Disappointing conversations with musicians

When I was at Primavera a few years ago I bumped into Mike Moya after Godspeed You! Black Emperors set at the backstage bar (as in, he was at the bar after their set, not that their set was in the backstage bar)

found Patrick Stickles to be a challenge

I said I’m stoked to hear the new Hrsta album and he said
“There ain’t gonna be a new Hrsta album” and walked off


I was at a gig in Birmingham and it was the band Midlake and we were getting a drink downstairs and I said “look there’s Midlake!” and they were having a drink at the bar, then they went away. So it wasn’t actually a conversation.

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Har Mar Superstar in some bar (ha) at ATP End of an Era 2013. Spoke to him briefly and got a photo with him. He was very non plussed about the whole experience.

“I’m not enjoying this. This is work to me”


Sat next to J Mascis on a shuttle bus at a festival in Spain. He was only interested in getting back to the hotel for an afternoon nap.


When Los Campesinos! played at the Astoria supporting Future Of The Left and Les Savy Fav back in 2008 (might have been 07) there was a bit of a strange exchange. For background, this gig was shortly before the first LC! album was released. Maybe even the same week.

A teenager walked up to one of the LC! guitarists outside the venue and said that he loved the album. The guitarist interrupted and said something to the effect of “downloaded it then?” and immediately walked away. The lad looked shattered. I mean for fuck’s sake mate, this kid has paid for a gig ticket, seems to be really invested in the band when they’ve only put out singles, and if he cares that much to recognise and speak to the guitarist (I think this was before the gig happened) - it will likely be someone who’ll regularly pay money for music, especially for their favourite bands. I’m a big LC! fan and I’ve seen them live multiple times, but I always remember this when I see them. Not sure what the guitarist is like, and whether that was a one off sort of thing, but he seemed like a total tosser at the time.

For all the guitarist knew, this lad had pre-ordered the album. To have this reaction was juvenile, rude, and disappinting. He could have been much kinder, engaged with the fan, and asked whether he had bought it, or was planning to.

On a similar note, (but not a conversation) at Grammatics’ last gig the singer said this next one is from our album, people cheered, he snapped “well none of you bought it”. Cue very awkward silence.


dreadful word


if I ever played live and someone came up to me and said they loved one of my albums I’d probably buy them a drink and chat to them for half an hour I reckon


I’ve got my chats with musicians down to an art now.

Go up after gig and say “Thank you so much for playing, it was great, take care of yourself have a good night, anyways best be off gotta travel” and I leave. No awkwardness, brief, but get my point across. Pretty much every time they’ll slip in an “No no, thank you” before I go.

The two bands to break that by trying to start a conversation about the gig/where I’d come from/general craic etc were the bassist in Idles and Pharmakon. Weird to mention them in the same sentence. Good people!


I had an excruciatingly embarrassing conversation with Graham Coxon at the Rescue Room once.

Which was kind of appropriate I guess.

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Was that the one in Sheffield? I remember that being quite awkward

I think it was in Islington, the Lexington?

It was a very strange gig, not been to many with that atmosphere. A bitter band trying to make a little money while they still can, performing songs they think have failed, to people they resent but who are attending to be supportive and are sad things didn’t work out for the band. I saw Grammatics 2 or 3 times in a short period and from what I remember, they progressively seemed more and more fucked off/exhausted. I can get why, they seemed to have some bad luck and their previous bands did too. Going to listen to Grammatics now for the first time in around 5 years and see how I get on.

Saw Pharmakon at Primavera, and can confidently say that if id seen her afterwards i would have been way too terrified to say anything to her at all.

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A slightly similar thing happened with my mate and Jeremy Warmsley years back, albeit in a way that was far more my mate putting his foot in it. He’d been the support for someone else, and was signing my mate’s ticket after the show, who told him how much he’d loved his album. Was early days and he was pretty unknown, and the guy looked genuinely touched, thanking him and grinning away. Certainly looked less pleased when my mate spluttered out “downloaded it the other week, it’s great.”


I had to telephone interview loads of bands writing some of the program for Splendour In The Grass a couple of years back. Was a pretty painful task on the whole, but none as painful as Matthew Murphy from the Wombats. 25 long, long minutes.


Chuffed you pointed this out


Was definitely on their last tour. Real shame it ended like it did.

I can’t remember the details too vividly, just remember the responses being cliche after cliche. In his defence though:

  1. He started the chat saying, “I’ve only just woken up and I am horrendously hungover”.
  2. Promo telephone interviews can be pretty painful, and my disinterest in the band won’t have helped anything.
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I had a few drinks with Midlake a few years back when they played in Cork. Really nice lads.

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