands?

Brian Jonestown Massacre, King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard, Nick Waterhouse,  and also Allah-Las.

16. Who/Where would you most like to record with and why?

The Sorrows, because they were there in the good old days and still incredible on stage.

17. What should we expect from you in the future? What are your plans and ambitions? What interesting gig dates have you got coming up of interest?

A new album, a world tour, Spanish Tour, Le Beat Bespoké – Easter 2017 in London which will be amazing!


Social Networks:

Facebook: – facebook.com/TheArrogants/ 

Soundcloud: – soundcloud.com/the-arrogants


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drrobert

I run The New Untouchables organization and events like the Brighton Mod Weekender, Le Beat Bespoké Festival (and compilation series of the same name) and I co-organize Euro Ye Ye with the Trouble & Tea crew. I have run many clubs over the last 20 years in London, where I live and current nights include Timebox, Zoo Zoo, Crossfire, 100 Club and Mousetrap allnighter which has just celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2011. I have been lucky to DJ all over the globe including Japan, Canada, USA and Europe and met some great people on my journey. I run RnB Records to offset my vinyl addiction: newuntouchables.com/rnbrecords for rare vintage vinyl.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

February 15, 2017 By : Category : Bands Front Page Interviews Music Tags:, , , ,
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NewBreed – New Candys

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series Newbreed5

New Candys formed in Venice (Italy) in 2008, consisting of Fernando Nuti (vocals, guitar, sitar), Diego Menegaldo (vocals, guitars), Stefano Bidoggia (bass, organ) and Dario Lucchesi (drums, percussion). Their influences have roots in The Velvet Underground and Syd Barrett.

After a self-produced EP, in 2012 they released the album “Stars Reach The Abyss” on Foolica, a UK tour followed. In 2015 they took part in “The Reverb Conspiracy”, a compilation curated by Fuzz Club/The Reverberation Appreciation Society (Levitation Austin). Later that year “New Candys As Medicine”, album mixed by John Wills (producer and drummer of Loop), has been released on both Picture In My Ear/Fuzz Club and added to The Committee To Keep Music Evil catalogue, receiving praises from Simone Marie Butler of Primal Scream and Stephen Lawrie of The Telescopes.

Two EU/UK tours followed, including festivals like The Secret Garden Party 2015 and Liverpool Psych Fest 2016. They shared the stage with The Warlocks, Dead Skeletons, Crystal Stilts, Slowdive, Savages, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and The Vaccines among others.

01. How long have you been active for and how did you get together?

For 9 years now, half of us were friends since teenage years, the other half because of the common passion for music.

02. What influences do the band members have in common?

Lots of bands, every time one of us discovers something cool it starts being played in our van, we talk a lot about what we like to see if it can become an influence on our own music.

03. Are there any other bands you’d recommend from your area? Why?

There are many, all of them truly believe in what they do and we like them: Kill Your Boyfriend, Mother Island, Gli Sportivi, Supertempo, High Mountain Bluebirds, Zabrisky, Miss Chain & The Broken Hills, Father Murphy, Hund, Temple Mantra and many others.

04. What’s the underground scene like where you’re from?

The city we come from is Treviso, a boring city with a passion for food and nothing else, the area of Venice let us become what we are today, with people more passionate about music and real interest in culture.

05. How would you describe the style you play?

Modern dark rock’n’roll.

06. What are your live shows like?

It depends, if the venue is not too big and people starts moving and dancing since the beginning, we can show our best. Lights/visuals also have an impact on our performance, the darker the better.

07. What are your main influences in music? Who do/would you play covers by? And who do you despise?

We played some covers of The Velvet Underground, probably our main influence together with Syd Barrett. Nirvana, Oasis and Brian Jonestown Massacre have been important for us too. Speaking about what is normally considered a “classic”, we don’t like Led Zeppelin, Queen and generally all bands where vocals sound like Axel Rose.

08. What are your main influences outside of music?

Cinema, directors like Fellini, Argento, Bertolucci but also Refn, Kubrick, Lynch to name a few. Poetry, Blake, Bukowski and of course Dante Alighieri.

09. Who writes your songs and what subjects do you deal with?

We write together, the subjects are surreal sometimes, metaphorical, lyrically we try to describe a scene, like painting, using words just to evoke images, we’re not interested in carrying clear and immediately understandable messages. It is important to give freedom to the listener, let everyone’s sensibility influence the codification of a song.

10. What’s your favorite song in your repertoire currently? What’s your favourite song by another artist?

Probably are the ones from the new album, after a while, you get tired of playing the old songs so the newer sounds fresh and are more interesting to play. From another artist, we like “Some Velvet Morning” by Hazlewood/Sinatra.

11. How would you describe the current underground scene?  Do you participate?

We feel like we are part of a scene because we end up playing shows with the same bands in different parts of Europe, and we can see there is a net that includes all these bands. This is really helpful, we feel like we all share the same attitude, have roots on almost the same cool music.

12. What has been the biggest challenge to date?

The recording process, in general, is difficult, psychologically and technically, it’s a completely different thing than playing live and writing.

13. How often do you Rehearse? Play Live? Record? Anything interesting coming up?

We rehearse at least two times a week, more if we are in a productive creative moment. We play live as much as possible, record once a year (or two).

14. What do you think of the music coverage in the media?

Media are not involved much in what we like, the internet is the only way to find interesting stuff. If the music scene is what we see on TV these days, we would probably not be a band now. American hip-hop and mainstream pop bands/singers currently under the spotlight are simply pure rubbish with nothing to say, if people like them, good for them.

15. Do you rate any current mainstream or underground bands?

Mainstream… The Strokes maybe? About underground bands, we like BRMC, The Black Angels, The Warlocks, The Dandy Warhols, A Place To Bury Strangers, Dead Meadow, Singapore Sling and many others.

16. Who/Where would you most like to record with and why?

We don’t have big knowledge about producers, to be honest, so let’s say with someone interested in us that has done albums we like.

17. What should we expect from you in the future?  What are your plans and ambitions? What interesting gig dates have you got coming up?

A new album this year with a US/Canada tour after, that’s our main goal. We’re excited for our new short tour (before the new album), here you can find the shows listed: newcandys.com. Many thanks for the interview!

Social Links:

Website – newcandys.com
Facebook – facebook.com/newcandys
Twitter – twitter.com/NewCandys
Bandcamp – newcandys.bandcamp.com
Soundcloud – soundcloud.com/newcandys
Instagram – instagram.com/newcandys


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drrobert

I run The New Untouchables organization and events like the Brighton Mod Weekender, Le Beat Bespoké Festival (and compilation series of the same name) and I co-organize Euro Ye Ye with the Trouble & Tea crew. I have run many clubs over the last 20 years in London, where I live and current nights include Timebox, Zoo Zoo, Crossfire, 100 Club and Mousetrap allnighter which has just celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2011. I have been lucky to DJ all over the globe including Japan, Canada, USA and Europe and met some great people on my journey. I run RnB Records to offset my vinyl addiction: newuntouchables.com/rnbrecords for rare vintage vinyl.

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February 12, 2017 By : Category : Bands Front Page Interviews Music Tags:, , ,
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Hey! Mr DJ – Stephan Golowka

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Hey! Mr DJ 6

We recently caught up with DJ Stephan Golowka from Germany, to talk about his musical outlook.

01. How and when did you get into music and what were you listening to then?

I got into the local mod and scooter scene near Frankfurt when I was at middle school. The idea of style and coolness impressed me deeply when I was a youngster. The Who, The Kinks, The Small Faces, The Jam, Ska, 2-Tone and Madchester were the sounds I listened to in those days.

