And What Will Be Left Of Them
Worcester’s And What Will Be Left Of Them released not one - but two of 2005’s best single moments. Isidore Ajar packed cider, 20 Consulate & a hamper of cheese & tomato batches & headed for the Western Counties to get the juice on what makes them tick. This is how it went down:
trakMARX - Elgar can get fucked, what about Satan's Rats, The Photos & The Dancing Did - to name but 3 (OK, so you have to add a 'shire' to the Worcester) - but that biography needs amending, surely?
BLUE PETER (vox/guitar) – “Nah, I'll stand by it. There has never been a truly big band out of Worcester. One that got on CDUK and took crack with Kate Moss... something that really puts this city, and county, on the map.”
MATT POOLER (keyboards) – “Who are those bands?”
RED WHITE (vox) – “The Dancing Did? Sounds interesting!”
JOE BEECH (bass) – “I want us to have our own bronze statue overlooking Worcester high street.”
CHRIS WEMYSS (drums) – “Elgar can get fucked, yes.”
trakMARX - And so to the business in hand: Red White & Blue Peter all over - it's pleasing to see pseudonyms in action once again. Are you 'avoiding the dole sniffers'? Or is it way shallower/deeper than that?
BLUE PETER – “It's incredibly shallow. Red has been Red's nickname for years and the Blue was added to my name in honour of my first erection.”
RED WHITE – “I am actually avoiding the bailiffs right now though. I have no fixed address and Red White’s not on their books... unless they read this, but they’re probably too busy emptying someone else’s house.”
JOE BEECH – “I think at some point I had the short lived moniker of Hans The Swedish Bloke, but it didn’t work out...”
CHRIS WEMYSS – “It’s all a bit daft.”
trakMARX - What's in a name, 'they' often say, & And What Will Left Of Them is one well extended moniker. Any element of homage to those other famous sons of AND: And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead & - erm - And Also The Trees?
BLUE PETER – “It's nothing to do And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, in fact I've never even heard their music. Who're And Also The Trees? (They were from Alcester – early 80s artROCKERS – History Ed)”
MATT POOLER – “Another band I've not heard of - where have I been?”
RED WHITE – “I’ve not heard of And Also The Trees either, but I’ve seen the other one. It’s not like a comparison could be drawn apart from the name.”
JOE BEECH – “How devastated was I to learn I hadn’t in fact joined And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead?”
CHRIS WEMYSS – “The similarity never crossed our minds, our name just comes from a B-movie chainsaw flick.”
trakMARX - What personal obsessions do individual group members carry around in their 'influence satchels'?
BLUE PETER – “Personally, I've always felt that what music we like personally has very little influence on the music this band makes. I might be wrong. If it's obsessions, then I suppose it's The Clash, The Pogues, Hefner and Elastica for me.”
MATT POOLER – “I don't see any of my influences personally - but reviews do mention bands I like. Although I don't believe any of us are into the B52s...”
JOE BEECH – “I listened to the Vashti Bunyan album recently quite a lot... I liked what I heard but it doesn’t really come through in our music.”
CHRIS WEMYSS – “I don’t feel any influence. Influence me.”
trakMARX - You formed AWWBLOT whilst pissed up in a nightclub - does this reflect the seriousness with which you approach the task?
BLUE PETER – “Not in the slightest. I'd say we're incredibly serious about this. The drunken, shambolic formation is reflected more in the music and gigs I'd say! The aim was always to make great pop music.”
MATT POOLER – “The band we take seriously but not ourselves.”
RED WHITE – “That was me and Pete’s main goal, to get at least one pop gem on record, even though we were suffering double vision when we decided that.”
CHRIS WEMYSS – “And why not?”
trakMARX - You like to make your gigs a party - sensibly providing balloons, hats, buffets, poppers & amyl nitrate - is this a direct reaction to the po-faced-angst-ridden approach/carefully studied ennui of many of your contemporaries?
BLUE PETER – “We've only provided party equipment a few times but the basic gist of your question is right. I was, and am, sick to death of seeing bands who don't look like they're enjoying what they're doing at all. I enjoy this and I want the audience to enjoy it too. Otherwise we might as well all go home.”
MATT POOLER – “There is a fine line between looking miserable and cool, and just looking miserable. I may have crossed that line a few times!”
JOE BEECH – “Yes... but... what?”
CHRIS WEMYSS – “Skinny, miserable boreons, scowling through their hair don’t do anything for me...”
trakMARX – “At what stage did you realise that crime alone cannot fund a rock'n'roll group?”
BLUE PETER – “When we realised we were crap at crime.”
RED WHITE – “When I realised I could only break into cars and not forge cheques.”
MATT POOLER – “And it would have worked as well if it hadn't been for those pesky kids.”
JOE BEECH – “I still haven’t.”
CHRIS WEMYSS – “When I took up drumming.”
trakMARX - You must have been chuffed to fuck when Filthy Little Angels (for anyone not paying attention out there: THE label widely regarded as the new Fierce Panda!) snapped you up?
BLUE PETER – “Yes we were. Though technically we haven't been snapped up by anyone. We've never signed anything!”
