Thanks so much to Dave Squire for the interview! The Five Year Plan was another seminal band in Bristol, some of them will join later Tender Trap, Sportique and Beatnik Filmstars, among others. They only released a handful of things: a 7″ and a 12″, plus compilation appearances but I know there are many tracks lying around that I hope can be released one day on a retrospective album! Check more about The Five Year Plan on their myspace.

++ Hi Dave! Thanks so much for doing this interview! How are things going? Any special plans for the upcoming summer?

Things are good here thanks. Personally got an exciting summer as myself and girlfriend leaving England to move to the USA for 2 years. We have both got teaching jobs in Washington DC – really looking forward to that and exploring a new city and country!!

++ So let’s go back in time. Why did you decide to start a band?

I didn’t start the band, that was Tim and Rob. They started playing and practising, mostly in Tim’s garage and Rob’s living room while still at school. Finding drummers was difficult in our village so they asked someone who gave drum lessons to recommend his next pupil! That (luckily)was Phil Cox who was 13/14 at the time – I used to go and watch them rehearse and then replaced the original keyboard player (when i say keyboard I mean Casio button keyboard at the time!) after a couple of gigs.

++ The Five Year Plan is kind the continuation of a previous band, The Inane, right? What were the main differences between these two bands?

The Inane were a 4 piece, we played a few gigs all around Bristol really, picked up some decent reviews and most of what we recordedis nowavailable on “The Only Fun In Frampton Cotterell” (download through iTunes, Amazon etc) – obviously a reference to one of our favourite bands, Josef K, and the name of our home village north of Bristol.

We were meant to have a single released at the time which didn’t happen and I think we were disappointed, perhaps felt a bit restricted by just having the four of us and so metamorphosed into The Five Year Plan.

++ So how did you all knew each other? How did you all met for the first time? Were you friends beforehand being in the band? What will you consider the classic lineup of the band?

Me and Rob have known each other since we were about 5 years old (40 years ago now), and then Rob was at secondary school in Bristol with Tim. Oh yes well as The Five Year plan we wanted a slightly different sound, got Rob’s neighbour Andrea Moffatt in on guitar after we’d got Katy West in on vocals. I think Martin Whitehead, who was a friend of ours and of course ran Subway Organisation, knew her – she came along to an audition/practice, sang Femme Fatale and was in. We always wanted at least another guitarist liveas well as Tim and a mate of ours, Jeremy Woods, later joined as well. Andrea left and we had another guitarist joined for a while but didn’t really fit in – at one stage Richard Bell from The Blue Aeroplanes played with us as well, he played a few gigs and played on some recordings we did.

++ Why the name The Five Year Plan?

The Five Year Plan? We liked the sound of it! It was a bit left wing, we had a song “What Is To Be Done?” that re-used the title of a Lenin book. Bloody Thatcher was running the country at the time!

++ Bristol during those late 80s was a happening place, from The Brilliant Corners to the Flatmates, Sarah Records to Tea Time Records, etc, etc. Why do you think Bristol was having a much more robust scene for guitar pop bands than most of the other cities of UK?

In retrospect Bristol was a pretty happening place throughout the late 70s and early, mid and late 80s, I’m not sure we appreciated it at the time! Anyone who wants to know more about Bristol music should check out Bristol Archive Records here on Myspace – Mike released our Inane recordings and loads of great stuff – one of our favourites was The Electric Guitars who we saw a lot of times.
We knew the Brilliant Corners, in fact one of our early Inane gigs was with them – always thought Davey Woodward was a great and very underrated songwriter. The Blue Aeroplanes were good of course. I flat/house shared with Martin and Sarah from The Flatmates and Tim played in the Flatmates at the end – unfortunately literally the end as he was in a fight with Martin on stage at ULU. I don’t know whether Bristol had a particularly stronger scene than anywhere else to be honest. We knew Claire and Matt from Sarah records to say hello to but I don’t remember many of their bands being particularly local – Tramway I think butI never saw them live.

