Flipping out before a tour and punching a fan in self-defence there's a lot more to SPACE than a lorry-load of catchy chart hits. But despite the pressures of fame, guitarist Jamie Murphy's

not bitter.

Fiona Shepherd

POP STARS, EH? GIVE 'EM THE SUCCESS, the adulation. the lltotte_\ and tlte lifestyle the-\Ke always tlteanietl about as penttiless musicians dodging USS 1n\esti;';ttions and practising in the ltass players dad's garage and it \\ ill serew someone tip.

llowe\er. lew will talk about their

doolall) period with the same tinsen

sationalist eandonr Used by Jamie Murphy of

l.l\’c‘l‘ptltlllitlt pop lat‘ls Space. The group‘s ginger ntlt guitarist. eo \oealist and co songwriter does not quite |t;i\e the public lac: ol' lrontnlan 'l'ontnty Scott. the Sinatra lo\ ing al'l‘ahle one who duets with ('erys ('atatonia



and counts (ieri llalliwcll atnong his adoring lanltase.

Instead. Murphy the band’s youngest member has spent much of the time since Spaee first hit the charts three years ago perfecting his Keith Moon impression. l-ortttnately he put on the brakes before reaching the swimming pool. but his excesses and ttai\et_\ caused the grotlp to undertake their first big American tour without him. .’\l'ter se\ en weeks in littrope and a tnere three tla}s oil 'to see n.e mam and me hird’. Murphy temporarily flipped out and failed to show at the altpol‘l.

‘There wasn‘t a big story behind it.‘ he says matter-of-factly. ‘Just drugs and ale and being away all the time. When we started earning loads of money. it just happened. I weren‘t doing it to carry on like some musicians say. "I was doing it to get through the day". I was doing it because I wanted to party. and just one day it all got on top of me and I lost the plot. I went mad and it knocked me back a bit. I couldn‘t write songs anymore.

'I think I‘ve got an addictiye personality anyway. I‘m easily led. With the charlie sketch and the ale and all that. it just got a grip of me. I had to go into hospital in Manchester for a bit and take it easy fora while. Now I'm back to me old self. I wouldn‘t lie to anyone and say I’m a clean liyin‘ fella now - because I‘m not but I‘m just not as mad as I used to be. I know I can‘t go on four week benders like I Used to. I know me limits now and. plus. he got a little daughter. so I‘ve got more responsibilities.

Murphy is the classic irrepressible scally. The writer’s block may have gone. bill the come-and—haye—a-go attitttde hasn't. He was recently in court. accused by a fan of assault. llaying pleaded self-defence. he escaped with a U00 bind met: ‘so the next person that l punch l‘ye got to giye him £100 in his hand first. then I can smack him‘.

Murphy‘s spats are not tabloid

'I wouldn’t lie to anyone and say I'm a clean livin' fella now because I’m not but I’m just not as mad as I used to be. I know I

fodder like Liam

(iallagher’s. Space can't go on are far more likely to

reach the wider four week public consciousness benderS III“? I through musical used to'r

means. be it writing songs for and being coyered by Tom Jones or recording their own coyer for a car adyert. Their yersion of The Animals. '\\'e (iotta (iet Out Of This Place' is now their new single in a moye which Murphy accepts as ‘purely business‘.

This is to be followed by yet another single from their second long player. 'li'n Planet. but

Jamie Murphy

his stuff and then I’d go in and then lirannie

llheir keyboard player]. but this time we're a band again. We don’t want it to be as conseryatiye as the last albums. If you think about it. all the brass arrangements were pretty M()R. Tommy‘s bored of all the Frank Sinatra stuff now. He's got it out his system. thank fuck. lle‘s singing in his own yoice now. He's not going to take on any more characters.’

I'nlike Mad Dog Murphy. who will probably take on all-comers. Well. we can‘t haye Space going all prematurely adult on its. can we'.’

Space play Glasgow Barrowland, Sun 22 Nov.