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The SOTW Interview

PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 10:11 pm
by Gordon Neill
Well, fair dues to Athena. I suggested that her voice could be a bit cold, but she turned out to be a good sport and granted me an interview. A bit of an exclusive for SOTW. I'm pretty sure that it was her. I am new to this game, so I was a bit unsure of the form. Are you supposed to ask them for ID or something? Anyway, I know it's a bit rough and ready, but it just needs a quick edit and it'll be ready for the fish and chips shops.

G Have you ever played tennis?
A Eh?
G No, of course, you wouldn’t have been born then. How about your mum, did she play tennis?
A No.
G Or any other racquet sport?
A No. She was just a goatherd in southern France, seeking to avenge the death of her hunchback father, who’d been unable to find the spring hidden by the likeable rogue with the moustache, who turned out at the end of the film to be…
G Yes, yes. That’s all very interesting, but could we please talk about your new album?
A Sure.
G I notice there’s no songs about tennis.
A No.
G Or goatherds. Ha ha.
A No.
G Hmmm. You don’t sing in Greek in any of the songs.
A Nope.
G Why not?
A I couldn’t be bothered.
G Fair enough. It’s all Greek to me. Ha ha.
G Er… ‘Athena’ is an unusual name.
A Not where I come from.
G Which is….?
A Grimsby.
G So, is ‘Athena’ your first name or your second name?
A Yes.
G No, I mean which one is it? Your Christian name - no your ‘Orthodox name’ - or your surname.
A First name.
G And your second name is….?
A Παρθενοπη
G Right. I can see why you just stuck with the ‘Athena’. Saves a bit of time on the autographs. Er… sorry, I can’t think of anything else to ask you.
A You could ask me if I’ve been influenced by the rebetika songs, the Greek blues, of the 1930s…
G Yeah, that’s a good one. Have you?
A No.
G This is hopeless. I give up.
A You could ask me about my new song.
G Go on then.
A It’s about you.
G Really?
A Yeah, I just knocked it off while you were going on about something. It’s a ballad, a bit like ‘The Fool On The Hill’ but without the hill.
G So, more flatter terrain then?
A Yes.
G What’s it called?
A ‘Malakas’.
G ‘Malakas’?
A Yes. It’s a Greek word that means many things…. Sort of a man with unfulfilled potential who… has to work it out by himself….
G Right. That does sound like me. I’m always doing that. Thanks very much.
A No worries.

Andy Palacio

PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 10:12 pm
by Gordon Neill
Flushed with my failure with Athena, I’ve had another go at this interviewing malarkey. I managed to get a few minutes with Andy Palacio while I was at Asda. It wasn’t as successful as the Athena interview, but this was down to Andy himself who seemed to be in a bit of a hurry. I think I did quite well really, in the circumstances.

G. Hi, I’m from SOTW Forum. Have you got time for a few questions about your latest album?
A. ‘SOTW’?
G. Yeah. Sound of the World. “Yesterday’s news today.â€

Ibrahim Ag Alhabib (from Tinariwen)

PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 10:14 pm
by Gordon Neill
I managed to catch a few words with Ibrahim Ag Alhabib from Tinariwen, while he was waiting for a haircut. In my own modest way, I was able to put him right about some aspects of the music business. He was keen to learn and, with that attitude, I think he will go far.

G So, I’m grateful for the opportunity to ask you a few questions about “Aman Iman: Water Is Lifeâ€

Boban Markovic

PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 10:27 pm
by Gordon Neill
I’m proud to bring you a short interview with one of the true giants of world music. As far as I’m concerned, Boban Markovic is right up there with Baaba Maal and Mariza. Only not as tall. I can’t hope to compete with Garth Cartwright’s meeting with the great man, recorded in his fabby book ‘Princes Amongst Men’. But I feel, in my own modest way, that I have been able to add at least a footnote to the legend that is Boban.

