CREPUSCULE

The official online zine of night & day cafe, manchester

ENSEMBLE ECONOMIQUE

On Thursday 2nd August, Californian solo artist Ensemble Economique (aka Brian Pyle of lauded bubble’n’scrape freak unit Starving Weirdos) brings his contemplative, enchanting, contemporary psychedelic mindscape to Night & Day Cafe, Manchester. Crepuscule’s Nick Mitchell tracked him down and put a few questions to him.

CREPUSCULE: Hey Brian, you ready for Manchester? Hope you’ve rain-proofed your Californian skin. Do you think performing your music in a dull, grey, overcast city will somehow alter its DNA?

E.E.: YES!!! Ha! Well, where i live is in the very north west corner of California in a very isolated place called Humboldt County and it’s one of the rainiest places in all of US, where the giant redwood tree grows, the complete opposite of the sunny, palm tree laden California of the south, so yes I am ready! In addition to all the rain, it’s also quite grey here on the coast, so yeah i’d imagine my music in Manchester will feel right at home! Its DNA will be strengthened!

CREPUSCULE: Ensemble Economique is cut from the same cloth as your (oft bolstered) duo Starving Weirdos, that’s plain to hear. And (considering the name of the project, natch) still sounds like a band. Your reference points and, to our ears at least, the instrumentation, however, are very different. How do you feel about working on your own as opposed to in a band setting?

E.E.: I love it, I truly do. I really embrace the freedom of working alone. My work in Starving Weirdos is of course an influence on the work I do in Ensemble Economique. The methodology, the approach, the feeling of going ‘all-in’, giving everything I got. I guess the most striking difference would be of course the fact that I do Ensemble Economique all alone. It’s not a collaborative trip, so yeah I have only myself to blame!  

CREPUSCULE: It’s getting more and more difficult to describe the most oblique forms of underground populist music. To say something is psychedelic, for instance, no longer really means anything because everything has been cross-pollinated and, as a result, completely transmogrified. In the write-up for your Live in London cassette on Not Not Fun, we read the terms ‘industrial’, ‘crooning’, ‘goth-psych’ and ‘beat music’. Do you find such cultural signifiers restrictive? Or is it still necessary to spell shit out for people, no matter how difficult that might be nowadays?

E.E.: Ha, yes, psychedelic. I guess it’s a fair to say from a certain perspective that ALL music is essentially psychedelic. And so this ‘catch-all’ that is now the descriptive ‘psych’ I think is well-suited to trying to describe some new, coming from everywhere, cross-pollinated music. When in doubt, go ‘psych’, I do it all the time! No, i don’t find such cultural signifiers restrictive, not at all. My music is just fucking impossible to describe! It’s hard for me! I think it’s part of the fun, this attempt at describing what is in reality very difficult to describe music. I take it as a compliment, it’s indicative of blazing new paths, going in new directions and this trailblazing, this ‘into the dark heart of the unknown’ is something i enjoy very, very much. To answer your last question, no it’s not necessary to spell shit out for people, it’s just good fun. And in the end their ears will answer all of their questions or perhaps confuse further. At any rate the trick is getting someone to actually listen, tune-in, digest whatever wild ideas your introducing to them.
 
CREPUSCULE: You’re gonna be playing on the same bill as Michael Flower & Neil Campbell in Manchester. Now I know those guys are fans of your work. Is the love a mutual one? Have you heard their duo project? It’s INSANE!

E.E.: Fuck yeah it is!!! I’ve been a massive Vibracathedral fan for years and their respective other projects are all amazing. Yeah i’m familiar with their duo, it’s very RAD and it’s an honour for me to share the stage with them, i’m quite excited.

CREPUSCULE: We heard that Ensemble Economique came out of some personal transitional period for you and that you didn’t really know what you were aiming to do with it but you were simply being towed along by the vibe. Is that still the case or are you now master of its destiny?