02. Where was your first DJ slot?

That was certainly at one of those private cellar parties when I was at a very tender age. I played some of the above mentioned music.

03. What was your most memorable DJ spot?

I especially loved the first Le Beat Bespoké in 2005, Euro YéYé the same year, Purple Weekend in 2009 and numerous other weekenders, parties and unforgettable club nights at the Up Club. Many magical and great moments.

04. What so far, has been your worst DJ experience?

Luckily I never really had bad DJ experiences. Crappy sound systems or interruptions due to technical problems can be annoying.

05. Your favourite scene DJ’s and why?

There are many excellent DJs out there. A good DJ should be able to play distinctive sets and surprise with different, exciting tunes. Rob Bailey has to be mentioned for his top class sets in various genres & continuity on the highest level for so many years. bMichael Wink, Frantz Lisi and the Belgian beat scene were influential in my younger days, – all ahead of their time.

06. What has shaped your DJ sound and why?

Early trips to the Blow-Up Club, national and international mod weekenders were inspiring. Many fantastic compilations like The British Psychedelic Trip or the Rubble Collection helped forming my favourite kind of music. I started to collect and play those classic 45s and continued to dig a little deeper..

07. What was your best ever find/discovery?

In 2000 I found a nice copy of The Rebel Rousers – As I Look for 15.- Deutsche Mark in a small record shop in Frankfurt. Also, Ron Gray – Hold Back The Sunrise or The Pagens – Mystic Cloud, might be two nice examples of discoveries in a club/DJ context.

08. Who was your biggest influence musically and your favourite artist(s)?

The Beatles, The Kinks, The Byrds. Some of my favourite bands are Kaleidoscope (UK), The Pretty Things a.k.a. Electric Banana, early Pink Floyd, Love

09. Do you collect specific labels/artists/genres?

Mainly British freakbeat, psychedelia and US-American garage and psych 45s, certainly no particular labels or artists.

10. Where can folks currently catch your DJ set?

Le Beat Bespoké #12 at Easter in London.

11. What is the record you would most like to own?

There was this acetate on Audiodisc without any information on the label. A fantastic unreleased catchy garage psych number with loads of fuzz that was auctioned for a small fortune a few years ago. I really hope it will be released one day or turn up again. Aso, The End – Second Glance (Emidisc Acetate)

12. Please give us a top 10 all time favourites and a current top 5 spins?

Top 10 Tracks of All Time:

01. One In A Million – Double Sight (MGM)
02. Turnstyle – Riding A Wave (Pye)
03. Human Expression – Optical Sound (Accent)
04. Nimrod – Don´t Let It Get The Best Of You (Mercury)
05. Mike Stuart Span – Children Of Tomorrow (Jewel)
06. Tintern Abbey – Vacuum Cleaner (Deram)
07. Calum Bryce – Love-Maker (Conder)
08. The Sleepy – Love´s Immortal Fire (CBS)
09. Lemon Fog – Echoes Of Time (Orbit)
10. Legay – No-One (Fontana)

Current Top 5 Tracks:

01. The Sound Track – Face The New Day (Action)
02. The Six Deep – Girl It´s Over (De´Lynn)
03. The Fly-Bi-Nites – Found Love (Tiffany Records)
04. The Es Shades – Anyday, Anywhere (United Audio)
05. Luv´d Ones – Up Down Sue (White Oak)

Next Club Spots 2017:
14-16 April – Le Beat Bespoke 12London

Social Networks: facebook.com/TheUpClub


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drrobert

I run The New Untouchables organization and events like the Brighton Mod Weekender, Le Beat Bespoké Festival (and compilation series of the same name) and I co-organize Euro Ye Ye with the Trouble & Tea crew. I have run many clubs over the last 20 years in London, where I live and current nights include Timebox, Zoo Zoo, Crossfire, 100 Club and Mousetrap allnighter which has just celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2011. I have been lucky to DJ all over the globe including Japan, Canada, USA and Europe and met some great people on my journey. I run RnB Records to offset my vinyl addiction: newuntouchables.com/rnbrecords for rare vintage vinyl.

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March 24, 2017 By : Category : DJs Front Page Interviews Music Tags:, ,
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Hey! Mr DJ – David Marco Font

This entry is part 7 of 7 in the series Hey! Mr DJ 4

We recently caught up with DJ David Marzo Font (David Undersounds) from Barcelona, to talk about his musical outlook.

01. How and when did you get into music and what were you listening to then?

I’ve been into music since I was a kid. When I was about 15 years old I was obsessed with finding my own music style. That’s when I started to listen to punk music and created a punk cover band with my friends.

02. Where was your first DJ slot?

I was 19 or 20 years old in my first DJ slot. Me and one of my best friends decided we were bored with dancing to someone else music. We wanted to be the ones beside the decks. So we created a DJ collective (Real Undersounds, a name we still use) and asked for a slot to the owner of a Barcelona’s downtown rock’n’roll bar called Red Rocket. We started DJing there every Tuesday night.

03. What was your most memorable DJ spot?

Many nights to remember. I would say those infinite morning spins at CAN Yeyé (Los Retrovisores headquarters).

04. What so far, has been your worst DJ experience?

Without any doubt, my worst DJ experience was 5 years ago. I was stolen my entire record box after a night club party. It was taken from my friend’s car boot with most of my favourite records. It was a hard blow for me. I even considered to stop collecting records. But luckily I didn’t, so I can be this year at LBB12.

05. Your favourite scene DJ’s and why?

It’s really hard to choose but I’d say Sebas Aviles, Xavi Castellar, Lolo Pelouro, Miguel Ygarza, Juan Duque, Juan Moral… I guess it’s because I have had lots of fun with them and learned lots of fantastic songs every time I listen to their sets.

06. What has shaped your DJ sound and why?

I really love to DJ Freakbeat. That point was Beat music starts experimenting with Psychedelia and Garage. So I like those records that keep having a groovy rhythmic base combined with some trippy sounds and psych effects.

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7. What was your best ever find/discovery?

Peter Nelson & the Castaways – Down in the mine (HMV)

08. Who was your biggest influence musically and your favourite artist(s)?

Almost all Decca label artists from 1964 to 1969.

09. Do you collect specific labels/artists/genres?

Mainly 60s Freakbeat, Popsike, Garage & Psychedelia.

10. Where can folks currently catch your DJ set?

At any of the Barcelona Psych Nights Club or Pillbox Sixties Club parties we organize. But you should definitely come to any of the festivals we organize: Gambeat Weekend or Barcelona Psych Fest.

11. What is the record you would most like to own?

I wouldn’t mind having a Caleb or Wimple Winch copy… or two!

12. Please give us a top 10 all-time favorites and a current top 5 spins?

Current Top 5 Tracks:

1. The Pentard – Don’t Throw It All Away (Parlaphone)
2. The Scenery – Thread Of Time (Impact)
3. Jocelyne Joyca – Time (CBS)
4. Sherwood – Ride, Baby Ride (Smash)
5. Chicago Line – Shimmy Shimmy Ko Ko Bop (Philips)

Top 10 Tracks of All Time:

1. The Beatles- The Night Before
2. The Byrds- Here Without You
3. Status Quo- Pictures Of Matchstick Men
4. The Left Banke – She May Call You Up Tonight
5. Wimple Winch- Save My Soul
6. The Atlantics- Come On
7. The Open Mind- Magic Potion
8. Kula Shaker- Hush
9. The Telescopes- Celeste
10. The Brian Jonestown Massacre – If Love Is The Drug

Next Club Spots 2017:
14-16 April – Le Beat Bespoke 12London
Fri 31st March + Sat 1 April – Barcelona Psych Fest
28th June to 3rd July @ Festival Beat Salsomaggiore (IT)

Fri 15th & Sat 16th September @ Gambeat Weekend Barcelona (ES)

Reference:
Resident DJ and Organiser of Gambeat Weekend, Barcelona Psych Fest, Barcelona Psych Nights and Pillbox 60s Club.

