Monday, February 18, 2008

The Wayback Machine

Time once again, fellow Psychonauts, to play around with time!
This week our special guest is none other than the Pride of Dublin-Thomas Walsh of psych' & pop band Pugwash. We're honored!

(Editor's Note: Thomas didn't, per se, exactly say this is where he'd jump back to; given today's features we've played fast and loose with the bendable nature of the epic fantasia which is The Wayback Machine and sent him back to, well-read on:)

The premise: You've been given a one-time opportunity to use The Wayback Machine; what band would you like to see, in what year, and what song would you most want to see them play?

Thomas is being sent to see The Idle Race in 1968 at Advision Studios, London, where they are recording their debut album, The Birthday Party. He's just now listening in as they work on "On With the Show."

VALIS: Besides an avowed love of the Idle Race, what made you choose "On With The Show" to cover as the B-Side to your single for the forthcoming album?

THOMAS : On a quick note here Valley(!), can I call you Valley?(Editor's Note: In the words of Bullet Tooth Tony-"You can call me Susan if it makes you happy."), the cover will be a b-side on the second single from the forthcoming album. The first single 'Take me away b/w Anyone who asks' is out on February 22nd. Yes, I've loved 'The Idle Race' since I started to collect them as a kid really. Got to their altar through the E.L.O/Move connection of course, and I ALWAYS loved loved LOVED 'On with the show'.

Just a sublime slice of innocent Brit-Beer/Psych!! Phasing to die for, Jeff in falsetto mode, gorgeous melody. Just a perfect way to spend 2 and a half minutes really. I always wanted the track to go on and on (We all have one of those songs) so on the version I just recorded I messed around with the existing melody a wee-bit at the end just to let some new fans hear the beauty of that outro melody. I really hope, from my little corner of the music world, that some younger fans hear my version as the first time they hear this song and then go out and buy the bands ENTIRE CATALOGUE!!

That's my only wish really.....oh yeah and hearing from some original band members about what they think of it and would you believe Valis.....TWO OF THEM ALREADY HAVE!! Roger 'Ollie' Spencer and Dave Pritchard have been in touch to say that they really love what I've done and to express their thanks for doing it saying they "always knew the songs were really strong". I was chuffed to bits to hear their response. Roger Spencer also said that he sent the link to Jeff and recomended he watch it!! No news yet from Jeff but I have the oxygen and incontinence pants ready just in case!!

VALIS: Can you pinpoint from a musician's point of view what makes the Idle Race so enjoyable to you?

THOMAS: Beautiful, beautiful songs with perfect innocence of melody and song structure topped off with a youthfulness of recording accumen that you never posess again. A real snap-shot of a great era in music and 'The Race' were at the cusp of greatness but they were probably a little too good and not 'cool' enough to burst out of 1968 Britain. People forget that England got cynical pretty quickly after the sickly sweet gooeyness of 'The Summer Of love' so it was amps to 11 and songs of 11 minutes length. 'The Idle Race' were just getting on with writing great pop music which is a template I'll ALWAYS try to live by.

Forget fads, keep writing the songs regardless. That's my motto anyway and something I learned from great bands like 'The Idle Race'.

VALIS: Have you ever considered covering the entire Birthday Party album? (a la The Walkmen covering Nilsson's Pussycats album or Camper van Beethoven covering Tusk.)

THOMAS: It would be a dream come true and a real honour for me to do it Valis but I want to build up a real strong body of work first and even though the new album 'Eleven Modern Antiquities' is my fourth it's only the second release with my REAL label so to speak. Previous releases were made with love and respect but getting them to the masses was a big failure, but with '1969 Records' there's a fantastic loving/business structure in place and I'm really excited that they're releasing the best album I've ever made.

So Valis my answer would be make some millions first then go to L.A and get 'Jeff Lynne' to sing some backing vocals on the re-recorded version of 'The Birthday Party'.....!!

Now that would be sweet.

valis: OK, for you infidels who think this is all well and good but are still thinking "valis, ya' arsepart, time travel does NOT exist!" I'd retort: Firstly, you might need to branch out in your reading habits and, secondly-WATCH THIS:

Pugwash has a new album, 11 Modern Antiquities coming out March 21st, on 1969 Records! THANK YOU Thomas!


Anonymous said...

Aye Aye Capn' Pugwash, I'll certainly be buyin' the new album. Anyone who rates Idle Race so highly can share a flagon o' rum with me any time. Funnily enough I'm going through another real Idle Race phase meself of late.

Love & Rockets,


sr-71 said...

i'm a big fan of the CvB Tusk, but i had no idea the Walkmen redid Pussycats -- can't even imagine how much liquor was involved just to come up w/ that idea, much less execute it in true john & harry lost weekend style. as a pugwash fan i'd love to hear them tackle birthday party....

Fabrich said...

Nice one valis!