GOLDFRAPP live in Cologne – (2014 TOUR)

 
Goldfrapp‘s headline peformance at last weekend’s Electronic Beats Festival in Cologne? Lucky you—we’ve got the highlights right here. The British duo (plus their ace touring band) have kept music that little bit more interesting since their inception in 2000. Sleazy glam disco, witchy English folk and film soundtracks have provided the fodder for their stylistic reinventions along the way, but, as was apparent in the interview with Alison Goldfrapp in the Spring issue of Electronic Beats Magazine, they’ve never been more at peace with themselves than right now. Watch them perform “Drew” and “Alvar” from their latest album Tales Are Us and the psych-flavored Seventh Tree wig out in this HD video recorded on that balmy Cologne night.

Goldfrapp – Drew
from Mute PRO 10 months ago Not Yet Rated

‘Drew’, from Goldfrapp’s new album “Tales of Us” (out 9th Sept UK / 10th Sept US).
Buy “Tales Of Us” now: iTunes: smarturl.it/talesofusitunes
Direct: (including the exclusive Deluxe Box set): goldfrapp.sandbaghq.com
CD: smarturl.it/talesofusCD
LP: smarturl.it/talesofusLP

Trailer and all films are co created by Alison Goldfrapp & Lisa Gunning.

Trailer and all films written, directed & edited by Lisa Gunning.

Produced by Stephanie Zari. Cinematography by Brian Strange.

The Men: Leave Home Album

The Men - Tomorrow's Heroes

The Men –  Leave Home

Coming from any other indie band, an album title like Tomorrow’s Hits might sound snarky. But The Men are completely sincere on their upcoming record (their fifth in just as many years), putting muscular hooks and dancehall energy front and center. Seriously, “Another Night” would sound just as great at a sock hop as it would in a dive bar. To dig deep into their latest offering, Consequence of Sound caught up with slide guitarist Kevin Faulkner to discuss the band’s ever-evolving sound, his stint in the Marines Corp, and why he loves driving the tour van.

You came to The Men a little bit later than some of the other guys, right?

Well, I’ve been playing with the band since 2011. I was playing with them before Leave Home came out.

So you’ve been with them for most of their albums.

I shot the photo for the cover of Leave Home, and then they came over to edit photos with me, and saw my slide. So I started jamming with them, and a little after that we recorded Open Your Heart.

What’s the location on the cover for Leave Home? Is it just the band walking down the street in New York?

I had already known [drummer] Rich [Samis] for like ten years or something, and I knew [ex-bassist/vocalist] Chris [Hansell] because he used to come see one of my old bands play, but that was the first night I met Nick and Mark and that was in Greenpoint, Brooklyn at a place called Lulu’s.

So you got to commemorate your first meeting on film. That’s pretty cool.

Some of the live pictures on the inside of that record were [from] that same night too. I shot the show, and we walked outside afterwards.

Does the rest of the band still keep in touch with Chris at all? Or is it a little weird with him having left?

No, no, it’s cool. He works at Sacred Bones now, so we see him all the time. There’s no bad blood or anything.

Does he play bass in any other bands?

He plays in a band called Warthog. And I want to say he does a noise project. I think he’s still doing it. I’m not sure if he still is, but I think it’s called Foreplay.

Besides the change in personnel, there’s obviously been a shift in The Men’s sound with each record. You probably get asked this a lot, but is that a conscious choice, to move from punk and hardcore towards something more accessible?

No. No way. It’s just whatever we come up with. There were songs for [Tomorrow’s Hits] that were a little harder or a little more punk. They just didn’t make the cut.

Do you sing anything on the record?

Yeah, I do some of the background vocals.

I saw you guys at Lincoln Hall this year right after New Moon came out, and I could of sworn you sang lead on something.

The only thing I sing is a cover that we have worked out, but we didn’t play on that tour. Maybe we’ll play it next year.

What cover is that?

It’s a Grateful Dead song. [For] this last tour, the set that we ended on was pretty heavy and pretty fast, so we were covering The Stooges and stuff.

