Going Places -Jose Vanders Interview

“Faces Going Places” By Jose Vanders

Londoners are famous for having a good old knees up around the “old Joanna” (piano) with their “china plates” (mates). In fact if you were to believe the portrayal of Londoners as painted by “comedic” screenwriter Richard Curtis you’d probably expect to walk into a London pub and be accosted by the local market traders dressed up as pearly kings and queens desperate to sing songs about “Mother Brown” or “Any Old Iron.” Meanwhile hoards of cheeky chimney sweeps would be tap dancing their way across the capitals roof tops waving happily to the local childminders in Regents park “ Gawd Bless ya Marror-ie Poirpains.” Lumme guv, look lively, it’s the local coppers, thumbs hooked jauntily behind their lapels as they give passers-by a sparkling rendition of “The Lambeth Walk”, whilst merrily cuffing mucky cheeked young mischief-makers about the head. Hark! Is that the refuse collectors noisily singing about one of their number getting married in the morning, as they go about their business with stoic good natured cheer whilst musically detailing the grooms worries about arriving at the church a little late ? Oh look there’s the Prime Minister Of Scotland, England, Hugh Grant and a nightingale appears to be singing in Berkley Square (as I live and breathe).

Luckily not many people actually believe the sort of ludicrous stereotyping that Richard Curtis oft employs in order to sell his dreadful “whimsical” fare to America and beyond (Love Actually, erm no mate, Shit Actually). Thankfully not everybody from London who spots a piano is immediately filled with an urge to start bashing out “Oh What A Lovely War” ala Mrs Mills. The reality is Londoners can produce some marvellous music if you allow them to tinkle the ivories, look at Kate Bush for example, and more recently Kate Nash. Another artist from London that’s been attracting a fair bit of attention and has access to a piano is 17-year-old Jose Vanders. ( not pronounced “Jose” as in Jose Mourinho , think more like short for Josephine) Compared by some to the Kate Nash/Lilly Allen school of music, (whatever that means) she’s been steadily gaining a reputation as a prodigious talent and a fine songwriter. Last year saw her self release a debut EP “Transitional Language” which sold out within days, camp as Christmas gossip monger extraordinaire Perez Hilton tipped her for the top and in between she’s even managed to get a job with BBC 3 whilst doing her schoolwork. Phew! Puts you to shame doesn’t it ! We had a chat with her and were somewhat relieved she didn’t confuse us simple northern types with talk of “apples and pies” “mince pears” and “plates of braising steak”

VP: WOTCHA ! Ahem I mean Hello …How did you get involved in the shadowy world of popular music ?

JOSE: I woke up one morning, washed my face, moisturised and decided to be a pop star. Although before that came endless hours of piano practise with my dad standing behind me singing West End hits and Billy Joel at the top of his lungs, and then a sudden realisation that I could write songs too and sing them myself. And then the salesman in Comet advised me on a good microphone for under twenty pounds and I went with it. The rest as they say…

VP: You’ve stated that you grew up in a house that had more pianos than TV’s. Didn’t this make watching Eastenders a tad tricky, and do you play any other instruments?

JOSE: Ah indeed it did. But don’t worry, the dramatic delights of Albert Square were never ever sacrificed. Sadly, the only vivid episode I still have lodged in my brain is the Truman family incident: ‘what about meeeee?!’ But yeh I play the violin, I got to Grade 7 but my family thought it sounded like a sick cat when i played. So I gave that up. I dabbled with the oboe but that too failed. I’m working on guitar. Well, I will when I finish school. Ha.

VP: You have released your first Mini Album/ Ep Transactional Language (August 2007?) which is outrageously brilliant. How did you go about self releasing it ? ? Was it a fairly straightforward process?

JOSE: Ahh god! I cringe when I listen to those songs. It was well over a year ago now. Mmm, well I just didn’t think about it and did it. I recorded the songs in my neighbour’s living room in one afternoon [it literally took four hours, I only recorded one take for the piano parts, and one or two takes for the vocals, and I had never even heard of a click track. That’s why I cringe now.] But yeh my friend Fetts drew some pictures and I went down to the local printers in Blackheath and bargained with the owner to print 500 sleeves for 80 quid, and then spent the next four weeks assembling cds, making badges, wrapping them all up in magazines and parcel tape, I tried to sign each one and then went to the post office pretty much every day. i absolutely loved it! it was very easy, and I got loads of my friends to help out [much to their displeasure]. In fact, I loved it so much that I’m planning on self- releasing another mini album just after the Summer. And I’m doing the whole recording in a studio thing which I’ve never done before, quite excited! But I’m determined to self-release the whole thing. I wanna make each one personalised. Admittedly it might take a while to package up thousands of cds by hand but i love it. [I secretly love the business and marketing side of it all more than i love the songs. I love making lists, and charts, and figuring out prices, and postage costs, and economical uses of paper. ahh. but don’t tell anyone that. it’s obviously all about the music. Y’know, it’s in my skin. or blood. or whatever they say.]