G You must be pleased with your new album. It’s really good.
BM Eh, I don’t have a new album.
G Oh.
BM How can it be ‘really good’ when it doesn’t exist?
G Hang on. Why are you giving me an interview, if you don’t have some new product to get rid of? That’s not the way these things work.
BM I’m speaking to you because you hit the emergency button in this lift. What else am I supposed to do? Climb up the cable?
G Oh yeah. Sorry about that. I was just keen to get a few words about your new….
BM That’s right, my ‘new album’. What’s going on?
G Eh, sorry. My mistake. Um… I must have been thinking about the new one from Esma Redzepova. I always get you two mixed up.
BM How on Earth can you get us mixed up? I’m a man, she’s a woman. I’m from Serbia, she’s from Macedonia. I play the trumpet, she doesn’t….
G Eh, sorry Boban, I think you will find that Esma does play the trumpet. And very well, if I may say so.
BM That’s utter nonsense. She does not play the trumpet.
G Well, these things can be very subjective. Let’s just agree to disagree.
BM So, my friend. Given that I don’t have a ‘new album’, is there anything else that you’d like to ask me about?
G Erm…. What do you think of the new Esma Redzepova album?
BM I’ve not heard it. In fact, as far as I know, she doesn’t have a new album out either. Maybe she’s been busy taking trumpet lessons. Eh?
G Just let it go, Boban. Let it go. So….. what have you been doing then? It’s ages since you did anything.
BM I’ve been touring. I’ve been all over Europe, the States….
G Yeah, but just milking the same stuff again and again. It doesn’t up your productivity rate, you know.
BM I’ve done alright. I had an album last year. And the year before that.
G Yeah but ‘alright’ is just alright. It’s not great. Look at that Franco bloke. He had the right idea. Hundreds of albums. And usually with different songs on them. Someone opened a drawer a couple of weeks ago and another dozen albums fell out. That’s the way to do it. Throw a couple of hundred albums at the public and something will stick. There must be something halfway decent in all that stuff he did. It’s the law of averages.
BM Well I’ve been busy with other matters.
G Yeah, fiddling with your girlie back up singers, no doubt.
BM I don’t have any back up singers.
G I knew that. It was just a figure of speech.
BM I’ve been mentoring my son……
G Yeah, that was a mistake. I don’t think you thought that one through.
BM He’s very good……
G I’m sure you must be very proud. Although, as far as I’m concerned, he’s not as good as Esma. But that’s not the point. You shouldn’t mix business and family. Look at Brian Clough and Nigel. Forrest just weren’t the same after that. They lost their cutting edge. Or Karen and Richard Carpenter after they got married…
BM They were brother and sister!
G Good grief! That’s appalling. I never realised. Are you a big Carpenters fan then?
BM I love them! I’ve got all their CDs, t-shirts, sticker books….
G You could do a tribute album, you know. That would help your batting average.
BM Hmmm…. That’s a good idea, my friend. I like that. We’ve done some Paper Lace stuff, now we could…
G Hang on. Did you say ‘Paper Lace’?
BM Yes.
G The crap band from the seventies?
BM Yes. That’s them. They’re very big in Serbia
G You’re winding me up.
BM No. Remember ‘Od Srca’ on ‘Boban I Marko’?
G Yeah, you bet. I liked that one. One of my all time favourites of last year. “Da da, da da da, da da….â€

Paul McCartney

PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 10:28 pm
by Gordon Neill
I was lucky enough to bump into Paul McCartney at my local Starbucks. An old hero of mine, it was refreshing to see that he has not lost his common touch and was delighted to spend a few minutes with me and give SOTW readers an exclusive insight into his new album which will be coming out on the Starbucks label. I’m not making this up, you know. Not the bit about the Starbucks label. You just couldn’t make that up.