At the Lincoln Hall show you opened with…actually, I’m not sure what to call it. It opens Side Two of Leave Home. It’s just parentheses. How do you guys refer to that song at practice?

You guys opened with that, with Mark Perro playing the intro on an old organ instead of a guitar. But I think it broke a couple of songs in.

Oh shit, that show! I thought you meant this one we just played in Chicago. That was crazy because we had an extra keyboard just in case his Wurlitzer broke in the middle of it. He went to go get the keyboard, and then he couldn’t find the power cord for it. I think he had to get the keys from me, and go back out to the van. Yeah that was weird, because we just played as a four-piece without him.

It was still a cool show.

I think we ended up winning that crowd over, but that could’ve been pretty terrible.

Without the Wurlitzer, I’m guessing you guys had to scrap some of the New Moon songs in the set.

Yeah. But we played all kinds of songs off of Tomorrow’s Hits. It was already done. It’s been done since last November.

You guys are insanely productive compared to other bands. Is there any secret to it, or do you just write a shitload of songs?

I mean, that’s it, really. Whenever we’re inspired, we just kind of crank them out. Nick writes songs, Mark writes songs, Ben writes songs, and all they really gotta to do is write a handful of songs that are pretty cool. And then when we all work on them, they get even better. Before you know it, you have another album. [Laughs.]

Do you have another album that’s ready now, before Tomorrow’s Hits even comes out?

No, which is good because I think we can finally catch up. When Open Your Heart came out, we played a show at Webster Hall in New York, and we had just finished New Moon a week before. We had just gotten back to the city from being upstate, and the entire set was New Moon songs. It was kind of split between people being like “Whoa, that’s cool” and other people like “What the Hell? I wanna hear their other stuff, they’re playing these country Crazy Horse songs or whatever.” So that was kind of funny. But now, I think we’ll be playing the songs that just came out.

Who came up with the title for Tomorrow’s Hits?

I think Nick, because on the back of New Moon, he wrote up a thing about… I don’t know if you’ve read it…

Are you talking about the liner notes, where he describes you all standing in the cabin recording “I Saw Her Face” live?

Yeah, and then right at the end of it…it’s kind of like a little poemy thing that’s like “What’s next? Tomorrows hits.” There was kind of a hint in there, in the liner notes of New Moon. I don’t know if that was intentional, to say the next record is gonna be called Tomorrow’s Hits, or if we got it afterwards [and said] “It’s right there. Let’s call it that.” I do know that by the time we were doing press for New Moon, and it leaked somehow that we already had a new record, everyone was asking about it. So we were like “Oh, well there’s some hints in the liner notes.” But I don’t think anyone figured it out.

Can you see some of these songs actually becoming hits?

That’s a good question. I am maybe not the best one to ask. I’m so biased, but I think some of the songs are so fucking good. “Pearly Gates”…

I could totally see “Another Night” being a hit.

I was upstate with my girlfriend the other day, and “Another Night” came on, and she was like “This song gives me chills. When it comes on, I get goosebumps.” When we were in the studio recording, I was like “Jesus Christ this song is so fucking good.” And it’s so much fun to play on. Listening to it now, I’m still like “I dig these songs.” So hopefully. You never know.

They’re guys that Ben went to school with. He went to school for jazz guitar, so that’s how he met them. Patrick Breiner on sax and Carter Yasutake on trumpet.

Are they going on tour with you guys behind the album?

the-men-leave-home

No, but when we did our record release for New Moon at the Bowery Ballroom last year, Carter was busy, but Patrick came and he brought another guy that played trumpet. They played on “Comm”, “Pearly Gates”, “Another Night”, “Night Landing”. And then we played a festival at the South Street Seaport [last] summer, and covered Iggy and the Stooges. So we like to keep them around for sure.

“Night Landing” would sound great with some horns on it.

It was wild. We rehearsed it with Patrick, and he had to find a guy to play trumpet, then just get together with him separately to teach it. It was like “Stay on A for a long time. Then it goes to E for a minute, then back to an A. And when it gets to the jammy parts, just go crazy”. And he was really just going wild.

