THE WOODWORK SQUEAKS...
A couple days ago, Acid Mothers Temple mainman Kawabata Makoto sent me this utterly groovy photo of their current line-up:
Once upon a time, all the best groups used to look like this. Perhaps, one day soon, they will again.
To make that happen: Click photo to enlarge/print it off/make a T-shirt. Then go out and buy a copy their new LP "Minstrel in the Galaxy" on Riotseason so that it comes in at No. 1 in the LP charts. Advertising and Marketing companies will then think there's been a paradigm shift and make their clients dress like AMT. Then the rest of us can get our hair cut and wear boiler-suits (again). Anyway...
The Amon Duul 2 revival starts here.
Still, let's not forget, the equally groovy Shit and Shine who'll be supporting them (photo courtesy of Steve Gullick; scotch eggs courtesy of C. Louse):
And here's the uncut version of an interview I did with S 'n' S for Bizarre magazine earlier in the year:
Every once in a while, a new band comes along that stands Rock Music on its head. But Shit and Shine didn’t stop there: they shook it by the ankles until loose change fell out of its pockets, then ran down the off-licence and spent it on alcopops and rolling-baccy.
Their new LP “You're lucky to have friends like us” is so completely deranged that I’m surprised they haven’t been Sectioned. Sure, it might be full of pounding drums and pumped-up, distorted guitars, but it’s certainly not Punk or Metal or any other recognisable musical genre.
Instead, try to imagine a stack of really loud TV-sets, all tuned to different channels. On one of them, Iggy and the Stooges are having a punch-up with a pub-load of drunken monkeys. On another, Gardener’s World presenter Alan Titchmarsh is being chased by a maniac on a sit-down lawnmower. Elsewhere, demented drum-breaks accompany random feedback solos, daleks having domestic arguments and something that sounds suspiciously like a cat being castrated. In a warped parallel universe, the track “Life like a life” could be a top-5 smash summer-hit: it sounds like a gang of drug-addled Albanians gate-crashing your Uncle’s Archie’s silver-wedding anniversary and taking over the disco.
Most disturbing of all, perhaps, is the fact that drummer Larry Mannigan has won prizes at the Chelsea Flower Show for his late-blooming rose hybrid "Child of the Summer Rain". Maybe that explains the satanic-looking gardening-tips scrawled on their album cover or the fact that the interview took place in a run-down garden centre somewhere near Junction 15 of the M25…
Who does what in the group?
Shit and Shine: Frank Mckayhan: bass, guitar, vocals and lawnmower. C. Clouse: guitar, bass, vocals and lawnmower. Larry Mannigan: drums.
What inspired you to make music?
Shit and Shine: Siegfried Wendel, Manowar…
Who’s Siegfried Wendel?
Shit and Shine: He’s a crazy old German who builds these self-playing instruments. They’re like musical fairground contraptions, but crazier. The music they make is just fantastic. We visited him at his museum last year and it was like stepping back in time. Like a scene from Chitty Chitty Bang-Bang or something…
And Manowar? What, the Brit "full-on in yer face" Metal band that once recorded with Orson Welles?
Shit and Shine (suddenly looking very shifty): Uhh…look, we can’t really talk about Manowar. If they find us they’ll kill us. It was just a little "joke", but they didn’t see the funny side of it, apparently. Nice boys don’t play Rock ‘n’ Roll. We also like Rose Tattoo. And Jan Hammer.
Who’s your favourite live act?
Shit and Shine: Siegfried and Roy. Shame about that unfortunate incident with the tiger. That was Nature exacting its revenge against Showbiz. Get well soon, fella! We love their hair. We’ve got so much in common with them…
What lawnmower did you use on the LP?
Shit and Shine: We'll let Larry answer this one, since we're lucky enough to have him with us today. Larry?
Larry: Well, we used a Hayter Harrier 41 on the recording…it’s the Rolls Royce of lawn-mowers. The engine is a Briggs & Stratton Quantum XTS 45. The cutter-bar runs at 3000 rpms. Fuel capacity is 1.5 litres. It’s got a cutting-width of 410 mm and a cutting-height of 13 to 60 mm, so you have a lot of range with your grass height. That’s very important in a mower, obviously. She’s not light, though - got a dry weight of around 35kg - but it’s good to have some weight in front of you while you’re mowing. The job gets done. She’s a real beauty; a fine example of quality British engineering…
Do you use gardening tools when you play live?
Shit and Shine: We played in a church in Rotterdam last year and had 10 lawnmowers hanging from chains just above our heads. Each of the mowers’ speeds was adjusted to a different pitch, creating a colossal dronescape through the hall. It was majestic! The Dutch loved it!
Any other strange incidents on- or off-stage?
Shit and Shine: Yeah, the fighting in Portsmouth. We were hanging out with a lady who we later found out was the wife of a well known used-car dealer and adult cinema owner. Anyway, he turns up in the pub and we're just, you know, talking to her and he gets the wrong idea and, uhhh, well…one thing led to another…
What sort of people come to a Shit and Shine gig?
Shit and Shine: The lonely, the deferential and the dispossessed. Vapid, hollow-eyed vixens looking for a free ride…
Larry: Yeah…gas, grass or ass, baby!
“You're lucky to have friends like us” is out now on Riot Season.
“5 Songs” EP is out now on Loose Lips Sink Ships.
Visit www.riotseason.com and www.deathto.tv for further info.