E.E.:  Uhhh, both? Yes, both! I’m in a perpetual personal transitional period and my music moves along accordingly. I let the vibes take me, this way and that, like the mist, the fog, the gentle ghost, floating aimless on the beach, full of everything and nothing, at once, letting the early morning sun blast me into a million pieces of ecstatic white light, pure, fragmented, transcendent.
Ensemble Economique tickets are now on sale from www.ticketline.co.uk and Piccadilly Records, Manchester.

NEIL CAMPBELL & MICHAEL FLOWER

The joyful, celebratory, improvisations of Leeds’ Neil Campbell & Michael Flower are some of the most thrilling live performances you’re ever likely to behold. The two operated at the core of one of the UK’s most celebrated improv groups, Vibracathedral Orchestra, until 2006 when Campbell left to begin his fractured electronic project, the lauded and highly prolific Astral Social Club. Since then, Flower has most famously performed as part of a duo with drummer extraordinaire Chris Corsano, as well as sitting-in with the likes of Sunburned Hand of the Man and MV&EE, and continuing to build the Vibracathedral legacy.

In 2010, Flower and Campbell performed their first show together in four years - as a duo. Since then, they have gone on to stun their audiences, blending the pulsating face-melt of the Velvet Underground at their most ferocious with a Hindustani classical sensibility and free-form Metal Machine Music soup. This runaway train of rock at its most deconstructed will be performing at Night & Day, opening for Ensemble Economique on Thursday August 2nd. Nick Mitchell asked Neil Campbell a few questions in anticipation of the show.

CREPUSCULE: When you left Vibracathedral Orchestra in the middle of the last decade, most people must have thought that was the end of your collaboration with Mick Flower. What was the impetus behind this reunion?
 
N.C.: You can’t keep a good dog down… Well, a few years ago Mick had a solo gig in London and he asked if I’d like to do it as a duo. I thought it was a great idea, but I couldn’t make the date. So, when I was offered a similar gig in Leeds a few months later I put the same propsotion to Mick and, happily, he accepted. There were a few points, towards the end of my Vibracathedral days, when Mick and I would be the only two who’d turn up for a rehearsal, so we already knew we could kick it out as a duo, but the shape the music took this time round was very pleasantly surprising for me. 

CREPUSCULE: For a lot of people, I think. In a way, it feels more cohesive, I guess in the sense that it’s more immediately referential. Even amidst the most blazing, soaring moments of chaos, there’s a pulse and a chug that brings it back almost to ‘garage rock’ level. Was that a conscious, planned decision? 
 
N.C.: No, no planning to sound like this. That said, I think it was Mick’s initial insistence that he was only interested in playing guitar, so I thought back to what used to work best in those rare Vibracathedral duos we did, and it was when I just played my battered old Casio. None of the massed intrumentation of some Vibracathedral sessions to move between. So, by limiting ourselves instrumentally it forced us to focus a lot more on what we were each playing, so we’re a lot more intense I think than most of the things we played in Vibracathedral. Simple, really, but a small revelation for me. 
 
CREPUSCULE: Does spontaneity play as big a part in this project as it did when you played together in Vibracathedral Orchestra?
 
N.C.: Sure, but only now we have a reduced pallette, so it encourages a little more aggression/excitement to our playing. Also, we do have a handful of “tunes” we can pull out, even if they’re wildly different each time we play them. 

CREPUSCULE: The two of you seem to have quite divergent tastes from conversations I’ve had with you individually. Where do those tastes merge and is that the point at which your duo finds its centre?
 
N.C.: Well, nothing worse than bands where they all have the same tastes, musical and otherwise. We both have our own things goin’ on, but there’s plenty of common ground that maybe comes out when we play together - a deep shared love of the Velvets would be perhaps the most obvious one. Sometimes I think we’re running through a load of rock’n’roll archetypes we’ve internalised over the years, mashing ‘em up in a completely unplanned, non-reverential, slapdash kinda way. Mick undoubtedly hears it differently, but for me it seems we’re sometimes playing a wild amalgam of, say, “Mystic Eyes”, “European Son” and “Swastika Girls” all at the same time. Basic old-guy routines. Things that live in our bones. But we put them together in a way that I don’t think anyone has done much before. We’re not a heritage act, y’know?