Did you guys do Stooges songs that already used saxophone? “Fun House” or “1970”?

We played “I Wanna Be Your Dog”, but I don’t think that song has sax on it.

Going back to the new record, who designed the album art? Was the sign something you found or something you built?

Rich and I both did the artwork, and we had that sign made, then I shot it on Polaroid. But we couldn’t get the colors right. So my friend Alexander Berelli came in and shot that cover. The insert for the record is gonna have a big poster of a collage that Rich and I did. We stayed up way, way too late one night at his house, and just made this massive collage. It’s some of my photos, a couple of the other guys’ photos, a bunch of Polaroids, and a bunch of weird stuff that Rich had lying around.

I read on Pitchfork that you guys watch Uncle Buck a lot on your tour bus. Is that true?

[Laughs.] Yeah, well we don’t have the van any more. It kind of died after the last U.S. tour. But yeah, we had a little TV with a VCR in it, and there’s all kind of ridiculous movies that get played. It depends on the tour, I think. After each tour, everything gets switched out. I know once Mark had every Wrestlemania after ‘95 or something like that. I drive the whole time, so I just get to hear it. Half the time, I don’t know what the Hell they’re watching.

Do they make you drive, or do you just enjoy it?

I like to drive. If I’m sitting in the back, I’m just bored as shit. I’d rather just read, and I can’t read when the TV’s on and the music’s blasting, so if I’m sitting in the front, I can control the radio, and the rest can just relax in the back. I started driving because when I first started, I didn’t play in every song. I’d just play slide on a handful of songs in the set, then just kind of hang out and shoot photos. I was like “I don’t play all night long, so I’ll just drive.” And I kind of just stayed in that role, which is fine because I don’t drink or anything like that. So after the show, if those guys are getting drunk, we can just load the van and get the fuck out of there.

Do you feel like you have to babysit them if they’ve drank too much?

No, no, no. [Laughs.] No way. We’re all pretty responsible and pretty old, so…

Are you reading anything right now?

I just started reading this book…its called Dear America: Letters Home From Vietnam, and it’s just this huge collection of letters that guys sent home from Vietnam during the war. It’s pretty crazy. I was in the Marine Corps when I was younger, so I’m always into that military kind of stuff.

Were you deployed overseas, or stationed in the US?

I was stationed in Hawaii, and did a couple of deployments to Okinawa, Australia, and Korea. I did my four years. I got back to New York in August of 2001, right under the gun. And I got recalled and reactivated once for just for a day so they could get all my new info, and that was it.

Which do you like more? Being in the Marines or playing in a rock band?

[Laughs.] It’s funny. There are definite similarities. I went into the Marines when I was 17. And when I got out, I was like “I don’t want to do anything that anyone tells me to do ever again.” I didn’t cut my hair for a few years. My hair was long as hell, and I grew a huge beard because I didn’t have to shave. I miss my friends or whatever, but I have a new, super tight-knit group of dudes that I travel around and play music with. So it’s similar in that way. Definitely, this is better.

Did you get to play music at all when you were in the Marines?

Yeah. When I was stationed in Hawaii, I brought my bass with me from New York, and I would just sit in the back of the squad bay and just mess around. When I got back from Okinawa—the first deployment—I met some guys out in town, and had a couple of weird bands. I would get off work, and then walk to the front gate of the base. Those guys would pick me up, and we’d go jam for a while. We played a bunch of shows. It was pretty damn weird, but it was cool. That was like 1998 and 1999, which was not the best time for punk and hardcore.

So you guys played punk and hardcore in a military environment?

No, the guys who I was playing with weren’t in the Marines. The one guy who sang is still my best friend. He lives in California, but I see him all the time. He was a kid. He was like 16 or something when I met those guys. We’d go into town and play shows in Kailua or the North Shore or in Honolulu. But that scene was so wack. It was so funny because it was so removed from anything. I guess the internet was around, but I didn’t have a computer. It wasn’t as easy to find good music as it is now. So it was weird, like really bad punk bands and these hardcore dudes who loved Slipknot because it was the only kind of heavy stuff they could get. It was really funny.

