WriteWyattUK’s quotes review of 2022, part one – January to June

January

Vinny Peculiar celebrating his 14th solo LP Artists Only, and a magpie’s approach to songwriting: “Those chords have been used by everyone. But you get to a certain point in life when you think, well, everyone’s used them, so I’ll use them as well. That really is the story of songwriting. There’s only so far you can take it, unless you want to get into the world of augmented fourths and triads and strange jazz tempos, and then it becomes almost impossible to relate to.”

John Power reflecting on Cast’s classic 1995 debut LP, All Change:“We weren’t looking for riffs. We weren’t writing in the studio. We had it all, every song was ready – waterproof and bullet-proof! It had all the riffs, all the drums, and we were tight as anything. So it went down like that – probably a big reason why it sounds so fresh and why all the parts work on it.”

Rising indie star Dana Gavanski revealing her musical roots:“I did listen to a lot of radio, you know, like R&B and pop, then I heard Joni Mitchell for the first time and her album, Blue, and then only listened to ‘60s and ‘70s music, mostly folk, until I was about 25. I didn’t listen to any contemporary music and didn’t know anything about anyone until when I was about 27 or 28. I was like, ‘Ooh, who are these people? What’s indie rock? I don’t know what that is.’ Then I listened to a lot of the weirdo soundscape stuff Brian Eno did, then cell music. And I love Meredith Monk. I just think I’m such a slow learner and late bloomer. It takes me a long time to sit with something and realise where I need to go next.”

February

Joe Mount on the pandemic informing Metronomy’s seventh album, Small World:“I wasn’t really wanting to make a record about Covid. But I ended up finding quite a lot of inspiration in all the things that were happening around me and my family, finding out things about myself. Then, towards the end of making the record, I felt it would be unfair to sort of mine the last two years for good inspiration and ignore the reality of it. It’s a bit exposing and embarrassing trying to write something about the experience of it all, but I also feel you shouldn’t shy away from things because they’re embarrassing. So in a way, it’s an attempt at acknowledging all the bad stuff.”

Brick Briscoe on the September 11th, 2021 album launch show in Indiana that almost became his last ever gig: “We were playing our release show on a rooftop – a Beatles thing – in Evansville, Indiana. A city of 140,000 people probably. We were surrounded by these amazing big buildings, playing with 100 or so of our local followers. We were playing the last song. I remember looking up thinking, ‘Gosh, what a great night! This is just the best. We’re having so much fun’. Next thing I know, I hear a clang and I’d fallen face-first on my guitar. Next thing I know people are trying to revive me. Luckily, two EMTs (emergency medical technicians) happened to be in the audience and they tried to get me to settle down. Very soon I was in an ambulance. I had a 230 beats-per-minute heart rate. I was in distress, but I got it. I knew what was happening. You think you’re having a heart attack or something. That wasn’t the case, but they stopped and started my heart, got it to go back into a rhythm. Next thing I know, I’m in hospital for six or seven days, and don’t make it back home for 11 days, because I’m in a safe house near the hospital for a short period of time.”

(Martin) Noble reflects on Sea Power, the band previously known as British Sea Power, in their breakthrough period, around the time of 2005’s Open Season:“That was a good period, taking us a few places. We went to Cornwall, did an event, made this giant human fruit machine – your arm in Bacofoil, and you had to pull that. Three of us were inside and had loads of bananas and apples to put up randomly. Martin Clunes was walking through the car park. ‘Martin! Come and have a go!’. It was 1p a go. He gave us a pound. He tried to get away after three goes, but we were like, ‘You’ve got another 97 goes!’ The horror on his face!”

Clare Grogan recalls the Glasgow punk scene and how it inspired the formation of Altered Images:“There really was a kind of group of what I describe as baby punks, and we all gravitated towards each other. Although none of us were at the same school, we became a little tribe of people that went to see all those acts, which we loved. Originally, when we heard Siouxsie and the Banshees were doing a Scottish tour, we got in touch with the fan club and asked if we could open for Siouxsie, support her on tour, and they said yes! And I’ll never quite understand why … but they did!”

March

Mickey Bradley on The Undertones being out on the road with ex- Stranglers singer Hugh Cornwell in 2022, and past dates with the band that made his name:“I’m a bit nervous, I think he’s gonna be brilliant. We need to up our game … or else maybe nobble him, de-tune his guitar, nip all his strings! The Stranglers were great. We supported them in 1978 in Ireland, before ‘Teenage Kicks’ came out. They were very considerate, made sure we got a soundcheck, made sure doors were kept closed till we had our soundcheck. Really encouraging. And they had Jean-Jacques (Burnel) jumping into the crowd to beat up somebody who was spitting all night! I still remember that. He jumped off, ‘boom!’, then jumped back up on stage, carried on.”