Main Site: facebook.com/bcnpsychfest
Social Networks: facebook.com/david.m.font


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drrobert

I run The New Untouchables organization and events like the Brighton Mod Weekender, Le Beat Bespoké Festival (and compilation series of the same name) and I co-organize Euro Ye Ye with the Trouble & Tea crew. I have run many clubs over the last 20 years in London, where I live and current nights include Timebox, Zoo Zoo, Crossfire, 100 Club and Mousetrap allnighter which has just celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2011. I have been lucky to DJ all over the globe including Japan, Canada, USA and Europe and met some great people on my journey. I run RnB Records to offset my vinyl addiction: newuntouchables.com/rnbrecords for rare vintage vinyl.

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February 14, 2017 By : Category : DJs Front Page Interviews Music Tags:, , ,
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Hey! Mrs DJ – Miss Clawdy

This entry is part 6 of 7 in the series Hey! Mr DJ 4

We recently caught up with DJ Miss Clawdy to talk about her musical outlook.

01. How and when did you get into music and what were you listening to then?

My Dad was a Saxophonist in a band during the 70s and when I was young he used to spin some of the songs he was playing with that band, such as “Booker-T Green Onions and Willie Mitchell 30-60-90”. Those sounds were weird and fascinating to me and at the age of fourteen, my Sister who was a Mod got me listening to classics from the 50s, 60s and Ska.

02. Where was your first DJ slot?

Was in a club called Indian in Pisa, in front of a few happy people and some drunk friends. I remember being so excited I wrote a quintessential playlist some days prior to the gig that I followed song by song. That night me and my friends had so much fun that I decided to continue DJing and that was an excuse to buy more records.

03. What was your most memorable DJ spot?

I particularly like my DJ Spots for a club called “La Limonaia”, in Tuscany. I played the hottest tunes I have to warm up the crowd’s spirits, even the ones I rarely get a chance to play. It was outdoor and the atmosphere was lovely. The moon was out on a summer’s night and the stars were shining brightly. Along with candles and great drinks, people were feeling the vibe and loved my tunes.

04. What so far, has been your worst DJ experience?

My worst DJ experience that springs to mind and makes me laugh whenever I mention it was when I was young and inexperienced and I was organizing Rock and Roll nights with some friends of mine… those nights were totally crazy. People were opening champagne, wine, beers spilling them anywhere and dancing almost naked… nobody could calm them down and sometimes I didn’t know how to protect my equipment and records! Once I got home I checked all my records and sleeves only to find many of them drenched in wine! Fortunately, the records were fine.

05. Your favorite scene DJ’s and why?

DJ Henry from Milan (Rollin’ and Tumblin’) and all the Tender crew, they have anything you would like to hear.

06. What has shaped your DJ sound and why?

Rough and crazy sounds combined with Exotic and hot vibes. Probably because these things match with my nature!

07. What was your best ever find/discovery?

Big Don’s Rebellion – It Was True. When I heard that song for the first time it captured me and I was compelled to hear more. I was positively speechless, getting goose bumps! That record was my first true impulse, it costs me nearly half of my salary at the time.

08. Who was your biggest influence musically and your favorite artist(s)?

Dick Dale.

09. Do you collect specific labels/artists/genres?

I have a thing for the Blues, Sun Records recordings, and songs with a minor scale structure from the late 50s to early 60s.

10. Where can folks currently catch your DJ set?

I currently don’t have a standing spot. Right after Le Beat Bespoke, I will be in Florence at the Rollin’ and Tumblin’ club. Just drop me a line on FB for friendship and you can find my next gigs.

11. What is the record you would most like to own?

Nat Couty & The Braves – Woodpecker Rock – Fox

12. Please give us a top 10 all time favourites and a current top 5 spins?

Top 10 Tracks of All Time:

1.Lloyd Price – Lawdy Miss Clawdy
2.Louie Louie – Richard Berry
3.Link Wray – Rumble
4.Dick Dale – Misirlou
5.Johnny Kid and the Pyrates – Shakin’ all Over
6.The Cramps – What’s Inside a Girl
7.Hasil Adkins – She Said
8.Yma Sumac – Gopher
9.Etta James – I just want to make love to you
10.Fats Domino – Why Don’t you do Right

Current Top 5 Tracks:

1.Berta Rosen Con Enrique Lynch Y Su Orquesta – Boogaloo En Cuarta Dimension – Sono Radio
2.The Fabulous Silver Tones – Dimples – West Coast
3.Bracey Everett – Lover’S Curse – Atlantic
4.Sugar Boy Williams – Little Girl – Herald
5.Little Florene – Miss You So – Excello

Next Club Nights 2017:

Lady Luck Club at Le Beat Bespoke, London – 14 April
Rollin’ & Tumblin’ – Florence – 22nd of April

Social Networks: facebook.com/claudia.missclawdy
Videos: MissClawdymusic


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drrobert

I run The New Untouchables organization and events like the Brighton Mod Weekender, Le Beat Bespoké Festival (and compilation series of the same name) and I co-organize Euro Ye Ye with the Trouble & Tea crew. I have run many clubs over the last 20 years in London, where I live and current nights include Timebox, Zoo Zoo, Crossfire, 100 Club and Mousetrap allnighter which has just celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2011. I have been lucky to DJ all over the globe including Japan, Canada, USA and Europe and met some great people on my journey. I run RnB Records to offset my vinyl addiction: newuntouchables.com/rnbrecords for rare vintage vinyl.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

February 14, 2017 By : Category : DJs Front Page Interviews Music Tags:, , , , ,
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Leslie Cavendish: The hairstylist to The Beatles…

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Fashion Scene 4

I first became aware of the name Leslie Cavendish when I was researching for an article that I wrote a few years ago. That article was on the boutique ‘Dandie Fashions’. When the said boutique was taken over by the Apple Corp in the spring of 1968, the boutique then changed its name to ‘Apple Tailoring’. It was decided that it would remain in the hands of John Crittle to run the day to day activities surrounding the boutique. Within the premises there was an unused basement, which became a unisex hair salon. Clientele could be fitted for a garment and then pop down the stairs to the basement for a haircut! The person who was put in charge of running the hair salon was Leslie Cavendish. As far as my research went for the article on Dandie Fashions – that is as far as I got with the hair salon / Leslie Cavendish part of the story.

As I delved deeper into Leslie’s background, it became quite clear to myself that he was an important part in that whole time period of the mid to late sixties. With some more research, I eventually managed to get in contact with Leslie, and as our correspondence increased, a meeting was arranged!

On a cold and grey late November morning, my wife Susie and I headed to London to meet Leslie. The rendezvous venue was chosen by Leslie, so we headed over to Hampstead and a pub called ‘The Old Bull & Bush’. I have to admit that I was quite nervous as we entered through the doors of the pub – lots of anxious thoughts racing through my mind. Within seconds of meeting and exchanging pleasantries, I knew that we were all going to get on fine. Phew….

From the pictures that I had garnered from the internet, it is crystal clear that Leslie was a man of style and great taste. Dark-haired, handsome and mysterious looking – not dissimilar to the guy that used to front the old Milk Tray chocolate adverts! As I looked at Leslie while in our conversation – he still retains the same qualities.