++ Talking about Bristol, I was there last February, really lovely town. I’m wondering if it has changed a lot since the days of The Five Year Plan? Where were the places to go to see bands or to hang out? There was Revolver Records too right?

Bristol? I don’t live there anymore, in fact I haven’t since the end of 1989 so I’m probably not the best qualified to talk about how it’s changed. Lots of the places that we used to go to and play have gone of course, like Revolver Records and venues like the Stonehouse, Bristol Bridge, Tropic and Western Star Domino Club. Again Bristol Archive Records myspace site and web page talks about a lot of the defunct venues. The Thekla and the Louisiana are still going I think and special mention th the Thunderbolt which an old mate of ours from Frampton, Dave Macdonald runs, putting on live music.

++ Would you share any anecdote or secret about the Bristol scene that many might not know?

Bristol scene anecdotes? Not sure again that I know that many!! Sharing a flat with Martin Whitehead as I did when he was running Subway and putting on gigs was always interesting – I can reveal that Pop Will Eat Itself were very house proud and very good guests, washing up after themselves. The Clouds (including Norman Blake) had some novel ways of getting themselves alchohol when the shops and pubs were shut!

++ Who were Breaking Down Records?

Breaking Down Records? Was us basically, named after The Only ones song, although yes, the Airspace LPs were also released on Breaking Down.

++ I have the 7″ for “Hit the Bottle”, but you also released a 12″ for “Nothing Will Go Wrong”, which I still haven’t been able to find. Care to tell me about this one? What do you remember from the recording sessions? Is it much different to the sound of the 7″?

I’m not surprised you can’t track down a copy of our first single! We only pressed 500 copies, 12″ only though I have met people that actually bought it. There were 4 songs, Nothing Will Go Wrong, Brand New Car, Give Me A Lifetime & Something To Make You Laugh. I think some of the songs will appear on the compilation that Tim is putting together for Bristol Archive records. The recordings could probably have been a bit more muscular than they were, certainly live versions I’ve heard were more dynamic, and in the case of Brand New Car, much faster!

++ You also participated on both Airspace compilations? How did you end up in those? Those were compilations to raise money for a charity, right? Do you remember what kind of charity it was?

Yes, we were on both Airspace compilations – as far as I remember the charity was to provide opportunities for children with various physical disabilities to enjoy activities like trampolines etc. Bit vague I’m afraid. I’m pretty sure that Rupert who was a member of The Groove Farm worked for them and organised the records and we lent him the label for release.

++ I’ve heard you got many unreleased songs. What happened? Why weren’t they released? Are there any plans to release them one day perhaps?

There are quite a few unreleased songs – we planned a single late on and as usual for us it didn’t get round to appearing!!As said before, Tim is putting together a compilation for Bristol Archive Records like he did for The Inane – there are a few bits from gigs that might get used, the first single, the “Martin Bramah” recordings, and also songs from a session that we did with Richard Bell from The Blue Aeroplanes salvaged from an old cassette!

++ So you wrote a song called Martin Bramah. I have to ask then, if you ever saw The Blue Orchids live? Maybe you even got a chance to talk with Martin?! And yes, what are your favourite 5 songs by them?

The song “Martin Bramah” would have been on that – Tim and Rob especially were big fans of The Fall and we all loved The Blue Orchids – Tim has, of course, recently had Martin Bramah guesting on a song by his new band, the Short Stories – check out their myspace page too, they’re excellent!Wesaw The blue Orchids supporting Echo & the Bunnymen in Bristol andalso at a gigat theLyceum in London with the Comsat Angels and (I think) The Sound. I saw The Sound masses of times so it’s difficult to be sure

++ I’m also wondering about the song “Pumpin’ for Jill”, was it based in a real character?