G Coffee, please.
SP Is that a latte, cappuccino, expresso…..
G Whatever. As long as it’s got coffee in it. A large one.
SP So that would be a grande then, yes?
G I suppose so. As long as it’s a large grande. Hang on, your not…? You are, aren’t you?
SP Yes that’s right! Sir Paul!
G Good grief! What are doing here Paul?
SP ‘Sir Paul’, if you don’t mind.
G You’re not really working as a waiter? Dear God man, the divorce settlement can’t be that bad.
SP No no. This is just a PR stunt. I’ve signed up for the Starbucks record label. The suits wanted a photo opportunity. So here we are. Do you want some cheese with that?
G Cheese?
SP Thank you. That’ll make a lovely picture.
G How the mighty have fallen, eh?
SP I heard that.
G Well c’mon Paul. Signing for a coffee shop label?
SP ‘Sir Paul’. I don’t want to say it again.
G Why Paul? Why? You don’t need the money. Have a bit of dignity man.
SP Starbucks are very nice people, and they made me a good offer.
G Listen, you don’t fool me.
SP What do you mean?
G Think about it. Paul McCartney records playing in Starbucks shops and on open display at the counter. You’ve got to ask yourself ‘who stands to gain out of all this’? I wasn’t born yesterday. Doctor Costa is behind this wheeze isn’t he?
SP Listen, keep your voice down. How on earth do you know about Doctor Costa?
G Keep your hair on Paul. It’ll just be our little secret. As long as you play ball.
SP What do you want? Do you want money?
G Just an interview, a few words for SOTW readers.
SP They don’t need to know about this Doctor Costa thing, do they?
G Relax Paul. The readership is only about seven.
SP Seven what? Seven million? Seven thousand?
G Eh… no. Just seven.
SP Seven?
G Roughly. Maybe eight. Sometimes I like to go back and read this stuff myself. Sometimes my mum will check the punctuation. You could read it as well. We might get into double figures on this one.
SP But can these people be trusted?
G Well the thing is. And this is the really neat bit. They think it’s all just made up. They just don’t get it. It’s perfect. You can really spill the beans, open up, and nobody will ever know.
SP Well… I don’t know.
G Look, I’m on your side Paul. I liked your stuff. Well apart from the last 33 years obviously. And as far as I’m concerned, you had nothing to do with John’s death.
SP But I didn’t. I’ve got a cast iron alibi. The police have been over all of this….
G It’s OK, it’s OK. Who knows how any of us would react, given the circumstances. You shouldn’t blame yourself.
SP I don’t.
G Well you’re a cool one. I’ll give you that.
SP OK. Can we get this over with? The photographers are getting restless. What do you want to ask me?
G Mmmm. I’m not sure really. I mean I didn’t expect to see you here. I haven’t prepared anything. Er… Oh. I know. Tell us about your new album, Paul.
SP ‘Sir Paul’.
G Of course. Sir Paul.
SP Well. It’s really good. It’s…
G Oh c’mon. SOTW readers aren’t stupid.
SP Well it’s not bad. It’s got a lovely cover….
G I’ll bet it’s just a rehash of the old stuff.
SP Not at all. ‘I Want to Hold Your Walrus’ is one of the best songs I’ve ever done.
G Yeah, right. Any coffee related songs? A cover version of ‘Stir It Up’ perhaps? Or ‘I Threw It All Away’?
SP Well, there is a version of ‘Sugar Sugar’…
G Is it any good?
SP No. Not really.
G I think you better go. That lady over there is looking thirsty.
SP Yeah sure. Consider me gone.
G Oh. Can I leave you a tip?
SP Sure. Every little helps. Ha ha.
G Pack it in Paul. Just pack it in.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 12:19 am
by Gordon Moore
Are we allowed to make comments here? ;)


PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 7:53 am
by Gordon Neill
The other Gordon asked:

Are we allowed to make comments here? ;)

Only positive ones. Any negative reaction should be reserved for Howard's Views. :-)

PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 11:13 am
by Gordon Moore

A glimpse into greatness

PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 4:46 pm
by Gordon Moore
Funny thing, there I was just wandering down the street, on my way to the Forum, and I spotted a forlorn figure, shuffling along, with his little nose sniffing here and there. Long brown mac, hat pulled down, eyes averted, but incongruously wearing wellies. The sound of a lone goat, bleating, could just be heard during lulls in the traffic noise. The sad figure had what seemed like a dictaphone in one hand and a notepad in the other, the stub of a grubby pencil could just be seen poking out from the top of one ear.

As I got closer, I could hear a muttering and a chuntering: "Here muso, here world, here muso, c'mon, where the 'eck are you". Suddenly I knew who it was, it was the Real Gordon, clearly on a mission to search out the next award winning interview with a semi-famous world musician.