VP: You’ve previously said that you where brought up with the likes of James Taylor, Cat Stevens and Joni Mitchell it must have been a big house, but seriously who would you say are major influences from the current musical scene?

JOSE: Yeh me and Joni go back a long way. We had the same childminder you see; used to play Batman and Robin and all that jazz. I was always Poison Ivy. As for today’s musical ‘scene’, I am addicted to Polly Paulusma and Fionn Regan, and constantly listen to The Books, Damien Rice, Death Cab for Cutie, Cocorosie, Sigur Ros, Gregory and the Hawk, Chris Garneau, Bloc Party, Modest Mouse, Minus the Bear, John Mayer, Rocket Summer, etc.. But I have made it a habit for the past eight months or so to buy physical cds instead of downloading. Recently I’ve bought and loved and played in my car to DEATH: Frou Frou, Laura Marling, The Bird and The Bee,Tom Williams and Yann Tiersen

VP: You’ve been studying as well as releasing records and performing . (Any chance of a song about Oliver Cromwell a “Liberty Of Conscience’ EP perhaps?) Has it been hard to juggle both?

JOSE: Yeh well coincidently my next album is called ‘A Day in the Life of Alexander II, the Tsar Liberator’. What a guy he was eh. But yeh, it’s been so ridiculously hard you wouldn’t believe. Any spare time I have I’m at the piano, or down in Brighton practising with Thom and writing songs, or I’m just thinking about how I’m gonna package up the next cd. It’s gradually consuming me. My brain is now divided into 83% music 15% work and 2% calculating the next available pg tips moment. But yeh, only a couple of months left. BRING ON THE SUMMER is what i say.

VP: Your celebrating your 18th Birthday with a gig at the Lincoln Drill Hall. Will there be cake ? Balloons? And are you excited at having Eddie Harrison on the bill

JOSE: Yesss I am indeed. I’ve just got back from band practise; we ran through the set and it sounds pretty decent. Like nothing I’ve done before. In fact I’m a little scared. I’ve got six songs which have drums, guitar and bass. It’s gonna be different. And as for balloons and cake I have no idea. Cake=a big fat yes. but balloons… Fetts is mightily scared of them. balloon phobia. You know how it is. So hopefully not too many… !! and i am so excited about seeing Eddie. He’s FABULOUS.

VP: What’s all this about BBC 3 ? How did that come about, what does it involve? Is it fun ?

JOSE: Ahh yes. Well I got an email from someone at bbc3 asking me to go in for a casting for some up and coming thing they were doing, and I thought it was a massive massive joke, and half-heartedly replied. And she asked me to go in for a casting. So I went up after school, stood in front of a camera, and then they said ok introduce the Mighty Boosh GO, and I had to improvise. Obviously I pulled my ‘make them laugh’ card, which basically involved me going on about Noel Fielding’s bottom [devilishly good-looking bottom in fact]. So a while passed, then I got a call in the new year telling me I had got the job. I was like uhhh what job. It took me mum about three weeks to finally believe me that I worked for bbc3. Ha. And it basically involves me writing poor jokes, going into the studio every monday and telling them to a camera. it’s pretty fun yeh!

VP: Where do you get your ideas for your songs ?

JOSE: I’m not really sure. from my subconscious I suppose. I went to see Sweeney Todd at the cinema and wrote two really spikey songs the following evening. I was reading Larkin poetry for my a2 english and wrote a song based on that. i write them about people, faces, feelings. being in love. getting dumped. the usual. y’know.

VP: Confession is good for the soul sooooo- You’ve said you had a file on your computer called “What On Earth Was I thinking?” which contains amongst others a song about Aladdin and his magical Lamp. Any other songs in that folder you’d like to admit to ?

JOSE: Oh GOD. That folder. I’m tempted to press the delete button in fact, just in case anyone finds it. I’d be RUINED I tell you. The highlights include a song about a girl who gets killed by her mother, a recipe for rhubarb crumble cake sung to a weird collection of notes, a song about not wearing make up on the bus and chatting up the man who works at blockbuster… I could go on. But I won’t.