Pumpin’ For Jill? it’s an Iggy Pop song, not sure what album it’s on a late 70s/early 80s I guess. I think it was in Choo Choo Train’s live set (they also did Shake Some Action and a Paul Collins song and teenage Kicks I think as well). Me and Tim got on well with them, Tim offered to pay for some time in the studio. They did the backing tracks very quickly, they took ages teaching me the keyboard part (I had to use more than 3 fingers at a time!!) and Tim sang lead, with us all lending backing vocals. Loved doing it, and hoping it will turn up on the 5YP compilation.

++ What about gigs? Did you gig a lot? Do you remember any in particular? What about that gig with The Housemartins in the Thekla?

The gig with the Housemartins was great. I was a big fan and had already seen them loads of times in London. The Thekla was packed and I’ve still got a tape of the gig – again bits should be on the compilation. We didn’t play much outside of Bristol, supported The Weather Prophets, Jazz Butcher, Nightingales

++ Why and when did you call it a day with The Five Year Plan?

I think at the time none of us were quite committed enough to keep things going. Also we all started living in different cities so things kind of petered out. Rob of course has played with Heavenly, Marine Research, Sportique and now Tender Trap. Tim played and plays with Beatnik Filmstars, Kyoko, Forest Giants and now the Short Stories who everyone should check out. Jer has a covers band, we think Phil is a builder in Spain and Katy is still in Bristol I think. I haven’t done anything since music wise apart from listen to other people!


The Five Year Plan – See You in Heaven


Thanks soooooo much to Dennis Wheatley for this interview. The Doris Days is my favourite band that never got to release anything. They were so good! I had the chance to exchange a couple of emails a year ago or so with Hayley who was also in the band, you can read about it here. Now luckily I had the chance to talk with Dennis, who was the band’s leader, on this extensive interview. I hope their recordings resurface one day, for now be sure to check this bootleg of The Basement gig on Dave Driscoll’s blog. Enjoy!

++ Hi Dennis! Thanks so much for doing the interview! Who were The Doris Days? When did the band formed? How did you know each other?

The Doris Days were:
Dennis Wheatley- me – singing, guitars, drum machines and songs
Vanessa Norwood- singing
Nic Wilson- trumpet, cornet
Simon Forrest- cello
Ed Down- guitar
Hayley Morton- keyboards
Rachel Norwoood- guitar
The band essentially grew out of songs I was writing on a course in Brighton called Expressive Arts.This gave me access to a studio (which I’d literally take my sleeping bag into for the weekend) and so The Doris Days’ recordings were made before any notion of a band. It was just me layering stuff and eventually found Simon and Nic who played trumpet and cello which started to take the songs into a whole other space which was lovely.
Ness was my girlfriend, Rachel was her younger sister (so young in fact that I think she was barely 16 at the time).
I’d met Hayley through Ness and Ed. Well Ed he was the odd one out. He wasn’t living in Brighton (in fact his day job was repairing RAF fighter jets in Norfolk) he would travel down whenever he could, full of mad energy and enthusiasm (quite a lot of it in Hayleys direction it must be said!).
He was brother of Simon Down and co-owner of the Pink label (June Brides, Wolfhounds, etc, etc)
I’m struggling to remember how we met but I remember being at his house in East London playing some songs in a lofi way and ed saying that although he couldn’t really play the guitar yet he absolutely wanted to be in the band.
It was quite a diverse bunch of people to say the least, but there was a lot of good feeling and excitement about the whole thing.
I was always quite ambitious with what I thought the band would be capable of. My reference points at the time would have been Phil Spector and Trevor Horn. BIG production!.

++ Was this your first band? Were band members involved with any other pop bands before or after The Doris Days?

Not my first band really. They would be:

One Potato- me and Stephen Harris (later of “The Aurbisons”),

Flapp- me and Sandra/Fred (who was in “12 Cubic Feet”)

Solid Space- I joined up with Matthew and Dan and we played a few gigs wrote some songs and recorded a bit in Brighton.

