James Kettle’s imaginary friends “Scaramouche, scaramouche, can you do the fandango” are words we don’t hear enough of in this fair city. Everyone’s looking for the next big thing to fill that special slot. This week Imaginary Friends brings you an exclusive interview with the best new band in Oxford. Move over NME, we’re really excited! There’s a brand new sound coming up off the streets. The hard-hit, ugly streets of urban desolation. The streets where the poor are crying in needle-ridden pits of despair. The streets where people just can’t take it anymore. Holywell Street, for example. This is the sound of Oxford. This is the sound of Felchspoon. Lead singer Gerald Niggaz is straight outta Winchester. He don’t make onstage announcements, cos it aint real. And cos he has a high voice. He is the mind behind Felchspoon – the genius, the philosopher. “I thought of the name,” he explains. “What are any of us except felch on a spoon?” I don’t know. Pubes? “The pubes are the music, man.” Felchspoon were formed out of red-hot rage. Niggaz tells the story. “One day my scout just didn’t come. There were tissues stuck to my wall and everything. I thought, ‘I’m mad as hell, and I can’t take it anymore!’” He planned a musical revolution. First to be recruited was guitarist Dr X. Dr X was born in St Albans. In his own words, “four chords is fascism.” Next to join was Martin Violence on the bass. He is a bit dangerous, and went to state school. Drummer Nick is a bit more reticent, and divides his time between Felchspoon and working on the college Ball Committee. The musical vision is uncompromising, says Niggaz. “We write all our own songs. We’re heavily inspired by The Jam. We’re very inspired by In The City. Well, we’re very inspired by the riff to In The City.” Songs on the Felchspoon playlist currently include “Formal Hall No!”, “(I Don’t Want To Pay My) Battels” and “I Haven’t Got a Laptop”. The gigs are going down a storm. The band’s debut performance (behind the pool-table in Trinity JCR) was cut short amidst angry scenes. “They couldn’t take the truth, and they were annoyed we interrupted a Spanish League game on the telly,” says Niggaz. “Real Zaragoza, man. They are our enemies.” Later gigs included an OUSU Battle of the Bands qualifier (retired hurt) and a residency at the Morecambe Conservative Club. “My dad is the Social Secretary,” explains Dr X. “We can drink two pints each a night for free. It is a war,” he adds helpfully. Big plans are afoot for the festival season. Felchspoon plan to be the first band to play live in a punt. “The electrics are a problem,” says Niggaz. “We will of course only be using renewable sources of energy. Like turds, perhaps. Or cycling.” Do you get much interest from groupies? Gerald Niggaz is determined to stick to his principles. “Sex is a tool. As indeed am I,” he tells us. “Anyway, Martin Violence is a bit shy. I’m not though. I could have loads of girls if I could be bothered. But I have two essays a week sometimes, and I have to think about the music.” The record labels have been a bit slow in rushing to sign Felchspoon. However, it looks as though debut single “Cash My Own Allowance (Bitch)” may soon be issued on indie imprint Vole Records. “Vole are really good,” explains Niggaz. “They offer a very good rate of royalty, and full artistic independence and stuff. The only downside is that we to have push the holes in all the records ourselves, using a tiny and special pin.” The Spoon – they keep it real.ARCHIVE: 1st Week MT2003
Cesca Echlin finds this rendition of Jez Butterworth's play hits comic targets, but also reflects on its male-dominated narrative.
Due to the gender wage discrepancies at the university, from today onwards women in the university are ‘effectively unpaid’ until the end of the year.