CREPUSCULE: At previous shows I’ve seen, you seem to egg each other on to continue playing. Even when the set has come to what appears to be a conclusion, you’ll pick it up again and take it back to stratospheric levels. Do you fear the ‘comedown’ of a particularly sky-scraping set?
 
N.C.: Nah, I always said when we were playing in Vibracathedral that it followed a really natural structure, like a breath, or a day, or a year, or a lifetime. Each of those things has a very basic movement from beginning to end, with few variations and deviations between. Maybe with there being only two of us now the variations and deviations are more apparent. 

CREPUSCULE: The pair of you have always straddled the boundary between devotional music and pure, hedonistic revery. How do you feel about what you play? Is it a spiritual experience?
 
N.C.: As spiritual as any music is, sure. We’re not monks or nothing, but we both roughly concur on the idea of music as a means of rapid transportation out of the quotidian. It’s the quickest way to get you THERE that we know of. And once you’re in there with it all happening, ideas like “sacred” and “profane” just fall away.

CREPUSCULE: Do you have a record in the pipeline?
 
No we don’t. We’ve talked about making a concerted effort to record something “properly”, and will undoubtedly do something about it soon, but for now we just like turning up, plugging in and kicking out the jams. 

Neil Campbell & Michael Flower play Night & Day, opening for Ensemble Economique, on Thursday 2nd August 2012. Tickets are on sale now from www.ticketline.co.uk and www.seetickets.com

DERELICTE CLIP

The good (well… BAD) folks at Tranarchy just sent us this pretty wonderful promo clip for their forthcoming ZOOLANDER DERELICTE BALL on Friday 25th May. That’s this Friday. Anyway, wrap your peepers around this!

FORMER BULLIES

Few Manchester music stalwarts sound as current, essential and exciting at Former Bullies, who’ve been plying their laidback indie rock around the city for almost a decade. In advance of their Night & Day gig on Tuesday 22nd May, opening for Girls Names, Nick Mitchell talked to Former Bullies singer/guitar player/songwriter Nick Ainsworth to find out why the world has taken so long to catch on.

CREPUSCULE: Former Bullies have been around for, what, eight years now? Yet only now does it seem, to paraphrase Sean Astin in The Goonies, like it’s ‘your time’. What do you think?

FORMER BULLIES: I don’t know really, it feels like it’s been ‘our time’ a few times in the past, and then nothing really happened. I feel like within this ‘our time’ at least we’ve put out a record that we’re all really pleased with and it was done in a really honest sort of way. I don’t necessarily mean, like, we didn’t sell out, or, we didn’t change our sound to fit current trends, I just mean that Neil (C/F Records & Girls Names) seemed to genuinely love the recordings and without any back handed weirdness really wanted to put the record out and just did it, without any false starts - just did it. I wish everything in life worked liked that. 

CREPUSCULE: You’re one of the most prolific songwriters in the city. Tom [Settle - Former Bullies drummer] told me that you’re able to start playing a riff and make up lyrics on the spot and, within five minutes of jamming, you’ve got a completed new song. What inspires such a rocket-fuelled level of productivity?

FORMER BULLIES: I honestly don’t know. Perhaps to make up for lacking in proficiency on the riff front, I’ve always had to offer something else. I have the ability to karaoke over as yet unwritten songs - this is my blessing, this is my albatross.   

CREPUSCULE: Your influences have always crept out subtly - Neil Young and The Lemonheads in the early days, The Byrds, The Bachs more recently - but you’ve always sounded exactly like Former Bullies. What’s the essence of your vibe and what’s on your stereo at the moment?