One Potato – used the name again for a series of gigs (”One Potato One”, “One Potato Two” etc etc.. think we got up to six?). The nucleus of these nights were myself, Jane Fox (Marine Girls) and Olly Sagar (amazing singer songwriter who sadly not enough people have heard!). We’d sing songs like Lazy Ways (I got to sing that) and other songs by Olly and me. Looking back it was part cabaret/part gig. We used to charge £1.25 to get in, spend all the money on making things to give away on the night (one night everyone got a shoe box with a present in it given out by a fully costumed father christmas in the middle of summer). We’d get other people to play too. The only ones I can remember are Clive Pig and Virginia Astley. I’d show my holiday slides, we’d play the strangest music (Reg Barney, Hughie Green, all sorts of nonsense),

I stood on stage with “Grab Grab the Haddock” a few times playing out of time percussion too, does that count?

++ Why did you choose the name The Doris Days? Were you a fan of Doris Day at all?

No not a fan at all. My dad is a huge Doris Day fan though so I’m sure that had more than a little to do with it,constantly hearing her name, etc.I was pretty relieved to change the name eventually.

++ Were you indiepop kids? I mean, did you listen to indiepop back then? or maybe even today? What were your favourite bands then?

No, not really.
I’d embraced that scene quite a bit.. I’d been on tour with the June Brides and Shop Assistants doing their live sound mixing and loved the spirit of their time. Loved meeting up with people all over the country and writing loads of letters about nonsense! loved everyone throwing themselves around in small rooms above pubs.
My music tastes had always been pretty diverse. I loved Chic as much as I loved the new Bodines single.
Favourite bands of the time would have been The June Brides, biased of course because I saw them so much. The Television Personalities for their unpredictability swagger and poise! Durutti Column,Microdisney, The Wild Swans,Eyeless in Gaza, New Order, Nick Drake, Love, Felt, Josef K, Primal Scream (there formative year anyway!), The Go Betweens, The Cure, The Buzzcocks, McCarthy, Cabaret Voltaire, lots of stuff on Crepescule, Wim Mertens I’ll have to stop the list now but I used to go to sleep listening to Virginia Astley’s “From Gardens Where We Feel Secure” or Durutti Columns first album. I was also a sucker for electro pop and loved the sound of the Pet Shop Boys early on.

strong>++ You only recorded one demo, right? Which songs were included there? Was this recorded at Grant La-Di Da’s kitchen?

You know I really can’t remember recording a Doris Days demo. I don’t think we did as such, all of the recordings from that time would have been done at college. I’ve been throwing all of the old reel to reels away recently(digitising some along the way).<
I don’t think we recorded at Grants as the Doris Days. I do remember us rehearsing later on as ‘Pacific’ and also playing a couple of songs at one of his kitchen gigs again as Pacific but just me, Ness and Rachel(think we played a cover of ’streets of your town’).

++ By the strength of what I’ve heard (which is the live gig Dave shared in his blog and “Another Day”) I’m surprised you didn’t release anything! Why was that? Were you in any other compilations?

Well things moved pretty quickly. (I think?!) between being “The Doris Days’ and renaming and resizing as ‘Pacific’.It was essentially the same band minus Hayley and Ed

++ Why didn’t the split 7″ release with The June Brides happen? Maybe you had any other releases planned?

Again this is where memory fades. I do remember having a silly falling out with Grant over something and I think this may have been it.
I honestly cant remember if he didn’t want to release it or I didn’t!
I seem to remember it was one of my recordings of a live June Brides show in Holland (?) with a rather raucous version of Sheena is a Headbanger (joined by ‘The Janitors’ on stage), probably sounded a good idea at the time. Hey Grant have you still got my cassette?!! I’m sorry if it was my fault!

++ How many songs did The Doris Days had in their repertoire? Did you gig a lot?

Probably about 10 songs! No we didn’t gig a lot, I think the basement gig you have was our second (final?) gig. That was the night Hayley and Ed got so drunk and disorderly that I asked them to continue their studies elswehere. (half joking).

