WriteWyattUK’s quotes review of 2022, part two – July to December

July

Chris Hewitt on Jeremy Beadle involving him in 1972’s Bickershaw Festival, ultimately setting him on his career path:“Jeremy was targeting all the colleges and universities, contacting social secretaries, saying you can have free admission if you help work on it, entice students to come. That’s when I got the phone call at the SU office at Rochdale College, asking if I could come and work on tickets and flyers, and travelled down to Bickershaw to meet him. Discussing the festival with Jeremy in 2007 he told me he had wanted to create what he envisaged as an English Woodstock, and although he was managing to achieve many of his objectives, he was forever chasing cheques for everything, including his own wages. To think Jeremy had a gargantuan commitment to pay artists and site contractors and was faced with his main financier/businessman going to jail with three weeks to go, it’s testimony to Jeremy’s amazing ability and self-belief that the event was such an artistic success, given the weather and underlying financial problems. He later told me he always, because of his fight to overcome his disability earlier in life and go into showbusiness, had a firm belief in backing the maverick outsiders of life, supporting crazy ideas. It was this self-belief – to recreate Woodstock with West Coast American bands in a field halfway between Manchester and Liverpool – that saw the festival succeed artistically.”

Katy J. Pearson on her folk roots:“For ages I was kind of jumping around about what I would define my genre as. But if I really think about what I was listening to growing up, it was very folk-orientated. And I kind of forget to kind of mention that and every time I see the word folk. I get a bit annoyed, thinking of Three Daft Monkeys playing at Wychwood Folk Festival, kind of gypsy folk and party folk. When, actually, folk is such a broad term that I can accept I’m in that realm. Growing up, I was into a lot of James Taylor and a lot of Crosby, Stills and Nash era Americana folk-rock. And recently, I’ve listened to a lot of Vashti Bunyan. I’ve just read her memoir, she says she doesn’t like to be referred to as folk … but there’s a side of her that is. In that kind of realm, I’m happy to be defined as that.”

The Chesterfields’ Simon Barber on ‘Our Songbird Has Gone’, a tribute to former co-frontman Davey Goldsworthy: “When Davey died, his ex-girlfriend, Catherine said, ‘I think you should have this.’ I hadn’t seen it before. It’s a little black book, A6, he’s written on the side of the pages, ‘The Slits’, and what really touched me was that it has all the words from the Kettle period to all our songs – he’d written all my lyrics in there as well. I was always in awe of him and his words, and think I became a better wordsmith as a result of being in the band with him. So to see that was quite a thing really. I wrote that song on my birthday, in lockdown, May 2020, the first time I’d walked out to meet my daughter, who lives eight miles away. We both walked four miles, she brought the kids, we had a picnic, it was a gorgeous day, and on the way out, that rhythm got into my head and the words started landing. I’d been thinking about Davey, and sang it into my phone a few times. When I got there my granddaughter, Lexi, nine at the time, pulled a ukulele out, she’d been learning ‘You Are My Sunshine’, and they all sang that to me before the picnic. If I hadn’t sung the song into my phone I might have lost it … another tune in my head. And pretty much, a couple of days later, it was done.”

Music book author/editorand Manchester City fan Richard Houghton on the continuing allure of the Rolling Stones, having publishing two books on the band in 2022:“Quite simply, I’m a fan. I’m not embarrassed to admit I’ve collected over 200 different books about the Stones over the years, and whilst I haven’t quite gone to the lengths of some of the uber-fans out there who’ve got every album, DVD and t-shirt ever produced, I’ve seen them over 30 times and my travels have taken me to the States, Brazil and Europe … and Anfield, which shows just how dedicated I am!”

August

Stockholm-based ABBA biographer Carl Magnus Palm contemplating how love for the band shows no sign of waning:I remember 30 years ago people said to me, when I was working on my first book, ‘You better hurry up, before the ABBA revival dies down.’ Ha! They’re like The Beatles now, in the sense that they’re part of the culture … it’s a reference point, it’s everything else, you know. You don’t have to compare it on any other level, but in that sense, people are always interested.”

Phil Barton on his working relationship with former Beautiful South/Housemartins singer Dave Hemingway in Sunbirds and previously The South:I’ve got to know Hammy well, being on tour and everything, you end up spending a lot of time together. Our life experiences have been extremely similar. And there really is a bond there that isn’t just a kind of professional collaboration. It’s deeper than that. When I send him a load of songs, I don’t give him any clues as to who wrote them. I like to get a genuine reaction, without it being prejudiced. I send him stuff I’ve done and that means a lot to me, and I might send something that’s quite pretty that I co-wrote, more written to order for what we’re doing. That sounds terribly cynical, but there’s a real art in that as well. And the ones he picks out are always the ones he has a connection with. There’s a wavelength thing going on.”

