Thursday, October 26, 2017

LICHFIELD INTERROGATES: Johnny Dean

Johnny Dean is the former frontman of 1990s indie-poppers Menswe@r, who famously appeared on the cover of the Melody Maker prior to releasing a note of music. The band scored five UK Top 30 hits and released two albums before splitting in 1998. He is now making music as Fxxk Explosion, a glam-tinged electro-pop project that released its first EP, In the Beginning, in summer 2017. He has taken part in numerous autism awareness campaigns since his diagnosis with Pervasive Development Disorder in 2009. I caught up with Johnny to talk about Britpop, the 90s music press, raising autism awareness, the reality of the music industry and his current music project. 




Did you have any pre-conceived ideas about what life in a successful chart band would be like? If so, how did they compare with the reality?

I didn’t really expect Menswe@r to be successful. It was a whirlwind. Everything happened very quickly. From the point of deciding to form a band to being signed to being cover stars to having hit singles. I didn’t expect all that to happen. But it did. So I guess it was nothing like I thought it would be like, because it happened far too easily. But that came at a cost. It wasn’t all plain sailing. This seemingly effortless rise put a fair few noses out of joint. And that caused us plenty of problems once the dust had settled. 

What goes up has gotta come down. And we crashed in spectacular fashion, which is what people remember. The British love to see people fail, I think. At the same time they seem to love the underdog bite back. It’s OK to do well after you’ve had a good kicking first. We are a confused and often cruel people.

I guess it was exciting. Which was the intention, I think. We were just kids really. I think people forget that.

What were your thoughts on other so-called Britpop bands? Whose music has aged the most gracefully? Is there anything that sounds particular woeful today? 

Ah. The “B” word. I don’t think an awful lot about those bands at all. Not anymore. And indeed, not very much at the time. I guess it all depends what your definition of the “B” word is? Because everybody seems to have their own. 

I think Suede still sound good. That’s all I can really say about it. A great deal of it leaves me cold. Now, as well as then.

I’m not going to start slagging other bands off. That isn’t a position I want to take. It’s undignified and ugly. It’s not my job. I’ll let critics do that. They get paid for it. Well…they used to.

What stopped Hay Tiempo! getting a UK release? 

No record deal. That simple. We left London Records. We weren’t dropped. We spent ridiculous amounts of money making that record and they hated it. Their position was that we could put it out with them, but they wouldn’t promote it. So, we left and took the record with us, which was a bit silly really. Nobody wanted to sign us by that point. Especially with that record. That whole episode was a bit…ill-advised. It’s a regret of mine now that I didn’t call it a day after Being Brave made top ten. And try something else. Because everything pretty much turned into shit from then on. But at that point the fucks I could give were very much in low numbers. Practically barren.

How did you feel about the music press’ treatment of Menswe@r? Did you make any specific journalist enemies? Are there any feuds that continue to this day?  

Well the whole thing was pretty much down to them. The press. They hyped us to the heavens and then criticised us for being hyped. It’s a frustrating position to find yourself in. A lot of it seemed to be down to feuding journalists and feuding publications. A lot of that kind of thing was happening at the time. It was very political. And of course, just about everybody involved was on drugs.  

There were a couple of journalists I thought were cast iron dickheads. But the feeling was mutual. You can’t be friends with everyone, unless you’re being dishonest. I bear no person ill will particularly. Nobody in the press in any case. It would be pointless.


                                                     
  Menswe@r, Stardust

You have often expressed a great deal of affection for mainstream 80s pop and rock, much of which was mocked relentlessly by the music media and certain Mancunian songwriters during the 90s. However, acts like Fleetwood Mac, Kate Bush and Tears for Fears are revered in indie circles now. Were you surprised to see such acts being reappraised? Why would you say they received such sneering treatment in the first place? 

I just think the 80s were the decade where pop music peaked. The earlier half was so incredibly varied and rich with three-minute, bona fide bangers. The British indie movement of the 90s (or Britpop if you like) was so hung up on trying to appear cool. Its collective head was jammed right up its arse. 

The amount of shade I would catch for openly liking Japan and Duran Duran was idiotic. This was before being uncool was perceived as cool. It was all very affected. People gabbing on like they were born wearing a Smiths t-shirt and quoting Leonard Cohen. It was bullshit. Like those fucking album lists people post on Facebook. It’s a bit infantile, isn’t it? That you would consider yourself somehow superior because of your musical predilections? I’ll take a gated snare over that claptrap any day of the week. 

But yes. It’s more acceptable now. I was ahead of my time. Haha! I’m not at all surprised that the 80s have been reappraised. Good songs are good songs.