Did you have to cover any Slipknot songs?

[Laughs.] No, no, no. It’s not cool to say this to someone, but I was like “What you’re listening to is not cool, man.” [Laughs.] “Listen to this stuff. This is better.”

Oasis: Definitely Maybe Reissue & Rarities Incoming

Oasis

Oasis

OASIS WILL RELEASE their first three albums, Definitely Maybe (1994), (What’s The Story) Morning Glory (1995) and Be Here Now (1997), in deluxe edition formats later this year.

1994 debut Definitely Maybe will be the first to appear on May 19 and will be available in an array of formats including standard CD, digital download, special edition 3CD, 12-inch vinyl and a deluxe box set featuring the LP, CD and an exclusive 7-inch.

Even more tantalising is the limited edition release of the band’s original 8-track 1993 demo cassette which will be available to order (on cassette!) from oasisinet.com.

oasis-definitely-maybe-reissue

And if that’s not enough Oasis for you, a limited edition remaster of the band’s debut 12-inch, Supersonic, will be available on Record Store Day 2014, otherwise known as Saturday, April 19.

The Definitely Maybe: Chasing Sun Edition will include a remastered version of the original album alongside all the B-sides and previously unheard acoustic and live versions of Live Forever, Shakermaker, Half The World Away, Sad Song, unreleased demo Strange Thing and the strings from 1994′s Whatever, the latter recorded on cassette at Maison Rouge Studios by Oasis sound guru Mark Coyle.

Watch the trailer for the Chasing The Sun series below:

Check out their live UK TV debut on The Word here:

French Duo Cassius Create Summer Soundtrack on ‘Sunchild’ – Song Premiere

20130530-casius-x600-1369932919

Putting together “Sunchild” for the Ed Banger records Ed Rec Vol. X compilation wasn’t the easiest task for French electronic duo Cassius. With a deadline looming, they were about to abandon the track altogether before Boom Bass called up his partner Philippe Zdar and told him to meet him at the studio for one last go at it.

“I threw together a very quick beat, and then recorded Hubert doing a bass line and a piano,” Zdar recalls. “Then I put down some synths and a very light live drum that we ended up keeping – one long live trip, and no editing, with even the flaws and bad fingers. We loved it. It sounded like the soundtrack to all of us having raones, sardinas or paella in our favorite Ibiza beach restaurant on a long summer lunch.”

Cassius  Duo

Cassius Duo

Now you can take an exclusive listen to “Sunchild,” which will absolutely appear on Ed Rec Vol. X, out June 11th (you can pre-order through iTunes now). The track stands as a tribute to DJ Mehdi, a beloved member of the Ed Banger family who died two years ago: “Now if I close my eyes, I can feel the warm breeze and the pine trees,” adds Zdar. “And if I listen really carefully, I can hear our dear brother Sunchild Mehdi laughing loud like he always did with his deep and warm ‘ha ha ha’s.”

Gojira, metal Land(es) + Dates de la tournée

008-Gojira-2013-vancouver_with_logo

Né en 1996 à Ondres, dans les Landes, le groupe des frères Duplantier a atteint une renommée internationale qui l’emmène pour un mois de tournée aux Etats-Unis, de Las Vegas à Boston, en compagnie des mythiques Slayer.

Qui aurait pu imaginer qu’un petit groupe du sud des Landes, deviendrait un jour le plus international des groupes de rock en France ? Après dix-huit ans d’existence, Gojira, né à Ondres (40) d’une fratrie (Joseph et Mario Duplantier) et d’une bande de copains est devenu une pointure de la scène metal internationale. Gojira joue partout dans le monde, avec les plus grands (Metallica pour ne citer qu’eux) et bénéficie d’une aura et d’une respectabilité en acier trempé. Comment peut-on en arriver là ? Éléments de réponse avec Mario Duplantier, 32 ans, le batteur du groupe.