++ I heard you were quite involved with indiepop and among other things you were part of the Big Twang club in Brighton! Which were the favourite gigs you booked? What was the best of running a club during those years

Yes, the Big Twang.That was great fun to be involved with. It was set up by four of us who wanted to create something a bit more homely! Create an atmosphere and community that would enjoy seeing each other every week and come along what ever the band.
It kind of evolved out of the Potato nights I’d put on previously.
Good value (always 3 bands for £2.50), a weekly fanzine type thing given out at the door, we’d try and decorate the place (the old Escape Club on the seafront in Brighton) by getting the end of print rolls from the newspaper printers. Huge rolls of newsprint that we’d hang up and paint things on.
I’d also show my slides again(!) and bit by bit I started to operate the sound mixer for the bands because the PA guy got fed up with me constantly asking him to turn something up or down.
This is how I ended up doing the live sound for the June Brides and the Shop Assistants.
Favourite gig would have to be the Magical Mystery Twang. Not sure how I organised it but I had this utopian idea that running a club would mean taking everyone on a journey at some stage. A kind of collective escape with our shared soundtrack. I was thinking of hiring a cruise ship but I figured the club wasn’t that popular yet so I settled on the idea of hiring 2 coaches and having a mystery tour.
Idea being that no one would know the bands who were playing they would all just trust me and buy the tickets!
Decided to charge £6 a ticket, asked the coach companies how far we could get for £400 they said Dorset so I said fine we’ll go that way. Spoke to someone who’s name I cant remember who lived in Dorset (friend of ‘The Chesterfields’) and somehow arranged to book a skittle alley in a pub in TempleCombe to house a gig.
I asked the June Brides and Shop Assistants and both were up for doing it, great news. I also asked the Television Personalities who loved the idea of it but then had to back out because of something terribly important that I cant remember.
Clive Pig agreed to be a wandering minstrel for the day and the rest as they say is history, well kind of.
I love Dave Driscoll’s description of the days events, very accurate me thinks:
The best of running a club was the collective energy and spirit, anything seemed possible.
It was all incredibly easy and down to earth as well. I’d speak to Alan McGee and say what 3 bands can we get for £250 and he’d always try and make me take the Weather Prophets. I’d always say No please can we pay more to not have them!! I think we ended up with them though. Alan was very persuasive!

++ Were you involved in the fanzine scene at all? Any favourites? Were the Doris Days featured in any?

No not really involved. I think the Doris Days were in some but I can’t remember which (bit of a theme my memory, sorry!)I used to get loads and loads of fanzines through the post and at gigs all over the place.

++ Do you miss those days in Brighton? What was the best of being part of The Doris Days?

I don’t miss those days, no. I’m always happy to move forward and embrace new things. I really enjoyed that time though. Felt very lucky to be involved in lots of different things, gave me a lot of confidence to go forward.

++ Why did the band called it a day? What did The Doris Days do after?

