slow magazine the revolution will be photocopied
     

slow #4/autumn 2000

Middlesbrough disko refugees the Space Raiders have a reputation for being a bit mad, a bit wacky, the antithesis of chin-stroking techno. If we were a band, which secretly we are, we would be like them. But better, of course. Skint debut Donít Be Daft was proof that Poundland is the most reasonable instrument shop in town, and their fondness for sound toys and cheap gadgets shows them to be men after our own hearts (but donít tell the wife!). We bribed our way into their dressing room with a bag full of toys and set about them with a Sky Dancers sound-effect storybook. They may have the image of a trio of dancing fools, but even they thought we were weird.

Is Little Stevie Wonder (another fashionable sound/book thing) going to make it into a tune?
Raider Mark (all mouth and no hair): Yeah, we made a little symphony out of it.
We notice itís not on the album.
No, because I only bought it after the album was finished, but the next album... who knows? Thereís plenty of toys on the first album Ė the gun that we shoot with, thatís on there. The light sabreís on a track.
You were wandering around with them on stage, but they donít appear to be amplified.
Well it doesnít matter, it flashes doesnít it? It looks like a gun and it flashes. Iím not making a noise.

We noticed from the live thing that one of you appears to be pressing a few buttons, and the other two are arsing around Ė does that happen when youíre recording as well?
No, not when weíre recording, but when we bring it live we could bring all the computers out, we could stand around like we did last time and look like... a tweak here, a tweak there. Itís like how boring is that? So when we play it live weíve got a set of CD decks where the trackís stripped down to just basslines, drumlines, and the melodies.
(Spectacularly pissed Raider): Garyís playing live keyboards and I arse around to be honest. Iíve got drum pads I can use, or I like shout when I like, dance about with the guns. But yeah, we could do the other, we could bring all the keyboards out, we could sit there twiddling knobs and doing all the noises live but how boring is that? Weíd rather be Funkadelic than Orbital.
You seem more like The Goodies to me.
Raider Marty (decks & fx, not Wilkinson Swordís best customer): The Goodies is good as well. Were The Goodies the British Funkadelic? Discuss...
We were promised presents werenít we?
You see, we wanted to get you some more sound toys, but Poundland are out of them, so we got you a magic rod. Have you ever seen a magic rod before? Can we have the light off, please?
Mark: Can you put the light off?
We start waving the rods around in the darkness, showing off the exciting range of LED messages.
Woah! Is that for us?
Marty: That is good. Thatís beautiful.
And it says something in Chinese too, so itís educational.
Mark: Ah, now Iím bound to get the ladies.
Thatís what we said. It didnít work though, did it? So anyway, we noticed your light show was very disappointing.
Mark: No, itís normally really good, but thereís no screen back there. The visuals are done by an old mate of ours from Middlesbrough. Thereís a scaffolding tower that we couldíve brought. We did Preston and there was a really big screen and they are good visuals, but here itís really cramped. Youíve got to defend your mates havenít you, but he does top visuals.

Go on, ask them why they moved to Brighton/No, Iíve asked them that/I havenít, so you ask it again/No, you ask it...
Mark: We moved to Brighton because every time we had to go and have a conversation there (with Skint) it was just too mad, every time we had to come anywhere. Gary was doing most of the driving.
Why go to Skint? Why not another label?
It was absolutely necessary that we sent a tape to Skint. Theyíre the only label we thought of.
Marty: Gary had witches tell him that we should go to Skint.
Mark: Yeah Ė north Yorkshire witches.

Have you adapted the set as youíve been on tour?
Marty: Itís got madder. We donít have any kind of idea really, before we go on. We donít have a set list, and we do what we think.
Mark: Tonight was OK, it was a mad set but itís all working out. Itís chaos onstage, it really is. Weíre jamming on the stage which is, well, creative if nothing else. Itís fucking chaos but weíre having a laugh and weíre getting into it.
Gary: We donít know what weíre gonna do, do we Martin?
Marty: I donít know what youíre gonna do. You fell over tonight.
Gary: I know, I fell right over. I fell over the monitor, tripped over the monitor backwards. For about two minutes I was trying to get up. Is that magic rod ours?
We wanted to give them to you earlier but we wanted to do the interview later, so we could drink a lot.
Mark: Theyíd be great for Valentineís night.
Make sure you wave it at a lady, preferably, you know. Or a gentleman, if youíre that way inclined. Just donít wave it at hard blokes.
Marty: Thanks for the toys.
Mark: Well I think weíve all had enough. More questions, or else Iím off to dance.
Can you boogie?
Can we boogie? Martin, can we boogie? Yes sir, we can boogie!
Congratulations!! Youíre the first person to answer that question correctly. Which is better Ė daddy or chips?
What? Daddy or chips??
Itís off the advert.
Daddy or chips...daddy or chips. Chips!
Marty: I havenít seen it, but chips.
Gary: Chips. If you ainít got no chips, you ainít got nothing.
(Gary almost decapitates himself trying to read the messages on his magic rod)

Mark: More questions, before Gary gets violent.
Whatís your favourite toy?
My light sabre.
Have you seen the ones that shoot out when you press a button?
The telescopic ones? Weíve only got the little one. I donít know what thatís saying about the size of my penis.
Marty: My megaphoneís my favourite toy.
Mark: Martinís megaphone is his favourite toy, and mineís my tiny penis. And Garyís is his magic wand. Next question Ė come on, weíre sat here wasting valuable dancing time.