« Sud Ouest Dimanche ». Vous jouez partout dans le monde. Vous avez encore du temps à consacrer à vos terres d’origines, les Landes et le Pays Basque ?

Mario Duplantier. On ne vit pas tous à Ondres, mais le QG du groupe reste à Ondres, dans les Landes. On s’y retrouve pour préparer les tournées et ensuite on part sur la route. Mon frère a un appartement à New York où il passe du temps. C’est une ville qui l’inspire énormément. Et puis, le statut et l’emploi du temps du groupe le permettent. Nous sommes devenus un groupe international et nous tournons autant aux États-Unis qu’en Europe. Prendre un avion pour sept ou dix heures, maintenant c’est devenu la routine. Lorsque l’on rentre, le temps consacré à nos familles et à nos vies personnelles est devenu de plus en plus important.

Il faut bien s’entendre lorsque l’on est toujours ensemble, sur la route…

Il y a une sorte de fluidité entre nous qui est très précieuse et qui fait beaucoup pour le succès du groupe. On essaie de ne pas avoir la grosse tête car il y en a toujours un pour ramener l’autre sur terre. Je suis avec trois amis en permanence. Un frère et deux très bons amis et mon frère est aussi un ami. Et on a cette chance de voyager dans le monde tous ensemble.

Vous avez déjà joué aux États-Unis, mais la tournée que vous allez entamer en première partie de Slayer semble encore un niveau au-dessus…

Tourner avec Slayer, qui est une légende du metal, c’est jouer dans des salles prestigieuses. Donc oui cette tournée fait rêver. Surtout quand on vient de France et que l’on sait que l’on va jouer à Las Vegas, à Los Angeles, dans des salles de 5 000 places, que l’on va jouer au Madison Square Garden à New York, pour nous ça reste incroyable et on est émerveillés par ce qui nous attend.

L’an dernier vous avez joué avec Metallica, cette année avec Slayer. Comment un groupe français se fait repérer par ces légendes du rock américain ?

Metallica est un groupe très observateur. Ils sont à l’affût de ce qui se passe dans le milieu. Ils avaient constaté qu’il y avait quelque chose autour de Gojira, donc ils nous ont appelés et nous ont proposé de jouer en première partie. Peu avant notre tournée avec Metallica, le bassiste est venu nous voir jouer à San Francisco. Il était dans le public et sa présence m’avait marqué. J’ai l’impression qu’il était là pour voir si vraiment notre groupe tenait la route. Donc c’était vraiment un coup de cœur de Metallica.

Vous êtes aujourd’hui presque plus connus à l’étranger qu’en France. Nul n’est prophète en son pays ?

On a fait nos armes en France et il y a eu une période où l’on ne tournait qu’en France et où nous étions très populaires. Je me souviens de la sortie de notre album en 2005 où l’on a fait quasiment 40 000 ventes, ce qui est bien dans le metal. Il y avait énormément de critiques positives et nous étions une sorte de fierté nationale. Maintenant, le fait que l’on ait percé à l’étranger, qu’il y ait moins d’exclusivités pour la France, ça titille pas mal de gens, mais je trouve que l’on a quand même beaucoup de soutiens en France. On l’a vu notamment au Hellfest (NDLR : qui a réuni 100 000 festivaliers en 2013) où nous avons joué sur la grande scène. Les gens étaient là. Du moment où l’on s’expose, on est critiqués, mais je trouve que le public nous respecte.

La musique que vous jouez, le metal est parfois montrée du doigt, mal comprise. Comment le vivez-vous ?

Je pense que tout ça c’est une apparence. Il y a pas mal de tabous dans notre société. Quand quelqu’un dit qu’il va mal, ça embête les gens, quand quelqu’un parle de la mort ça embête les gens. Et puis beaucoup de ce qui est diffusé à la radio ou à la télé est assez médiocre. C’est de la musique easy listenning pour ne pas déranger les gens, pour ne pas rajouter des tracas à leur quotidien. Le metal, c’est une musique particulière et il peut y avoir des amalgames car on entend des hurlements, il y a une violence sonore donc physique aussi, mais c’est dommage parce que beaucoup de gens qui ne s’intéressent pas au metal pourraient adorer cette musique en grattant un peu. Il n’y a pas de tabous avec le metal. En tant que batteur, cela me permet de lâcher de la joie, de la peine, de la douleur. Pour moi c’est vraiment une expérience.