Some people have suggested that the death of Princess Diana, with a bit of help from Be Here Now, killed Britpop – is this something that you would agree with? Would you say there were other specific factors involved in the decline of British indie-rock in the late nineties? 

I don’t think Diana dying had anything to do with it. At all. I don’t see a connection that wouldn’t be extremely tenuous. Or Be Here Now, quite frankly. The scene was dead before both of those things happened as far as I was concerned. I would say around 96, just about the time everything peaked, that was it. 

As soon as something takes hold in the public consciousness it’s over. The scene setters have moved on or died or are in rehab. Popularity killed Britpop. Success. But…if anything could be blamed, or indeed congratulated, for killing it then as someone who was in the thick of it, I would have to point my trusty index at cocaine and heroin.

How were the Menswe@r reunion shows? Are further dates definitely ruled out? Do you ever listen back to your old material?

Not really a reunion. As I was the only original member. More of a fuckabout. The whole idea, for me personally, was to mark twenty years. And have fun. Nothing was really organised. Shows were added if people wanted to see it. There was no grandiose scheme. It was a laugh. The only ulterior motive was to ease me back into music. There will not be any more dates. I don’t see the point or foresee a demand. I think revisionism has well and truly done for Menswe@r.

I don’t listen to old Menswe@r stuff at all. I did, as a refresher for those shows, but otherwise never. 

Can you tell us about the work you have done for the National Autistic Society

Just little things. Like awareness. The odd talk. Handing a petition into number ten. Advice. Nothing major. I’m stepping back a little from it all because there’s a lot of noise coming from certain areas that I don’t really deem helpful or healthy. It seems to be turning into a who can shout the loudest thing. That’s not my bag. The internet has enough arguments. 

I think the best way for me to communicate any ideas I have about my autism (mine because everybody’s is different) is through my music. The In the Beginning EP tackles it, in places.

What was the inspiration for Fxxk Explosion? Are you working towards an album? 

The inspiration? I’m not sure I was inspired. Motivated maybe? Definitely compelled. Mainly by death, disease, the End of Times, you know? The little things. I had a back log of stuff building up for roughly sixteen years. In my head. Constipated with melodies. Fxxk Explosion is a creative enema as well as my way of dealing with my impending demise.

I’m not sure about an album. I heard the album was dead. I’m only releasing digitally. An album would be fair enough if I was putting out physical product. But I’m not, as yet. I think four or five songs at a time is nice. There’s more chance of people listening to them all.



                                                             Fxxk Explosion, In the Beginning EP

What are you listening to in 2017? Does any of it involve contemporary British guitar music? 

I pretty much stopped listening to contemporary guitar music in 2006. Mainly because I felt it had reached its limit. It had got to the point where it wasn’t just eating itself anymore. It was eating its own shit as well, ad infinitum. I don’t have the time. I guess I got bored of it. As well as many of the people who make it.

I basically listen to Absolute 80s and a bit of EDM. They fulfil my requirements. I don’t feel the need to be informed on new guitar music anymore. It’s not so much an age thing as a comfort thing. I know what I like. I don’t write about music so there’s no need. I make it. For me there’s a difference. It would still come out of me even if I never heard another note of someone else’s music. It just…is.

Thanks, Johnny!

You can follow Johnny on Twitter here


Click here to visit the Fxxk Explosion website.  



MORE LICHFIELD INTERROGATES: 

Simon Reynolds, arguably the world's finest music writer

Author, writer and musician Sean Bw Parker

Everything Everything frontman Jonathan Higgs

Hacienda legend, DJ and writer Dave Haslam


Repeater Books' author and writer Carl Neville

Shadow Fire Minister Chris Williamson MP

Cult BBC Tees broadcaster Bob Fischer



Monday, October 23, 2017

Sean Bw Parker announces new Brighton 'Stammering and Creativity' talk

Musician, writer and author Sean Bw Parker is taking his 'Stammering and Creativity' talk to Brighton on November 24. Doors will open 6pm at the Community Base on Queens Road, with the talk starting at 6.30pm. The event is based on Parker's TED talk, footage of which has become one of the most-viewed videos on the topic of stammering. 

The event is free-of-charge, and questions from the audience encouraged throughout. Reasonably-priced drinks will be available, though only 100 places are available, so book now to avoid disappointment. Read my recent interview with Sean Bw Parker below. 


