The New Cue #336 November 17: Everything Everything, Danny Brown, Rowena Wise, The Smile, Kneecap, The Clockworks, Sea Girls, Idlewild
"We had a distortion pedal and a notebook with ten lines in it"
Hello and welcome to your weekly Recommender edition of The New Cue. Today, we’ve got Roddy from Idlewild telling us about how one of the band’s early cuts was written, Sea Girls and The Clockworks pick a mind-blower apiece and Chris and Niall make sure you can’t call Trading Standards to complain about us by doing some recommending. Yeah you thought this was going to be the week you got us didn’t you? You’ll never get us. You’ll never get us!
Today’s edition is for paying subscribers only, an honourable and actually really great smelling group of people who pay £5 a month for the privilege of full access to every edition. Come on, get involved Mr Whiffy! Here have a playlist you big stinkbomb:
Enjoy the edition,
Ted, Niall and Chris
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The Story Behind The Song
How we birthed a classic
Captain by Idlewild, 1998
Idlewild frontman Roddy Woomble on how the title track from the Scottish rockers’ 1998 mini-album came together…
“All the songs were written in our practice space in Edinburgh, Colour Sounds Audio, which is now a bike shop. We didn’t have a lot of money, I was still a student, Colin worked in Pizzaland, Bob was on the dole, so we’d have two practices a week and we’d cram as much as we could into those two or three hours and rehearse quickly. Someone would have a riff, I’d have some words and things would come together quite quickly. We played quite a lot as well, we played every other week and we’d try stuff out live and if people clapped we’d think, ‘OK, let’s carry on with that one’. If they didn’t, we wouldn’t play it again. They were very crass, riffs, me shouting over the top and Captain was one of the ones that really stuck. I’m a big fan of The Stooges, as were we all, and it was that Stooges sort of riff and it’s got this mantra-esque thing cos it’s just the same thing over and over again with the same refrain being shouted and the audience reacted to that straight away. Self Healer was another one from the Captain mini-album that had the same sort of reaction when we played it live.
They were refined a bit over time through performance and in the studio a little bit but largely they’re pretty raw. I think that’s what is cool about making music when you’re that age because you don’t have any reference points like, ‘Mmm, this could be better if we spend two months working on the words or if Rod uses one of a myriad of effects pedals’ – we didn’t have anything. We had a distortion pedal, three hours in our practice space and I had a notebook with ten lines in it. It was music of economy, limitation is freedom in that way.
There wasn’t really much going on in that year so the buzz bands at NME were Idlewild and a band called Ultrasound, who didn’t really last that long and were almost like prog-rock. We were one of the tips of the year and we got a lot of support from the Melody Maker and NME. Being Scottish realists, we never let anything get to us or get big-headed, or got scared by that kind of thing, we knew who we were.”
Captain was recently reissued as part of National Album Day.
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