Thursday, July 20, 2006

By way of an introduction.......

(please note: interview took place prior to Petridish Anti-Wyatting rant)


1.what is your age, job and home-town.

I am an unfashionable thirty-six, an English teacher and i currently live in London, originally i'm from.. wait for it.. Barrow-in-Furness..

My cadre of hardened Wyatters are all drawn from the lower end of the social spectrum, one of whom can legitimately claim to be from an underclass background ( taken into care along with his five siblings at a young age) and another of whom, now in his sixties, was illiterate until he was fifteen.. my own Northern, working class background makes me pretty much the Toff of the group.

2. can I have your permission to use what you sent in to Simon Reynolds' weblog (This will save time. And if there's anything you sent him which he didn't put up, perhaps you could forward it

Yeah of course you can and no i didn't send him anything additional

3. Which particular pub do you Wyatt at (I'd like to interview the owner - but I promise I won't blow your cover by either directly asking him about Wyatting or using the name of the pub in the article.)

We use XXXXXX in Ramsgate… if he has any idea about our activities i'll be surprised!

4. What would you say to accusations that this kind of prank is childish and annoying (I should emphasise this won't be the line I take)

Ahhh..well...i would say that it is childish and annoying, but that's precisely its appeal. it is a prank, we live in a very prank-y culture...spoof interviews, hidden camera, Jackass etc.. so there’s no point denying the underlying appeal of the mindless, mildly antisocial act, the wind up, the piss take, the delight in another’s confusion etc.....

However I can partially exonerate myself by saying that at least I'm not simply passively observing others being wound up on my behalf from a safe distance but actually risking the possibility of a perfectly justified smack in the teeth.... I mean if you are going to put all four sides of Swans "Public Castration is a Good Idea" on (should you find it, of course) there's no leaving the pub before its finished for the truly committed Wyatter!

5. Is Wyatting just revenge for overbearing people playing bad music in school common rooms?

Here's how it is.. there are those who doubtless object to the whole white middle class Musos sneering at the working class etc kind of thing, however being working class or at least from working class backgrounds ourselves we don't partake of that horribly sentimentalized middle class viewpoint that its horrendous to sneer at "normal" people and disrupt their "normal" perfectly harmless Friday nights out etc, we've stood quaking in chippies in depressed provincial towns at chucking out time as the lads go on the rampage, had our heads kicked in at Margate bus stops for having pink hair etc.....

If it's expressive of anything its probably of our love/hate relationship with the class that we were always estranged from but for which none the less we continue to nurture a kind of angry hope..we are appallingly conflicted ourselves.. there is for us a particular heightened poignancy in, for example, putting on card-carrying-Commie Robert Wyatt's exquisite version of "Red Flag" in a pub full of pissed-up Proles and watching them pull faces and shout to have it turned off... a particularly bitter amusement, compounded of many emotions...

On one hand we want to liberate them by sneaking the unknown into their lives, but we don't know what benefit it will bring them...... what good has it done us after all if the best thing we can find to do with our time is dream up new monthly excruciations for the unlucky punters in our local....on another we want to punish them for having made our lives miserable. For being so simple and being good at things that always eluded us (being tough, good at football, getting the girls) and for which we secretly yearned.... Not everyone will have the same motives of course... ours are vague, certainly illegitimate and confused... I have a friend who is using Wyatting to discover what aspects of modern music are finally inassimilable into the sensibilities of the po-mo, omnivorous pop-savvy middle classes by undertaking a series of Wyatts in Hoxton/Shoreditch.... how do you Wyatt a bar full of Resonance FM listeners.... a bar full of super eclectic, super ironic Fashionistas (I'm guessing M-People's " Elegant Slumming", is pretty much the key.)

4 comments:

Samuel said...

You should have known. I'm a lifelong Grauniad reader (both figuratively and literally) but their relentlessly middlebrow music "coverage" has always made me want to go out into the street and start punching random strangers.

Nice template, by the by. I use it too...

http://blogglebumcage.blogspot.com/

chimp said...

why do you feel the need to legitimise your actions via a trudge through an impovrished northern past and friendship with honest-to-god genuine poor people? does that really make it more relevant than if you were a sniggering know-it-all art student? it all feels a bit self-conscious to me. I'd rather listen to and share the music i love in a loving way, even if its something cathartic like swans or wyatt...i am so bored of irony and posturing. have our souls really become so atrophied that we really care what a bunch of lighthouse family-loving pub goers think of that 'wierd noise'? anyway, i caught my Tory dad reading burroughs the other day...isn't it great when someone surprises you...
i think you should put on that molina album again....its much more satisfying......x

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Anonymous said...

Do you feel good about branding Robert as a maker of unlistenable music?
How do you think he feels about that?

'Childish, futile, hilarious'? is your description of the fun you apparently have with your so-called 'Wyatting'.

Cruel and thoughtless, is how I would describe it.