BBC 6 Music 'Marc Riley's Brain Surgery', january 24th 2008
[Interview with Colin]
This is a transcript from an audio recording of the radio broadcast.
[Plays Radiohead – Bodysnatchers]
[Plays British Sea Power – Down On The Ground]
Marc Riley: "That is British Sea Power, recognisably from live in this room amongst other things. That was Down On The Ground form the new album, Do You Like Rock Music, Yes We Do, and before that you heard Radiohead and Bodysnatchers. So this is the Brain Surgery on a Thursday night, we are awaiting the arrival of Colin Greenwood, he will be here before too long, I can assure you. He was about half an hour ago in a place called Siddington, which is about... mmm... nine miles away from here – never even heard of it, it's probably about four houses and a post office, but they've managed to find it, and... oh, actually I think they're in the building, so it shouldn't be too long before Colin joins us. Colin, of course is the bass player in the mighty Radiohead, and if you need any convincing as to why we would need Colin on the programme, which of course you don't, I can tell you that Boz, our trusty Boz, the steed of the programme was Googling before the programme... now I can tell you he normally Googles before the programme, but he normally Googles Linda Lusardi or Samantha Fox, something like that. For some reason he Googled Colin Greenwood, and he found this site (laughs), ok, and it's called How To Be Like Colin Greenwood In Ten Easy Steps, ok, and it gives you the steps here: "Be Personable", we'll find out shortly, won't we? "Effing Buy Sparklehorse Records", "Enjoy A Drink Now And Then", "Read A Book, Several In Fact", "Travel Often", "Eat Well", "Be A Devoted Family Man", "Dabble In Photography", "Get A Very Nice Suit", "Maintain Academic Connections After Graduation" and "Learn To Play An Instrument". All of those things are apparently required to be Colin Greenwood. We shall find out. Dan B in Rochester has been on: "Dear Marc, I'm quite stoked for Colin Greenwood joining you on the show today (inaudible) for us listeners". Well, Dan is in America, which is why he says "today", you shall have to wait and find out when Colin comes through the door. Shouldn't be too long. Clinic are all here and ready to go, of course they're all garbed up. In fact I thought there was four Magnum PI's n the room with me, but I'm assured it is Clinic. Hard to tell, cause they're wearing masks, but we'll wait for Clinic to start playing. Colin's not here yet, at ease fellas. He will be in a minute. I'm going to play you a tune now actually by a man called XX Teens. We played you the record, Darling on several occasions, which was slightly bonkers. If you thought that was bonkers, then have a listen to this...
[Plays XX Teens – How To Reduce The Chances Of Being A Terror Victim]
Marc: "Yeah, it's an amazing record, and you can see it doing it in the clubs, obviously. I normally go out clubbing it at the weekend, dancing till well gone half nine on a Saturday night, and XX Teens, How To Reduce The Chances Of Being A Terror Victim, perhaps a little bit sensationalist, but a great record nonetheless, and I know that they're doing some gigs with Black Francis, whatever he's calling himself these days, some of the NME's shows, and he's coming to Manchester in a couple of weeks. I shall be there, somebody tell him, will you, he'd be made up. So it's the Brain Surgery, and it's not the normal flavour tonight. It will be Colin... Colin Greenwood and Clinic flavour eventually. We believe he's in the building, so we'll keep you posted. But until then, I'll tell you what else is on the programme tonight, we've got Rob Hughes, he's not doing any cowboy music tonight, we just haven't got the time. He will be doing the Parallel Universe, we go into an NME from 1982, I do believe, we've got a gig guide as usual, we think, we're not a hundred percent sure, but we think, and we've also got the first Six Music play at least of the new single from Elbow. Now I'm not a hundred percent sure if I can play this new single from Elbow yet cause I believe that hospital radio have got an exclusive on it, is that right? Oh there we go, they're in the room, yes they're arrived, they're in the other room and it's been a hellish journey for them, so we'll let them sit down and have a coffee and I'll play you a record which I've been playing you a lot anyway... in fact I was going to play you Poor Boy by School Of Language, but I don't think I will. I think I shall go for... This Is No Fun
[plays School Of Language – This Is No Fun]
Marc: "School of Language and appropriately This Is No Fun. I'm not saying that for my particular environment at the moment because I'm delighted because I've got Clinic infront of me, and Colin Greenwood to the left but Colin you've had a bit of a journey, haven't you?
Colin: "No, yeah, well it's been four hours, but that's fine, it's absolutely fine, I mean, you know to be asked up here to play music and listen to Clinic, it's worth it, isn't it?
Marc: "Yeah, but do you know what, you say it's taken four hours, but Julie in the other room told me you left at ten o'clock this morning and that's why you're late
Colin: "That's right
Marc: "The truth will out
Colin: "Yeah, pretty much
Marc: "Okey dokey, so Clinic are after all here at your behest aren't they? You wanted them to come on the programme, and we asked them, and lo and behold they've turned up
Colin: "Yeah, it's brill, we're all big fans in the band, and we toured with them like years ago. I think we went to like... like far flung countries and we went to Europe as well, but yeah... no it's brilliant. And when I walked in and they're all in here wearing Hawaiian shirts and masks, and it's going to be brilliant
Marc: "Well, you know, they've made the effort. I'm afraid I haven't
Marc: "And... yeah well, you know, we'll discuss your sartorial elegance later, but Clinic, you're going to do a brand new tune for us now, aren't you? What's it going to be?
Ade: "It's Free Not Free
Marc: "Free Not Free, alright, Clinic live in session
[Clinic play Free Not Free]
Marc: "Absolutely brilliant. Perhaps not quite as menacing as you might expect there. Clinic live in session with Free Not Free. Ade, would you like to introduce the band, we're all old friends, obviously, but you know, the listeners might not know you
Ade: "Right, well it's... we've got Carl on drums, Bri on bass, and Hartley on guitar and keyboards, and obviously Ade on keyboard and vocals
Marc: "Excellent, and just to paint pictures with words, Colin, who is a renowned photographer in his own right (CG laughs) has pulled, in a Reg Presley from The Troggs stylee, a little camera out of his back pocket, and is taking photographs of Clinic. So we're all fans in here, and it's a mutual thing going on, I don't mean for me obviously, I mean you lot. So, Colin, you are curating this programme, in effect
Colin: "Yeah, some of it, yeah, that's right, yeah. Some of it... I've brought some songs that I really love, but there's stuff that you've chosen that I haven't which is brilliant too, isn't it? You know, so...
Marc: "Well, you've not heard them yet
Colin: "No (laughs)
Marc: "So we'll find out. But what we normally do with Peel By Request, is that the listeners pick one particular Peel session, and we play hopefully all the tracks off it
Marc: "But we've picked four different ones tonight, because you sent a selection through, and the first of which is AC/DC recorded in 1976, is that right? Perhaps not what you'd necessarily expect, but High Voltage, Live Wire, Can I Sit Next To You, and Little Lover. Are you... you're obviously a big AC/DC fan then on the quiet
Colin: "No, I've got friends who like AC/DC
Colin: "And you know, when I used to go round and they were playing the records, and it sounded brilliant like late at night, you know, after a drink, and so... but I mean I don't really know any, but I'd love to hear some, so...
Marc: "Right ok
Colin: "Yeah, recommend something
Marc: "Well, this is a Peel By Request one stage removed, isn't it?
Colin: "That's right
Marc: "Because it's not even for you, which is great, that's a new twist on it. Well I've seen AC/DC playing live, but I didn't see them with Bon Scott, I saw them with is it Brian Johnson, is that the new singer? Is that his name? The guy with the flat cap
Colin: "Right, right yeah
Marc: "And his gimmick is that he just walks round the stage holding onto his flat cap. It's not great, but the music's alright. We'll find out now anyway. You might hate them, Colin, and you've requested it
Marc: "Err... what shall we play? We've got... oooh... that much time. We'll play High Voltage
[plays AC/DC – High Voltage. The CD jumps a lot at the end]
Marc: "Well, it's sticking all over the place anyway, but I mean truth be told we do need to go to the news anyway. Colin, were you happy with that? Was that a good choice for you to begin with?