LICHFIELD INTERROGATES: Sean Bw Parker

Sean Bw Parker is a writer and musician who has released several solo albums as well as collaborative works and albums by others via his label, Seraglio Point Productions. After spending a decade in Istanbul, he returned to England in 2014. His written work has been published by Time Out, Cosmopolitan and USA Today to give just a few examples, and he was formerly a director of the arts venue SeaFiSh in Bognor Regis. He has presented a TED talk called ‘Stammering and Creativity’ at the Kadir Has University in Istanbul. The talk has since become one of the most-watched videos on the topic of stammering.  ‘Stammering and Creativity’ will be toured around the UK shortly. 
  • What can we expect from the ‘Stammering and Creativity’ tour? 
It’ll be an extended version of the TED talk I was asked to give at the Kadir Has University conference in 2013, with Q&A encouraged throughout. This became one of the most viewed videos on the subject online. It revolves around my personal experience in that mature acceptance of the condition is key to harmonising it into your life, beyond more basic or subjective assumptions of a ‘cure’. It’s laced with glitz and humour too, as most things in life should be I think.

Stammering is something we do, and can be modified, so discussion of its being a disability is vibrant and ongoing. This tour is an attempt to educate, entertain and inform, like the BBC were once meant to do.
  • Can you tell us about your decade living in Istanbul? What were the most memorable moments? 
I met a group of Turkish people just after I’d finished my MA in fine art at the University of the Creative Arts in Farnham in 2004, and was working as a chef in Kingston-Upon-Thames, pondering my future. They went home to Istanbul, and I missed them so much – one in particular – that I decided to take a holiday there.

I actually thought Turkey was part of the European Union, but realised my mistake after a few months living and writing there, and found the fine was too much for my limited resources, so decided to keep working until I was rumbled in 2014 after an altercation with a friends’ neighbour, and was deported after two nights being kept in a cell next to about 100 Syrian freedom fighters in ‘transit’. That was on top of being in a bomb explosion in Bakirkoy, being attacked by a pack of dogs in the middle of the night in Besiktas, glassed by a fellow teacher, taking down a street self-mutilator (broken bottles down a naked chest) and being mugged twice in Taksim – all explored in ‘Salt in the Milk – Ten Years in Istanbul’.
  • How would you describe the character of Anthony H. Wolfstadt from your books to a newcomer? 
Wolfstadt is a young(ish) relic of the Empire, who looks at the East through ‘orientalist eyes’. He does whatever he wants, is a proud alcoholic, and criticises the natives of wherever he is living with what he likes to think is wit and panache. He is loosely based in Richard E. Grant’s ‘Withnail’, and the cover of my second book ‘Genuflecting Before the Pork-Barrel Demagogues’ suggests the appearance of Nigel Havers.

He is every middle-class Englisher’s licentious dark side, struggling to drag himself into the 21st century, until deciding not to bother. I voiced some of his stories on the ‘Ninja Lit’ album in 2015, with music by the genius Ettuspadix.
  • You’ve interviewed a wide range of well-known figures. Who is your most memorable interviewee? Who else is on your wish list? 
The most memorable would be David Stubbs, being as he is The Finest Living English Writer. That was full of wit, wisdom and observational brilliance. Ian Broudie of The Lightning Seeds was pretty memorable for his evident lack of patience with my questions, leading God Is In The TV to label the post ‘tetchy seed’. I regret asking Ed Harcourt if he minded being referred to as posh, as he disregarded the question, but as he later put it ‘you asked, I answered, that’s it’.

David Bowie would have been on the wish-list if I hadn’t fabricated an interview on a lonely, drunken inner-Wolfstadt moment a couple of years ago, leading to my grovelling apology and justifiable sacking from God Is In The TV. This was before the announcement of ‘The Next Day’, when everyone including The Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne thought he might have died already. Would love to speak to Russell Brand or Stephen Fry, from the living.
  • Can you tell us the story of your label, Seraglio Point Productions? 
I was examining an old map of Istanbul in my bedsit in Norbiton as I was contemplating flying out there, and amongst the very difficult Turkish names was the more tongueable Seraglio Point, the name for the promontory on which old Stamboul was built. I later realised it was also shorthand for the harem that successive Sultans would keep in Topkapi Palace, built there.

I signed a distribution contract with Believe Digital in the early 10s to release my band Scorpio Rising’s recordings, and my own solo stuff, and set up Seraglio as the label vehicle for doing so – then realised we could get my favourite fellow artists work out there under the same umbrella. I started using it to promote the shows I would organise under it too, and books, and here we are seven years later. The Seraglio Point Productions facebook group makes me smile on a daily basis.
  • You been part of several bands and recorded as a solo artist – of which musical moments are you most proud? 
Song-wise, ‘Skin Match Version’ by Scorpio Rising is still my favourite, due to its very live, in the moment nature, and the first time I’d successfully used stream of consciousness/cut-up method in a lyric. Regarding albums, this year’s ‘A New Jerusalem’ is my favourite as it sounds very complete to me, journey-like, from Will Blake to Scorpio Rising to Ettuspadix. 2014 single ‘Bananafingers’ is the most popular with the public, still being played all over the East and the USA.