FORMER BULLIES: The essence of our vibe is melody over length, fervour over skill, long-lasting friendships over fleeting professional relationships. I think we have progressed or changed as a band and probably because we’ve always been really honest, there hasn’t been a end goal, there’s just ideas, undoubtedly ideas that are influenced by the records and bands we love. I feel like a lot of bands at the moment decide on their ‘vibe’ before they’ve even played together, leading to a pretty shallow, short-lived and unfulfilling experience for them and me. As for my stereo at the moment: you got your Peter Grudzien, your German Measles, The Mantles, The Rats - you know the drill.  

CREPUSCULE: You put out your awesome debut LP recently, Golden Chains on CF Records, which captures some of your most recent songs. Thing is, much of the other Former Bullies back catalogue came out on now long-gone cassettes, CD-Rs, 7”s and ‘demos’. How do you feel about the obsolescence of your older material and do you have any plans to compile it somewhere at some point?

FORMER BULLIES: Not really. No plans. If someone wanted to pay to do that I’d be really keen, but at the moment we’re keeping on keeping on - looking forward and looking forward. The two cassette albums that Comfortable on a Tightrope released are available online in digital form and i think that’s enough, the people who got the real things got something limited and special and they deserved it.

CREPUSCULE: What’s next? Surely you already have enough for at least another two full-length records? 

FORMER BULLIES: For Former Bullies, certainly recording some new songs, we’ve got about twelve ready to roll, just need to commit them to history. For Tom and I, along with Ed from Sex Hands, we’ve got the debut Dinner Party cassette album coming out in July on Life Dunk International. I’ve also been doing this concept act called Jessop & Williamson (jessopandwilliamson.tumblr.com) - it was meant to be a one off, but it’s too much fun so we’re going to bring them back from the future a couple more times. Really keen to keep this Former Bullies ball a rolling though, so, as per, open to offers.

Former Bullies open for Girls Names on Tuesday 22nd May 2012. Some tickets are still available from seetickets.com and ticketline.co.uk

TRANARCHY

The name says it all really. Manchester’s number one (in our opinion) queer night has united peoples the city over in tranny chaos. Outcasts and the in-crowd; chavs and punx; people who like dressing up, people who like dressing down; straight, gay, bi, lesbian, trans, who gives a hoot? The only philosophy is do everything you do to the max and make damn sure you look HOT while doing it. It’s about as positive an experience as it gets and, now, Night & Day is proud to welcome the Tranarchy crew for a one-off Zoolander Derelicte Ball spectacular on Friday 25th May. Nick Mitchell chatted to one of the super brains behind all that androgyne brawn, The Niallist.

CREPUSCULE:What’s the ethos behind Tranarchy? It’s the one ‘queer night’ that seems to occur both inside and outside of The Viillage. 

NIALLIST: Tranarchy is essentially a party for people who feel excluded from mainstream culture (and mainstream gay culture) but who still like dressing up and showing off. In the immortal words of the original NY club kid James St James, “Got a hump on your back? Well, throw some glitter on it and come dancing!” That pretty much sums us up. 

In that respect we do like to work within AND outside of what is considered the Manchester “gay scene”. There may be a lot wrong with it, but it’s important to remember that many, many cities don’t even have a “gay village”! Tranarchy is all about inclusion, not division. 

CREPUSCULE: It’s becoming a hugely popular, trans-cultural monthly event. What is it that makes you have such broad appeal? Or is it just because it happens in Manchester?

NIALLIST: Hmm, that’s hard to answer - I don’t really want to analyse what we do that too closely in case it loses any of its magic! Maybe it’s got to do with our “inclusive” vibe? One thing I will say is that there is no one else doing what we do on the Manchester scene at the moment, so I guess we are filling a gap in the market. As for Manchester, it’s a great place to put on a night like this, as the crowd are into getting dressed up, but also not afraid of getting sweaty and dirty, getting drunk and dancing all night. 

CREPUSCULE: So, you’re doing a Zoolander themed party. How come no one already thought of this?