Colin: "Yeah, it sounded great
Marc: "There you go. If he's happy, we're happy. Here's the news, after which we shall do some more Colin Greenwood, some more Clinic, and more jiggery pokery
[News and jingles play – the jingles jump]
Marc: "It's all go tonight
[plays The Duke Spirit – The Step And The Walk]
Marc: "The Duke Spirit, The Step And The Walk. I'm Marc Riley, this is the Brain Surgery and that is Clinic collectively and that is Colin Greenwood who is here tonight to have a bit of a natter. We'll talk about Radiohead in a short while, and you've also brought with you a compilation CD. Now Mark O, a regular correspondent from Canada, he says of the High Voltage AC/DC "Hiya Marc, where can I get that Autechre remix of AC/DC, it was awesome"
Marc: "Because it was sticking left right and centre, and then even in a different CD player, the last news out jingle started sticking, so there's some mean spirits at work here tonight
Colin: "Yeah, it was all glitchy
Marc: "It was a little bit glitchy, but it doesn't matter, does it?
Marc: "It's live show business. So how's the last couple of months been for you then, Colin, because it's been the most talked about album in a long long time, has In Rainbows. Probably partially a good thing for you, probably partially a headache, so how was it?
Colin: "It's been crazy, I mean it's just been really full on all the time, it's like being... it's like being... like two months of being on tour in a way, it's like been one live gig all the time because everything you're doing, like the music you're doing and the shows you're putting on on the internet and things, they're directly to your fans and people who are interested in the music and stuff, and love us... love our music and stuff, so it's... it's been really extreme, it's been like the opposite of every other record we've ever released with EMI or with the record company, so I mean it's been brilliant, but it's been full on
Marc: "Every single move that you make is scrutinised, isn't it, and it's not helped, because you've been kind of ground breaking in a way with the release of In Rainbows which has been discussed so much that we don't really need to go into it...
Marc: "But of course the shop release, I don't know what you would call it, went to number one in this country
Colin: "Yeah, but I mean, you know, all the things that we've done, the way we put the record out beforehand, it wasn't really that much sort of master plans, it just sort of felt it was the inevitable thing that we wanted to do because we'd been so sort of dissatisfied with events leading up to you know, making the record and we just wanted to get it out as soon as possible, and it just seemed the best way of doing it and you know, and then the fact that people were into it when it came out in the shop as well, I mean it was amazing, so you know, we just want everyone to have the chance to hear it however they like listening to music, you know, that's all it is
Marc: "Well the strange thing was, you know, I mean there's all the you know, the discussions about how many people paid what for it and all this kind of stuff, I mean there was some statistic that maybe sixty percent of the people who downloaded it didn't pay for it, which you have to consider, probably a large proportion of the sixty percent, or whatever it was, actually were just waiting to get hold of that bloody thing
Colin: "Yeah (laughs)
Marc: "Because if you're of a certain age, you know...
Colin: "Well that's right
Marc: "A CDR doesn't mean anything to me, you know
Colin: "Yeah that's right. Well, on computers, all my neighbours and things, they're like you know, obviously they know that I've had a record and tunes and it's come out since October, but all my friends were like... they all live round me, they all say like "we're going to wait until it comes out on I-Tunes", or wait until it... you know... "I'm not going to risk my credit card on your dodgy website" (laughs) And who can blame them?
Marc: "Well that's an age thing, definitely and I share their reticence with that. But I mean the weird thing, if you think about the way music is changing, is now, I'm here, you know cherishing...
Colin: "You're stroking it! You're fondling it!
Marc: "I am, and you should see what I do with the box set!
Colin: "That's disgusting!
Marc: "But that's another story... but obviously, I mean in days gone by, I'd be very very sniffy about CDs, longing for vinyl
Colin: "Right, right
Marc: "So you've got to take what you can get, don't you, these days?
Colin: "You can still long for vinyl
Marc: "Oh, I do, I do, but what I'm saying is everybody was waiting... of an age was waiting for this to turn up in the shop to buy, you know?
Colin: "Oh, ok, ok right
Marc: "Now, whose idea was it to just sell the component parts without the jewel case?
Colin: "Erm... that was... again that just sort of was just plucked out of the ether, and just wanting to like... try not contribute to the landfill, basically, and make something that was, you know as low impact as possible, and also like... just a bit of fun as well, you know, the idea that you can make something up, you know, like the front sticker out of the... you get this like clear sticker to go on, you know, the jewel case, and it's on my son's bedroom at home, and it's like as soon as we got the first CD, he ripped it open and slapped it on his door, you know
Marc: (laughs) Well the great thing is, inadvertently, I think it's got to be one of the great marketing ploys of all time, and I'm sure that it was done with absolutely no cynicism, but I know Radiohead fans, because I'm one, and you basically need two copies of this.
Colin: (laughs) What?
Marc: "You need one that you can rip open and stick into a jewel case...
Marc: "And you need one to keep in the shrink wrap
Colin: (sighs) God!
Marc: "So I think that the real Radiohead fans will have bought two copies of this and possibly even the box set as well (laughs)
Colin: "I dunno
Marc: "Oh, I bet they have. Anyway, I tell you what I have done, now we've got a copy here, that is shrink wrapped, as I say, of In Rainbows, you've seen it before, don't be frightened of it
Colin: "Thank you
Marc: "And I want you to make up the cover for me
Colin: "Oh, God!
Marc: "And I'm giving you... a bit of a quandary here, because I've given you two of the greatest albums of all time, and you've got to decide which one you're going to decimate...
Colin: "Right, oh I see
Marc: "In order to put In Rainbows on
Colin: "I see, right ok
Marc: "One is OK Computer, widely regarded as a pretty good album, and the other one is The Shirehorses Our Kid Eh.
Marc: "Now one of these is going to go in the bin...
Marc: "Everything but the jewel case...
Marc: "So it's up to you, you wrestle with your conscience my dear fellow. Alright, I'll put them both infront of you. From your compilation CD you've brought in... again you're going to get a bit of a rockist reputation here, mate. You've brought in Queens Of The Stone Age and Regular John, haven't you?
Colin: "Oh yes
Marc: "Alright. Is this for you, or is this for somebody else?
Colin: "It's for me, and it's a driving track after coming up from Oxford on the M6, so this is what I want to hear
Marc: "Well it's a corker, good choice
[plays Queens Of The Stone Age - Regular John]
Marc: "Are you trying to break us in gently, Colin as to the direction of the next Radiohead album, is it... ?
Colin: "What do you mean? What, you mean the tracks I'm choosing? What do you mean?
Colin: "I don't think I... I have very little say in any direction of anything, let alone Radiohead records, so I wouldn't really er...
Marc: "Awwww, give over. Now just before we go over to Clinic, which we are obviously delighted to do so, and before...
Marc: "Before you turned up, I mentioned this site, you've obviously seen it because you're laughing, "How to be like Colin Greenwood in ten easy steps"
Marc: "And I read out the ten easy steps: Be personable, Effing buy Sparklehorse records, that's in quotations, you know
Colin: "Right (laughs)
Marc: "Enjoy a drink now and then, read a book, several in fact, travel often, eat well, be a devoted family man, dabble in photography, get a very nice suit, maintain academic connections after graduation, and learn to play an instrument. Would you say that they are all the component parts to be you?
Colin: "I think... well some of them... I've brought up some of them today already, haven't I? Like with the camera...
Colin: "and talking about the kids with the sticker and stuff so, yeah, I suppose two out of ten's not bad already
Marc: "It's not a bad start, I mean you could have made the effort with the suit
Marc: "But let's not go into that. So Clinic are all raring to go, as raring as they ever get. Brian's raring to go, because he's always raring to go, isn't he?
Colin: "Yeah, absolutely
Marc: "Absolutely. Brian, are you the beast of the band?
Brian: "Yeah, I reckon I am
Marc: "Yeah, I reckon you are, quite possibly. So, you mentioned before, Colin that you've toured with Clinic. Did you become firm pals or... actually, I should be asking Clinic this, do you know did these guys mix with you, or did they arrive in separate limousines and not talk to each other, let alone you? Come on, truth will out. That's what we want, a bit of dirt
Clinic: "We can't say, we've been sworn to secrecy by them, so...
Marc: "Ohhh! You see, they know which side their bread's buttered on, don't they? They're obviously looking for another support there
Colin: "That's right, yeah, well, you know
Marc: "Well who can blame them? So, Clinic live in session, you're going to do another new tune for us, aren't you? This is The Witch
Clinic: "That's right
[Clinic play The Witch]
Colin: "That's great!