VP: I know somebody who once called you “a Posh Kate Nash” Does that sort of thing annoy you ? Is it a bit of a lazy comparison?

JOSE: Ahh I haven’t heard that one. Well to be honest, I do sound a bit like Kate Nash, so why shouldn’t people be quick to make such a comparison?! I do it with bands myself. All I know is, that yeh fair enough I’m always gonna be a pianist and a lass from London, so the comparison is always gonna be made. But what I also know, is that the last song I wrote is so completely different to the first song I ever wrote, and that must mean something. I’m progressing, and maturing. albeit painfully slowly. And I have confidence in time and time alone that my writing will improve, my musicality will improve, my self-confidence will improve, and my originality will improve. I can’t do anything about it. So I’m sitting tight, and waiting for it to happen naturally. And I have faith that it will. and then one day maybe – hopefully – I won’t be a ‘posh Kate Nash’ anymore. Who knows? Time knows.

VP: Five things you aim to do this month ?

JOSE: Write lyrics to the new EPIC pop song that Thom and I concocted. 2. Stop eating ice cream out the tub by myself late at night. 3. Learn about the Four Dumas that were set up in early 20th century Russia and what they achieved. 4. organise an outfit for my best friend’s 18th p party. I might go as Pandora. as in Pandora’s Box Pandora, which would basically just be a toga. I’m not too sure yet. 5. be nicer to my boyfriend. he’s a keeper.


On Myspace

Official Site

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
transactional language ep [2007]
available worldwide

download here

1 new ride

2 faces going places

3 alberto morrocco

4 ode to gilbert

5 a little love song

6 holes

7 without your kisses


“Faces Going Places” By Jose Vanders

“Without Your Kisses” By Jose Vanders


Bookmark and Share


Red White And Blue Peter ..And What Will Be Left Of Them

“Come With Me ” By And What Will Be Left Of Them

The Band : And What Will Be Left Of Them
The Line Up : Red White -Vocals, Blue Peter -Vocals /Guitar, Chris Wemyss-Drums, Matt Pooler- Keyboards, Joe Beech-Bass

If you say the word “Worcester” people will immediately shout back “Sauce”, thats a fact. Yes indeedy it appears that the areas most famous export in recent history has been that delicious hot and spicy condiment “Worcestershire Sauce” which can add great flavour and depth to seasonal dishes such as Lancashire Hot Pot, Shepherd’s pie and hey!! Why not try using it as a marinade for say…Steak …Hmmmm. The sauce itself was actually made by mistake by two chemists Lea and Perrin, but we don’t approve of product placement on this blog, so we’ll talk no more of this delightful substance. (Which incidentally can be found at a reasonable price in Tesco’s, Sainsbury’s Asda and a host of purveyors of fine condiments the length and breadth of “this other eden”.) But what of Worcester musical heritage, I hear you cry? Well there’s the world famous composer Edward Elgar and erm…Michael Ball, music hall star andproud owner of that grinning, ruddy, chubby circular face much loved by middle England’s housewives and my nan. Erm Mmm, Ok now I’m struggling but all is not lost as Worcestershire now have new musical champions, in the form of the oddly named “And What Will Be Left of Them.”
Elgar was no snob, he once stated “There is music in the air, music all around us, the world is full of it and you simply take as much as you require.” Now this may well sound a little as if Eddie was encouraging the illegal download of music but in reality I think it’s more likely he had bit of a Punk D.I.Y. ethic, (he was self taught in musical theory,) take your influences and make them into something relevant to you. That’s exactly what “And What Will Be Left of Them” has done, they produce a riotous sound which you can leap around to like a loon. And it’s great , its Punk you can dance to, not just pogo to, but you can actually dance to it !! ( well I can’t being Rhythmically challenged, but you know what I mean).“Dark World” fanzine described them as “the best proto-post-neo-punk- electro poptart band ever”, which is a pretty darn good description. They have toured with the likes of Misty’s Big Adventure, Forward Russia!, Art Brut, iDou, The Hot Puppies and The Loves and have built up a loyal fan base. Their most recent release “Come With Me” is a hypnotic hook laden treat which has attracted the “both cab doors open” sized ears of the great Steve Lamacq. So let’s find out what they have to say for themselves eh? (well Pete anyhow)

VP: Where did it all start, how was the band conceived so to speak, and what was your plan?