Guitar virtuoso Elliott Morris on ‘Tonnau’ (Welsh for ‘waves’) on 2022 LP, Something Worth Fighting For: “It’s about those things I was missing in lockdown, being in those places where you feel that sort of grounding. Not to say I don’t feel at home in London – it’s my home and I love it to bits, I’m very lucky in the part of London I am to have that green space and can’t imagine what it would be like living in a tower block in the centre of town. And London did become very peaceful – you’d go out into parks, and it would be so quiet, and you’d be like, ‘Oh, wait, I remember why it’s this quiet, and why there are no planes going over.’ It was weird. But I grew up in Carmarthenshire, lived there 10 years, and didn’t go back as much as I wanted to. Then, around 10 years ago, I got an email from a guy who runs a pub called the Pentre Arms in Llangrannog, and remember getting there, thinking, ‘I’ve been here before.’ It was deja vu but more certain than that. I spoke to my Mum and Dad, and they said I went there on school trips. It was just very circular to end up back there, gigging, and that’s one of those I look forward to in the diary every year I play there.”

John Scally on The Orchids’ early days alongside fellow co-founders Chris Quinn and James Hackett, aka the Penilee Three: “We grew up together, lived in the same street, went to the same school, going all the way through to secondary school, and at 14 and 15 – getting into music – it kind of transcended from there. Obviously, there was Postcard Records, stuff like that. But I’d always been a huge Beatles fan, and from 13 or 14 was into early Simple Minds, back to things like ‘Empires and Dance’. James was into things like Steel Pulse, Chris was into New Order, Joy Division … a whole load of things. We were really lucky, because in the early ‘80s the Barrowlands reopened, and there would be something every week to go and see, like Aztec Camera, Echo & the Bunnymen … and at that time the Splash One happening in Glasgow.”

September

Queen of Country Noir, Gretchen Peters, on how the pandemic underlined her decision to quit the road:“I had plenty of time and did a lot of thinking about it. And there’s a certain thing I figured out, a few years ago. When you’re touring, there are nights you’re really tired, or nights when you have something going on, personally, or whatever it might be. And I learned at some point that you bring whatever you have to the stage, and try to channel that into your performance, rather than tamping it down, pretending it’s not there. I don’t know what’s going to happen on this tour, or what’s going to happen tonight, but I have a feeling it’s going to be quite emotional, and I’m welcoming that with open arms, because I know I’m going to feel that way after all this time, seeing those people and hearing them. And if there was one thing that really came home to me during the period when we weren’t able to tour, it was how important being in the same room with people is. Online concerts are great in lieu of nothing, but they’re not the same at all.”

Evan Dando reflects on The Lemonheads’ path to success:“It’s one of those things where we weren’t fully formed when we were making records. We made records just to get gigs, paying for it with our high school graduation money. We came at it backwards, whereas a lot of bands are at their peak when they make their first record, and it’s really hard to beat that. Luckily, we kind of stumbled into it, so we’ve still got room to get better. We ought to make a real mind-blowing one this time. The stakes are high! And it’s so much fun.”

Manchester-born, Derry based singer-songwriter Adam Leonard on music punctuating his leisure time:“I love it. As people like doing sports, it’s a really keen interest. I find it really satisfying. Even last night, I spent about three hours dealing with a track until it was all finished. Every spare moment I’ve got, outside wanting to spend time with family, my wife and kids. It doesn’t pay the bills. I do get some money from it, but not enough to live off. It would change it if I had to do it for money. I’ve spoken to a number of people like that, painters especially, doing commissions, suddenly losing interest in what they were once passionate about. There’s a massive danger of that.”

Neil Arthur on why he’ll never be content just churning out past hits with Blancmange: “A lot of people are frightened of the future and are quite happy to have a repeat of something that was done before. But it’s just not for me. Looking forward you’ve got a hell of a world to try and navigate through at the moment. We’re all moving forward – so we’ve got to try and find some answers.”

Paul McLoone on The Undertones’ post-reformation compilation, Dig What You Need, and the prospect of a new record:“I would absolutely love that. I didn’t really know about the compilation when it was first mooted. But I’m really glad we did it. It makes a lot of sense, displaying the songs in a possibly better context. I don’t want to speak for the others, but with me it’s reignited the idea of maybe doing another. John’s been busy with side stuff, Damian’s got an instrumental album coming in a week or two, which is brilliant, also on Dimple Discs. But maybe next year, the smoke will clear a wee bit. I don’t want to put all the pressure on John, but he’s the instigator.”