JOE BEECH – “It was a happy day in the Joe camp.”
RED WHITE – “They’ve been great help in the starting blocks.”
CHRIS WEMYSS – “Yup.”
trakMARX - The release of "Hi Fi Low Life" garnered much praise - how did it feel to be marked down as future cult heroes?
BLUE PETER – “Justified! I'd prefer it if we could replace the ‘cult’ with ‘chart’ though!”
MATT – “And ‘future’ replaced with ‘now’.”
RED WHITE – “Now chart heroes doesn’t make any sense!”
JOE BEECH - “Heroes makes me want a cape and/or super abilities.”
trakMARX - Surely anyone who's compared you to The Clash really should be writing about some other medium entirely?
BLUE PETER – “I can accept that. It's nice for my ego that I've been compared to "a young Joe Strummer" though!”
MATT POOLER – “It’s nice to be compared (especially for Pete) but I think it does limit peoples opinion on our sound. We do have some Clash type stuff, but most of it’s very different.”
CHRIE WEMYSS – “I’m not to keen on The Clash really.”
trakMARX - Amongst the support slots you've undertaken, !Forward Russia! (sorry, kids, can't do the exclamation upside down schtick!!!!!) must have been some experience. We really love those cats too, what was it like playing out with them? Any anecdotes?
BLUE PETER – “It was great and they're a great band. Turns out their drummer shares a flat with a girl called Giggler who used to take photos of bands in Worcester.”
JOE BEECH – “We played with them the same week they had their picture on the front of the NME, so we knew we were in good hands! I’d totally recommend seeing them.”
RED WHITE – “It was at Club Strut, the club night run by We Start Fires, who are another fantastic band people have to go and see!”
trakMARX - Did you have fun with Art Brut? Like wearing a Bloc Party t-shirt for a laugh, or anything?
BLUE PETER – “We played with them a long time ago - before the "troubles". I drank a lot of banana vodka that night and accidentally trod on a snail back at Fruitbat's place.”
RED WHITE – “I had immense fun with a bucket of flying saucers. Whether they were mine to have fun with I don’t know. I blame the whiskey.”
JOE BEECH – “This was before my time, but Art Brut are great.”
CHRIS WEMYSS – “I went home to bed early!”
MATT POOLER – “Incidentally check out Idou.”
trakMARX - November 2005 saw you release your second single, "The Dance, Damn You, Dance EP". How's that panned out for you?
BLUE PETER – “Very well, I think. All the reviews have been lovely and people have actually started dancing now!”
MATT POOLER – “The EP has done really well. XFM have been playing some of the songs from the EP. Its also found its way into Europe and America which is fantastic. Thanks to everyone whose bought/reviewed/played the EP and remember kids, it’s still available.”
RED WHITE – “Again, good exposure for us with all the reviews. It’s good to get positive feedback for the work we’ve done.”
JOE BEECH – “I can’t move in the street now for hoards of Hare Krishna’s... erm... fans.”
CHRIS WEMYSS – ‘My favourite stuff so far.”
trakMARX - The Filthy Little Angels Xmarse Download LP was another rip roaring success - over 600 downloads in the first few hours, so I heard. You've got a good label under you there, are you happy with the way it's all progressing?
BLUE PETER – “It ended up with 5000 downloads by Xmas Day, so I suppose it's our most successful rekkid to date! It was a good end to a good year.”
MATT POOLER – “It’s amazing how well that did. We were so impressed how it came out during recording and then to have that many downloads is incredible. Blogs all over the world were listing the song to download for a bit of Xmas cheer.”
RED WHITE – “5000 downloads was a total shock.”
JOE BEECH – “It was good to be on a compilation with so many other great bands.”
CHRIS WEMYSS – “We really should’ve got some choir boys in on that song though...”
trakMARX – “How did the tour of the UK's motorway service stations go?”
BLUE PETER – “Very well! It was a great bit of fun but also kinda grueling. Playing in the November freezing fog is not as pleasant an experience as it looked on paper!”
MATT POOLER – “That turned out much better than I thought it might. The worst we had to put up with was the cold and the fog. The service-station staff mostly let us get on with it and we got a good response from some of the public, especially at Donnington. The stripped down sound was good although it had a slight sea shanty feel due to my wind-powered organ. Although saying all that, I'm not sure I'd want to do it again at that time of year....”
RED WHITE – “A surreal experience. When I look back on it I can laugh but by the end of the second day I was cold, tired and convinced I’d gone mad.”
JOE BEECH – “Too much coffee and muffins that taste like animal fat for one lifetime...”
CHRIS – “It was incredibly expensive, but worth it as we got to play at the Windmill in Brixton powered only by Duracell. Tiny little amps and a djeme!”
trakMARX - Where next for AWWBLOT?
BLUE PETER – “A load more gigs, a new single at some point soon hopefully. Perhaps a beer or two.”
MATT – “Introduce ourselves to the masses - join us on:
RED WHITE – “We have a good set of gigs coming up in the next few months. They’re all listed online. So yeah, just keep getting out there and collecting more willing dancers!”
JOE BEECH - www.awwblot.com - y’hear.
Isidore Ajar – tMx 23 – 01/06