The Average Blue Band

No alarms and no surprises, just good music. THE BLUETONES make a 'virtue from a lack of vice.

Words: Fiona Shepherd

'l‘he lyric 's‘mm’ti/nr’v (1 .y'llI()/\'('. (1 drink and u ponder/(Yin \t'()l'/\ wont/mix" l‘rom past single ‘lt'. . .' could almost sum tip The Bluetones' appeal. The llounslow hoys straddle the gulf between Oasis and Radiohead. They've got that capacity t‘or an uncomplicated ‘lil'e is cigarettes and alcohol‘ attitude hut they are thoughtful lads too. incorporating signs of cerehral activity into their melodically' insidious songs. They are testament to the fact that despite rock 'n‘ roll‘s propensity to honour extreme statements. good things can come in moderation.

‘\\'e're not tortured souls.‘ says guitarist and all-

round steady chap .-\dam Devlin. ‘nut I would say it'

you're a creative person you donit have to have had a lucked-up We in order to he a productive artist. We‘re not rock 'n' roll suicides. so hecause we're reasonahly sane and unal‘l'ected people. people assume we‘ve had a very sal‘e. nice middle class upbringing and it‘s not the case at all. We have skeletons and demons -- prohahly as many as Thom Yorke we just don‘t sit and hang our lists on the table shouting about it.‘

That‘s part ol‘ the attraction for the so-called Blue .-\rmy' ol’ tans. 'l‘he Bluetones are not prima donnas. ewggerating l’or el'l'ect. hut are the essence ot~ normal hlokedom. rationalising lites little complications l‘or an audience not dissimilar to themselves. Devlin harhours no desire to he any thing else.

"l‘here's heen so many great one—oil pop stars down the years.’ he says. ‘that what happens nowadays is there's almost a desperation to appear larger than lit'e hecause ol‘ the lineage ol~ rock ‘n' roll. 'l‘herc's a lot ol‘ cartoon characters walking round at the moment. I don't wanna name names hutyou know who you are . . .

'Wc'ye hccl; criliciscd a lol. not littl' lack ol

amhition htit mayhe l'or lack ol glamour.‘ he continues. now on a roll. ‘ll~ you come and see us play. we don‘t do star iumps. We‘re not a preening

48 THE LIST 22' '.'ll 5 lit). 3’; l8

'I never wanted to be The Beatles. I wanted to be like The Smiths -- there's only so much I can take.’ Adam Devlin

The Bluetones: guaranteed pout free

and pooling hand at all. When we first got together

we knew how we didn‘t want to he represented. We‘ve never used our videos to make ourselves look gorgeous. We‘re liar more coml'ortahle making ourselves look ridiculous [as in the ‘Marhlehead .lohnson' video when they donned ‘l'at suits‘ and prosthetic make-up] or just not being in them at all. We had the l’(i Tips chimps doing the last one and the next video lt‘or ‘4 Day Weekend'] is animated. so we‘ve successfully got out of the last two.‘ Sticking to their guns and not allowing

themselves to be drawn into some unsuitable cult ol‘

personality whirlwind has allowed The Bluetones to outlive the Britpop explosion they were initially associated with. This year they have had to jump the shrinking .»\&.\l ship and move their Superior ()uality Recordings on to Mercury Records. However. a period in limho won't dampen their prospects or their agenda.

'The song is the star.‘ insists Devlin. “We have enormous conl‘ideuce in our songwriting and that‘s why people like us. I don‘t think people huy into The Bluetones because we‘re exciting people and they want to he us. It’s a passion tor the music. This hand‘s got chemistry.

‘Any'way‘f he adds. ever the moderate. ‘I never wanted to he The Beatles. l wanted to he like The Smiths- there's only so much I can take.‘

Glasgow: Barrowland, Thu 5 Oct; Edinburgh: Assembly Rooms, Wed 4 Oct.


They’re mad, you know . . .

‘In Germany, I set fire to a hotel door.

I thought that would be the easiest way in.’

The Orb ’5 Alex Paterson tel/s NM E what he most reg/erred doing while drunk.

'The tellies have gone out the window, the women have been shagged, the drugs have been snorted, the beers drunk. How can you top Keith Moon driving his Rolls Royce into the foyer of a fucking hotel and then saying "Can I have the key to room 321?”

Wise words from Stuart Stereophon/c on the alleged death of excess. ‘People in the music business often like to encourage the idea that the pop singer is some kind of social shaman who will focus on society's ills and do something about them with a wave of his magic wand from the back seat of his white Rolls Royce. That's patently absolutely bollocks.’

Billy Bragg tell; The l.’tLl("l)(?-":(li?l‘.i On Sunday that rit‘opie slitt:rl.:.’n’t put their lives in the hands of a rock 'n' roll band 't‘OS they'll blew r: all (iii/(3y

’I didn't start up a hand because I couldn't get laid. I started a band because I wasn’t getting laid enough. So I decided to launch a pro-active assault.’

Greg Dill/l of the Afghan lit/lugs term/s the roots of r‘t‘t'k 'n' ref.’ to Un: tli

'I can't believe they gave me a badge and a gun, even as a joke.’

l: Perri, t‘.’ .. about his t.”.’l)(.‘f/(_‘t't( es plat/m; a tamper

(or an Wasafdt‘ at lrlo/rLc/tie

'A mate of mine makes his own strong liquor by making a pregnant adder drink a load of milk then drowning it in marijuana grappa. As it drowns, it gives off a load of poison which, when you drink the liquor, has a lot of hallucinogenic properties.’

Larrv Low of the ltVflL’ide‘li’ tri/rr:.':a.")lt‘) Alabama 3, takes: Select ’s ermine;

about i'ut'tat his {Dorm/s 's -}

rift/o ft‘o

.’v v'. 2