Bob Hardy on leaving West Yorkshire for Glasgow, paving the way for the birth of Franz Ferdinand: “I moved here ostensibly to study at the art school, because the painting department was really good and I wanted to paint. I was either going to London or Glasgow, but didn’t really fancy London. Glasgow was more appealing. We always came to Scotland on holiday when I was a kid. And the music scene was a big draw. As a teenager in Bradford, I was an obsessive music fan, a huge fan of Glasgow bands like Belle and Sebastian, Mogwai, The Arab Strap, The Delgados … that whole Chemikal Underground scene. And it seemed very manageable, because of the size of the city. I had friends that came the year before, I came to visit, the energy was great and you’d see people from bands I’d been a fan of since I was 15 … in the pub! I felt, ‘This is amazing!’”

Jaz Coleman contemplating what makes Killing Joke tick, all these years on:“It’s one almighty clash of wills and personalities. But when it locks in, it’s monstrous! Everybody, I can guarantee everyone … probably except Youth … is going through massive stress at the moment. Because it is stressful before we all get together, every time. I don’t know why, but it just is for everybody. But one thing you can be certain of is that however bad you feel, it’s worse for the other person. Haha!”

Sleeper’s Louise Wener on her family decision to leave the capital for the south coast:“I was pregnant with my second child, we needed more space, and it was like, ‘Bring up our kids by the seaside, that’d be a really cool thing to do’. And Brighton’s a great city … a little town really – quite compact, easy, very relaxed. It took a while to settle. I’d say, ‘I miss London!’. Now, when I go there to work, I relax on the train going back. The air’s different, and I love living by the sea.”

April

Mark Kingston on the difference between writing songs for The Farmer’s Boys and their modern incarnation The McGuilty Brothers:“I come up with ideas, play them to Barry (McGuilty), because he’s got to sing them, make sure he’s happy with the words I’ve written, then we go to the band, say, ‘This is the key’. And because they’re so good, they pick it up straight away. Back in the day, we’d sit in a room for hours, noodling until something came up, and that was probably the wrong way to do it. The songwriting bit was quite hard, trying to come up with something in a democratic way.”

Neil Sheasby contemplates the thinking behind Stone Foundation’s Outside Looking In LP:“When creating music, the goal is to recreate the sound you’re imagining in your head. Sometimes it’s achievable, sometimes you fall short. With this record I believe it’s the closest we’ve come to realising what we set out to achieve. It was important to push ourselves, not get caught up in a musical cul-de-sac of complacency. It had to sound fresh, a leap forward into uncharted territory. I think the songs reflect that.”

Simon Fowler, asked for his thoughts on Ocean Colour Scene’s Brit Pop heydays and how he views them now: “Oh, with great fondness. And quite a bit of pride, to be honest. It was as good as you can imagine, really. Did I get to enjoy the experience? Oh God, yeah … far too much! Haha! I’m glad we did. We did the whole rock’n’roll show. We were just about young enough. I was in my early 30s. Me and Oscar are four years older than Steve (Cradock) and Damon (Minchella). But the idea of that lifestyle now fills me with utter horror! Ha! The idea of going to a nightclub fills me with dread!”

Phil Odgers on coming to terms with losing The Men They Couldn’t Hang co-frontman Stefan Cush in early 2021:“As life gets closer to ‘normal’, you’re constantly reminded of places you’ve been, things you’ve done. Because we were going to do a new album and were talking about an acoustic album, we had a Zoom get-together, our first, and it was four days after that I got the call. We couldn’t believe it. Because of lockdown it was as if someone in Australia had gone. If that had been the case before, we’d have gone round, seen everyone … but you just couldn’t do it.”

May

Simon Wells on how meeting fellow songwriter Boo Hewerdine led to the creation of Simon and the Astronauts: “I met Boo in a pub, and we just talked about music and songwriting. He said, ‘I’ve got a weekend of songwriting, come along’. For me, he’s one of the best singer-songwriters in the country. And over the years, I’ve got to know him, being on residential weeks with him and people like Darden Smith. And through all that, I met Ben one weekend. Boo said, ‘Let’s try and do one song together, see if it works out’. We met Chris Pepper, this recording engineer in Cambridge, Boo suggesting we just do one song at a time, as live as possible. We’d literally write something in the morning, then record it in the afternoon. We didn’t really know if it would work out as a project. And Boo can do that, drive that along. Originally, that project was going to be called Jason and the Argonauts, but I thought I could put a spin on that. When they said, ‘Your name’s got to be on it,’ we became Simon and the Astronauts, because of my love for sci-fi and cartoons and comic books, taking that imagery. And the first album has a booklet where everyone’s got a job title, and what they do on the spaceship.”