Pete (AWWBLOT): We just celebrated our fourth birthday as a band so we must have started the band four years ago! It seems such a long time when you think about it… We were conceived as a drunken plan for world domination and I have attempted to stay true to the drunken part of that since day one. A big part of it was wanting to get as big as possible without having to move to London… which we’ve achieved to an extent – it’s just that now whilst 3/5 on the band live in Worcester, the other two live in Birmingham and Lancaster!

VP: What’s the name all about ?

Pete (AWWBLOT:) Amazingly, it was the only thing we could all agree on – which must give you an idea of how very very poor some of the other ideas we had were! It’s part of the tag-line from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (“Who Will Survive And What Will Be Left Of Them?”). Chris (drums) is a big horror movie fan so it must have come from that.

VP:One question to unashamedly plug your wares. For the unenlightened what have you released thus far?

Pete (AWWBLOT):We’ve had download singles out on Filthy Little Angels and The Little Hellfire Club labels, and a CD EP out on Filthy as well.At the end of last year we put out our “Come With Me / Look In Your Eye” on pink vinyl on the Pop-Art label.

VP: What are your plans for 2008?

Well we’re finishing up our debut album at the moment so hopefully that’ll be finished in the next month. Then we’ll spend a couple of months trying to work out what label it’s going to come out on, then we’ll probably tour and tour and tour until it’s time to make another one! We’re off to Berlin for our first Germany gig in ages in a few weeks and I’m hoping very much that we’ll get to do some bigger tours this year… mostly though I just want to go on enjoying being in a band for another year… and record another Christmas single…

VP: Which current bands are you fans of?

It’s very hard to say – as a band we all have extremely different tastes and despite the fact that we’re really close knit we can absolutely detest each other’s music! Joe (bass) and I are pretty much indie pieces of shit (with a perculiar fondness for The Pogues) whilst Chris (drums) is more rock… Matt and Red (vocals) meanwhile have huge musical knowledge of differing genres…At a guess though I’d say the only bands we all agree on tend to be those that we’ve grown to know and love as people… Untitled Musical Project, The Hot Puppies, We Start Fires, Zebedy Rays, Brontosaurus Chorus, Kriss Foster, Subliminal Girls…

VP: If music is the food of love, whose the indigestion?

Pete (AWWBLOT): I’m not sure I really hate anyone enough to slate them when sober… Give me a drink though and I’ll probably let anyone who’ll listen know what I think on a variety of subjects – often including miniature lectures on 20th Century History I’m told…

VP: As a band are you a democracy? Or is it an evil dictatorship?

Pete (AWWBLOT):I often claim that I run the band as a benevolent dictatorship, but I suspect the others would disagree. It’s quite possible that they just humour Old Man Pete into thinking he’s the captain when they’re actually steering the boat…

VP: Do you get pre-gig nerves, do you have any superstitious routines. For example I hear Bjork eats a light “ lucky puffin casserole ” prior to each gig (not so lucky for the Puffin)

Pete (AWWBLOT): We did at first but not any more, we’ve probably played over 200 gigs now and whilst you occasionally get an attack of the butterflies they never really stay with you once you’re on stage. As for odd pre-gig routines, Matt used to always eat potato products before a show – but he’s kind of stopped doing that now.

VP: Any musician/producer etc you’d love to work with?

Pete (AWWBLOT): I think Chris would love to work with Steve Albini… I’d like to write some songs with Darren Haymen…

VP: The five greatest songs in the world are ??

Pete (AWWBLOT): …hopefully going to be available on the AWWBLOT debut album by the end of Summer.What an unbelievably crass answer…



SPLIT 7″ ON PINK VINYL – Side “A?” – And What Will Be Left Of Them?

“Come With Me” and “Look In Your Eye.”

Side “BC” – Brontosaurus Chorus:

“The Myth Of Love”, “Distortion Pop” and “Kirsten.”

The record will also contain a secret weblink and password to download the tracks as mp3s, plus access to exclusive videos, audio tracks and photos.