We didn’t call it a day. It was a bit unwieldy because there were so many of us and I guess something had to give. Hence the shrinkage to 5 instead of 7.
We then played an audtion for Alan McGee in my bedroom and he invited us to join Creation Records.
He wasn’t that keen on the name ‘Doris Days’ and so we thought of something a bit more appropriate and renamed the band ‘Pacific’.
Pacific made a couple of EPs for Creation. Played a few gigs the first and biggest being the ‘Doing it for the Kids’ all day show at the Forum (Town and Country Club as was then) in London and a tour with the House of Love.
We left Creation because there wasn’t the money to fund a big production in the studio to make an album .. which at the time I felt we needed.
We signed as Pacific to EMI/Capitol and Pacific shrunk from 5 to 3 to eventually 1: me.
Strange time because I was really getting into dance music, really loving stuff like ‘Strings of Life’ which I just couldn’t get out of my head for days.
We had a decent advance and spent it all on a couple of weeks recording one song in Sarm East and West Studios, lLondon and not really having anything to show for it.
£30,000 gone from the budget so I had to record at home and the only thing that was ever released on EMI was 2 promo 12″ by Pacific titled ‘Compassion’
An instrumental Balearic ditty that would be rerecorded as ‘Compass Error’ by my next group ‘Atlas’.
‘Atlas’ was myself and my A&R man from Capitol/EMI Tony Newland.
We made quite a few 12″ ‘Noontide’, ‘Compass Error’, ‘Beauty’. Did quite a few remixes of others (Fluke, Swordfish, Monaco, House of Love!) and eventually went quite downtempo with an albums worth of songs written with the rapper/poet Mc Buzz B.
Highlight for me of that period was meeting and working with the late great Billy Mackenzie. We recorded a cover of the Randy Newman (via Nina Simone) song ‘Baltimore’ and also worked on a Billy and Paul Haig song ‘Give Me Time’.
He was such an amazing character. Still sends shivers up my spine remembering the sound of him singing ‘Give Me Time’ in my hallway, so loud, incredible control. He would always be singing new songs to you. Would look you in the eye and sing the whole song a cappella from beginning to end.
I ran away from music for a while after that. Wondered what would happen if I threw myself into something else.
I chose architecture and had an amazing 4 years ending up living in Los Angeles working in a tiny office having the time of my life drawing up plans for Pierce Brosnans painting studio amongst other things.
I started listening to music again and really enjoying it. The local station was KCRW with a show called ‘Morning Becomes Eclectic’ was just amazing at the time. 3 hours of Avo Part next to The Beach Boys next to Eels etc, etc. It’s still going but not as good as when Chris Douridas was the DJ.
I was offered some money to come back to the UK and make an Atlas album. Billy Mackenzie said yes to singing some of the songs and so I agreed.
I came back and within a few months Billy had died.
I worked on with the Atlas project and eventually met someone called Nina Miranda (Smoke City, Underwater Love, etc, etc) who was in quite some mood to break free of her Smoke City constraints. She really sounded like a bird out of its cage and sang some of the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard. Really magical to record her.
We made an album together as ‘Shrift’ (bit of a connection back to the Brighton days). Started off in this amazing studio space by london bridge which had a window out onto the Thames. Ducks would come each day to be fed and we let the sound of the river into the recordings. That space is now a Starbucks.

Here’s a short film for one of the songs.<

These days I’m doing less writing and more mixing.
I will definitely make some more music soon but for now
I do sound mixing for film and tv programmes, after all everything is music!!

++ Anything else you’d like to add?

Thanks for the interest


The Doris Days – Another Day


Rorschach, a seminal Bristol indiepop band formed from the ashes of The Harpoons and who will later become Santa Cruz. Have you heard about them? Well, they only released one 7″, “Two Busted Flippers”, which is busting good! So you better pay attention this time around! Last year they reunited for a one-off gig in Bristol, and hopefully there will be some more of those. Thanks so much to Geoff and Steve (Yabbo), for being up for this interview! Also don’t miss this video of the band from last year’s practice before their reunion gig!

++ Hi Geoff! Thanks so much for being up for the interview! How are you doing? When was the last time you picked up your bass?

Geoff: Hi Roque. Sunday night. I recorded a track for my mate Tim Rippington with Tom Adams on drums. More of them later.

++ So let’s talk about Rorschach. The band was formed after The Harpoons, who I hope are a matter of another great interview. How did you all decide to start a new band? Who were the members?

Yabbo: From what I remember Jon Brokenbrow (the Harpoon’s drummer)hadquit and we decided to start a new band with the same line up – but withCris Warren on drums. Geoff and I had become friendly with Cris whileout busking in Bristol. Cris would tag along sometimes and playharmonica.

Geoff: the Harpoons had run their natural course. The new line up and material was a lot fresher and more punchy.

++ How did you know each other? And what inspired you all to have a band?