Marc: "Absolutely brilliant, wasn't it? Just exactly what you would expect
Marc: "That is Clinic live in session with The Witch. Now Keith in Armitage has been on, alright – I'll just warn you now, fellas, he says "It's wrong. Clinic can't swap the surgeons outfits for the Hawaiian shirt garb. Even with mask. I shall write to my MP"
Marc: "I mean, you know, come on with all this MRSA... I did mention before that you are probably one of the healthiest bands in the world, aren't you, because you mustn't be very prone to germs when you're in a room full of scabby people
Marc: "That's a good idea. I mean, I suppose Michael Jackson did beat you to it by a decade or so, but even so...
Ade: "You've got to allow him that
Marc: "Yeah. Well when people say "Who do you think Clinic are influenced by?", I normally say Michael Jackson
Colin: "And they're all wearing identical trousers
Marc: "Are they?!
Colin: "They're all khaki green trousers
Marc: "Oh, you see now you've got that eye for detail
Marc: "I didn't notice that
Colin: "No, when I was standing up taking the photo, I just spotted it, yeah
Marc: "Well good, absolutely, yeah. Phil in Liverpool "Alright Marc, could you ask the Clinic boys if they've made the draw yet for the competition tickets for the BBC radio Merseyside gig on the first of February. Ta La!" he says, which is a bit of a stereotype, really. Has it been done?
Clinic: "It has been done, yeah
Marc: "Okey dokey, and have you got the winners names with you?
Clinic: "Not with me, but that doesn't ring a bell
Marc: "Right, ok. Well, let him down gently, why don't you? (laughs) Even though he said "Ta La" at the end of it. Now then, Clinic, have you seen the recent edition... or indeed you, Colin of Vanity Fair?
Marc: "Okey dokey. Are you even aware of what the magazine is, any of you?
Marc: "Right ok, because there was a section in the most recent one which said "English eccentrics"
Marc: "And in amongst there was all British eccentrics, I can't remember, but it had the Guiness kind of dynasty in there, and it had Otis Ferry in there, now, you know I can think of another word to describe him, but we won't go there, but it also had Clinic, which cheered me up enormously, and there was a picture of you guys all in a field, sat around a banqueting table... well, I don't need to tell you, you were there, but just good work you know, you are cracking America slowly. It's only one page in an American magazine, but before you know it, you'll be on the cover of Rolling Stone
Clinic: "Yeah, it's sort of just a decade out of time, isn't it?
Marc: "Yeah, well take it easy, you're in no rush anyway, I can tell, absolutely. And you played with Radiohead. How many people were you playing to each night on that tour? It was the tent tour, wasn't it, that you did specifically
Colin: "Oh, God, right yeah
Clinic: "It was a fair few, wasn't it?
Colin: "Yeah, it was, I mean, you know, we're so lucky to be able to... that they said yes to come out and play with us, because they're just so brilliant, you know, it was great, you know. That's one of the great things about being able to go on tour and be in a position to ask bands you like to come and play, and then they say "yes", so you think, "well they must think we're alright too", so it's all good, you know
Marc: "It's a mutual fanclub
Marc: "Can I ask you now, you don't have to name names, but have you ever asked a band to go on tour with you that have said "yes", and they were truly rotten?
Colin: "Er... what, and they've said "yes" and they weren't good?
Colin: "Errr... er... (clears throat)... er... no, I mean you know, not really no, I mean there's not really any sort of naughty tour support escapades, I mean there's sort of the... the worst we ever got in terms of behaving was like my brother... we were touring with Alanis Morrisette, and he shortened her name to Alan Morris (MR laughs)... and that's what he was... but that's as far as it goes, really
Marc: "I don't think that is sort of up there with the Led Zeppelin story
Colin: "It's not that insulting, really, is it either? I don't think... I think we told her, and she sort of... there was a wry smile over a Bailey's, so that was it, really
Marc: "That's not even particularly snidey that is it?. That's kind of quite nice and endearing. Oh well, never mind. I was hoping to write a book all about Radiohead, all the dirt and that, but it's going nowhere, I can tell you
Colin: "No. You'll never sell it
Marc: "We'll never sell it, no. And guys, you've been out on tour with the Arcade Fire
Ade: "Yeah, last November
Marc: "Did they personally invite you? Was that another band that you... you know, you obviously tickled their fancy?
Ade: "Yeah, they just asked us as well, so yeah, it seem like, you know, we don't annoy people (laughs), so...
Colin: "No, but I mean Clinic they're a band that are just good all the time, you know, they've got a great sound, and the songs and the structure... and you know, it's brilliant, it's menacing and delicate and everything
Colin: "It's just brilliant music
Marc: "And they don't sound like anybody else
Colin: "No, that's right, you sound like yourselves, that's like the hardest thing, isn't it?
Marc: "Mmmm, absolutely. And would you say that The Arcade Fire audience were hard to please, because it seems like a very partisan kind of audience to me
Ade: "It's always hard in some ways doing supports, but I think in the same way with Radiohead, it's an open minded audience...
Ade: "So I think that people sort of like warm to it, you know a few songs in, you know, they will give you a chance
Marc: "Right, because I remember just before Christmas we had Simon from Cherry Ghost in, and they'd been supporting... it was a bit of a mis-match if you think about it, but they'd been supporting the Manics, and I think the word "hellish" springs to mind...
Clinic: (all laugh)
Marc: "Just didn't really work for them at all, you know, so they'll put that down to experience, I would have thought. So where are Clinic up to as regards an album?
Ade: "Yeah, we've got... we've finished the next album and then that comes out at the beginning of April, and we've got a single coming out through our website at the beginning of February, which is in fact Free Not Free, which we played the first track
Marc: "Okey dokey, great stuff. Alright then, and you're going to do a tune called Corpus Christi for us now?
Ade: "That's right
Marc: "Great stuff. Clinic live in session
[Clinic play Corpus Christi]
Marc: "Absolutely brilliant, eh?
Colin: "That's very exciting
Marc: "We're all very happy men in this room. That is Clinic live in session with Corpus Christi, they've got just one more tune to do, but it's a whopper, as they all have been, but you're going to be doing your number one hit record, aren't you?
(Colin & Clinic laugh)
Marc: "That's as I remember it anyway, correct me if I'm wrong, fellas. And you have to agree, Colin, it sounds great in this room, doesn't it?
Colin: "It does! It's a big sound, yeah
Marc: "And I tell you, just coincidentally, a week tonight we don't have a band, so if you just want to run it past the fellas
Marc: "Hmmm... now in around about ten seconds, we're going to be playing the next track off your compilation CD. What is it?
Colin: "It's a Four Tet remix of a Caribou song called Melody Day
Marc: "Okey dokey. In ten seconds time.
Marc: "It's goosed, we can have it now
[plays Caribou – Melody Day]
Marc: "Eclectic is the word that sums up your taste, you would have to say, Queens of The Stone Age and also Four Tet. What was that exactly, Colin?
Colin: "Well that's an artist called Caribou, a band called Caribou from Canada, and it's a song called Melody Day that's been remixed by Kieran Hebden who's Four Tet, and his partner Kathryn, who's also an artist on Domino called One Little Plane, and she's got a great record, and she's singing on that, and his mate Adem who used to be in... I think they were in Fridge together, he's playing guitar, but it's just really beautiful
Marc: "Adem, is that the guy who plays all the bells and all that?
Colin: "That's right, yeah, he's playing on that track as well, so it's just like a remix of a great song, but like a collaboration of some great artists in the UK right now
Marc: "Yeah, we've played Caribou before, but I've not heard that remix of it, yeah that was beautiful. So you're struggling now aren't you, let's be honest...
Colin: "I've got a bubble underneath my sticker!
Marc: (laughs) And we are slightly worried because obviously Gordon Burns works in this building
Colin: (laughs) What does he do?
Marc: "He reads the news
Colin: "Oh, right ok
Marc: "Yeah, but of course he was Mr Krypton Factor...
Colin: "That's right
Marc: "And if he was to come in here and see that bubble under your sticker on the front of In Rainbows...
Colin: "I've already broken...
Colin: "I've torn off the spine!
Marc: "See, it's going horribly wrong
Colin: "It is
Marc: "And you're part and parcel of the people who brought this to us, mate
Colin: "I know, I know. We never road tested it, you see
Marc: "Well, somebody did, because... have you seen the advert, I'm sure you have, on TV where there's like the magician, the white gloves, putting the case together...