‘And What Will Be Left Of Them?’ Black T-Shirts £12 Available in standard or womens fitted, sizes Small to Xtra Large

‘And What Will Be Left Of Them?’ White T-Shirt £8 (Only size XL left – Don’t panic! Roughly hack the arms off with scissors, stick a belt round the middle and phwaar! nice dress! – failing that you just need to be a bit portly) ‘And What Will Be Left Of Them?’ Logo Pin Badge 50p CLICK TO ORDER MERCH
“Come With Me ” By And What Will Be Left Of Them

“Attack Of The Vak” ..Kovak Interview

“Rockstar” By Kovak

What is it about Brighton eh? So much good music seems to be coming out of that place lately, every other decent new band that crosses my path seem to be from or connected to the area. I personally can only assume that the bizarre habit Brighton and Hove Bus Company employ of naming buses after “famous” people with a connection to the area is the motivating force here… I mean really, who could resist such an honour? Don’t worry if you’ve just missed the “Kitty O Shea” the “Eleanor Marx” will be along shortly, and what stony hearted creature could resist a ride on the “Ida Lupino?” I’d recommend the “Rudyard Kipling” (which provides an exceedingly good service, no “ifs” or buts) or the psuedo-revolutionary “Monster Bobby,” an eccentric, rather unreliable service often suffering from the occasional technical hitch or two. On the down side I couldn’t, hand on heart, recommend catching the “Luke Pritchard”, a scruffy, unreliable, irritating little sh*t of a vehicle with ideas above its bus station . . Oh and a word of advice, avoid hopping on board the “Heather Mills”, it can be very erratic indeed, one wheel tends to make for a bumpy trip and a quick ride could cost you an arm and a leg. It must be said that you cannot help but feel that naming the 820; “Santa Claus” is stretching the boundaries of the “links with Brighton” theme a little. (Explanation on their website; “Santa, connections with Brighton and Hove: Every Christmas he delivers the presents to all the children!” Ah yes that explains it then!) Mind you I’ve always found Brighton an interesting and eclectic city, a place where freakish absurdity hardly a raises an eyebrow (i.e. the Kooks, Brighton and Hove Albion FC, Chris Eubank and of course Jordan…) I mean chaps, try wearing a pink wig, eyeliner, a skinny Tee and a pair of Lederhosen on a night out in Liverpool and see how long it is before you end up in A&E (actually don’t!)

Brighton seems to be a real hub of cutting edge creativity these days, and yet another band from the area has attracted my large, highly appreciative ears. Kovaks the name and they mix disco, pop, electro and Indie together to devastatingly good effect… Now being a dour Northerner, I rarely dance, there’s not really much call for it over a game of dominoes, a warm pint of “Badgers Todger” and talk of whippets whilst munching on lard n’tripe pies. Let’s face it after a hard day down t’pit, cleaving coal from the bowels of mother earth with your teeth, nobody much feels like poncing about “Pulling Shapes” on a brightly lit dance floor.. In a nutshell the view up here in t’north is that dancing should be left to lasses, nancy boys, and the mentally ill. It might be all well and good for drama students and jobbing thespians like them lot down south, but up north we deal in reality, we find “hopes” and “dreams” a little effeminate to be truthful. It’s a bit like a Totalitarian version of “Footloose” with cloth caps, clogs and gulags. Kevin Bacon? That lad wouldn’t have lasted five minutes in Little Thirkleby or Appleton Wiske, with his fancy-dan hoofing, circulation inhibiting strides and ridiculous mullet. In fact the nearest we come to anything that even resembles dancing is when we hold our traditional “ferret down the pants” competitions. Saying that I have danced in public but it’s a very rare occurrence, I suppose this is a blessing, as those who been unfortunate enough to witness such displays of unbridled lunacy would surely testify? The truth is few bands actually provoke a strong desire within me to dance (unless I’ve enjoyed a glass of “Pastor Gillespie’s Organic Brain Fog” ) But now Kovak stand accused, for it is they who are responsible for me producing moves that can at best be described as “Ian Curtis trapped in a strobe, wearing roller skates” We put the spotlight firmly on Abby, Karl, Dazza, Toby and Mr White, collectively known as Kovak.

VP: How did it all start ? Where did you meet? What’s the name all about?

Kovak: (Karl And Dazza): Me (Karl) and Dazza (bald one with glasses and levitating sideburns are brothers, we’ve always played music together since we were kids. This band has morphed from a band we formed years ago…. good things come to those that wait dear boy! The name Kovak is from Martys great Czechoslovakian Aunty….. you’ll never guess where she comes from…. or what her name is!

VP: How would you describe your music and who would you say you were influenced by ?