Youíve got ĎAccess All Areasí badges Ė which areas have you accessed that you wouldnít normally go to?
Marty: Dressing room, dancing snake pit, and the ladies toilets.
Havenít you tried going to the zoo with them or anything? Any excuse to get out.

So is Skint one big happy family then?
Mark: Very much, we go out with Phil Lo-Fi during the week. The best nights are during the week for us lot Ė we go out to like little indie dance clubs. Some top nights in Brighton. Everyone gets on, really.
Speaking of the Lo-Fiís Ė has "Dave" (Wrekked Train) been ostracised?
No, he hasnít been ostracised, he wants to do other stuff, heís not so much into dance music. He wants to concentrate more on his paintings as well; heís quite a good painter. Thereís no like bad shit or anything, theyíre just kinda getting on Ė making some nice stuff as well. Next! We canít be talking about other bands.

Have you got a record coming out that you want to advertise? Are you treated like minor stars?
Not at all, nobody knows us. Next question.

Favourite frequency?
Long wave! World Service cricket, off to sleep. England are getting beat again. What are you gonna do? What can you do? Wake up with the marvellous Radio 4 and itís all better again. Live monkey football Ė thatís the sport of the future!

Whoís singing on Laidback?
Me.
Why? Can you sing? Are you a good singer?
When Iím drunk Iíll tell you I can sing. Where were you when we sang that track live now? Fucking hell, come on! I want 20 minutes dance before I get on this bus.

How have you been keeping yourselves amused on tour?
Marty: Playstation, charity shopping, Little Stevie Wonder.
How many charities have you shopped?
Mark: Weíve shopped loads of charities. "Oxfam, youíre just not doing it right, Iím calling somebody now." Putting a collar on and charge twice the price Ė howís that charity, eh? You donít scare me one little bit.

If you were booked to play a wedding what would be your top five tunes to cover? Bearing in mind youíve got to get the bride "lifting it up" a bit.
Always. Girlfriend in a Coma by the Smiths. Wedding songs, I donít know, Iíve never been married. One more question and Iím off, Iíve had enough.

Can we remix you?
Marty: Thatís a good one.
Weíre second rate DJs. Freddy Fresh told us to put out a record, and weíd like to put one of yours out.
Mark: Was that the last question?
Yeah, thatíll do. We could ask you what record youíd like to sample.
If I could say anyone, without all the legal stuff? Good Vibrations by the Beach Boys.

Were you a crusty techno band before?
Martin was in a techno band, Garyís never been into techno really, Garyís always been a house boy. Before that he was kinda like indie, Spiritualized, Spacemen 3.
Marty: I like a bit of techno, I like all the Warp stuff.
Mark: Iíve got nothing against techno — technoís nice and stripped down. Four to the floorís good as well, if youíre on drugs. Me, I like music with a bit of hips, and it doesnít have any hips, itís like exercise to me. But thereís good stuff as well.

Do you want to come for a dance?

So we all wander off to have a dance to the last throes of Danielsanís DJ set, all except for Gary, who can barely stand up by this time. Now normally this would be seen as a good time to call it a night, but weíve made friends with Martin by now, so we may as well try to confuse him a bit before we depart.

Whatís Danielsanís real name? Is it Daniel San?
Marty: itís Danny Curtis.
Well, thatís not funny any more, is it?
"Wax on, wax off."
Whatís the point of that?/Well you canít put it on and on Ė itís on/But if you put it on, then off, whatís the point in putting it on in the first place?
You can do whatever you choose in life, canít you? Youíve got to make it happen, as Liam said.

Weíre big fans of your publicity photos Ė did you have to break into a school on the last day of term?
We actually went to a proper family portrait photographer. We didnít even think of that one, it was all Skintís idea. (the poor fellaís having trouble now) The brain... youíve caught us on a mad night because we did London last night and we all got a bit mashed, there were loads of press there. And today itís like thatís finished Ė letís have a good party again – and letís face it: London, itís wicked cos itís London, but the press...
Is it scary getting loads of press?
Well, itís as scary as you want to make it.
Do we scare you, interviewing you? What if we lean in a bit further?
You lot have got silly toys, and thatís well up in our book. And youíve given us presents, so you lot are well up there. You lot will be working for all kinds of companies one day. (We already are Ė fanzines donít pay the mortgage, you know). Youíre the ones thatíll be at the cream of the crop if you stick at it.
Well we just do what we like, and if anyone else likes it thatís a bonus.
Yeah, but thatís the attitude to take isnít it, at the end of the day.
But no one comes to Norwich, so you have to move away for anything to happen. One day there might be a revolution.
And who goes to Middlesbrough? But we sent a tape out and we got ourselves signed up, didnít we?
How does Skint manage to pay your wages Ė are you living off the Fatboy millions?
Of course we are. Heís our meal ticket, as itís been said on the tour. Itís great.
Am I boring you?
Are we boring you?
No.

 

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