Colin: "That's right. No, I remember now, it goes on the outside, it's fine
Colin: "Are you playing like sort of Krypton Factor music in the background? What is that?
Marc: (turns up background music) That's Can
Colin: "Is it?
Colin: "It's kind of got that thing, you know
Marc: "Well, I'm sure Can will be delighted (laughs)
Colin: "Yeah, that's right. It's got that thing... yeah, anyway
Marc: "Right, so I tell you what I'm going to do at the end of the programme we're going to really have a close look at your In Rainbows and I have to say at this point...
Colin: (laughs) Have you got like a judging panel?
Marc: "Yeah, well it'll be me and Rob by that point I would imagine
Marc: "But I have to say that wisely, I think, in my own personal opinion, you've decided to leave Our Kid Eh, The Shirehorses intact...
Marc: "And you've decimated OK Computer
Colin: "I think so
Marc: "Yeah, I could see that coming, but I didn't want to force the issue. Right then, we're going to delve away from Colin's CD for the moment, and we've got the first play on 6 Music at least of the new single by Elbow. We love Elbow to bits, we love Guy Garvey to bits, he's a fellow DJ, but before that he was a pop star. The album is... it's due out I think in around about six weeks' time or something like that, but for now you'll have to make do with the single, it's brilliant, Grounds For Divorce
[Plays Elbow – Grounds For Divorce]
Marc: "Could be construed as the title track of the album, the album is called Seldom Seen Kig... Seldom Seen Kid, rather, and that is Grounds For Divorce, he says the phrase within the track, and that is Elbow, it's the new single, and it's great, we love it to bits. (note plays in the background) Oooh, I don't know what that noise was... oh it's you innit? Oh that's alright then, that was Clinic. Colin, we've had some e-mithers in, and it would be rude not to dib into them, wouldn't it?
Colin: "Yeah, alright
Marc: ""Hello Marc and Colin, love the new In Rainbows. All the band excel on this album, love the bass on Wierd Fishes and the guitars"
Marc: ""Nice to hear AC/DC, they are almost funky for a rock band"
Colin: "Yeah, yeah
Marc: "And you didn't even pick it. "And you have to give Angus Young credit for not only his guitar playing, but the fact that he can also get into his school uniform at the age of eighty three. Cheers. Phil in Royston". It's nice to be nice, isn't it? I tell you what I read about you, whether it's true or not I shall find out now
Marc: "I read that the bassline for Airbag...
Marc: "You put it together...
Marc: "Having thought "Right I'll get the component parts there and make sure it all works and that"...
Marc: ""And then I'll fill in the gaps later" and you never got round to it. Is that right?
Colin: (laughs) Yeah, there was actually old bits in it that when Nigel was making the record he like erased accidentally that like, you know were brilliant, and all the rubbish bits were left, but that's alright
Marc: (laughs) Yeah, we'll blame Nigel
Colin: "Yeah I will, yeah
Marc: "Definitely. Now then, "Hello Colin, where did you end up in ATP in Minehead weren't you supposed to be DJ-ing?" Says Lucy
Colin: "I was, but there were too many bands on that I wanted to go and see, so I bunked off. I bunked off, I went and saw like Portishead... heard like seven new Portishead songs from their new record, what is it, Third?
Marc: "Yeah, is it called Three?
Colin: "Is it called Three or Third?
Marc: "Something like that, yeah
Colin: "But I mean... they're brilliant and I mean it's like, it just like... it takes you loads of different places, and it's just... I think people are going to be blown away, I think they're going to be like live band... if their music's as good on record as it is live, it's going to be for me record of the year so far. Amazing
Marc: "Certainly something to look forward to. Who are the other bands at the moment that are driving you bonkers?
Colin: "Oh, God, I mean, you know... er... er... I don't... oh, God... I dunno off the top of my head
Marc: "You can have a think about that
Colin: "Yeah, I'll have to come back to you on that one
Marc: "Now, that wasn't a test, but I have to be honest, putting together In Rainbows...
Colin: "Yeah (laughs)
Marc: "That was a test
Colin: "That was. It was a challenge
Marc: "And you did fall at the first hurdle
Marc: "And the second
Colin: "Yeah (laughs)
Marc: "Because you've got bubbles, haven't you?
Colin: "Oh, right, ok
Marc: "Yeah, let me have a good look
Colin: "I thought you were talking about making the record, but you're talking about making the record, aren't you?
Marc: "Oh, nobody's interested in how Radiohead...
Colin: "Thank God about that. Alright. Yeah, I've got bubbles underneath the plastic, yeah
Marc: "And we need to give credit stroke blame to Ed
Colin: "Ed O'Brien
Marc: "It was Ed O'Brien's idea
Colin: "It was his idea
Marc: "His idea to make sure we don't waste any more plastic than we need to
Colin: "That's right
Marc: "And... yeah, we did ask on air for people to say which CDs they decimated, and I only got two answers to it, and one said Shirehorses, and the other said Marc Riley with The Creepers, so you know, that's the facetious kind of people...
Colin: "That's people with grudges there
Marc: "And who can blame them? No, it's not too bad that, it's not too bad. We should probably put that up for a competition
Colin: "Do you think you could flog that in a shop?
Marc: "I'll put it on E-Bay tomorrow
Marc: "If you sign it as well, that'll be great
Marc: "So we're going to go back to your compilation CD, now you are the curator for the evening
Marc: "After which we shall have Clinic back playing live in the room at your behest, but you've picked something nice and soppy now, and it's a dedication, isn't it?
Colin: "Yeah, this goes out to Molly in Oxford, and it's called How Sweet It Is, and it's by Junior Walker and the All Stars
[plays Junior Walker and the All Stars - How Sweet It Is]
Marc: "Ey, you old smooth talker, you. That was for Molly, wasn't it?
Marc: "Alright then. Excellent. So this is the brain surgery, I'm Marc Riley, that is Colin Greenwood, and that is Clinic. Ok, I'm just going to go through a couple of e-mails "Hello from Spain, hello Marc, I just wanted to thank Colin for last week's gig in London. I watched it online from home and felt like I was there at the concert. Cheers from Barcelona, Yolanda" Now that was a strange old night, wasn't it?
Colin: "Yeah it was, it was a surprise all round, yeah that's right
Marc: "We were watching it unfold, well listening to it unfold, really
Marc: "Because I was speculating that the venues were just getting bigger and bigger, because you initially were going to play in Rough Trade, weren't you?
Colin: "That's right, yeah
Marc: "And then where did it get moved to?
Colin: "It got moved to a venue across the road from Rough Trade, and I mean it was one of those things where like everything went wrong for the right reasons, you know, because we ended up playing somewhere that was a lot more vibey
Marc: "Yeah, was it called East, or... I can't remember anyway
Colin: "It was 93 Feet East
Marc: "That's it
Colin: "It's a club, it was an old brewery and it was like, you know, and it was just like playing a little club, you know, which we haven't done for a while, and just like standing all next to each other and grinning at each other and just going, you know, "This is great", and we played like The Bends and Iron Lung, I think from The Bends, and you know, 'cause we wrote and played those two songs, you know in clubs. So just seeing my brother, Jonny like slashing the chords through those like... through The Bends and stuff was amazing, hearing them bounce off the club walls and stuff, it was brilliant
Marc: "You probably need binoculars to see the other side of the stage normally don't you with Radiohead?
Colin: (laughs) Well, yeah, you know, I don't know. I stand at the back anyway
Marc: "Yeah, we were joking on air, I said that it had been bumped up to this venue that you just mentioned, then I said that oh no, it's been bumped up to Wembley, they'll be on at midnight, and I think it ended up we were saying that you were on at 6am in a field in Poland
Colin: "Yeah, sort of slowly edged out of town, yeah
Marc: "Out of the country
Marc: "No venue big enough for you. Just finally before we go to the band, Tim from Brighton "Hello Colin, I bumped into you when you were shopping in Brighton two years ago, it really made my week"
Colin: "What was I shopping for, though, that's the...