October

Cass Browne on Senseless Things’ remastering landmark second LP, The First of Too Many LP: “We found a lot of conflicting frequencies, like with the acoustic guitar. We were still really young and didn’t really know everything. We were still finding our feet. A lot of the frequencies for Mark’s original chord guitar was really piercing, and drenched everything, and we’ve spent a lot more time with this version of the record than we did originally.”

Lightning Seeds creator Ian Broudie on working with Terry Hall again, speaking just weeks before The Specials’ legend’s passing: “Terry’s one of the greatest talents I’ve had the pleasure of working with. We started working together when I produced a couple of things for him …I think the first thing we worked on was The Colour Field, and we struck up a friendship, really … I’d say a bond. And it’s been lovely seeing his career re-blossom with The Specials. Then there was The Fun Boy Three, and … he’s done so many things that have been great. I think he’s brilliant.”

Syd Minsky-Sargeant on Working Men’s Club’s second LP, Fear Fear: “One of the talking points within the tunes is the shift in the way that society had to operate, being a young person within that. I think that was quite a big topic within the record, but it was tied up within an emotive side of that as well. So yeah, I was just trying to make it slightly conceptual, in a way, but also try and keep it personal in another sense.”

November

Fairport Convention’s Dave Pegg pays tribute to Sandy Denny, now 44 years gone:“It is bizarre, but she’s always kind of represented with Fairport when we do gigs. We could never replace Sandy Denny, that’s why we never got a girl singer again. Like you could never replace Richard Thompson, which is why we never got another guitar player. But Sandy’s still there, because we play some of her wonderful songs, like ‘Fotheringay’, and of course, ‘Who Knows Where the Time Goes?’”

California-based ex-Mighty Lemon Drops guitarist David Newton on how his Black Country roots proved perfect for an eclectic taste:“One of the great things about growing up in the UK at that time, another thing you can’t convey here in America, is that you were into everything. I used to buy Northern Soul records and the first records I bought were by Slade, Sweet and Mud. And soul was big, and reggae too. It was great, this mixture of all these kinds of things. The other thing in the States is that radio’s kind of formatted here. You get a rock station, a soul station, a pop/top-40 station … With the BBC, you got a real cross-section.”

Kate Rusby on duetting with fellow Yorkshire leading light Richard Hawley on ‘No Names @30’: “I think he’d been there five minutes when there was this power cut, so we all sat around in the studio, around a candle, singing through the song, him learning it, getting used to it, then the lights came on and he was like, ‘Right, come on, let’s go and do this.’ He started singing, and we were just in bits – he just hit the nail on the head. Asking me about it, we had this lovely chat, him saying, ‘When I sing somebody else’s song, I like to get right inside somebody’s head, and it’s like going through the front door and having a walk around the house.’ What a lovely day we had. It was brilliant.”

December

Ska veteran Buster Bloodvessel on the bonus of reaching the big time with Bad Manners: “When we actually started to hit the charts, we couldn’t believe it. It was unbelievable that they would take us seriously, that they’d allow things like ‘Ne-Ne Na-Na Na-Na Nu-Nu’ into the charts … It then became the longest-lasting single that year, to come in and out of the charts. I was so knocked out.”

The Catenary Wires and Swansea Sound co-driver Rob Pursey recalls rock’n’roll excess alongside partner and long-time musical collaborator Amelia Fletcher with indie darlings Heavenly: “I guess my most vivid memory is of the Sarah Records Christmas Party, where Heavenly played. Hair grips were tossed to one side, spectacles were dropped and trodden on, cardigans and anoraks were ripped. It was wild.”

Haircut One Hundred lead guitarist Graham Jones on recording debut LP Pelican West using revolutionary digital techniques at Roundhouse Studios, Chalk Farm, with Bob Sargeant: “There were lots of problems and there was an in-house engineer there to fix the thing, with all these funny little digital blips and hops going on. There was always someone there with a screwdriver. ‘Hang on, we’ll just have to wait for an hour while what’s-his-face gets his head in amongst the wires.’”

Legendary drummer Don Powell recalls frontman Noddy Holder’s 1966 audition for the band that became Slade: “The first song we played was something we knew and Nod was playing with his band, ‘Mr Pitiful’ by Otis Redding. And it worked straight away. We just looked at each other, started laughing, and just went into other things the four of us knew. It worked so well, and we thought, ‘This is it, this is the one!’”

For WriteWyattUK’s quotes review of 2022, part one – January to June, head here.

That’s it for the year, and thanks for reading, folks. It’s fair to say you can expect a change of pace on the feature/interview front in 2023. Stay tuned for that, the next interview already set up and not so far off publication, and several more lined up. Until then though, Happy New Year one and all, stay safe, keep the faith, and cheers again for your support.

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.
This entry was posted in Books Films, TV & Radio, Music and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.