The video documentary Dutch Gumbo is a bit long, but tells a story and most bits are covered in there. The most memorable show was with SPB (Sean Parker Band) at the French Days Festival in Gezi Park, Taksim in 2011. A couple of years later I was tear gassed along with about 3000 fellow injured in the Gezi riots, most losing eyes due to rubber bullets fired by Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s police.
  • What are your thoughts on the current UK political climate? How much do you feel UK life changed whilst you were away? 
A contributing reason of my self-exile was Tony Blair’s Alan Partridge-esque ‘modernisation’ of Britain. Though I like most sane people voted him in in 1997, he immediately introduced tuition fees just as I was returning to university, and was busy finding excuses to invade Iraq as I left.

For years it seemed you couldn’t tell the difference between party and policy, and Jeremy Corbyn has refreshingly changed that, returning the debate to humanistic ideals, when all I can see in the south east is people scowling suspiciously at each other. Daily life seems a constant struggle for everyone I know under 40 to get by, on top of being vocally hamstrung by an increasingly virulent political correctness.
  • What is the current situation with SeaFiSh? Will it return? 
I will always be proud of being ‘ideas man’ and co-founder of Seafish, it was my CBGBs and Hacienda all rolled into ten months in Bognor Regis. It was incredible being able to put on Eat Static, The Members, Attila the Stockbroker, Deborah Rose and Speech Painter to name a few, before Arun District Council made it impossible to continue.

My agnosticism was called sharply into question by an actual poltergeist, who/which we dubbed Pete, Pete the Poltergeist. For months I was only able to sporadically sleep in my own room, the amount it banged about. I’m a rationalist, and could honestly find no explanation for clearly human consciousness-originated actions, from multiple sources, clocks and pint glasses flying from shelves, a cacophony of physical doors slamming  – neither rats nor pigeons, nor the age of the building. It started when I had the carpet pulled up, interestingly, but when it subsided the real trouble started.

The Fish ended really sadly in around Christmas 2016, and I see no scope for any return, on my part anyway – it would be good to see Bognor have a great cultural venue again, but it certainly won’t be with me heading it up.
  • What are you currently watching, reading and/or listening to? 
Books that I have open are The Unmasking of Oscar Wilde and the Essential History of Art, but the truth is I’m far more enamoured with my friends’ facebook updates than either, and of course the attendant political theory/conspiracy theory (delete as you wish) links that often go with them. I’m editing ‘Empire of the Mind 3’, final part of a series of south coast-originated poetry and prose, so that takes up a lot of my eye/brain time at the moment.

As a younger man I had a list of albums that I had to listen to if I got the chance. Online made that possible a few years ago, so now listening is a daily voyage of discovery from friends’ recommendations - to mixed results. The problem is so little of it sticks – but that’s probably because I don’t have the emotional and mental plasticity of of a fourteen year old brain anymore. The new Antidote songs are incredible, as is Stage Van H’s new traditional Greek-inspired work, and can’t wait to hear David Devant and His Spirit Wife’s ‘Sublime’ album.
  • What are you currently working on aside from preparing the tour? 
Apart from editing ‘Empire of the Mind 3’ as mentioned above, I’m releasing my own ‘A Cacophony of Indifference’ album, both before the end of 2017, and planning a sixth book for publication next year. As artist liaison for Brighton’s Real Music Club we’re organising a Crayola Lantern show after a successful Zofff one at the Prince Albert last month, and I’m continuing to contribute to the Liverpool-based Getintothis, now the UK’s premier must-read music and culture site.

We’re opening a Hove Skeptics at the Pub group, further to the work I do for the Worthing chapter – which will see guest speaker spots from (RATM number one chap) Jon Morter and artist (and son of Lucien) David Macadam Freud next year – and the Seraglio Open Stage at the Brunswick in Hove continues the first of every month, after the brilliant WildeFest 2017 in October.

Thanks, Sean!

