Interview

Desert Mine Music asked me to answer some questions. I took too long for it to accompany the release of Normal Tea to the internet - and I haven't even finished making the magazine to go with the music yet. But I will get faster internet, I promise. I will get faster, internet. Please just don't sack me yet. I mean, I have a wife and child now to hurry about. And how will they take me seriously when i'm telling them to hurry up and be better, faster, more interesting quicker, when they know how slack i'm being at working for you internet.

What’s your favourite Oasis song?

I kneeled on my knees, in the remains of / that chip shop once was a newsagent. I looked hard at the pictures of the man in his band, with his red shirt and guitar, and all that stuff they said about him and his brother.

Following this, I walked back over the bridge wanting to be a burglar man from Burnage, attempting that scowl like the man in his shirt. I wanted terribly to be able to do it. But I couldn’t. I sat in my bedroom and listened to his swaggering brother asking if I knew what he meant.

Oh, yes, Mr Burnage burglar man. Certainly.

Eventually, I got thumped by this lad from Burnholme. But that’s another boring story.

I watched the news conference where they said they were getting rid of some of the band. My Dad took me to Monks Cross (‘?) to buy Standing on the Shoulders of Giants and I was disappointed.

I didn’t realize then what I think I know now but probably don’t. I didn’t have the good sense to see past the myth at the truth that obscured it. I wasn’t from Motherwell, in Camden in the 90’s, playing pool when in walked this scrappy looking bloke in his swagger, and his sexy face I thought, but not in that way.

I wasn’t there to see through it; I only had the pictures. And because of the pictures so many things that have happened happened. Because with the force-fed of illusion, I have seldom slept very distant from a copy of What’s the Story Morning Glory. And all the commentators now keep shouting. I blame Andy Gray.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t have a favourite. And it doesn’t mean either that I don’t want to share it. What it means, as far as can be established before I really need to go put out the towels, is that the things you swallow when you are in small socks and each night you go to bed at the same time dreaming of standing on the school stage and performing in such a way with a scowl and an indifferent attitude that she will want to talk to you and be your friend, those things are the things unavoidable. And so you listen to them when no one’s listening. And when they come on in a pub, and some others turn their noses, you turn yours too, because when it’s gone, the song, then you’ll be left with those you don’t want to be different from, you want to relate to them, you wish to stay friends.

Because of this, I have started re-writing all the lyrics to What’s The Story Morning Glory. ‘I don’t feel as if I know me, I take up all my time. The days are long, and at night I make sure i’m in bed, because I sleep better in bed. I very seldom watcheth the weather, if it rains I’ll put on a coat. The zip it is broken, but if I do it up, pull it down, it’ll stay till I’m home. I live in the shadows of the people i’ve pretended to be. And i’m never doing that again, cos it’s horrid and spiteful and bad to my family. I’m never doing that again. And in the interview, half way through, I noticed the shite on my shoe.’

This ones about me being a big light bloke - it’s also about helicopters. ‘None of my friends are gay. And your band are really cool they play in people’s kitchens. I like to make hummus but the food-processer is a bugger to clean. Another sunny afternoon, walking round town in a pair of trainers that don’t suit me, turning up my jeans and then turning them down in the window of a local eaterie. Waste another hour on Facebook. Apparently, the youth don’t use it, if that’s the case and you’re young you can treat this as a history. Waste another hour on Facebook. You know you should so I guess you might as well. Your hometown’s boring let’s move to Krakow.’

Do you sing with your eyes shut?

I don’t sing, I shower. This shit follows me round, and so I lie down sometimes wishing I could sing. But I can’t. Mostly I just pretend i’m naked when i’m not and try and catch myself out.

What is the secret of your success?

Secrecy.

What’s been your best ever soundcheck?

Mostly I just decide against going and phone ahead… Then I remember that if I want to eat a piece of salmon before I go to work, I better get one out of the freezer. I do this with my eyes open, because to operate a pair of scissors with them shut is just a bit thick… never operate a pair of scissors when they are shut...

Then? Oh, then we get back to the question. Would you open a vacuum-packed slice of a salmon you’ve never seen in its entirety with your eyes shut? No, you would not. So why do you sometimes sing like this?

I don’t sing, a man at lindy told me.

I know that, but why do you sometimes sing like this?

I’m scared?

Don’t fear the fish, Markie. And neither don’t fear the people who are possibly passing comment on you, within the shot of your ear, by the bar and they look drunken. Because it is hard to reproduce in front of people what you know you can do alone. It is this because that person alone is only that person alone when that person is alone. Amongst the other souls, that person is different. And that is perfectly alright.

Sometimes I open my eyes and look into the middle distance and think of all the things I’ll have to apologize for later. Sometimes I open my eyes and think if I go down that road then I might get my face in more of people’s screens, my bank balance might increase, people will talk to me thinking I am a picture in a magazine. Sometimes I listen to the builders talking about their phone contracts.

Any tips for the Autumn/Winter 2019 season?

Plenty.

What is the smallest audience you have played a concert to?

I seldom notice the ambulance. Mostly I just decide against going and phone ahead.

What is the greatest compliment you have received from one of your many fans?

It’s alright you didn’t come; I didn’t neither.’

And if I do, I tend to sift through all the good for the ugly. Sometimes people think it’s funny it’s not meant to be. Mostly I just try and find out what they do makes them tick and see if I can learn something.

When you play live, what’s your ‘rig’?

Mostly I just decide against going and phone ahead. And if I don’t, I drink the peppermint tea, while promising the man managing his stage, not to mess up his mop or his bucket.

How do you psyche yourself up and get ‘in the zone’ for one of your legendary performances?

I do some yoga whilst listening to the Stooges

Do you prefer the blues or the jazz?

I don’t even come into it. Really, I should. But I shouldn’t say that, cos then you’ll think I mean it. But I do tend to think that music and most things haven’t got much to do with liking them. Cos that’s dangerously close to relatability. And I don’t buy that blues lie like I used to. I think it’s funny how they took the piss out of the fact I was into country.