Disappointing conversations with musicians


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.


I had a few drinks with Midlake a few years back when they played in Cork. Really nice lads.


Martin Blunt - The Charlatans

He was humble, had time for me and seemed a thoroughly decent bloke. It was me that was disappointing.

In my defence, i suffer with long term depression. When i buy an album while in a slump, whenever i play it, it reminds me of the bad time. Eg Ride - Going Blank Again. Always reminds me of the death of my Grandy.

I can’t remember the year but The Charlatans released Modern Nature, New Order - Music Complete, The Libertines - Anthems For Doomed Youth, The View - Ropewalk.

4 of my favourite bands. I bought all 4 albums but played none of them.

I was actually at Corley Services. I saw Martin Blunt and thought “i know him from somewhere”.

Then “Its Martin Blunt”…is it? “Nah. He isnt tall enough”. “It IS him”. So i went over “Excuse me mate…”.

Bless him. I dont think he gets recognised too often. He thought i was going to ask the time and went to pull up his sleeve.

…“Are you Martin Blunt”?

“Errrrrr yeah i am”.

“Its OK…I’m a massive fan of the band”.

I was/am…i have seen them on countless occasions round the UK. I am known among other regular fans.

At that point i forgot how to think, let alone speak. All i could think of saying was “How is Jon doing”?

(Jon passed away a year or so before)

Martin threw me a lifeline…or so he thought.

“What do you think of the new album”.

I could have lied. I should have lied. Damn it
Any other album i could have spoken at length about, track by track and bored him silly.

But i attempted to tell him why i hadn’t played it.

And he did try to understand but i was an incoherent mess by then.

I looked at him and said “Thanks for your time mate. Really appreciated”.

And we parted.

So yeah…sometimes even MASSIVE fans can disappoint the band.

I have since played all 4 albums and only Ropewalk by The View disappointed but from such a young band, 5 amazing albums was askig maybe too much.


Friend of mine spotted James Dean Bradfield in a pub in Cardiff, this was sixth form and we were proper old school Manics fans. He said “James! I love the Holy Bible!”. He replied “yep, you look like you do mate”.


This conversation did not take place


Told Johnny Whitney i loved BB and he was like ‘i’ve gotta go’


I was introduced to Ian from The Go! Team by a member of another band. So I said hello and that I liked the band. He made no conversation in response. That was a bit odd.


I said the same when i saw Jaguar Love. He looked disappointed


Pretty much everyone conversation I’ve ever had with a musician has been awful.

Met Roddy Woomble backstage in Wolverhampton circa 2002 and could only think to ask if he was “having fun?” to which he said “yeah it’s alright”. Idlewild were my heroes in 2002 and I still cringe thinking about my shit chat.

Honourable mention for Now Now, who were unbelievable hard work at the merch table. We even tried to discuss ALL their side projects, but to no avail.


I think I’ve told everyone my suggs story but I was playing the Dublin Castle in my uni band and Suggs was in there during soundcheck pretty hammered - this was before the band got going again and maybe before he started doing the Iceland adverts or whatever

Anyway, the band playing with us were soundchecking and Suggs went into the gig room, got on stage and grabbed the mic and started going “let’s have it” “whey!” Etc. The band looked very surprised and thrilled to have him join them on stage. He then dropped the mic and shouted “YOU FUCKING TWO BIT NOBODY’S” at them.

Not a conversation as such, but one that comes to mind. Nice guy.

Edit: should add to those that don’t know, that venue is a Madness pub with photos and signed posters of him and the band all over the walls. Total narcissism for him to drink in there isn’t it?


My own fault but when Paul Draper was stood behind the counter at Spillers for a signinng a couple of years ago. I decided to break the ice by pretending to not know who he was and that I was bringing his solo album back for a refund. Saw his face drop and tried to walk it back by telling him I actually quite liked it but, no, I was on borrowed time from that moment on.


me - hello graham!
graham coxon - looking worried um, hi.
me - I saw blur a few months ago suddenly remember he’s not in blur any more… without you!
graham - …
me - it wasn’t the same!
graham - cheers
me - bye!


Several rungs below this in terms of indie ‘stardom’ but met Patrick from The Vines with his new band, after he had fell out with Craig Nicholls. Mind went blank and all I could think was ‘don’t mention The Vines’. Excruciating- started randomly blathering about Arcade Fire to break the tension (I had just seen them and was wearing a AF tshirt).


The only thing I could think to say to the singer of Joyce Manor apart from to say I enjoyed the show was to recommend he got some cider while he was in the Westcountry. I recommended Thatchers Haze as that is what I had my hands full of at the time (busy bar - two pints - shit options - clever move overall). We had a stilted cider-related conversation, he is an American who thought it was a soft drink, but could tell he actually walked over to the merch table to sell merch and talk to someone who wasn’t me so it kind of trailed off.


I can safely say I have never had a conversation with a musician which was any more than disappointing. Whether because they were a bit of a dick (rarely) or whether I was a prize idiot with a mouth full of my own feet (always).


I avoid having disappointing conversations with musicians by not initiating conversations with them

Marc Olson and Victoria Williams initiated a conversation with me once (asked me the the time outside the venue) - they were very friendly and nice


Not disappointing but certainly a bit embarrassing on my part:

Went to see Moonface at St Pancras Old Church and got there pretty early. Spencer Krug was setting up his own merch table, but had no-one to man it so basically had a jar for cash. An honour system basically. Anyway, he was writing the sign and asked me how you spelled something (I cannot remember the word for the life of me) and I had a total brainfreeze. Like it was the easiest word in the English language to spell, and all I could think was “is it spelt differently here and in Canada?”. Anyway, he kind of worked it out and I said that “yes, I think that’s right”. An absolute shambles. Just wanted to know when he was going to reform Wolf Parade!


Raekwon the Chef at ATP. He was in Burger King with loads of merch that he was selling and I approached him and said…
Me “Hey, great set. Thanks for coming to the UK”
Chef “No problem. Glad you enjoyed it”
Me “Those tea towels are cool - how much?”
Chef “£20”
Me “Hmm. OK. That’s… quite a lot.”
Chef “Don’t fucking buy one then”


To give this context I’d seen Liars a few months beforehand just before the release of Drum’s Not Dead, it was easily one of my favourite ever gigs.

So anyway, Liars were playing Birmingham again a few months later so I was stoked, and I drank way too much before the gig. Standing at the bar and who’s next to me but Aaron from Liars, I don’t embarrass myself, say I love the new album and really enjoyed the last gig, we briefly talk about Birmingham’s night life. Well done me.

But then I drank even more and to be fair barely remember any of the gig. And then it happened…

The band came out to start packing up and I decided that me and Aaron were now friends, so I hop up on to the stage and start talking total bollocks at him (my mate who went with me told me this), I cringe whenever I think about it occasionally still. But I was also drunk enough to brazenly ask for a drum stick that was on the floor of the stage, I think he let me take it just to get rid of me.


When I went to see the Depreciation Guild I went over to Kurt at the merch table to buy a t-shirt. When it came to paying, I gave him way too much money and I think I placed like an extra fiver in his hand, he then said “err…no” and picked it up and placed it back in my hand. Felt like an absolute plum.