Yabbo: Geoff is my oldest friend – we met at primary school when wewere little children. I met Pete Stillman when I was about 14 and thethree of us pretty much learnt guitar together – often practising at ourhomes. We had a lot of very poor quality equipment. Because we were alllearning at the same time I think it was easier. Geoff and I met Scottin an old nightclub in Bristol called ‘Yesterdays’. We were looking fora new singer for the Harpoons and we went up to various good lookingblokes and asked them if they could sing – one of them was Scott. I seemto remember that he never got in touch, but then we met him again at aparty and it came together. He was a good front man – handsome andcharismatic – and he could sing.

Geoff: He wasn’t our first choice but he was the right one.

++ Is it true that Rorschach was named like that because of the character of Watchmen?

Yabbo: This is true – Pete, Geoff and I were all big comic fans at thetime and I remember going to conventions and meeting Alan Moore andFrank Miller – amongst others. I thought the character Rorschach inWatchmen was interesting – and I liked his name. There have been severalother bands with the same name.

++ If so, were you all big comic book fans? What other comic books did you like?

Yabbo: Big Spiderman fan – still got hundreds of mags. Also liked manyother Marvel characters – and Yummy Fur.

Geoff: I was big into Spiderman too. Also 2000AD back in the day.

++ Is the name of the EP, “Two Busted Flippers” a nod to Blood Simple by the Cohen brothers?

Yabbo: The name is a direct quote from the film – as you’ll hear at theend of Octopus – where there’s a clip of dialogue. I don’t know why wechose to call the record that – but I’m glad we did.

++ I was wondering if you could tell me a bit about each song on the EP? Like what’s the story behind them or any anecdote about them? Like, if Gabriel a real character?

Yabbo: Geoff wrote Captain Elastic – which is a great song – and Iwrote the other three. Gabriel is a just a love song about wantinganother chance. I called it Gabriel because of the power angelssupposedlyhave. Personally speaking – having written a lot of songs fora lot of bands – it’s one of my favourites. The one point of interest isthe line ‘Get your thoughts on line, there’s only one way and it’smine.’ That was written before the internet (at least I wasn’t aware ofit) and I intended ‘On line’ to simply mean get ‘get yourself together’.Luxury is a very short blast of powerpop. I played the solo on it -usually Pete played solos – but as it’s only one note it wasn’t toohard. Octopus is a song about creativity and doing loads of things
simultaneously. I was doing a lot of painting at that time as well asmusic and other stuff and I felt like I had limbs sticking everywhere.Unfortunately nothing generated any cash.

Geoff: Captain Elastic follows on from the Watchmen idea.It’s from the perspective of a small boy describing his favourite superhero who turns out to bea bit of a let down in reality.

++ What do you remember of the recording sessions?

Yabbo: Not very much – in truth recording usually involves a lot of
hanging about in dull rooms eating sandwiches.

Geoff: It’s so long ago I can’t remember specifics but Steve’s right – neither of us have much patience
for the process of going over mistakes and getting things precisely right.I much prefer getting things down as naturally as possible and moving onto something new.

++ Who were Big Truck Records?

Yabbo: It was our made-up record label. I think Pete chose the namebecause one of the characters on Brookside (the old Channel 4 soap) usedto call people ‘Big Truck’ as a term of endearment.

++ I also read that the EP received nice words from the NME and also from John Peel himself! And I bet you got more great press. What was the favourite thing they ever said about your band?

Yabbo: I’m sorry I don’t remember any press comments

Geoff: Me neither. Do you have any evidence?

++ Was this all you released? Why didn’t you get a chance to release more records underRorschach? And by the way, did you have any more songs? If so, I’d dream about a retrospective CD!

Yabbo: We did release a few cassettes – in limited numbers – includingthe Summer Palace which I’m very proud of. Sadly some of the originalrecordings have now gone missing. We never had much money, otherwise wewould have recorded and released much more. We never had any recordcompany funding – we paid for everything ourselves.