Kovak:(Karl And Dazza): Our music is an electro indie spectacular with a sexy dance twist, none of this flash in the pan electro 80’s nonsense with luminous pink hats and no soul…. although that is kinda fun? Our influences are spread far and wide, further than Cornwall to Kidderminster (could be a really bad album name?) we all like different things for different reasons – we all write together now at rehearsal or in the studio, kind of click into position and off we go… we finally found unified direction, (maybe they could build a direct road to Cornwall from Kiddy?)

VP: From an outsiders perspective Brighton appears to have so much going on musically, what’s the inside view, is it harder to be heard above the noise

Kovak (Abs): I don’t think it’s hard to be heard at all, if you make the right noise! The trick is to make everyone aware that you exist. There’s a whole bag of different genres, which is great for us because that live stereotypical rock-band format isn’t us at all – and the Brighton audience doesn’t expect that anymore either. The electro/pop scene is really starting to come through now, and the more decent bands there are, the more fans there are, and the more people to play to. The Brighton crowd is notoriously tough to crack though, but this scene is starting to let it’s hair down. We like it!

VP: You’re releasing a single soon, what are the plans? Lots of gigs and promo etc ?

Abs: Well, the single launch party ties in with our Club Kovak night in May, which is also the first night of Brighton’s Fringe Festival, so we’re kicking it off with a bang! We’ll be making a few appearances on the radio, and there’ll be more gigs too… so watch this space!

VP: So in your time together what’s been the undoubted highlight ?

Kovak : Well, Dazza managed a whole rehearsal once without farting… So second to that momentous occasion, I would have to say recording the album has been the best Kovak moment yet. Sure, we LOVE playing live, and have had some amazing gigs, and that’s what it’s all about, but there’s something about taking time out to record, and submerging ourselves into complete self indulgence where “it’s all about kovak kovak kovak”!. C’mon, that’s what we’re here for really…. We all have our little ego’s to tend to! And when you’re isolated in a remote haunted house on an island with an inspiring producer and nothing else to do but play music, it’s a highlight hard to beat!

VP: And what’s been the most unpleasant experience, thus far (apart from this interview)?

Kovak: Shit gigs… everyone’s had ‘em and we’ve had our fair share. What is it with people who are completely incapable of organisation, and then to make matters worse, you have to contend with terrible sound, cutting songs out of your set and blah blah blah…?! It’s one of the biggest frustrations of being in a band. Dazza, in a moment of frustrated madness, once speared a drum skin with his drumstick mid gig causing another band to engulf the stage followed by their entourage of mates, threatening to beat him up… I wouldn’t say that was unpleasant as such, but it did go down as one of our worst gigs!

VP: Met any online fruitcakes who send bizarre requests, or odd comments ?

Kovak: Only on a Monday

VP: Any upcoming bands from Brighton you’d recommended ?

Kovak: My Federation – good beard action

VP: What did you make of the smug back slapping Brit awards this year?

Kovak: Just the usual campaign to fill up the displays at the front of record shops. Although you’ve got to give it to Paul McCartney… Live and Let Die… Proper Rockin. The kids should pay attention.

VP: The Five most annoying people in Britain are ;…

Kovak: These are Toby’s answers – the rest of the band can claim no responsibility for the workings of Mr East’s mind!

Generally I’m happy to let people get on with living their lives.

Kirstie Allsop. What a twat.

Politicians who think they’re in touch with reality when they’re blatantly living in a bubble of condescending denial.

The BBC. Smoke and mirrors.


On myspace

Official site

Buy this single why don't ya!


“I Love The Dancefloor” By Kovak


Ones To Watch- Natty

“Cold Town” By Natty

10 cc may have prattled on about loving cricket and reggae but I can’t really say I did. Catching a cricket ball full on the nose was enough to put anybody off that sport, fun shouldn’t hurt should it? As for reggae I’d never really listened to much of it in my youth, I was obviously aware of Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff, and had some knowledge of their work. But I was far too busy dying my hair, pogoing around and pretending to be an anarchist, I even swore once. There was also the UB40 factor, I can appreciate they are talented musicians and songwriters but I never could get past Ali Campbell’s nasal whine. It always put me in mind a badger being fed through a mincer, and gave me the urge to ram a “Vicks Sinex Nasal Spray” up his nose. Sadly their take on the genre, probably did as much as anybody to put me off reggae tinged music. Thankfully bands like The Clash, The Ruts and The Specials were able to retrospectively introduce me to the political side of reggae, opening my eyes and ears and enabling me to appreciate this music in a different light without fear of my lug-holes being attacked by Campbell’s reedy mewlings.It has to be said reggae hasn’t had much of a look in of late, what with the musical cholesterol of manufactured pop, and fake Indie clogging up the nations pop arteries. So when I heard of an artist called Natty who listed amongst his influences The Clash, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, Neil Young, Velvet Underground and Joy Division I thought he’d be definitely worth a listen. I was right! “Cold Town” is a fantastic track, in which the Bob Marley/ Clash influences shine through, it’s early days for him but the aforementioned song clearly suggests there is a major song writing talent here. Of course Natty is not simply a reggae singer and he’d probably wag his finger at me if I dared suggest such a thing. Artists generally don’t like being lumped into a specific genre, (NME take note) the whole ethos of music is of freedom and self expression, it certainly shouldn’t be confined or restricted by “style makers” and inventors of non existent genres. There are onlytwo types of music, the stuff you like and the stuff you don’t ! It will be very interesting to see how Natty’s music develops given the chance, have a listen to his songs on his myspace page and make your own mind up ……(Oh just for the record I still don’t like cricket or 10cc)