Savez-vous qu’une pétition circule sur Internet pour demander que vous représentiez la France à L’Eurovision ?

J’ai entendu dire ça. Mais pourquoi pas, si on veut bien de nous à l’Eurovision, je suis d’accord. Mais je n’ai pas envie d’avoir comme mission de faire connaître le metal à la masse. Sinon ça pourrait être marrant si on nous faisait cette proposition.

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Arcade Fire to perform in Brooklyn Oct 18 and 19

Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire will return to New York next weekend in support of their LP, Reflektor. As Arcade Fire Tube points out, posters advertising a pair of Brooklyn shows for The Reflektors have sprung up in the borough. The Reflektors was the name Arcade Fire went by for their trio of Montreal shows last month, and similar to the Montreal shows, the Brooklyn shows will require formal attire or costume for entrance. According to Arcade Fire Tube, it’s unclear where exactly the shows will take place “due to permit logistics,” so stay tuned.

arcade-fire-nyc

Below watch the band’s short film Here Comes the Night Time:

John Cooper Clarke On Alex Turner’s Lyrics And Writing ‘I Wanna Be Yours’

John Cooper Clark

John Cooper Clark

Punk poet John Cooper Clarke goes way back with Arctic Monkeys, and their mutual love comes full circle on the new album ‘AM’.

On closing track ‘I Wanna Be Yours’, the band put John’s poem of the same name to music. You might recognise it, as it’s been a staple in GCSE English for years (and rightly so). As Alex Turner has previously explained, it was a huge inspiration for him as a lyricist:

“I was your typical teenager, trying to be cool and not interested and the teacher proceeded to read ‘I Wanna Be Yours’, doing an impression of Johnny. It made my ears prick up in the classroom because it was nothing like anything I’d heard, especially on this syllabus. Had I not seen him do his thing, I wouldn’t have started writing like that.”

Both men seem to share that surrealist, kitchen sink-drama sense of Britishness when it comes to their writing, so of course I had to speak to John as part of this week’s Arctic Monkeys cover feature. Below, I’ve posted the full transcript of our chat – asking him about the original poem, what he thinks of Alex as a lyricist and his recent honorary degree from Salford University (“Finally, my eye surgery business can become a reality,” he told me, tongue firmly in cheek!”).

But first, here are Alex’s lyrics to the track:

Arctic Monkeys – ‘I Wanna Be Yours’

I wanna be your vacuum cleaner
breathing in your dust
I wanna be your Ford Cortina
I will never rust
If you like your coffee hot
let me be your coffee pot
You call the shots babe
I just wanna be yours

Secrets I have held in my heart
are harder to hide than I thought
Maybe I just wanna be yours
I wanna be yours
I wanna be yours

Let me be your leccy meter
And I’ll never run out
Let me be the portable heater
That you’ll get cold without
I wanna be your setting lotion
hold your hair in deep devotion
At least as deep as the Pacific ocean
I wanna be yours

Secrets I have held in my heart
are harder to hide than I thought
Maybe I just wanna be yours
I wanna be yours
I wanna be yours

They’re ever so slightly different to John’s, which you can read here, or listen to him perform here:

Can you remember when you wrote ‘I Wanna Be Yours’?

John Cooper Clarke: I wrote it along with a load of others at the time, I tend to write like that. I remember when it was – about ’83 or ’84 or something like that. It’s come to my attention that it’s the wedding favorite. The number of people that have said, ‘I had that read at my wedding’, or ‘My husband proposed to me using that number’… It’s been very useful in the world of modern romance! It is to modern wedding ceremonies what ‘Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life’ by Eric Idle is to humanist funerals. I probably go to a great many more funerals than you do, so take it from me.