I got to work on asking my questions, almost immediately! Leslie gave me a brief story of his childhood in London, which eventually got to the part where he started an apprenticeship with Vidal Sassoon. From working with Vidal, he eventually got onto the subject of The Beatles and how he become part of that inner-circle. While our conversation deepened, it became apparent that Leslie had incredible understanding and memory of what was happening, in and around himself – back in those heady days! Even within the short time that we shared Leslie’s company, he managed to regale us both in some wonderful stories. I got the feeling that Leslie was enjoying telling his stories, as he had found the perfect audience. Leslie is hoping to get his book of memoirs published in 2017, and I expect lots of these incredible stories to be in the book. So, until that time, the tales Leslie did pass onto Susie and myself will remain as our own special secrets!

We spoke about music, fashion and football. I have to mention that Leslie is a lifelong QPR supporter or sufferer! And like myself, every now and then he was looking to his mobile phone for football updates.

There were still lots of questions that I wanted to ask, but I was aware of not bombarding Leslie or overstaying our welcome. So I asked if I could email him some questions – and that way, he could spend a little more time in his answering.

Before you read the Q&A part of my article – I have to mention what a charming and warm natured man Leslie is. As we left the pub, I think that we both felt we had gained a new friend.

I emailed Leslie a number of questions – here is what I asked, and Leslie’s answers:

01. What age did you take up hairdressing?

I left school at 15. I then started an apprenticeship at Vidal Sassoon at 171 New Bond Street. The apprenticeship was for three years, where I became Vidal’s junior for three months, and I was then promoted to junior hairstylist at his Grosvenor House hotel, Park Lane, salon. Just before my eighteenth birthday.

02. How did you manage to find a job working for the world-famous Vidal Sassoon?

My best friend at school and still to this day, Lawrence Falk (he started the first unisex salon in the U.K. called ‘Crimpers’) started working in a salon in London. I thought why not try it myself – so I asked him where would be the best place to start out. He said ‘Vidal’s salon’. So I called the salon and managed to get an interview and from there I got an apprenticeship.

03. Tell us something about the kind of clientele that would frequent the salon?

The salon had a very mixed clientele. From wealthy ladies who wanted the latest Vidal style to young models (some of which became household names), famous actors, musicians, fashion designers, to big film directors, and Mary Quant, who with the ideal hairstyle, set off the swinging London scene.

04. The world’s music, fashion, arts and hairdressing seemed to all explode in the early to mid-sixties – did you personally feel like you were part of something special that was happening in London?

You didn’t really think too much about it at the time. Life was exciting anyway working at Vidal’s. Added to that, the music and fashion were part of my youth. You did feel like ‘the times they were a changin’!

05. How did you become the personal hairstylist to The Beatles – and what were they like as people?

At Vidal’s, a client of mine was Jane Asher (who was Paul McCartney’s girlfriend) – she asked me one day if I would like to cut her boyfriend’s hair! And I think you know what happened next…

I met them all at a time when they had all decided to stop touring. So they were all a lot more relaxed than I imagine they would’ve been if they were on the road. All four of them were different and I had a good friendship with them all. This also applied to the team that was around them. I was the only one who wasn’t from Liverpool, but because I never spoke to journalists about my link with The Beatles – and never hassled them for autographs etc – I become one of the inner circle that they could trust.

06. What are your memories of managing your own salon within the boutique that became ‘Apple Tailoring’?

It was an intimate salon and very personal to whoever came in to have their hair done. My clients came from the music world and from streetwise people who just found the salon – and loved to have their hair done in the remarkable atmosphere that was ‘Apple Tailoring’! Being in the boutique and watching the dandies of London being dressed up in velvet and frilly, patterned shirts, was extremely interesting. They came in the shop to be dressed, and left as peacocks!

07. What are your memories of working alongside John Crittle at ‘Apple Tailoring’?

At first, John was great to be around, and I used to like watching his friends, who were mostly from the ‘Chelsea Set’, hanging around the shop. After a while though, I lost a lot of respect for John, as he was often stoned and spoke to people in an arrogant manner. He seemed to think that he was a Chelsea via Australian aristocrat, who was doing everybody a favour in dressing them, and he didn’t have time for the regular customer – who were the ‘real’ customers!

08. You were part of the chosen entourage for the now cult Beatles’ film ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ – what are your memories of that journey?

The MMT was one of my great memories and to be on tour with THE BEATLES, especially as they had stopped touring, was something special. If you have watched the film, you will have seen the coach journey and it was great to be one of the passengers, and to be able to watch The Beatles close up. More of which will be in my book!

09. I know that you were very interested in the music that was happening all around you – what were your personal favourite bands, both live and on vinyl?

When I was young I used to like Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, and The Everly Bros. Later on, I discovered Buffalo Springfield, Jefferson Airplane, Vanilla Fudge, The Doors, CSNY, and many more West Coast bands. My taste in British bands were The Animals, Free, The Kinks, Dusty Springfield, and Cat Stevens. I was also into folk music – and Neil Young was a hero of mine. I saw many bands live, but CSNY at the Albert Hall, and David Bowie (Ziggy Stardust), and not forgetting The Beatles, were concerts not to be forgotten.

10. What are your thoughts on the clothing that you were wearing back in those days? From the photos that I have seen you certainly were a snappy dresser!

I loved the whole hippy look – Afghan coats and velvet jackets with ‘Anello & Davide’ shoes. I also got into suits from ‘John Michael’ and ‘Take 6’.

11. What are your thoughts on contemporary men’s hairdressing – and do you still cut hair today?

I am like a gunfighter who put his scissors away in a holster a few years ago. Today’s hairdressing is an art form. The use of electric cutters and the thinning outlooks, makes out for spectacular hairstyles. Hairdressing is like Punk music – nobody makes the rules – you do what you want and that is called fashion.

12. And finally – what other interesting things are you up to these days?

I have now finished my autobiography about my life as a hairdresser at Vidal’s, and this included my time with The Beatles. The book should be out this year. I have given lectures at universities about the culture and fashion during the sixties period. I have been asked to be a guest speaker at The Beatles week this year in Liverpool, which I am looking forward to doing.

I occasionally do VIP Beatle tours. My clients come from all over the world and instead of the usual Beatle tours that take place around London, I can tell them what it was actually like in the recording studios, as well as being in the building, while The Beatles performed on the roof!


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Peter Feely

Married to Susie, both actively involved in the UK 60s scene for many years. My personal interest in 1960s culture goes back over 30 years, with my main two passions being music and fashion, both in equal measure. I run my own menswear label – ‘Perfumed Garden’ clothing, catering for the discerning dandy male - in addition to sourcing and selling vintage mens’ gear, with a particular interest in those hard-to-find jackets and shoes! I also run the Facebook group, ‘Psychedelic Clothing for Men: Then and Now’, with 2200+ members. Although I have no formal training in the fashion industry, what I do possess is a real passion, and through the years I have gained valuable knowledge of many areas of mens’ fashion from the mid to late 1960s. I’m also a musician and have played in many bands in my younger years. I’m an avid collector of music and music-related paraphernalia. I started running my own club nights back in the mid-1990s, and at present I run a psychedelic night in Derby – ‘The Perfumed Garden Of Musical Delights’. Through this I also get to DJ at many exciting events up and down the country

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February 15, 2017 By : Category : Fashion Front Page Inspiration Interviews News Tags:, , , , ,
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The Lovely Eggs speak to NUTsMag

The Lovely Eggs bring their own artful autonomy and pickled noir humour to a growing list of original, vibrant and offbeat compositions, films, gig/parties with a bold visual and cinematic flavour that really should be on the National Schools Curriculum to dispel the whiff of ‘X Factor’ drudgery and all of its equivalents. Art meets real life talent, we introduce The Lovely Eggs, your own real, new favourite everyday band!