NIALLIST: Well, you’d be surprised at how many people have not seen it. It’s not quite reached the cult-comedy status of Austin Powers, but it is getting there. Plus the fact that it only came out 12 years ago means that it is only now old enough to start being thought of as “Cult” and “Classic”. But it’s important to remember that Zoolander is the film that essentially broke Will Ferrell and Owen Wilson, two of the most popular comedians of our time, into the mainstream. 

As for the Derelicte Ball, it’s such an incredibly simple idea that we kinda HAD to do it. Making unique haute couture outfits out of bits of rubbish and everyday trash is something everyone can join in with, and on a meta-wank level, it’s all a comment on fashion industry exploitation, dahhhling.

CREPUSCULE: So, what can we expect from the Derelicte Ball? 

NIALLIST: Well, Night & Day is gonna get decorated in a Derelicte style, with bin bags, traffic cones, signs, bits of rubbish, that kind of thing. We’re encouraging people to get involved, with half-price entry for anyone in a Derelicte outfit. But don’t expect to get in half-price just by sticking a cardboard box on your head! Katinka will be patrolling the door…

Firstly we are gonna screen the film at 9pm. There will be a little bit of live performance immediately before and after the film, plus we are hoping Night & Day might be able to make us a special “Orange Mocha Frappucino” cocktail to serve up to thirsty punters! Or maybe a foamy option, though that makes me farty and bloated. 

After the film there will be a short break before the actual Ball begins. There will be electropop, fashion-house, and soothing ’80s classics played by our evil DJs (who may even start “breakdance fighting”). There will be a full live set by the House of Tranarchy Live Revue (featuring The Niallist, Kurt Dirt, Pam Grier, Midnight Growler & more) and after that the prize giving ceremony. There will be prizes for best Derelicte outfit, and also on-stage “walk-off” and “Blue Steel” competitions. David Bowie will be on hand to judge these. 

After that is dancing until the wee small hours! And after that, the after party. There is always an after party. 

CREPUSCULE: Who’s your favourite Zoolander character and why?

NIALLIST: It has to be Hansel, he’s so clueless but likeable! Though I am going dressed as Maury Ballstein, Zoolander’s agent, so expect to get your tuckush squeezed… 

CREPUSCULE: What do you say to anyone thinking of lighting a cigarette during a petrol fight at a service station?

NIALLIST: ”Do the Jitterbug!”

Tranarchy’s Zoolander Derelict Ball takes place at Night & Day on Friday 25th May. It’s £6 on the door or £3 if you dress ‘Derelicte’. Which we advise you do!

FRANK FAIRFIELD

Super psyched to see this 20-something man-out-of-time playing his own incredible compositions alongside a selection of classic American folk traditionals at Night & Day on Weds 29th August 2012. Tickets are on sale now from www.ticketline.co.uk and www.seetickets.com

WARM WIDOW

Manchester’s underground rock scene has altered dramatically over the past six years or so. Where you once found angular Albinisms, Marshall stacks turned to 11 and blacker-than-black attire adorning pretty much every stage in the city, now you’ll find plaid shirts, lolloping Pavementisms and Fender combos. Not that one qualitatively supersedes the other - it’s nice that eras are punctuated by distinct styles - but it’s wonderful to see some of Manchester’s shall we say ‘more seasoned’ musicians capturing the attention of the city’s young pups.

Enter Warm Widow, a brooding monster of a rock band that recalls the glory of early ’90s Sub Pop and Touch & Go. Fronted by former Tsuji Giri singer Martin Greenwood, the band also features heavy-fisted drummer Lianne Steinberg, formerly of Breaking Colts and Jackie O along with ex-Sonar Yen bass player Zak Hane. There are elements of Flying Saucer Attack to their sound. Pop songs that shouldn’t be pop songs. Seriousness crushes smiles just as rock breaks scissors. Nick Mitchell talked to the band about their eschewing of the current hipness.

