Just back from a wonderful day in Manchester. Was gonna do the Sale gig but I’m skint and I’ve got an early one in the morning.
In the fantastic setting of the Palace Hotel in Manchester the “Louder Than Words” festival is set over 2 days and sees a whole wealth of talent giving talks. From Wilko Johnson to Jah Wobble to various ex members of The Fall there’s something for everyone.
We head downstairs after being assisted by the wonderful Gill who I believe is partly responsible for organising the weekend. Gives us a good feeling about proceedings. Walking into the venue, anywhere else you’d class it as the basement but in the Palace it’s a delightful room, tiled walls throughout, quite ornate beautiful really. There’s about 70 chairs laid out of which I’d say about 2 thirds are full but then there’s people stood at the back. It’s not a bad turnout but I’m surprised there’s not more people there. Clearly more people will be present at the gig – why not pop by for this? I did notice guardian journo and author of the amazing “The Fallen” Dave Simpson present – he’s interviewing ex Fall members tomorrow.
David Hepworth who deserves respect for Word magazine but possibly not for Smash Hits 😆 takes to the stage and gives us a bit of a potted history to his background and it’s most interesting. I knew bits and pieces but there was some interesting stories – clearly there’s a book in him in his own right. Bit depressing when he talks about wrapping up the excellent Word mag as there’s just not the interest there anymore. He introduces Hugh and Hugh pulls up a chair next to him onstage – There’s perhaps a clumsy couple of minutes when the pair of them realise that, despite years in the music industry crossing each others paths they’ve never really met each other. That said Hepworth does seem knowledgeable about Hugh’s past and gives references to some of the unfortunate journalists who did interview the Stranglers.
I don’t want to quote Hugh verbatim but there were some genuine new stories – highlights :-
1. Whilst recording the Nuclear Device video the pyrotechnic was creating bigger and bigger explosions and with each one he’d disappear behind a bush to masturbate.
2. There was quite a bit of detail around the recording of Golden Brown and how long it took to record. Hepworth seemed very shocked that JJ didn’t like it and refused to record bass on it. Hugh mentioned that the band sometimes played instruments on tracks that weren’t there standard fayre. Hugh stated that he played keyboards on a couple of tracks and even JJ probably played guitar on some.
3. Hugh volunteered religion as a topic to talk about and he had some interesting views about not having any religious views as such but he believes we’re here as some form of experiment.
4. Hugh also picked “fortune” as a topic of discussion. Talked about seizing the day when fortune is shining on you. Mentioned about managing a band after he left the Stranglers and got Langer and Winstanley involved (anyone know the band in question) – Apparently Langer invited one of the band members round to his house and he couldn’t be arsed to attend – Hugh understandably a tad miffed when he found out!
5. Hugh ended on a couple of songs – Stuck In Daily Mail Land and the Mexican version of Golden Brown – both good. Much applause and it’s all over.
I attempted to record this on my mobile – me being me I sat at the back and kept myself to myself so the recording might not be brilliant – I’ll have a look and if there’s enough interest I’ll stick it on here.