Geoff: We had little grasp of how to get involved with people who couldmake these things happen for us back then. It may sound a bit of a cliche butwe were never part of a ‘movement’ or a clique. Bristol was at the hub of Indiepop with Subway and Sarah records but we never fell into the right categories forthese or made the right friends.

Having said that we did release another EP as Rorschach in 1991 on the local Popgod label.It’s called the ‘New Kids’ EP. This was after Steve and Cris had left the band andmusically it’s quite different from Flippers. You may detect a certain ’summer of love’ influence.

++ I was in Bristol earlier this year, and likedthe city. It has a nice small town feeling, and I liked the hilly streets. Has it changed much from the Rorschach days? What were your favourite spots to hang out there then? Do you still live there?

Yabbo: We all still live in Bristol. The place has changed a lot – it’s much more difficult to park these days in the centre. Most of the places we used to perform like The Bristol Bridge Inn, The Western Star Domino Club and The Granary have long gone.

Geoff: ‘More difficult to park?’ You sound like John Shuttleworth!Bristol is a small city. It’s quite green with plenty of parks and the harbour in the centre of town makes it feel quite unique and can be quite beautiful. The downside to being a smallcity is that big projects are delayed or never happen at all. We often miss outcompared to Cardiff for example. For me, the worst change has been the building of massive expensivehousing developments on old industrial land on the harbourside.

++ What about gigs? Which venues were your favourite to play? And which gigs do you remember the most?

Yabbo: I always enjoyed playing live, although it was a hassle movingthe gear in and out. Playing the Bierkeller was fun – and Plymouth Poly.We probably only played about 25 gigs. I do remember that the very firstone was in a house in Fishponds in Bristol – on the same day as LiveAid.

Geoff: Was that Scott’s first gig? I think I got asked to leave that one.I remember playing in a church hall in Bishopston. That was a cracking night.

++ Bristol had quite a nice amount of exciting bands in the late 80s, from The Brilliant Corners to the Groove Farm. Who were your favourites in your town?

Yabbo: I liked the Corners – we played with them a few times. Most ofthe other acts seemed much more serious than us and they had betterequipment.

Geoff: The Coltraines were around then aswell. We also played some early gigs with Automatic D’lamini
who were very impressive and lovely people. John Parish went on to work with Polly Harvey.

++ You reformed for a one off gig at the Louisiana on 12th October 2009 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the EP release. How was that experience? Any differences from your heyday 20 years ago?

Yabbo: The gig was great – and we actually made some money. I think aswe were older we were all much more polite to each other.

Geoff: It’s funny how much more fun it is when you’re not trying to make it big.

++ I read that there is a full documentary about the band in the process of being made. When will this be out? What can we expect from it?

Yabbo: I shall be astonished if that ever gets made

Geoff: We made a video of us rehearsing which is/was up on youtube. Cris was talking aboutmaking an elaborate documentary detailing the history of the band using a complicatedmathematical formula. I think he’s still doing the maths.

++ When and why did you call it a day? What did you all do after?

Yabbo: We fell apart when Cris went to college in Hull. I went off andformed Quinton, the others carried on as Rorschach for a while, beforereforming as Santa Cruz.

Geoff: Most recently I joined the Beatnik Filmstars when they reformed aboutthree years ago. That was a lot of fun. At the moment I’m diddling around with aneight-track trying not to watch the football.

++ So what are you all doing nowadays? Any plans to do a another Rorschach gig maybe?

Yabbo: I currently present the daily lunchtime show on BBC RadioBristol

Geoff: We talked about doing another gig. Then we stopped talking. We may talksome more about it when we can think of something useful to say…

++ One last question, who do you think will win the World Cup? Any opinions about the English team?

Yabbo: Don’t remind me – but why not check out my England song:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gkb1PtkE_c

Geoff: I told him to record a Dutch version but he wouldn’t listen…


Rorschach – Gabriel:: Rorschach