James Douglas Clarke explaining how The Goa Express’ mutual love of The Brian Jonestown Massacre informed and inspired the band’s direction: “We all went and saw them when we were like … I don’t even know, we were definitely way under-age for going out in Manchester, going to parties all night! We were probably 16. We got the bus up, and it was just one of them coincidental moments where every single one of us had a ticket. We were already all into music, but after seeing them we were like, ‘This is what we should do!’. And to this day we still love that band. I think they’re on tour soon, and when they play in Manchester, I assume we’re all gonna be there again.”

The driving force behind The Crazy World of Arthur Brown on the Long, Long Road album marking his 80th birthday and how he planned to tour it:“The Human Perspective concept is the exploration of our inner selves while trying to navigate the external world. The God of Hellfire meets The God of Purefire, if you will. This is the live show I always wanted to perform with Kingdom Come in the 1970s, but technology at the time meant it wasn’t possible. But now I’m able to fully realise my vision. It’s something I’ve been looking forward to for a long time.”

Rising indie pop star Alfie Templeman on how the pandemic inspired his Mellow Moon album:“I think people assume I’m this easy, outgoing person, but there’s actually a lot more layers to me, and this record shows that. Writing songs like ‘Broken’, ‘Take Some Time Away’ and ‘Mellow Moon’ were like therapy. It was me asking ‘What’s wrong with me?’ and ‘How am I going to get better?’ and just figuring things out in real time. I had therapy but there were still things unresolved in my mind. So I turned to music for the answers.”

June

Mercury Prize nominee Gwenno explaining the rationale behind Cornish language LP, Tresor:“We live in a chaotic world and what impacts on our ability to make positive decisions is largely circumstantial. The song is about trying to connect with our ability to do the right thing at a point where everything is in flux, in crisis, and the foundation of our society is changing. How do we connect with our responsibilities and instinct to commit to the collective in a largely individualistic society? ‘Tresor’ is an homage to an older, analogue world, the soundtracks to European cinema, and a final fair farewell to the 20th Century.”

Miles Hunt on The Wonder Stuff’s golden days:“Eight years, in each other’s pockets. I don’t care what walk of life you’re in – whether it’s friends you went to university with, got your first job with, first signed on the dole with, whatever – almost every day for eight years … and we were a strange bunch.”

Mick Shepherd on The Amber List co-headlining with West on Colfax and Red Moon Joe at early July’s Ukraine relief fundraiser at The Continental, Preston, Lancashire:“Seeing all the suffering and pain this invasion is causing prompted us to act. We can barely imagine what the Ukrainian people are going through, and putting on this benefit not only shows our solidarity and support, but hopefully will raise money to help those most in need of assistance.”

Broadcaster/ex-music promoter Tony Michaelides on artistic development and a certain Dublin outfit he chanced upon in their early days: “Take as an example when me and Mark Radcliffe went to see U2, 31st May 1980 – I’ll never forget the day. They weren’t that good, they were third on the bill to Wah! Heat and Pink Military at Manchester Polytechnic, most people talking at the bar. You probably had about 20 people watching them. But you were gonna know what that band was called and remember that singer, and were going to be reminded of it over and over again. When U2 played in front of a small crowd, they played to them like it was a stadium. And when they play to a stadium now, they remember what it’s like to play to a small crowd. You bring those people in, so there’s a connection, and great frontmen grab your attention. U2 came out after that gig to meet every single person. We’re only talking a few people, but me and Radcliffe were so impressed. I brought the local radio DJ, playing their type of music on his show, and they were starstruck.”

Part two of the WriteWyattUK annual quotes review – covering July to December 2022 – will follow very soon.

About writewyattuk

A freelance writer and family man being swept along on a wave of advanced technology, but somehow clinging on to reality. It's only a matter of time ... A highly-motivated scribbler with a background in journalism, business and life itself. Away from the features, interviews and reviews you see here, I tackle novels, short stories, copywriting, ghost-writing, plus TV, radio and film scripts for adults and children. I'm also available for assignments and write/research for magazines, newspapers, press releases and webpages on a vast range of subjects. You can also follow me on Facebook via https://www.facebook.com/writewyattuk/ and on Twitter via @writewyattuk. Legally speaking, all content of this blog (unless otherwise stated) is the intellectual property of Malcolm Wyatt and may only be reproduced with permission.
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1 Response to WriteWyattUK’s quotes review of 2022, part one – January to June

  1. davidhurst1 says:

    Could be the bones of th

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