*GTI = Gordon, The Imposter, TRG = The Real Gordon

GTI: Hey Gordon, whassup?
TRG: What, whe, what the f..., who the 'eck are you?
GTI: C'est moi, mon petit ami, Gordon, you know Spartacus etc...
TRG: 'eck off
GTI: Come now mon petit pomme de terre, it's good to see you. I assume you you are on an important mission, to seek out new stars, to boldly bring them to fame and fortune, to make a name for yourself amongst your contempories, to...
TRG: I've told you, stuff off.
GTI: Oh!
TRG: You still here?
GTI: Well, I'm just really pleased to see you. You know, you are a real hero to me. Your technique is sublime and so innovative, I've never come across such wordplay and grammatical exposition, you dazzle me with the insight of your penetrating questions...
TRG: You think so?
GTI: Of course, we all do. So, who are you stalking, I mean trailing, now?
TRG: Lulu
GTI: You mean LaXula?
TRG: No I mean Lulu.
GTI: You mean as in Marie McDonald McLaughlin Lawrie from Glasgow.
TRG: That's the one?
GTI: er why?
TRG: 'cause I heard she going to do a track with Toumani Diabate and Tinariwen called Sh'a Owt.
GTI: Blimey.
TRG: Thing is, I can't find the midget gem.
GTI: Where are you looking?
TRG: I've tried the cosmetics counter in Boots, but no sign. I looked in the healthy eating section of McDonalds, but nothing there. I caught sight of her spoor in the Free Trade Mud Packs emporium, but the trail had gone cold.
GTI: So what you trying now?
TRG: Oh, er, I'm just looking for some oats.
GTI: Oats?
TRG: Oats.
GTI: What, in the street!
TRG: Yeah, what of it, you want to make something of it..
GTI: No, no, of course not, but why do you need oats?
TRG: Ah, well I'm clever I am. I figure that as soon as the varmint smells the oats, then she'll come sniffin' around, and then I'll have her and I can interview her.
GTI: Crumbs, what a plan, that's er, that's well, brilliant.
TRG: Yeah, dead proud I am of that one. Problem is, I can't find any sacks of oats lying around. It's not like Fife you know, there's always sacks of oats lying around.
GTI: Why?
TRG: To feed all the flippin' goats of course, don't you sassenachs know anything?
GTI, er, no, not really.
TRG: Prat.
GTI: er, well, er... What sort of questions you going to ask her anyway?
TRG: Ahhh, well that's where I'm a cut above the rest you see. Research.
GTI: Research, ah of course
TRG: Yes, research, not just a quick glance at Wikipedia, but in depth research on Google Scholar lasting anything upto several minutes.
GTI: I'm impressed, I never knew it would be so arduous.
TRG: See, that's the problem with you amateurs, you don't do your research.
GTI: I can see that, minutes eh, I shall remember that tip, thanks.
TRG: Here's one question I got for her: "Lulu, we all know you're well past your sell by date, being a hundred and twenty seven, and by the way, still looking good girl, anyway what makes you think you can still cut it with masters of their art like Mr Diabate?"
GTI: Wowwwww
TRG: Then, I'll say: "After Boom bang a bang, do you think your credibility as a serious musician was enhanced and in what way?"
GTI: Such courage.
TRG: Then for the cup of grace: "Lulu, do you think, you and me, might er, you know, go somewhere,...make a bit of music ourselves?"
GTI: Oh, er, I see. perhaps I could I suggest you lose the wellies? And perhaps leave the goat at home, just suggestions you know, one journo to another.
TRG: Who do you think you are little empty can of IrnBru. You think you can give advice to me, the master of repartee, the prince of chat, begone Englishman, before I impale you upon my biro.

Well, what could I do, I left him, a sad figure, looking for his oats, amongst the dark, dangerous streets. Forever seeking his goal of Lulu. If you see him dear reader, have pity, for once he was a great literary genius, a word mountain of a man.

(C) the IG March 2007


PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 6:04 pm
by Gordon Neill
I don't remember any of that. You just made it all up! Although it's true that I was on the look out for Lulu, which is a bit spooky. Mmmm. Were you that bloke outside the tattoo parlour? Leather jacket with tweed patches at the elbows? Sorry, I was a bit preoccupied. Nowadays Lulu sings at very high frequencies. Only a trained goat like Doris can hear her, and we were hard on her trail. We did eventually corner her, but it all made for a very difficult interview.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 7:06 pm
by Gordon Moore
Did she get your goat?

Actually I do have a leather jacket, but not tweed elbow patches, they're leather - very spooky though.

I think you may have tripped over me later on when I was looking on the gutter for my pen and camera!

Baby Toure

PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 1:39 pm
by Gordon Neill
I bumped into Baby Toure in a pub and managed to have a few words with him about his new album. Although he was a bit keen to drink his pint and seemed a bit distracted. Possibly he has a bit of a drink problem. Quite often tortured geniuses do, you know.