Members:
David Blackwell: drums, guitar, tamb, other stuff.
Holly Ross: Singing, guitar, tamb, other stuff.

01 How did the band get together?

In Paris in 2006.

02 Where did your name come from?

A pigeon laid two eggs in an abandoned nest on our bathroom windowsill.The eggs were incubating while we were writing our first songs. Then during the summer they hatched and that is when we flew back to England and formed our band. It just seemed a natural name. There were two of them and two of us and we were born at the same time.

03 Who were your major influences and inspirations and who do you despise?

We are influenced a lot by everyday life. A lot of our songs are quite observational about the ridiculous things people get up to every day. So in a way just getting up in a morning and mooching round is a big inspiration to us. It’s good living in Lancaster, which is a small northern town, so you know everyone and its funny to see life tick along. We’re also influenced by the obvious poets and writers and artists and that predictable stuff. Our favourite is Richard Brautigan. We don’t despise anyone.

04 What drove you to make music together?

We just wanted to be in a band where there were no rules where we could be free to make exactly the music we wanted to hear.That seems hard for some bands these days but it is really easy!

05 What can someone who has never seen you live before expect from your live shows then & possibly even now?

We like to have a party at our gigs. Parties are timeless.

06 Who writes your songs? What types of themes and subjects do you deal with?

David’s mum. We write about everything in the life capsule.

07 How did your music evolved since you first began playing together?

We maybe sound more powerful now. When we first started David had never played drums before. We had a lot of soft songs when we first started. Now we are more wild and raw.

08 What has been your biggest challenge as a band? Were you been able to overcome this? If so, how?

Our biggest challenge was probably touring across America for 21 days in a car with another band and all the equipment WITHOUT Strongbow!

09 Do you play covers? If you could pick any song, which would you like to cover most and why?

We’re generally not into playing covers, although we once did a cover of It’s Spooky by Jad Fair and Daniel Johnston for a B side of our Halloween single Haunt Me Out. We also covered Hotpants Romance before just to make them scream!

10 Where did you envisage the band being in five years time?

Depends what day, but if it’s January 16th 2017 we’ll probably be mooching round our mums house.

11 Who would you most like to record with?

Well Jonathan Richman would be pretty good.

12 What should we be expecting from the band in the near future?

Some more records, some more gigs and a bit of falling about. We are playing at Le Beat Bespoke 12 Easter next year (2017) We are really looking forward to the whole event.

Thanks To The Lovely Eggs.

www.thelovelyeggs.co.uk/
www.myspace.com/thelovelyeggs
twitter.com/TheLovelyEggs
soundcloud.com/thelovelyeggs
www.facebook.com/thelovelyeggs

 

Thanks to eyeplug.net © 2011


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admin

Pip! Pip! Are the Creative Business Engine behind various music based organisations of the cool underground variety. Providing angst, confusion, bewilderment and annoyance in equal amounts. We design/host/manage great sites like this one! Why not hire us one day soon?

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December 7, 2016 By : Category : Bands Front Page Interviews Music News Tags:, ,
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The Meyer Dancers

The Meyer Dancers are London’s finest specialist 1960s Go Go Dance Company. The Meyer Dancers are made up of professionally trained dancers and choreographers. TMD are assisted by professional make up artists and costume designers to create a truly authentic experience. The Meyer dancers have been performing Go Go for 3 years & are well established with support slots to names such as Geno Washington & The Sonics.

01. How did the The Meyer Dancers originally get going?

Treacle and Cherry founded TMD when they met at dance school and discovered a mutual passion for all things 60’s and 70’s. Treacle was spinning records regularly at club nights around north London and Soho, with Cherry being one of the regular attendees at her nights. The duo had an admiration for 60’s movies and in particular cult legend Russ Meyer. This was where the Meyer Dancers were born and took inspiration from. Swerving a far left from the burlesque movement The Meyer Dancers recreate authentic Go-Go dancing from the podiums reminiscent from ‘Whisky A Go-Go’, shindigs and soul trains!

02. How long have you been interested in this type of dancing?

All our dancers have been dancing since they were nippers but as a company we’ve been Go-Going for 6 years and we are still the first cats on the dance floor! We love to perform our routines but we also like getting up to freestyle. We are trying to get the ‘Go-Go’ word around town teaching a great cardio 60’s workout and learning some of the classic moves! We are currently holding classes twice a month at Haunt in Dalston.

03. What was it like to go from an Idea to your actual first early bookings?

We started off by learning many of the ‘classic’ moves, watching hours of YouTube videos, original film footage, and studying the whole look and vibe. We started out performing with a northern soul cover band in east London every month and it progressed from there into different kinds of bookings from music videos, to dancing for some of our idols!

04. How did you research the types of moves and the sounds and styles and set-ups?

We went out to as many clubs as possible, you learn so much from chatting to people and the dance floors. We also watched endless soul train and Shindig plus loads of Ike and Tina Turner footage!

05. Tell us about your usual preparation behind the scenes for a show?

It usually consists of an overflowing suitcase full of costumes, hairspray and pins. We come dressed in our ’60’s day wear’ ; we get a lot of stuff from charity shops, Paperdress vintage and E-Bay! We also have a constant supply of fake eyelashes! Pre performance you’ll find us backstage warming up and wiggling into costumes, plus some extra backcombing never goes a miss!

06. Where have you appeared over the years?

We have been booked for such a variety! We’ve performed at most of the festivals, Glastonbury, Lattitude, Wilderness, Isle of Wight. Lots of fabulous clubs in London, the North of England and Spain! We have also danced for dome seriously groovy parties one we loved recently was in a disused building on the south bank it was lovingly recreated as Andy Warhols factory and we had pride of place – shakin and shimmying next to the DJ! Not forgetting one of our favourite annual performances at Le Beat Bespoke where we have supported The Sonics, danced our socks off for The Pretty Things and even done ‘the bird’ with The Trashmen!

07. Tell us about your involvement with the New Untouchables?

The New Untouchables make so many people happy – it’s just a pleasure working with them! We started by coming to the nights as punters and Rob Bailey asked The Meyers to perform at Le Beat Bespoke about five years ago and I think we have performed every year since making more glamorous friends every time
we do!

08. What are some of the best and worst memories from your performances?

The worst was probably the back stage glamour being told to head to your dressing room and then arriving to find they’ve whacked a sign up on a random door and the reality is that 5 of us have to get changed in a disabled toilet, then opening the door to a northern man having a piss!

The best bit is we get to do what we love! We love a great crowd who vibe off us and get dancing and we love performing with bands and DJs who are just as passionate as us! We love to keep the authenticity as much as we can to the go-go girls of the era.

09. How do you keep the performances so fresh and vibrant?

Within the paradigm of 60’s go-go we like to go into the sub genres such as psychedelia, mod, French ye-ye and surf so we make routines which suit these vibes and always make a new costume for each of them! We often have clients ask us to perform specific styles within Go-Go so its good to have some variation. We love shopping trips to record shops to find new songs to dance to!

10. Who are your big inspirations in the world of dance and performance?

We love love love Pans People but the original line up to around ’73, they had to put their heads together every week and make magic happen to whatever was the latest hit and sometimes we get given themes or tracks that bring a whole new approach to how we choreograph or style ourselves so it is exciting, exhilarating and also a bit of a giggle! We also love The Hullaballoo dancers and The Gazzarri girls off Hollywood A-Go-Go but inspiration can come from everywhere! The buxom babes of Russ Meyers films of course and party scenes in cult classics like Riot On The Sunset Strip or The Trip Out. Last but definitely not least those Ikettes sure could shake a tail feather too!