CREPUSCULE: It’s a bit of a Manc ‘supergroup’ isn’t it, Warm Widow? Wanna expand on that and tell us how this line-up came about?

LIANNE: It’s only a supergroup to the people who bothered to notice the bands that constantly polluted the local music scene over the last decade. Had we really become successful we may have crashed and burned a lot sooner but instead, we’ve probably spent longer making music simply because we’ve always thrived on critical acclaim, very modest sales and a healthy dose of anonymity. 

MARTIN: It’s a long while since we were in the groups that we are ‘super’ from, but I think we all checked each other out when we played in them, and eventually we got to have a go of each other and liked it. 

CREPUSCULE: The name. It’s clearly a very nice name that conjures-up the kind of imagery we all love to go to sleep to. But what inspired it?

MARTIN: The name was given to us by a friend. None of us came up with it. It’s certainly better than anything I could have come up with deliberately, so they really did us a favour. A few other ‘___ Widow’ bands have become quite well known since we adopted the name, but ours is the most dirty.

ZAK: Does that make us Emo?

CREPUSCULE: What drives you to make music?

LIANNE: For me it’s those moments when you’re all just playing around with ideas and it suddenly clicks into a potentially brilliant chorus or verse of a song. It’s not planned or worked out, it’s just instinctive and that’s quite a nice feeling – giving birth to a new sequence of notes and beats that make sense and then take on a personality. It’s essentially musical parenthood.

CREPUSCULE: That obviously makes complete sense, but can’t you give us a stupid answer?

MARTIN:  If you imagine Tetris and parenthood combined - then double it: that’s what drives me to make music. I am the mother and the father and the falling, rotating shape. I don’t try, I ‘I’.  

CREPUSCULE: Thanks. Your debut album, Widower, received some extremely high praise, in spite of the fact that your music doesn’t seem to give a hoot about what’s ‘hip’. Discuss.

MARTIN: I’m very proud of Widower and glad that it held its own. White Box who released it did a very good job for us in getting it out to people they were convinced would enjoy it, and happily we got some really good reviews. We’re as parochial as you get bandwise - it think we’d played one gig outside Manchester before Widower came out - so it was nice to get some radio play and be written about by people in far-flung places like Tulsa and Leeds. I’m actually quite upset that I’m not considered hip, and have a sort of wounded, uninvited resentment about it. I’d like it to be more apparent to people that I’m great in a sort of hazy and timeless way. But I’m not, and I think that works its way into the music.

CREPUSCULE: I think you’re getting me wrong there. I’m not calling you square, I’m just asking, ‘is it really that cool or important to be part of the zeitgeist?’

LIANNE: I am relieved to say I have no time for hipness. I pretty much play what I instinctively feel is right for the bass lines that Zak randomly invents and the guitar riffs Martin works so hard to perfect. Widower was written over a few years so to worry about it sounding in step with other stuff would have caused me to want to slam my head into my kick drum. Repeatedly.

ZAK: The ‘hip’ don’t give a hoot about us. That’s hip.

CREPUSCULE: Yeah, that’s the answer I was kinda driving at. Anyway, with that in mind, your newer songs are much more ‘populist’, structurally speaking (without being zeitgeisty). Is there a master plan? 

MARTIN: With Warm Widow there’s very little planning. I consider us to be being pretty forward-thinking if we have a gig lined up in the next two weeks. The only real plan there has been since Widower has been to make another collection of recordings at some point, and we’ve been working towards that ever since it was released. We’ve always been pretty melodic and 62% of the songs on Widower have a verse-chorus-verse-chorus-mental bit-end bit sort of structure. We haven’t strayed too far from that with the latest songs, but there is something just more obviously ‘straight’ about some of them. It’s just the way they’ve come out though - they’re all things that have just happened to splurt out of us when improvising - rather than us trying to look song smart for a pop job interview. In the most recent rehearsals we seem to be turning back the other way though, already rebelling against the time we went mainstream.