“Hidden Depps” ..Pete And The Pirates Interview

“Mr Understanding” By Pete And The Pirates

Well, well, well, Radio 1’s head of music -George Ergatoudis has rather belatedly declared he wishes “to f***ng stop “pop” being a “dirty mutha f***ing word”. Hmmmm?.. not the most original statement is it? What’s that you hear? Ah yes it’s another bandwagon Radio 1 are belatedly attempting to board -finger firmly on the pulse as ever, plenty of bands have been banging that particular drum for quite some time now. Radio1 eh? They arrive at the party two years too late, wearing a pair of crushed lemon nylon flares, replete with matching cravat and “Watneys Party Four’s” tucked under each arm. As usual its a case of “too late mate, everyone’s copped off.” Worryingly Ergatoudis appears to believe Supertramp/10cc tribute band – The Feeling are “pop” and bizarrely are “influential”. Apparently this is the “New Pop” (Sorry Nu-Pop), Ergatoudis’ insists that this is a return to the days when bands wrote songs and played instruments-Although quite where that leaves “pop” darlings Girls Aloud, is as baffling as Ashley Cole’s infidelity (what a strange, strange man, when you can have pheasant I can’t quite see the appeal of a greasy tub of KFC ) but the Milli Vanilli reunion has definitely been put on hold.

There may however, be unforeseen side effects in such rebranding, and reappraisal of this “genre,” like the presage to a great storm there is a dark cloud on the horizon. Disturbingly I have noticed a number of TV shows are conspiring to rewrite the past. You know the sort of programmes, nostalgia based schedule fillers, involving “loving” or “putting on trial ” a particular decade. It usually involves ex-Yoof TV presenters possibly called Andi or June, a music hack (who last wrote anything insightful back in 1972) to add gravitas and the obligatory unfunny northern comedian “Remember rain, eh? Eh? It was wet in them days weren’t it; it came from t’sky …oh aye!! ” (cue knowing look to camera.) They then proceed to bequeath us with their wit and wisdom on what the said decade was really like, hence, the history of pop is rewritten to fit in with their vapid uninspired musings. I mean come on!! Is the 80’s really defined by Toby Anstis’ view of it?

But what of this dark cloud? What can it be? Let me explain; – horribly such shows are attempting to shamelessly rewrite the legacy of the lobotomised stylised “fun” that was……. Stock…… Aitkin and Waterman, a spirit crushing yet rather apt soundtrack to Thatcher’s Britain, a world which was devoid of heart or soul, but was infused with that much admired 80’s virtue- cupidity. Nowadays its bad enough that we have camp panto villain Lord Cowell Of Smugsville, or Sharon “Bleeding” Osborne portraying herself as some sort of mumsy Vera Lynn national treasure type, without encouraging these three horsemen of the pop Apocalypse again. Believe me, I was there, it wasn’t fun, it was the sound of the Devil trying to master Rolf Harris’ stylophone, whilst falling down the stairs and landing on a cat. Imagine drinking gallon upon gallon of fizzy pop, then being strapped into a rollercoaster whilst being force fed candy floss again and again and again. Eventually you vomit onto said candy floss, yet still the puke soaked; gooey, fetid, sugary mess is forced into your mouth. That ladies and gentlemen is a visual representation of the kind of nausea S.A.W’s music can induce.( It wasn’t “fun” it was utter sh*te, British Motown? Sinetta? Mandy Smith? Sonia ? Sabrina? Jason Donovan? Do me a favour! ) Lets hope Radio 1’s revamp will not give license for these soulless business men to return to the fore with their “Venture Capitalist Pop” But will Radio 1’s stance really change anything or is it just window dressing ? If you are a group of lads with guitars in 2008 will Radio now 1 decree you “Not pop enough?” – I certainly hope not, surely the idea of a revamping the play lists won’t stop the likes of bands like Pete and the Pirates catching the public’s ear this year. Pop or Indie? Who cares? They have great tunes that lift the spirit and make the world seem a happier place. Their excellent album “Little Death” has enough pop hooks, fun and loud guitars to satisfy all ears. Think Weezer with maybe a rather small nod to The Frank and Walters. They’re a band whose chances should not be blunted by a Radio station desperately trying to be seen as relevant and “down with the kids”. Let’s hope the good music will out. We had a word with these scurvy dogs (well Davy Pirate) to find out if they were about to give the music world a jolly good rodgering