Marc: "He doesn't say
Colin: "Oh, my God (laughs)
Marc: "Maybe he was sparing your blushes there, but he didn't say, anyway. Clinic. No, no, I'm not saying anything, I was just saying hello really, I wasn't cuing you in there. So you've done three tunes for us, we're going to get a fourth one from you now which we're all delighted about and I did ask you to do this, and I wouldn't have minded if you didn't want to do it, but Walking With Thee is on the script here, so I am delighted, so if you want to do that and we'll say "ta ta". Excellent
[Clinic play Walking With Thee]
Marc: "A national treasure no less, Clinic live in session at the behest of Colin Greenwood and if you hadn't have asked them, I would've anyway
Colin: "I'm sorry, what did you say?
Marc: "I said if you hadn't have asked them to come in, I would have anyway, so...
Colin: "Yeah absolutely, sorry I was a bit ringing from that, it was brilliant
Marc: "It was
Marc: "As wonderful as you would hope and expect. So, Clinic, have you got any live dates coming up?
Ade: "Yeah, we've got some end of March, beginning of April, which is kind of around the UK, and one of those in Manchester, and then after that we play a festival in Scotland and then some dates in America
Marc: "How do the Americans take to you?
Ade: "I think they kind of like our... going back to what you were saying earlier about the eccentricities, I think they like the fact that it's kind of warped, but it's still got a sense of pop to it as well
Marc: "Okey dokey, well... yes, there's no doubt in any of that. So, good luck with it, not that you need luck
Ade: "Thanks, cheers
Marc: "Thanks for coming in, and no doubt we'll be doing it again unless I get the sack first
(Clinic all laugh)
Marc: "It's quite possible. Erm, I going to try and play a jingle in now. Wish me luck
Ade: "Good luck, Marc
[plays track & jingles]
[Plays Fleetwood Mac - Dragonfly]
Marc: "Another of Colin's choices, that was Fleetwood Mac and Dragonfly. Are you a big fan of Fleetwood Mac? You had two of them, actually on your compilation CD, didn't you?
Colin: "Yeah, that's right, yeah, Tusk and Dragonfly, yeah
Marc: "Tusk. I mean I've never heard that before and it was really nice, but Tusk is an amazing tune, isn't it?
Colin: "Yeah, it's brilliant, it's like one of those records... 'cause I didn't know anything about Fleetwood Mac really till last year, and a friend lent me Tusk, and it just sounds like it could have been recorded like by Four Tet, it's got that sort of dry... the way that the drums and everything sounds really dry and sparse and driving, it just sounds really sort of fresh and modern to me still
Marc: "Yeah, it's amazing. They are one of the bands that you aren't really supposed to like (laughs)
Colin: "And Sarah. Is it that track Sarah, Stevie Nicks sings Sarah?
Colin: "It sounds like Underworld to me, the way that it's all rushy and sort of builds and stuff, and it's just like...
Colin: "Because I got the new Underworld record at the same time as I was listening to, you know, to Tusk, to the album, and it just... I just think it's brilliant. You know when you like something and it reminds you of something else that you love too, so...
Marc: "Yeah, and I mean it's one of those things, they call it guilty pleasures now, which I think is pretty stupid really, because the bottom line is it's just good music, but a lot of the time, people are too ashamed to admit to liking stuff that they're not supposed to
Colin: "Yeah that's right
Marc: "But you're in Radiohead, and you can say what you like really, can't you?
Colin: "Errr... maybe. No, I don't know, actually (laughs)
Marc: "Well, we'll see. If there's a load of people outside waiting to beat you up because you like Fleetwood Mac, we'll know you can't, won't we?
Marc: "Now just a quick experiment here ok, I've always said that if an alien were to land and to find the Radiohead albums...
Marc: "..and they were asked to put them in a certain order...
Marc: "..which made sense to them as to having been released..
Marc: "I've always maintained that it would be in that order, ok. Now In Rainbows is new to the equasion, but you've got Pablo Honey, The Bends, then you've got OK Computer, which makes sense thus far...
Colin: "Yeah, yeah
Marc: "Then to me it would be Hail To The Thief...
Marc: "Then In Rainbows then Amnesiac then Kid A
Marc: "Do you think that if you were to look at the career of Radiohead, do you think that the way you've released the albums makes any sense at all?
Colin: "Well, they were the only records that we made that we had to release at the time, and so that's the sense it makes, but I don't... you know, I don't know, I mean I think Kid A for me is like my favourite
Colin: "And it's kind of... that's the one that... it's like... it makes going backwards like the Bends and OK Computer, and then going forward to the last three really difficult, because it's just for me such a great record
Marc: "When you released Kid A, I really did think... and I know that you agonised, or you seem to agonise over everything you do, unlike most bands, but when I heard Kid A, I just thought well, where do they go from here?
Colin: "Yeah, that's what I mean, yeah, you know, do you like go back and plug in the guitars, or do you switch on the computers and stuff, or whatever, you know, but I mean, you know, because we... our background is we're like art school, we're not like sort of music players, you know, so it's like what we do is infused by our love of music around us, like by Clinic playing or like Ed playing that Wrote For Luck when he did Zane Lowe last week, it was amazing hearing that, that Weatherall remix of that and you know...
Marc: "The Vince Clarke remix of that is fantastic as well
Colin: "I know. You can get that now on I-Tunes, you can get these extra remixes and that with Bummed
Marc: "Yeah, amazing
Colin: "But, you know, I think it's really great how music is becoming so splintered now, and split up and you can like listen to something... like you can listen to something really old and really new together, you know, and like on the radio as well, like on your show, and on Mark Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie's show as well, and I think that's just really like liberating, I think it's great
Marc: "Yeah, I mean, if you... it's often reported that you kind of sit down at the end of every album and then you'll tour it as you need to do, and then it's said, is this true, that you sit down and you look at each other and say "Right, is there any point in carrying on? What can we do now? Where should we go from here? Should we just pack it all in?" Do you really agonise over it that much and scrutinise everything that you do?
Colin: "I think anyone does. I think if you spend so much time over, it's like Thom was saying on forty minutes of music, I mean you would start... you're shredding, aren't you? You go into shred mode, and I think that's a natural response, really
Marc: "Yeah, I suppose so. I mean most bands don't do that, do they? I mean, just to use Oasis as an example...
Marc: "Not to be derogatory at all, but they will write an album, record it, tour it, have two months off, write an album, you know
Marc: "It's a natural process for them and it doesn't seem to be the way with you guys
Colin: "No, but I mean the thing for me is that the songs at the core of the record that Thom writes and stuff, like, you know, it's just so... I'm just so emotionally connected to some of them, you know, that it just propels you through the whole thing, you know, and you just try... but then at the same time it's like you try not to step on the flowers, you know what I mean? You try not to sort of... by liking them so much, by being too heavy when you're working on the music, but I mean songs like Reckoner and Nude and Arpeggi on the new... on our record In Rainbows, I mean there's just so much emotion and beauty and charge still for me, you know that I'm just really proud of it
Marc: "Well, you should be, and I'm not just saying that because you're here, I've been playing it a lot, and I love it to bits and you know I love the band, but that aside, before I start saying too much, I know that you tried to admittedly step outside of the comfort zone as you called it, and you didn't originally intend on using Nigel Godrich, did you on this album?
Colin: "Well, he wasn't around and we were sort of stuck down a dead end in... at home, and a friend of our manager's, a producer called Spike Stent and he came in and basically... he had some spare time to try and sort of unblock us and get things going again, which was great, but I mean we weren't ready yet, you know, and we realise now that our relationship with Nigel is like, you know so important to like getting things going, because I was realising what he does the other day, he's got this great gift, ability, where he can like... he's totally supportive about what you're trying to do when you're making the music, but he's also... he can like stand apart from it, and sort of be quite objective about it at the same time, so you always feel like he's on your side, but you know, he can see like sort of the big picture as well, you know, and he's like like a peer as well, so you can tell him to eff off and stuff like that if you want to
Marc: "Well the great thing I read about Nigel was the fact that he had the balls to say to Paul McCartney "That's just not good enough mate"
Marc: (laughs) "You can do better than that"
Colin: "He'll walk into any situation and he'll just be totally like, you know, this is who... he knows who he is, and be completely unphased by it, and will treat people like that... like the same way, so it's great
Marc: "And is it right that your relationship with Nigel really started when he was like a tape op, and you just had some downtime for Lucky, was it?