Warm Widow play at Night & Day on Tuesday 26th June. Door price is £5.

WOODEN WAND AND HIS *BIG MOUTH*

Lexington, Kentucky’s James Toth aka Wooden Wand is one of the world’s most treasured exponents of the songwriting craft. The modern day equivalent of a Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen or Bob Dylan, he operates in a world where notions of stardom are no longer appropriate to singer-songwriters (reality TV shows create stars these days - incredible lyrics shot right to the heart through plaintive, gnarled songs, sadly, don’t). Only those true enough to stay the course of the rock’n’roll dream have fully ‘discovered’ Wooden Wand - labels like Thurston Moore’s Ecstatic Peace, Michael Gyra’s Young God and, now, Fire Records - and it’s to the benefit of the world that they have. Nick Mitchell talked to Toth about his new album, Jim Ford and the place of the songwriter in contemporary society.

CREPUSCULE: Your latest album, Briarwood, is on Fire Records. How did that relationship come about?

WW: I’d been in touch with John and James for a while and when the opportunity came to work with them, it seemed like a great fit. Hanging out with them in person only confirmed that. Great label, great roster, great dudes.  

CREPUSCULE: It’s got a different vibe to your earlier releases. Shuffle beats, hammond organ, etc. Is it your Highway ‘61?

WW: Ha! I think Second Attention was my Highway 61. This one is more like my New Morning. The next one is my, err… Horse Rotorvator [amazing Coil LP from 1986 - Ed]. As long as we’re being audacious with comparisons.  

CREPUSCULE: Your lyrics are incredibly conversational, which, as a listener, gives the feeling that I’m only being told half a story. And yet therein lies the beauty - each listener provides his/her own response. Is that a conscious decision?

WW:  I like your take on it! I guess I don’t consider that sort of thing when I write. Whether fiction or non-fiction, I can really only offer my own perspective, but I like that people can theorize, speculate and argue about such things. In the studio for my last record, listening to the band all weigh-in about what a specific song was about was really revelatory for me - they were all wrong! But it was great to hear those perspectives. Because no one is really ‘wrong.’ 

CREPUSCULE: Last time you were over here, you said to me something along the lines of, ‘I imagine if Bruce Springsteen were starting out today, he’d probably be on a label like Jagjaguwar,’ meaning that the impact on the world of great songcraft has reduced dramatically in recent years. What exactly do you think has happened?

WW: I should mention that wasn’t a jab at Jagjaguwar - a great label by anyone’s standards - but a jab at the general disrespect contemporary indie rock press has for great songwriting. Many of the ‘greats’ of yesteryear would be languishing on small indies, surviving from show to show, in these hype-obsessed times. Not sure why this is, but it’s a bummer. Generally speaking, people don’t seem to care much about lyrics. It’s all attitude and atmosphere now. 

CREPUSCULE: You cover shitkickin’ country song ‘Big Mouth USA’ by Jim Ford on Briarwood. It’s a great song, but is there a connection you feel toward it beyond just that? Ha ha!

WW: I just love love love Jim Ford, and I remember wanting to cover that years ago when I first heard it. I just finally found the band to do it. I originally conceived it as a unison vocal kinda thing - think “Stevie” by Royal Trux - but it took on a life of its own and came out sounding pretty far out and unique. A friend of Jim Ford’s wrote me and told me he heard the song and that “Jim would have loved it.” That made my day.

Wooden Wand plays at Night & Day on Weds 27th June. Tickets are on sale now from www.ticketline.co.uk/order/tickets/13270834/ and www.seetickets.com

NEW WOODEN WAND VIDEO

This is the new video by James Jackson Toth aka Wooden Wand. The track comes from his brand new album Briarwood on Fire Records, which is one of the best records to come out this year so far. Wooden Wand plays at Night & Day on Weds 27th June. Tickets are on sale now from www.ticketline.co.uk and www.seetickets.com