People propose to it then – so how does that compare to Arctic Monkeys closing their album with it?

I think it’s great the band have used it, because I think it was always kind of a song. It’s a poem that owes a great deal to popular music. I haven’t heard their version yet, but I know it’s gonna be great.

It’s a ballad, it doesn’t sound like The Fall or something people might expect to be associated with you.

Well that’s the kind of number it is, really. What it is, it’s the classic thing of the desire to make yourself useful to the object of your desire, taken to a pathological degree to the point where you’re actually reducing yourself to a commodity.

How did you find out the band would be using it?

I only heard the day before yesterday! To be honest, I got an erroneous email a while back that said they were gonna do a version of another of my numbers, ‘Evidently Chickentown’, So I was kind of expecting that they were gonna do a cover of one of mine, but the day before yesterday I heard it was gonna be ‘I Wanna Be Yours’ – great!

Alex sings it in a very emotive way. If you weren’t clued up you might not realize they’re not his words.

I’m sure he’s done a great job. He’s a great lyricist and, well, he’s a proper singer. He is emotive. He’s got a great deal of feeling in his voice, and he makes that northern accent sound very sexy.

Which is difficult, right?!

I think it is! It’s got a lot of George Formby baggage, not that there’s anything wrong with George. But it’s only in recent years that a northern accent has been seen to be the language of lurve.

Alex changes the odd bit in the track, adding one of his own lines – “Secrets I have held in my heart / are harder to hide than I thought”. Are you cool with that?

Yeah, I would have expected that. I think that’s great, that’s what people do with songs. There’s a tradition with this. Especially a number like that, because it cries out for updating because it uses brand names. One would expect it to be kind of updated, in much the same way that Sinatra might use different comparisons for a song like ‘You’re The Top’ by Cole Porter.

Do you rate him as a lyricist?

I think he’s a fantastic lyricist. He’s always changing, and as a band they won’t be pinned down. I like that album they made when they’d been to the States for the first time, they were so obviously Americanized. I think things like that are a strength, where you can make every new experience uniquely you. That’s part of the secret of longevity.

This new album is even more American, in some ways.

Popular music itself is an American invention as we know it, so there ain’t no shame in that I don’t think.

You go back a long way with the band, you met them pretty early on didn’t you?

I did, I met them about a fortnight before they went mega. I was doing a show at the boardwalk in Sheffield with The Fall. I was about to leave, go home, and Chris, the guy who used to own the late lamented Boardwalk club in Sheffield said there’s some lads here who’d like to say hello, they’re called the Arctic Monkeys. And I thought, that’s a name I can imagine in the hit parade! And then a fortnight later they went viral. That was their ‘in’ wasn’t it? They came fully formed really, with a fan base and everything. But I knew they were good.

And here we are, eight years later and they’re covering one of yours.

It’s great, I like that! I think Alex is fabulous, and I think they’re a great band. They can really play, and they get better and better and better and better. Alex’s many changing moods are always an object of fascination in the playground of my imagination!

Would you do something live with them if they asked?

Yeah, if they asked me I’d get involved – of course I would! I love what they do. For sure! I don’t work with anybody I don’t like, just for the attention. I suppose it’s not very surprising but all the people that have sort of latched onto us lately are all people that I really like. I include Plan B and the Alabama 3, people like that. It’s a pleasure to be involved with acts like that, and Arctic Monkeys, because these people are in for the long haul.

To bring it back to you, the doctorate you recently got from Salford uni – were you proud?

Well, I’ve obviously been a great source of inspiration to the academic population of Salford! They’re citing me as a major contribution to their upward trajectory!

And would they be right?

I think so.

What else is going on with you at the moment?

I’m doing loads of gigs until the end of July and then I’m taking August out and I’m going on a family holiday to France. After that, the tour goes on. But hopefully I’m gonna get a book of new poetry out very, very shortly. I’ve got millions of new numbers so I’m gonna launch that within a year I hope.

At this point, I asked John what his favorite work in progress was and he proceeded to reel off ‘The Endorser’. Hero.