Colin: "Yeah, that's right, he just used to sit in the corner when we were working on The Bends, and we were at Rak in St John's Wood, and we were making the Bends, and he just used to sit in the corner just being like really bored or whatever because he was like thinking about whether he was going to be there much longer or whatever, and so we used to just tease him like "you think that is all rubbish, don't you?", and it was like "We're wasting your time, aren't we?", and stuff like that, and then John Leckie went off to mix some tracks for The Bends at Abbey Road, and we were working on some b-sides and stuff and we recorded some tracks with... some music with him... I think we did Blackstar... I can't remember, actually which song we did
Marc: "Was it Lucky?
Colin: "And then we went and did Lucky for this charity thing, Help record at this sort of pop studio, and it was just brilliant, and it was like... and it went really well, and then we got more rope to hang ourselves with and did OK Computer with him, and we took over Jane Seymour's house in the country, in Bath, and just ran around, and just had a brilliant time, yeah
Marc: "Did you believe in ghosts before you went to Jane Seymour's house?
Colin: "Errrrr... (laughs) I don't believe in ghosts
Marc: "You still don't?
Colin: "No, no
Marc: "I just read that it was haunted and that
Colin: "I just remember the Max Factor ad, Jardin De Max Factor and it like was like her sort of wandering through a knot garden in the morning mist and stuff, and it was like... that's what I remember from that place
Marc: "Right, ok, alright then, so you were haunted by Jane Seymour, not by the ghosts?
Colin: "That's right
Marc: "Alright then. Great stuff. It's one of those things with Radiohead, we could probably talk for hours and hours, couldn't we, but we can't do that, because we're off in about... forty... oooh, forty two minutes, something like that. We're going to go into the parallel universe with Rob Hughes shortly, we're going to play Sarabeth Tucek, and then we'll get to it
[plays Sarabeth Tucek – Nobody Cares]
[Parallel Universe jingle plays]
[plays Iggy Pop – Loco Mosquito]
Marc: "From the Soldier album, that is Iggy Pop and Loco Mosquito, I'm Marc Riley, that is Colin Greenwood and joining us now I'm delighted to say naturally is Rob Hughes for the Parallel Universe. Hello mate.
Rob: "Hello mate
Marc: "How are you diddlin'?
Rob: "I'm alright thanks. This is very nice
Marc: "Rob, Colin, Colin, Rob
Rob: "Hello Colin
Marc: "So now, we've just been discussing, I've got a paper there which Colin is just glancing his eyes over for the first time in probably fifteen years...
Marc: "We were looking to try and get an NME or whatever featuring Radiohead early on, but we couldn't find one, could we?
Rob: "We couldn't. I know we've done loads of them in the past, haven't we?
Rob: "And a most fine one there from 1992, is that right, Colin?
Colin: "That's right, yeah
Marc: "And so we nailed a different one, you're doing 1982 tonight, but the funny thing was, naturally I went out yesterday, and what did I see in a shop but Radiohead featured in an NME from all those years ago. So Colin, you can have a look at that in a bit and perhaps you could talk about that, but for the time being, we are looking at 1982 the NME, aren't we?
Rob: "Do you know what, Marc, we're actually looking at 1980
Marc: "Oh, is it? Oh, sorry
Rob: "Yeah, and it's a very rare edition because it's the NME, right, fifth of January and they've even got confused as to the decade, and they've written 1979 on it in the original text, and somebody's crossed it out with a ball point pen
Marc: "Oh, really?
Marc: "Right, ok
Rob: "Yeah, but Iggy Pop with Loco Mosquito. I was just wondering, Colin, what was your kind of preferred, you know paper of choice, music paper...
Colin: "What, then?
Rob: "When you were growing up, yeah
Colin: "What was it, Sounds, Melody Maker...
Rob: "Might be a Record Mirror, that would have been knocking about, wouldn't it?
Colin: "I guess it would have been Melody Maker... I mean Sounds was sort of finished by the time I left college...
Colin: "So it would be Melody Maker and NME... so yeah, those two, really in tandem, yeah
Marc: "They all had their own identities, didn't they, because... well Sounds was known for heavy metal and then kind of Oy!. Punk and Oy!
Marc: "And then the new wave of heavy metal
Rob: "It kind of embraced punk very kind of unnaturally, didn't it?
Marc: "Yeah. And the NME was always cooler with the Bowie and the glam stuff, and the Melody Maker was a real musos kind of thing...
Rob: "Very pseudo, wasn't it?
Marc: "Mmmm, indeed.
Rob: "So it's the NME tonight, and Iggy Pop's just announced a seven date UK tour, starting in Newcastle, ending at Hammersmith Palais with a band that included Ivan Krall from the Patti Smith Band
Marc: "Yeah, in fact I tell you what...
Rob: "You saw this, didn't you?
Marc: "I think that... we'll go on about this just a little bit about The Fall in there, but we'd just come back from America, in the interview that is in there I think that you're discussing a little bit later. But one of the dates we played was supporting Iggy Pop in San Diego, and in the band was Glen Matlock and Steve New and Ivan Krall. That was the band, and it was a great band
Rob: "Yeah, yeah. Was that the same time where you got... you got asked to go and meet him, and you were a bit "oh no, we won't bother"? (laughs)
Marc: "Yeah, they asked if we wanted to go to a party with him. Somebody knocked on the door at midnight and went (adopts American accent) "Iggy's havin' a party, do you wanna go?", and we were like "no thanks" (laughs).
Rob: "As you do (laughs)
Marc: "Yes, and thus was ever the case
Colin: "That was a mistake
Marc: "Yeah, slightly. For Iggy, obviously
Rob: "Obviously, yeah...
Marc: "For asking us in the first place
Rob: "Look at what he missed. Anyway, a new album on the way, as yet unnamed, but of course it was Soldier, and a brief mention of these kind of stormy sessions that resulted in the departure of James Williamson, the guitarist who apparently... it's kind of worded here quite diplomatically, but apparently he wanted this very big Phil Spector-ish kind of sound, and Iggy was having none of that, so he sacked him
Marc: "Ah, right, ok. I mean for those who don't know, not everybody knows that James Williamson came in for Raw Power, didn't he?
Rob: "Of course, yeah
Marc: "And he was a great guitarist, obviously...
Rob: "Isn't he Johnny Marr's favourite guitarist?
Marc: "Yeah, he's big on him
Rob: "That's what I'm saying, yeah, yeah
Marc: "Yeah, because everybody always attributes Keith Richards as being his kind of, you know...
Rob: "His big hero, yeah
Marc: "His big hero, but James Williamson was it, apparently
Rob: "Yes, absolutely. Now it's got on page three here, 1979 chart points, which is just basically a round up of the year that's just passed, and you know, who came out top, and it's Blondie everywhere, you know, best selling single and album and that stuff
Rob: "But there's some surprising things here, Marc. Second best selling album of the year Breakfast In America by Supertramp
Marc: "Mmmm, well... yeah, big
Rob: "Compilation of the year, Leo Sayer, The Very Best Of...
Colin: "Oh dear
Rob: "It's hardly post-punk, is it?
Marc: "No, but that was the thing, though, I mean up until quite recently when they started shredding all the magazines and putting them into different kind of genres, then they were all-encompassing. I mean, if you look at the NME from 1973 there was a big folk page on there as well...
Rob: "Yeah, that's right
Marc: "Which wouldn't sit too comfortably these days...
Rob: "Yeah, and Melody Maker used to do a huge jazz feature, didn't they?
Rob: "Like three or four pages of jazz every week. Bizarre. Also, record news, I mean always good for a gimmick, like Stiff records ok, The Feelies, which is a New Jersey band, have a new album Crazy Rhythm out on Stiff in February. As a promotion gimmick, Stiff have released a flexi disc in a limited edition of five thousand copies, containing tracks. A postal order for thirty pence is all that's required to get one
Rob: "It's a great move, you know. And also, something that I did a bit of research on today, there's a band here... Danny Baker's talking about a new band, supposed to be the big band from America of the Eighties called Sabu..
Marc: "Never heard of them. Have you Colin?
Rob: "No? Right ok. They're touted as... I mean, they kind of look... they're dressed in leotards...
Colin: "Sounds like an aftershave, doesn't it? Some kind of, you know...
Rob: "Well, there you go. Leotards, hairy chests, and...
Marc: "Well, it sounds good
Rob: "And mustaches
Marc: "Reel 'em in!