11. What are some of your favourite soundtracks to your favourite routines?

Oh we have had so many! We have danced to everything from The Clapping Song by Shirley Ellis, to Henry Mancini’s corker Experiment in Terror (Twist) to Coz I Luv You by Slade! But one of our favourites is probably our routine to Liar Liar by The Castaways.

12. How do people tend to re-act when they see you live on stage?

We get them dancing, some people don’t know what to expect, but then they see what a good time we’re having and they want in on the party you see the feet
start tapping!

13. Who makes your outfits and stage-wear?

We buy original pieces where possible but we also make a fair bit ourselves we love collaboration any fashionistas of costume designers do get in contact! We have been styled by Lucy In disguise and more recently we has costumes made by HUZZAR HUZZAR vintage.

14. What have you got planned for the future?

2016 is going to be an exciting year for us as we have lots of new projects to delve into, we have a project with a fashion designer coming up soon and bookings for the major festivals in the UK and Europe. Watch this space groovy people!

Le Beat Bespoké 12 – London (Easter 2017) – see all the details HERE!


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admin

Pip! Pip! Are the Creative Business Engine behind various music based organisations of the cool underground variety. Providing angst, confusion, bewilderment and annoyance in equal amounts. We design/host/manage great sites like this one! Why not hire us one day soon?

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December 7, 2016 By : Category : Front Page Interviews Music Tags:, ,
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Hey! Mr DJ – Ady Lupton

We recently caught up with DJ Ady Lupton to talk about his musical outlook.

01. How and when did you get into music and what were you listening to then?

My older brother went from being a mod to skinhead to punk & then a psycho billy throughout the 80’s so over the years I grew up hearing all sorts, The Kinks, Small Faces, The Who, Motown, Ska, 2 Tone, The Pistols, Stiff Little Fingers, Dexys, The Stingrays, The Meteors & Northern Soul, a fairly mixed bag. Inevitably I also got into all or most of it too & started buying & collecting my own records when I was about 13 or 14. At about 15 I started knocking around with a lot of my brothers mates who were all a few years older & had scooters,that’s when I started going to a lot of gigs & rallies. The record collecting continued albeit nothing major, Motown bits & pieces, reissues, a few cheap originals, Kent & Charly albums. Although I was out hearing all sorts during the late 80’s it was always the Northern Soul that had become my real passion & after being taken to the 100 club for my 1st proper allnighter by my friend Rob Holmes in the early 90’s it felt like I’d found what I’d always been looking for & the deal was sealed so to speak.

02. Where was your first DJ slot?

The Whitstable Assembly Rooms. It was an old dance hall with a sprung dance floor, freezing cold & damp, with a make shift bar that you had to hire in (i.e. A bloke with a load of cans through a hole in the wall). I started organising do’s for my club The East Kent Sovereigns there, well we did a few anyway. Unfortunately it’s gone now.

03. What was your most memorable DJ spot?

It’s got to be the 1st time I played the 100 club, “Bricking it” were 2 words that spring to mind.

04. What so far, has been your worst DJ experience?

Oh blimey, there’s too many to mention:-) It can be demoralising when you play what you think is one good track after another only to have people sit around & stare at you. Still it’s all good fun & character building.

05. Your favourite scene DJ’s and why?

Mick Smith the Governor, always plays the right records for the occasion. Butch goes without saying. Ady Croasdell for continually doing what he’s been doing, need I say more. Also Alan H, Greg & in the early days Lee Miller for sharing their knowledge, showing me the road to righteousness & being bloody good mates.

06. What has shaped your DJ sound and why?

The 100 club & that dare I say it, what I think of as a more London soul sound, 6T’s Rhythm & Soul a la Kent. Then the influences of The Capitol soul club & later still Lifeline. When Djing I’ll always try & mix it up in a set, a mixture of quality Detroit pounders, classy Chicago soul, some good rhythm & soul & some nice crossover & 70’s depending on the venue, that normally does the trick. If you play a bit of everything you can normally please most of the people most of the time.

07. What was your best ever find/discovery?

I can’t claim to have ever discovered anything seeing as most of the stuff we like is 60’s/70’s It would be foolish to think I was the 1st to hear it but I believe I was one of the 1st to start playing The Sherrell Bros The Price on Currison & I’ve never heard anyone else play Marva Lee – Old & Grey on Rugby took me 14 years to get that! Was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time when I got Glen Miller on Jamaican Stag. They were all known records just not that well-known.
There’s been a lot of records & still are that I’ve played & people come up & ask what’s that I’ve never heard it before. I’ve never heard anyone else play it either but they must’ve done either on a tape, at someone’s house or at a do, otherwise I wouldn’t have known it.

08. Who was your biggest influence musically and your favourite artist(s)?

Almost anything penned by Sonny Sanders & Don Davis floats my boat. Favourite artists, Barbara Lewis, Fred Hughes, Billy Butler, Jackie Wilson, Brenda Holloway number one’s gotta be The Temptations hasn’t it?

09. Do you collect specific labels/artists/genres?

No/yes & no/sort of.

10. Where can folks currently catch your DJ set?

London VaVaVoom NYE 2016 & usually somewhere in Spain.

11. What is the record you would most like to own?

I wouldn’t say no to a Lester Tipton, Magnetics-Lady in green, Mello-Souls the list goes on & on.

12. Please give us a top 10 all time favourites and a current top 5 spins?

Current Top 5 Tracks:
1. The Intensions – Feel So Good – Moneytown
2. The Temptones – Girl I Love You – Arctic
3. Benny Harper – My Prayer – Harper-Soul
4. Otis Clay – Baby Jane – Dakar
5. The Royal Imperials – This Heart Of Mine – Mellow Town

Top 10 Tracks of All Time:
1. The Originals – Suspicion
2. Bernie Williams – Ever Again
3. Jack Montgomery – Dearly Beloved
4. The Temptations – Get Ready
5. The Salvadors – Stick By Me Baby
6. Billy Butler -Help Yourself
7. Barbara Lewis – Hello Stranger
8. Jean Carter – I Wanna Know
9. Ben E King – Gettin To Me
10. Kenny Shepard – What Difference Does It Make
11. The Small Faces – Tin Soldier
(If Spinal Tap can go up to 11, so can I).


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drrobert

I run The New Untouchables organization and events like the Brighton Mod Weekender, Le Beat Bespoké Festival (and compilation series of the same name) and I co-organize Euro Ye Ye with the Trouble & Tea crew. I have run many clubs over the last 20 years in London, where I live and current nights include Timebox, Zoo Zoo, Crossfire, 100 Club and Mousetrap allnighter which has just celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2011. I have been lucky to DJ all over the globe including Japan, Canada, USA and Europe and met some great people on my journey. I run RnB Records to offset my vinyl addiction: newuntouchables.com/rnbrecords for rare vintage vinyl.

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December 7, 2016 By : Category : DJs Front Page Interviews Music Tags:, ,
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Jazz for Modernists 8 – Interview with Julie Tippetts and Keith Tippett (Part 2)

This entry is part 7 of 7 in the series James Thomas on Jazz

Here is part 2 of JTM’s interview with Julie Tippetts and Keith Tippett.

09: The period 1967-1972 was generally one of great dialogue between jazz, blues, folk, improvisational forms and rock music. On a personal level, did you experience this as a process of mutual discovery, each of you learning about the other’s musical backgrounds?

KEITH: As in our lives where we have grown together, also in the music. And may I take this opportunity to state that Centipede and the composition Septober Energy (1971) encompasses all these genres. Performing live with an orchestra including Jazz musicians/Soul and progressive rock musicians/improvising musicians and classical musicians had never been done before or since.

