I just got off the phone to Kevin Gaughan from Music In Leicester and The Live, Local and Loud Podcast, and we had a great chat about Prime's past since mid-late 2014 to plans for the future now that Lockdown is coming close to an end. As many of you will know after keeping tabs on our social media lately, we played our last gig on March 7th at the Winding Wheel hall in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, so Kev kindly asked me about some of these shows. One other thing he asked me was "Why do you want to get involved in talking to other musicians on the scene?" ...
Well, my answer was simple. It's something I've always done. I was always into illustration and music fanzine culture, and in my early 20's after getting big time into punk and post-punk music such as Patti Smith, The Sex Pistols, Richard Hell and The Voidoids/Television, and Joy Division, myself and my good friend Richard Smith decided to start up our own grotty little magazine based in the East Midlands, and call it Night Flight (named after the awesome Scott Walker song).
At the time I was working on Maid Marian Way for the civil service (and a few months later at Castle Boulevard and then a couple of years later at Station Street DSS ... thankfully now bulldozed as it was one of the ugliest buildings you'd ever seen). So I had access to laminators, scanners and printers. The main part of my pointless role was laminating press releases and 'good news stories' for local MPs. And that's when the fun began.
So unbeknownst to the management I would sneak around late at night 'til the offices closed around 7pm and scan my hand cut and printed pages, graced by Richard's usually brutal and sardonic reviews of the local scene, including some interviews and reviews I would do under the pseudonym of Olly Wilson. My friend the local songwriter Lisa DeVille would talk to me a few years after Night Flight had finished and said to me "You used to print that? I would read it in anticipation just to see if they slagged me off or not in it...!" To be honest I don't think we ever did, and if we had, her music was quite good so it probably would have been saved a battering. Anyway, the magazine was printed regularly at the JobCentre (about 7 issues maybe?) before I got busted and caught with about 300 double sided magazine pages on my desk... An idiot that I work with who used to stay behind and look through people's drawers (oo-err) distracted me, and I made the fatal error. Luckily they didn't see the other thousand A4 pages that I printed that night and I kept my job. And Night Flight ambled on to a few more issues before it was too much hard work and we packed it in.
The whole purpose of being involved of course was to have a great night out and promote projects around the time of my first band Future (which was far from the future but we did have some alright funky rock and punk tunes, I might upload our demos at some point). It's weird how some people get into music journalism, some writers have far bigger egos than any Alex Turner type character, some want to share the word of some great music (I was in that camp a little bit), and others love the craic of being involved with the scene (Richard fell more into that camp).
Either way, if you want to write or get involved in online blogs or podcast I heavily recommend it, but if your main focus is to be a musician or make it in your band, I'd say stick to that, as music writing and podcasts are bloody hard work!
Big shout out to Richard, Will Kent and Trevor Ward, some lovely people I've met on the local scene during Prime's four year tenure playing live.