Rob: "But apparently it's led by this guy called Paul Sabu who was the son of the Sabu who starred in the Tarzan films
Marc: "Oh, really?! Well that's starting to make a bit of sense at least
Rob: "They're touted as the next big thing, obviously nothing happened, but I did some research and this is the same Paul Sabu who discovered and produced the first album by Shania Twain of all people
Marc: "Oh, right. Bizarre
Rob: "And he actually did some work on a Bowie album, Greatest Hits
Marc: "Did he?
Rob: "Yeah, some production work
Rob: "And get this, right, Kerrang! readers once voted him their second favourite AOR vocalist of all time
Rob: "What an accolade
Marc: "Who was number one though? Probably...
Rob: "Probably that bloke from The Raspberries... no, not The Raspberries...
Marc: "Eric Carmen?
Rob: "Eric Carmen
Marc: "Anyway, we don't know
Rob: "We don't know. And also a quick kind of news story about The Clash playing in a little place... well, London's Ackland Hall (check), which is underneath the Westway
Rob: "On Christmas day and Boxing Day for fifty pence, and all power to them, you know
Marc: "Right, okey dokey
Rob: "Including Mick Jones' gran who was there and was looking forward to them playing Spanish Bombs. It was also the first time they played Bank Robber, apparently. And also Mike Oldfield, right on page fourteen admits he can't write lyrics very well at all...
Marc: "I think we'd probably guessed that, hadn't we?
Colin: "Well, exactly
Rob: "Well, yeah, and so bad was he that his record company, Virgin demanded that he rewrite the lyrics to the song Sally because it was so poor, and then he says here "I've asked Richard Thompson to come up with a couple of things, but he didn't have the time". I mean, really...
Marc: "Yeah, he's not going to do some part-time work for Mike Oldfield, is he, really?
Rob: "He just couldn't be bothered, let's face it. Also, one of the... one of my favourite albums out, The Ramones' album, End Of The Century
Marc: "Oh, I think we're going to have to go in around about ten seconds time. Can you live with that, Bob?
Rob: "Yeah, go on
[jingles & news]
[plays The Ramones – Rock And Roll Radio]
Marc: "Suitably, that is The Ramones from End Of The Century, and Rock And Roll Radio. This is the Parallel Universe with Colin and Rob
Rob: "Yeah, still in the NME from the 5th January 1980. Colin, you spotted a story there about a drummer somewhere
Colin: "Yeah, it's just like "Drummer quits Fire. After The Fire parted company... ", the band's called After The Fire, "... parted company with their drummer Ivor Twiddell, following his recent heart attack at an Edinburgh gig. The attack rendered him unconscious for twenty-five minutes, but he was later pronounced fit enough to rejoin the band's nationwide tour."
Colin: "I mean, you know, I mean if I was the bass player, like when he came back, I'd be like "Don't do it!" I mean it would be terrible, wouldn't it?
Marc: "Everybody know that bass players have always got their eyes locked on the drummer...
Colin: "That's right
Marc: "But it would be for a different reason, wouldn't it?
Colin: "Yeah, that's right
Marc: ""You alright, love?! You alright?!"
Colin: "I'm just like, you know...
Marc: "Holding down the rhythm section, blimey, not what you want
Rob: "No, not at all. We played The Ramones before, obviously from End Of The Century, which is that famous album produced by Phil Spector of course...
Rob: "Gunpoint and all that stuff. Also the George Jones album, My Very Special Guest was out around this time. 1979/80 was that famous occasion when he played a gig, it was his comeback, he was plagued by alcoholism, etc, and he played a comeback gig at a small club in Nashville, and he saw the crowd, and he just couldn't face it, and he stood there with his head in his hands for about five minutes, and he turned his back, and he came back, and he said "George Jones can't perform tonight, instead Donald Duck is going to be onstage", and he sang his whole back catalogue as Donald Duck...
Rob: "And they took him off the stage
Marc: "I've heard about that, yeah that's legendary
Rob: "You could see this like breakdown in public, you know
Rob: "It was a complete nadir for him. Anyway, from that, Marc to The Fall
Marc: "Ah, well, you know...
Marc: "From the sublime to the ridiculous
Rob: "There's a piece here by Ian Penman here on The Fall, we'll get onto this great photo in a minute, but he kind of talks, you know, in typical Penman style, he talks very kind of cryptically for about... well, three columns before he even gets to mention the band
Rob: "So, by the time he does, he gets to this, right, he says "current line up of The Fall: Craig Scanlon, eighteen years old, electric guitars – left handedly, Steve Hanley, eighteen years old, bass guitars plus a few words, Mark E Smith, twenty-two years old, words etc, etc, Mike Leigh twenty-three years old, drumming, and of course, Marc Riley, seventeen years old, electric guitars from bass ones
Marc: "Yeah, I know, I know...
Rob: "There's a great shot there, which I know you love that Anton Corbijn took of you in... is it Heathrow? Is it Heathrow airport?
Marc: "It is at Heathrow airport, just on the way back from America, and I did try and get in touch with his orifice and try and get them to just print one off for me on the snide, but they wouldn't do it
Rob: "Would they not?
Marc: "No! No
Rob: "Have you got some influence with Anton Corbijn, Colin?
Colin: "I was just... I'm just admiring the photo. I think Craig Scanlon's wearing brothel creepers, is that right?
Marc: "Yeah, yeah, that sounds about right, yeah
Rob: "Yeah, he is
Marc: "Yeah, you're right
Colin: "And there could be some monkey boot action in there somewhere as well, maybe
Marc: "Steve? Yes, it could be
Colin: "Yeah, maybe
Marc: "Let's have a look, mate
Colin: "I'm not sure, actually
Marc: "Footwear is all-important
Colin: "Yeah, it is, isn't it?
Rob: "It's hard to tell
Colin: "I don't know, actually, more patent leather Mark E Smith's wearing, isn't he?
Marc: "Yeah. No, they were definitely old men's shoes. That's what he always wore
Rob: "Ok, one of the things Mark E Smith talked about in the interview, right, was how people... kids rushing up to him, he says, all the time saying "cor, you must be loaded now, 'cause we see pictures of The Fall all over the place", he says, you know, he finds it ridiculous that these kids probably earn around eighty pounds a week and The Fall were just on about twenty quid each, is that right?
Marc: "Yeah. Well, you know, I mean... well the story is that we signed off the dole on eleven pound a week and got paid ten pound a week
Rob: "(laughs) Right ok
Marc: "But, you know, obviously it was just for the love of it, you know
Rob: "Ok, fine. On the teasers page, right, just something that tickled me a little bit, from the States comes this new... well a studio drummer from LA called Rob Rizzell (check) has patented the clapper, an applause simulator for those scant gigs, it says here. Our man boast that with enough clappers, a crowd of twenty can sound like a full house
Marc: "Ooh, that sounds like definitely a good idea. When I was in The Creepers I could have done with that definitely
Rob: "If only you'd had a clapper! Another album that's out this week is Buzzcocks, Singles Going Steady
Marc: "Well, we're all fans around this table, aren't we?
Colin: "Yeah, yeah
Marc: "We were going to play I Believe, and I just remember it as being such a great pop song, but it turns out it's seven and a half minutes long, and we haven't got time for it, so again, we love Magazine
Marc: "And Shot By Both Sides is a classic. Lipstick was the other version of it
[plays Buzzcocks – Lipstick]
Marc: "Two wonderful songs for the price of one, that is Lipstick, Buzzcocks there. We're still in the Parallel Universe. So where are we up to now then, Bob?
Rob: "We're on the live section now, Marc. Still with the NME January 5th 1980, right I mean some... well a benefit gig spread over four nights at Hammersmith Odeon, a benefit for Kampachia. Great line up, I mean Queen on the first night, ok, Ian Dury and the Blockheads and The Clash second night
Marc: "Right, excellent
Rob: "Fantastic. Apparently The Clash were given a bit of a bad time by Ian Dury's crowd, apparently, it's described here by Paul Rambali as a bit of a rum lot, and he says: "A surprise appearance by The Clash would send the average crowd of new wave rock fans into raptures, or so you would think, but Dury's truly iconoclastic music seems to draw people who might only go to two gigs a year, and both those would probably be Blockheads gigs"
Marc: "Right, and when you think about it, they probably went through the same venues, didn't they? I mean Joe Strummer in the 101’ers and Ian Dury in Kilburn And The High Roads will have been playing in pubs together for years, probably
Rob: "Absolutely, yeah
Marc: "Strange scenario
Rob: "Just something that got me, it says: "The encore was slow in coming", it says Ian Dury seemed to be... well, it says: "he's announced that there's been a song that's been dogging him wherever he went for the last two and a half years" he says, "and this is the last time The Blockheads are going to play this particular item, and if you still want to sing along after that, you can", and it was Sex And Drugs And Rock And Roll. I was just wondering, Colin whether there was a kind of song that's dogged Radiohead
Colin: "Dogged us? (laughs)
Rob: "That you think "well, let's have done with it"
Colin: "Dogged? (laughs) Errrr...