G I didn’t put you down as a Mild drinker. Is that the favourite ale in Mauritius?
BT Mauritania.
G Sorry?
BT I’m from Mauritania. Not Mauritius.
G Are you sure? It says ‘Mauritius’ in my jotter. I think you’ll find that Mauritania was a passenger liner?
BT Of course I’m sure. Would you like to see my passport, perhaps?
G No, of course not. What would that prove? You could have had it….
BT Look, my pint’s getting cold. I’ve got to go.
G Hang on, Baby. I’ll not be long. Just control yourself. I just need to ask you a few questions about new album. It’s really good.
BT My name’s Daby, not Baby. But, thank you. What do you think the best tracks are?
G It’s hard to say. There’s so many to choose from.
BT Well, what is it that you particularly like about the album?
G Oh, that’s easy. It’s really great to have an album with short tracks.
BT Er… right. Look, I must go and….
G I mean, just when you think a song’s getting really boring, it stops. Just when you feel that you’ve reached breaking point and will have to get up and skip to the next one. It’s quite uncanny.
BT Uh huh…
G Do you test them out on an audience, or is it just instinctive?
BT Er…
G I’ll put down ‘instinctive’. I think that sounds better. Although I think that it would be a good idea testing them on an audience. They do that with films, you know. Sometimes they change the end of the film because of the audience reaction.
BT So you’re suggesting that I could change the endings of the songs?
G Well, one or two could be a bit quicker, but nothing major.
BT Um… is there any chance that it could be Charlie Gillett’s album-of-the month?
G Well, I’ll put in a good word for you. The trouble is, it’s a bit pleasant. You know, catchy tunes and that. It could be awkward. I don’t think it’s really his cup of tea. On the other hand, there’s nothing much else in the shops that’s any good just now.
BT Well, that’s encouraging.
G Although there is the new Fanfare Ciocarlia one. There’s quite a lot of them. I mean if they just chip in a fiver each then that would be…. um….. quite a lot of money. It could turn his head, you know.
BT What?
G But you could always make him an offer. £20 might do it.
BT What?
G But that’s between you and Charlie. Your little secret. And I won’t even claim a finder’s fee.
BT £20?
G I know, it is a lot of money. But, between you and me, he’ll probably accept less. And the chances are it’ll add one or two to the sales figures. Although, of course, it could reduce them. It’s hard to tell really. Maybe Fanfare will pay him to make your one the album of the month. Ha ha.
BT Right. Well thanks, now I really must be…
G Hang on, hang on. I’ve got some other questions prepared. I got caught out the other day, but I’ve got some good ones today.
BT OK. Give me one of your good ones then. And then I can…
G Actually, my mum thought of this one. What do you think the worst track is?
BT What?
G The worst one. You know, the one where you thought ‘should I hang on for the preliminary rounds of the next Eurovision song contest, or could I possibly sneak it on the album?’
BT I’m not eligible for Eurovision. I’m from Mauritania.
G I thought we’d agreed that Mauritania was a passenger ship.
BT OK. Whatever. What do you think the worst one is?
G Hmmm. It’s hard to say. There’s so many to choose from.
BT Thanks. Can I go now?
G Hang on, hang on. Just a few more…
BT Go on then.
G I believe that you play all the instruments on the album?
BT That’s right, I play the……
G Terrific. Was Don Partridge a big influence on you?
BT Er… who?
G You know ‘Rosie…oh Rosie…..’. That’s the only words I can remember. It was called ‘Rosie’.
BT I thought so.
G Ah, so you do know it. Who were your other big influences, then?
BT Oh… Clodagh Rogers, Val Doonican, Paper Lace……
G You’re joking! I can’t put that in. They’re all rubbish. Were they all popular in…. er…. Where are you from again?
BT (sigh) Mauritius.
G Where’s that then?
BT Mauritius. It’s……….
G I’ll just put ‘Africa’. That’ll do. People aren’t interested in exactly which bit, are they? It’s not as if it matters.
BT Look, can I….
G No that’s fine. Although I’d take that pint back, if I were you. It looks flat.

PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 3:36 pm
by Gordon Moore
:) - the technique is sublime.

PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 4:12 pm
by Des
He's very good, isn't he?

PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2007 2:22 pm
by howard male
Having just heard what I could have sworn was a Tom Ze guitar sample on a new mainstream R & B single from one of those interchangable long-legged soul sub-divas, I'd like to request that Gordon track down the old Brazilian surrealist to see if he can get a sensible word out of him. Failing that, one of the long-legged soul sub-divas would do.