Centipede, Septober Energy (1971)

10: In April, 1971, Julie, you recorded Quartet Sequence, with The Spontaneous Music Ensemble. How did this come about and what was it like to step into this new area of improvisational singing?

JULIE: Our shared manager at the time, Giorgio Gomelsky, was also recording people like John Stevens and John McLaughlin, so I had the opportunity to listen to and try out all sorts of diverse musical areas of creation. Joining The Spontaneous Music Ensemble with John Stevens, Trevor Watts and Ron Herman was part of a natural progression moving into a freer approach to playing. As was (Ovary Lodge (with Keith, Frank Perry and Harry Miller), and collaborations with [previous SME member] Maggie Nicols. She and I set up our friendship and teamwork in Centipede. We did lots of improvising together in preparation for the concerts. We have always had an incredible rapport.

Spontaneuous Music Ensemble, Frameworks 

11: Much of this music is considered ‘improvisational’ or ‘experimental’. Is improvisation primarily a response to another musician’s performance or is it aiming to represent something tangible (a landscape, an idea, an emotion etc)?

KEITH: It is definitely not experimental. Composition is frozen improvisation. The ability to solidify on paper the idea you have created in sound. This is just the start. Likewise with the technology available today, what starts as an improvisation in a Dartington concert can be heard on a beach in Bali on cd 5 months later. All composers are improvisers.

12: Julie, you have periodically returned to more ‘conventional’ song forms throughout your career, working again with Brian Auger on Encore (1978), Fire in the Mountain (1989) with Working Week and quite recently, Sessions (2008) with Nostalgia 77 (with Keith). How would you describe the main differences in approach to structured song and improvisational singing?

JULIE: I love music… My privilege has been, being open enough to be part of many genres. I feel comfortable in composed or spontaneous music.

13: In 1975, you recorded Sunset Glow, a recording that in parts evokes for me works like Tim Buckley’s Starsailor (1970), Robert Wyatt’s Rock Bottom (1974) and Linda Perhac’s Parallelograms (1970). For those who love your 1960s work, could this LP be the gateway into your more experimental work, perhaps the one they could relate to most?

JULIE: I don’t think so really. For me personally, I can’t possibly make that statement. I have loved every limb of the body of work I have produced or been part of producing. It’s all part of the same journey. How people conceive it, or accept it, is part of their journey.

Julie Tippetts, Sunset Glow (1975)

14: Keith, during the 1980s and 1990s, you actively promoted the Rare Music Club in Bristol, an arena for experimental and collaborative music, based in part around your group Mujician. What were the major successes of that and did the experience make you optimistic about future music in Britain?

KEITH: The Rare Music club put on a programme of improvised music/jazz/20th century/contemporary western classical music/ and folk music from various countries. At least 3 different musics per night. Wonderful idea. I thought it would be commercial. I was wrong. Mujician was the house band and we were subsidizing guest artists. There was no profit whatsoever. Even with a hard-working committee raising small amounts of money, we could only sustain the club by the musicians’ good will. We had some headline, internationally known artists, and prosperous Bristol (a University city) did not have interest enough – particularly local musicians and students. The future of non-commercial music is in more danger now in the UK than it has ever been (with the exception of contemporary western classical music, which the establishment funds)… Thank God for Europe… ps…I worked more in Tokyo last year than my home town Bristol!!

Mujician (Paul Dunmall, Keith Tippett, the late Tony Levin, Paul Rodgers)

15: Keith, teaching has been important to you and you include many younger musicians in your improvising groups and write scores for younger musicians to perform. When you perform, you always seem to be interested in how they respond to your musical cues and suggestions…..

KEITH: Younger musicians are the future of course… musical cues and suggestions are of course discussed and rehearsed. I also am still working with many of the older comrades who were first-generation creators of improvised music.

16: Are you hopeful about the future of jazz and improvisational music?

KEITH: I am hopeful to an extent. However Europe (East and West) is where the work place is. The audiences also seem to be more knowledgeable.


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James Thomas

James Thomas was born in Bristol just the wrong side of 1970 (1971). His first encounters with the 1960s were his two-year-old elder brother’s reminiscences of the Moon Landing (since deleted by the BBC) and an afternoon in 1975 listening to the Beatles with his parents. He remembers 2-Tone and the ’79 revival, but was the one in his primary school still wearing flares until he persuaded his mum to buy him a black Harrington jacket (a stylish-enough copy by Burtons) and asked a hair stylist to make him ‘look like Suggs’. In the 1980s he became obsessed with almost every aspect of the 1960s, whether it were Star Trek, the length of George Harrison’s hair in March 1965 or the first colour TV broadcast of a cricket match (he thinks it was 1968). After being side-tracked by progressive rock (an ongoing guilty pleasure), James came to his senses in 1986 on seeing footage of Booker T and the MGs and Otis Redding on a programme celebrating the 60th anniversary of television. A flirtation with ‘indie pop’ (in the bowl-cut and anorak days) led to too much introspection, but also a new interest in the psychedelic sounds of the 1960s that seemed to go hand in glove with a liking for The Pastels and The Razorcuts. A summery afternoon in the jazz tent at Bristol’s annual (and long gone) Ashton Court Festival in 1989 opened his mind to the sounds of Lee Morgan, Horace Silver, Art Blakey and most forms of modern jazz. In 1990, James attended his first proper 60s club night, the revered Kaleidoscope Pop! in Leeds. On his return from the North in 1992, he developed a new commitment to Mod culture. He recalls early Untouchables Brighton New Year rallies and in 1994 moved to London. A real education for him (in so many ways...) was a period in Barcelona (1997-2002) where he helped out with the Magic in the Air club for a year or two and where his IQ was permanently reduced by a record dealer who made him clean vinyl for four weeks in a windowless room. After a decade or so in the West Country, he is now living again in London, where he plans to write about jazz, meet like-minded people and study the history of the cravat.

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September 29, 2016 By : Category : Bands Front Page Interviews ModJazz Music UK Tags:, , , ,
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Masters – Bronco Bullfrog

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series Masters3

01.  For those new to Bronco Bullfrog, can you give us a quick account of who, how, when and why the band started?

Andy: 1996 (20 years ago – Jesus!). Mike and I had been in The Nerve and Louis had been in The Beatpack, Immediates, Morticians and probably others. He was in garage bands when he was about 10. These bands were playing the same ’60s/mod circuit in London and slowly got to know each other; dogs sniffing each other’s arses, so to speak. I joined Louis’ post-Immediates band Vibraphone sometime around 1990 but left after we were involved in a motorway accident after a gig in Spain. In ’96 all three of us found ourselves at a loose end and decided to try our luck together with something a little different. The garage/psych/mod approach had been mined pretty deep and we’d all started listening to a wider palette of music; country-rock, folk, powerpop, sunshine-pop. The aim was to absorb all of these influences into one cohesive whole while retaining our roots as Who/ Kinks/Small Faces worshipping fanboys. There were no rules at the beginning: if we liked the sound of it, it was in.

02.  You took your name from Barney Platts-Mills’ 1969 film, and your debut LP included ‘Del Quant’, based on the main character. What was it that captured your imagination about that film?

Andy: We’d all discovered the film around the time the band was starting out and I suspect, like many bands, needed a name for a poster in a hurry. It was to hand and it stuck. I had no idea there was a Spanish Oi! label with the same name. We watched the film endlessly and used to run off copies of my third-generation VHS, taped off Channel 4 in the ’80s, for our mates. When we were writing that first flurry of songs, it loomed large in our world and that’s where the lyrics to ‘Del Quant’ came from. Louis and I wrote it in the kitchen in the house we were sharing in Fosse Road South, Leicester. ‘Down Angel Lane’ is also named after a street in Stratford that appears in the film.