Marc: "Well, funnily enough I've given you that paper, would it be Creep?
Colin: "Erm I don't... you know... I don't know, I think like it's cool... no I don't think so, I don't think there's any song that's really sort of hung around like, you know... because it would be like... it would be like dishonest to disown something that we made in the first place...
Colin: "And that we were proud of when we did it, so, you know... so, no I don't think so, really. I can't think of anything offhand
Marc: "Good. It's a wonderful song, Creep, isn't it, but it's the one that like kind of broke you in America and all that kind of stuff, didn't it?
Colin: "Yeah, yeah
Marc: "So it's kind of a...
Colin: "It was a surprise
Marc: "Yeah, I bet. Well, you had swearing on the original version, didn't you, so you can't have expected it
Colin: "(laughs) That's right
Rob: "Ok, third night in at the Hammersmith Odeon, another great bill, The Who, The Specials and The Pretenders
Rob: "Apparently The Pretenders were rotten, James Honeyman-Scott was like all over the place. They decided to stop halfway through Stop Your Sobbing and he had a big row with Chrissie Hynde, but I mean, what a bill, you know? Fantastic.
Marc: "Yeah. You were talking about The Pretenders, I mean that was the great mystery about The Pretenders, 'cause if you look at a band like The Pretenders, you would not have them down as having two real hardcore heroin addicts within the band...
Rob: "You wouldn't, would you?
Marc: "Who would later die. They look like they were just a perfect pop band, really, but there was dark goings on, wasn't there?
Rob: "Yeah, absolutely. The fourth night was Wings and Elvis Costello, and just weird, I won't go into the detail of kind of like Roy Carr's review here, but weird how, you know Paul McCartney just seemed to get like slagged off so much in the sort of late seventies, early eighties, and now of course, it's come round so much...
Rob: "And he is revered like a legend isn't he now?
Marc: "Well, and Nigel Godrich obviously, he didn't have much respect, but there you go
Rob: "And there you go, so that was it, really, the live ones
Marc: "Okey dokey
Rob: "One thing remains though, Marc, Frank Zappa was out as well with Joe's Garage this week
Marc: "You say "Garage"
Rob: "I say "Garage"
[Parallel Universe feature ends here]
[Plays The Dominatrix Sleeps Tonight]
Marc: "So that was lifted from the interweb, I do believe
Colin: "(laughs) That's right, yeah
Marc: "Is that strictly legal?
Colin: "I don't know
Marc: "Shhh! We won't tell anybody, anyway, you'll be fine. So what was it?
Colin: "What was the track?
Colin: "It's called The Dominatrix Sleeps Tonight, and it's like... apparently it's like an electro classic track and it's... there's this Fabric live thirty-three compilation that's just come out and it's been curated by Spank Rock from Baltimore who did a great record called Yo Yo, I think, about two years ago. Anyway, they've got this like mix CD out and it's on that CD, and I loved it and I managed to find it on YouTube, and there's this great video of these women like dressed in like sort of fishnets and like bondage gear from like the eighties, you know, and sort of prowling around a garage, you know, it's brilliant
Marc: "Right, ok, well I've never heard it before and I was obviously into me dominatrix gear in the eighties, so how it passed me by I have no idea at all
Marc: "So this is the Brain Surgery. Unfortunately we've only got around about eight minutes left before we disappear into the ether, in fact you're going to disappear next door, aren't you?
Colin: "That's right
Marc: "And have a chat with Mark and Stuart, and you've got something to announce there, but we'll say no more about that. And can you tell us exactly what's going on with Radiohead, I mean you've got the tour lined up, haven't you?
Colin: "Yeah, that's right, yeah, we're going to spend the next couple of months working on like remembering the older songs and trying to play the new ones, and then we're off, and like America and then Europe, then I think America again and then hopefully some more far flung places at the end of the year
Marc: "Right, I remember reading... and it didn't make much sense to me until you explained it, it's only because I'm a bit slow, as you know, but you toured OK Computer, obviously it was quite relentless...
Marc: "But I read that you "toured the wrong way round", you went the wrong way round the world?
Colin: "Wrong way round round the world. Yeah, I remember the first time we went to Japan, like from England, and it's like you go the wrong way round, you go from west to east, and like I just remember like just completely... because you dream... you're awake but you're dreaming, because you should be asleep, but you're walking the streets of Tokyo and your subconscious is like, you know, going mad, and it's all deeply wrong, and it was like... it's a very weird experience, and it's not natural
Marc: "Yeah, I've never even thought about that, so it's obviously just about going round the world and catching up with yourself
Colin: "It's about going round the world the right way, which is east to west and stuff, so, you know...
Marc: "Ok, well I've never had that problem meself, so... and I also know that you have thought long and hard about how to make it as... you know eco-friendly, which is what we would expect from you. I mean, what have you come up with?
Colin: "Well, it's like, you know, it's like... it's not like a perfect solution to anything, because I mean, you know, if that was the case we'd all be like wearing hair shirts in caves and stuff, you know
Marc: "Yeah, absolutely, absolutely
Colin: "And it's like... and you don't want to deny people the chance to see the music and stuff and you know, to share the love and everything, you know and... but at the same time there's loads of stuff you can do and what we've found out that's interesting is it's the fans themselves, like the way they come to the shows and stuff like... and if we play shows in cities and stuff like that where you can use public transport, that can make a massive difference on like the carbon footprint of the tour and that's been really interesting, you know, but I mean it's a work in progress like as we're finding out more stuff about it, but yeah, it's something that we're all really sort of committed about and interested in seeing how we can make things work. I mean one of the things we're doing, is we're shipping... we're shipping our gear rather than air freighting it
Colin: "But what that means is like you know, it... so we have to have two loads of gear, but it means that we can actually play like different places, so again, something that we've done, you know, it means we can... we're more flexible about where we can play around the world because we're doing... we're shipping the gear, so there's unintended bonuses coming from trying to do the right thing
Marc: "Yeah, I mean, I read... I won't say who it was, but I read a quote from a pop star ages ago, and he was having a pop at you, which I thought was ridiculous, and I said so at the time, not that anybody cares what I think, but it was like "yeah, well if you care that much about your carbon footprints and the eco and stuff, don't play. Don't play enormodomes", but what can you do in Radiohead? There's a place round the corner called the Cyprus Tavern, which holds a hundred and eighty people, you can play there for three hundred nights in a row if you like...
Colin: "And then you'd die
Marc: "But it doesn't make much sense at all, does it?
Marc: "I've got an idea which is you could give away a packet of seeds for trees to everybody who comes through the gates, but then I thought you'll end up with like football pitches and central reservations, people planting trees everywhere, it'd be a nightmare
Colin: "(laughs) It'd be terrible, wouldn't it?
Marc: "Right, well don't bother then. So then you're going to do... I've got another tune here actually from your compilation and that will take us up to the news unfortunately. It has flown tonight, I've really enjoyed it, and I must apologise to all of the people who've e-mithered and texted, and we've not been able to get through them, but it's kind of predictable, really but yeah, I apologise about that. What's the final tune you're going to play for us tonight then, Colin?
Colin: "Er, it's a song off... Thom's song from his record The Eraser, and it's called Atoms for Peace, and it's remixed by Kieran Hebden from Four Tet, and you can download it on the Boomkat website, which is a local Manchester Pelicaneck….. Boomkat Manchester music site and... yeah, it's called Atoms For Peace
Marc: "Excellent, alright well it is going to sweep us right through to the news, as I say it's been a real pleasure having you here. I was overjoyed when you said you'd come in, and then we got Clinic as well
Colin: "Yeah, brilliant
Marc: "So the job is a good 'un. Thank you very much Colin Greenwood
[plays Atoms For Peace]
Marc: "Thom Yorke, Atoms For Peace. That was the Brain Surgery with Colin Greenwood. Thanks for listening