VP: How did it all begin, what’s the story behind your formation?

Davy Pirate: “We lived very nearby to each other as we were growing up, and would hang out in the sun in the summer, and before we knew it we had formed a band.

VP: Your excellent new album “Little Death” just been released, did you enjoy recording it and are you pleased with the results.

DP: Yeah recording it was very memorable, quite an intense but happy experience, we co-produced with Gareth (Parton) and yep it just was a very creative and fun and hardworking time. I am very happy with the results I think it perfectly captures us as a band at that time and shows the songs how they are meant to be and sound.

VP: Will you be promoting the album with a large publicity campaign ? Shows in every corner of the UK ? Acrobats? Tim Curry dressed as a clown ? Ladies wearing suspenders, etc

DP: Yeah,we kinda have been since last year, constantly playing as many shows as possible, and we did an in-store show on the day it was released which was surreal but fun.

VP: Apart from chatting to me, what have been the highlights of your time together thus far?

DP: Recording the album was great fun, going to SXSW last year, playing the Reading festival, were all very much highlights

VP: How would you describe your sound?

DP: Melodic, honest, rockin’ good fun exciting rock n roll

VP: Bands often talk of finding other ways of making money around music, as the digital age has made music more accessible, cheaper and erm freer. What’s your take on the music bizz as a young band starting out?

DP: I think before we were in a band we were all fairly aware of the potential pitfalls of the music bizz, but it was never really an issue, the reason we formed a band was to write songs together and play shows together. So the music bizz doesn’t really change that, we still do it for the same reasons, its pretty much all we can do, so the money thing is kinda by-the-by, it would be nice to make a living from making music, but it certainly shouldn’t the driving force behind making music (there are many easier ways to make money-e.g. an office job)

VP: What do you make of the numerous band reunions that have come about in the last couple of years? Do you think Oh Bugger off you’ve had your time, let us have a go or are there bands your glad to see back?

DP: I guess I don’t mind if the bands reforming are bands I like, it’s probably not the best way to see an “old great” y’know, would be better to have seen them in there heyday. Sometimes it can seem a bit lame really, like why bother? Having said that I saw the Pixies a year or two ago (having never seen them live before) and it was fantastic, and if Pavement were to reform I’m sure I’d be snapping up a ticket.

VP: Are tribute bands inherently evil?

DP: I guess not, its not something I’d do- but each to thier own.

VP: Music on TV, why are the few music shows on TV terminally naff. Should “The Old Grey Whistle Test,” “The Tube” and “A Handful Of Songs” be revived? Surely there’s a gap in the market there?

DP: Music TV ? Hmmm, who knows? I guess the way from stopping it being shit, is to have better bands on. If the music’s good its hard to mess it up too much…

VP: Peggy Sue and The Pirates?? Who arrived on the scene first? Did they nick your name? are you the guilty party or is it all a cosmic coincidence ?

DP: They nicked our name, and a guitar and a drum kit from us…secretly though it was a coincidence and they seem very nice indeed, annoying huh? (Ed:-yes ! )

VP: Five things you hope to achieve this year?

DP: Record second album, play in America, move house, learn violin, record third album


On myspace

Official Site

Click on images below.

13 Track Debut Album
CD & 12″ limited Vinyl, release date: 18th Feb 2008

CD & 7″ Vinyl, release date: 11th Feb 2008




“Come On Feet” By Pete And The Pirates
“Knots” By Pete & The Pirates
“Mr Understanding” By Pete And The Pirates

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Bookmark and Share

var addthis_pub = ‘von pip’;