03.  Your debut album, Bronco Bullfrog, came out in 1998 on the small independent Twist label. In the preceding few years swathes of bands with even the slightest 60s echo were signed to big labels and had money pumped into them. Bronco Bullfrog had far more depth, imagination and superior songs (I’m allowed to say this, you can agree….) but got overlooked. Why do you think this was and was it a source of irritation?

Andy: We’ve talked about this a lot over the years (and over the beers) and we’re still not sure. Laziness? Nonchalance? Ignorance probably. When we started there was very little awareness of a lot of the stuff that most bands seem to crave from day one: we had no desire to get signed up or play at certain cool gigs or support Supergrass or whatever. We’d come up through provincial bands where playing to 40 people on a Saturday night was kind of enough. We weren’t chasing any kind of success or acceptance; we were literally doing our own thing. It all felt very insular; us against the world, getting stoned and buying obscure pop and psych records from Leicester market and writing these little songs.

We’d save up our pennies and when we had £150 we’d go into the cheapo studio in Leicester YMCA and cut three or four songs; that was our first album. Mark Le Gallez from Twist asked Louis if he had any Immediates recordings that he could put out. Louis said no but he had a new band, that was that. We recorded a couple more songs and all those short bursts of music on there and Twist put it out. We were on the same label as The Solarflares so all was well.

04.  You enjoyed a greater appreciation in other parts of Europe than in the UK. What were the differences at home and abroad and why do you think that was?

Andy: Again, we’ve asked lots people, particularly in Spain, where we’ve achieved a modicum of success, about this as we have no idea. The over-riding impression we’ve been given is that they like the songs primarily, and secondarily the way we try to put them across, with gusto and without fear of failure! Perhaps our tendency to “over-write” songs, to keep adding more musicality, more chord changes and structural elements, singled us out somewhat. I wasn’t hearing a lot of bands playing songs as naively adventurous as ‘Greenacre Hill’ and ‘7:38’ around that time. Still don’t actually. I guess the balance of downbeat, often melancholic lyrics in a spunky, super-pop framework isn’t that common either.

05.  Talk us through the Bronco Bullfrog albums. Are you self-critical? Some of the songs, particularly early on, appear very autobiographical and personal. What emotions do they provoke in you now?

Andy: Like I said earlier, this was 20 years ago, we were young men writing about the travails that young men go through: break-ups, breakdowns, high times, low times, girls, films, pubs and cake. Life was easier then – we didn’t have responsibilities like we do now.

What I hadn’t done before (as primary songwriter) was to write about myself and my emotions and those of my friends and the world around me. The Nerve was resolutely a psychedelic rock band; the lyrics were, for the most part, meaningless. The wah-wah and the Hammond were more important. It was only when people started telling me how much the words to ‘Paper Mask’ or ‘Sweet Tooth’ meant to them that I started to consider that there might be some emotional depth to what we were doing. Then we’d get on stage and try to be The Who in 1968 and any subtlety went straight out the window!

All three of us are incredibly self-critical of Bronco Bullfrog’s recordings, I can’t bear to listen to anything other than the first album and a couple of tracks from each of the others. They were all recorded cheaply, quickly and honestly – which is the way we wanted it – but that method can result in some rather, er, candid performances. We weren’t confident in the studio and would continually swap instruments if the other guy could do it better. That spirit was lost as time passed. And the red light syndrome always defeated us.

06.  Which three songs would you pick to give the best representation of Bronco Bullfrog and why?

Andy: Tricky. The first batch will always remain the most resonant as they represent a snapshot of our lives and our friendship at that time; precious, life-affirming memories. After that we tried our hand at all sorts of things but ended up gravitating towards a fairly regulation powerpop / power-trio format and some of that variety was sacrificed. Stylistically, a selection that I like would be ‘Paper Mask’ for its emotional heft, ‘Sweet Tooth’ for its blind pop optimism (poptimism?) and something like ‘Down Angel Lane’, ‘History’ or ‘One Day With Melody Love’ for almost capturing the essence of all those ’60s 45s we adore: punch, power, melody and dynamics. And mistakes!

07.  After years away Bronco Bullfrog have reformed in a very gentle manner, releasing a series of stand-alone 7 inch singles and the occasional gig. Tell us about those. What prompted the three of you getting back in the studio? Did you have songs you’d already written or did you write them once the idea had settled?

Andy: I guess we needed some time apart after the band split up in 2004; some growing up had to be done. I’m not saying any of us have grown up but we’re all best mates again now and that’s by far the best thing that’s come out of this reunion.

The singles were a natural by-product of getting back together and not wanting to go straight back on stage; we were more interested in writing and recording a bunch of new songs in as informal and low-key a manner as we could manage. We went to State Recorders when it was in Folkestone, then when it moved to St Leonard’s, as we’d known Mole and Marty since their Mystreated days and liked the rough and ready sound they were busy patenting. I emailed a few labels and low and behold! We’ve done four 45s on four labels so far.

08.  So many bands reform years down the line. People have mixed views about this, what’s your take? What makes a successful reunion, both from the point of view of a musician and a fan?

Andy: I can only speak from my own experience, which is that the whole time we were out of action we were still getting requests to go and play in Spain, Germany and Italy. After a while we realised that people remembered us and maybe we should give it a shot. We did a couple of warm-up gigs late last year to quell the nerves, then headed back to Spain in December and dived in at the deep end at Purple Weekend. We’ve done two tours over there since then and, while we’ve undoubtedly become less ragged, we’ve also realised that playing those songs for 90 minutes when you’re 47 is knackering!

09.  What can we expect from Bronco Bullfrog in the future? More gigs? Singles? An album?

Andy: We haven’t recorded anything for 18 months as we were preparing our sea legs for the Spanish shows. We’re all in other bands too and have assorted jobs and families that require our attention. The plan, however tentative, is to record an album and another single early next year. We’ll probably do it ourselves, in our time and space, on a couple of old four-tracks so a) it sounds more like the old records we dig and b) you can’t hear the mistakes so well.

10.  Finally, your 2013 single for State Records included ‘Never Been To California’ (my favourite track of the new BB-era). For someone whose songs have so often included Californian sunshine pop in their grooves, please tell me this isn’t true!

Andy: Sorry Mark, it is true. Neither Louis, Mike nor myself have been to the US of A so I thought I’d write a song about it and we’d try and make it sound like a Californian sunshine-pop band. Obviously we failed but that’s what Bronco Bullfrog has always been about really: creating something interesting and exciting by failing!

Weblinks:

broncobullfrog.bandcamp.com
facebook.com/broncobullfroguk

Gigs:

Sat 22nd October – Crossfire 29 @ 229 The Venue, London 


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Mark Raison

I've spent three-quarters of my life wandering the mod path with detours down its side streets and dark alleys. From an enthusiastic youth to a still-enthusiastic-but-harder-to-tell grizzled old goat, I've dabbled in all parts of the scene from writing fanzines 'Round Midnight and Something Has Hit Me; to promoting bands; attempting to manage bands; singing in the mighty garage combo The Electric Fayre; putting on indie, psych and soul clubs including Freak Scene, Orange Sunshine, and Shake!; writing liner notes for Reg King releases on Circle Records; and, in fitter times, tucking away the odd goal for the New Untouchables. I still DJ from my box of R&B humdingers but more often you’ll find me tapping away on my blog at monkeypicks.co.uk. I like the poetry of Charles Bukowski and dislike the taste of cheese.

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October 3, 2016 By : Category : Bands Front Page Interviews Music News Tags:, ,
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