Lichfield Interrogates: Simon Reynolds

Lichfield Interrogates: Future of the Left

Lichfield Interrogates: Everything Everything

Lichfield Interrogates: Dave Haslam



Monday, October 16, 2017

LICHFIELD INTERROGATES: Sean Bw Parker

Sean Bw Parker is a writer and musician who has released several solo albums as well as collaborative works and albums by others via his label, Seraglio Point Productions. After spending a decade in Istanbul, he returned to England in 2014. His written work has been published by Time Out, Cosmopolitan and USA Today to give just a few examples, and he was formerly a director of the arts venue SeaFiSh in Bognor Regis. He has presented a TED talk called ‘Stammering and Creativity’ at the Kadir Has University in Istanbul. The talk has since become one of the most-watched videos on the topic of stammering.  ‘Stammering and Creativity’ will be toured around the UK shortly. 
  • What can we expect from the ‘Stammering and Creativity’ tour? 
It’ll be an extended version of the TED talk I was asked to give at the Kadir Has University conference in 2013, with Q&A encouraged throughout. This became one of the most viewed videos on the subject online. It revolves around my personal experience in that mature acceptance of the condition is key to harmonising it into your life, beyond more basic or subjective assumptions of a ‘cure’. It’s laced with glitz and humour too, as most things in life should be I think.

Stammering is something we do, and can be modified, so discussion of its being a disability is vibrant and ongoing. This tour is an attempt to educate, entertain and inform, like the BBC were once meant to do.
  • Can you tell us about your decade living in Istanbul? What were the most memorable moments? 
I met a group of Turkish people just after I’d finished my MA in fine art at the University of the Creative Arts in Farnham in 2004, and was working as a chef in Kingston-Upon-Thames, pondering my future. They went home to Istanbul, and I missed them so much – one in particular – that I decided to take a holiday there. 

I actually thought Turkey was part of the European Union, but realised my mistake after a few months living and writing there, and found the fine was too much for my limited resources, so decided to keep working until I was rumbled in 2014 after an altercation with a friends’ neighbour, and was deported after two nights being kept in a cell next to about 100 Syrian freedom fighters in ‘transit’. That was on top of being in a bomb explosion in Bakirkoy, being attacked by a pack of dogs in the middle of the night in Besiktas, glassed by a fellow teacher, taking down a street self-mutilator (broken bottles down a naked chest) and being mugged twice in Taksim – all explored in ‘Salt in the Milk – Ten Years in Istanbul’.
  • How would you describe the character of Anthony H. Wolfstadt from your books to a newcomer? 
Wolfstadt is a young(ish) relic of the Empire, who looks at the East through ‘orientalist eyes’. He does whatever he wants, is a proud alcoholic, and criticises the natives of wherever he is living with what he likes to think is wit and panache. He is loosely based in Richard E. Grant’s ‘Withnail’, and the cover of my second book ‘Genuflecting Before the Pork-Barrel Demagogues’ suggests the appearance of Nigel Havers. 

He is every middle-class Englisher’s licentious dark side, struggling to drag himself into the 21st century, until deciding not to bother. I voiced some of his stories on the ‘Ninja Lit’ album in 2015, with music by the genius Ettuspadix.
  • You’ve interviewed a wide range of well-known figures. Who is your most memorable interviewee? Who else is on your wish list? 
The most memorable would be David Stubbs, being as he is The Finest Living English Writer. That was full of wit, wisdom and observational brilliance. Ian Broudie of The Lightning Seeds was pretty memorable for his evident lack of patience with my questions, leading God Is In The TV to label the post ‘tetchy seed’. I regret asking Ed Harcourt if he minded being referred to as posh, as he disregarded the question, but as he later put it ‘you asked, I answered, that’s it’. 

David Bowie would have been on the wish-list if I hadn’t fabricated an interview on a lonely, drunken inner-Wolfstadt moment a couple of years ago, leading to my grovelling apology and justifiable sacking from God Is In The TV. This was before the announcement of ‘The Next Day’, when everyone including The Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne thought he might have died already. Would love to speak to Russell Brand or Stephen Fry, from the living.
  • Can you tell us the story of your label, Seraglio Point Productions? 
I was examining an old map of Istanbul in my bedsit in Norbiton as I was contemplating flying out there, and amongst the very difficult Turkish names was the more tongueable Seraglio Point, the name for the promontory on which old Stamboul was built. I later realised it was also shorthand for the harem that successive Sultans would keep in Topkapi Palace, built there. 

I signed a distribution contract with Believe Digital in the early 10s to release my band Scorpio Rising’s recordings, and my own solo stuff, and set up Seraglio as the label vehicle for doing so – then realised we could get my favourite fellow artists work out there under the same umbrella. I started using it to promote the shows I would organise under it too, and books, and here we are seven years later. The Seraglio Point Productions facebook group makes me smile on a daily basis.
  • You been part of several bands and recorded as a solo artist – of which musical moments are you most proud? 
Song-wise, ‘Skin Match Version’ by Scorpio Rising is still my favourite, due to its very live, in the moment nature, and the first time I’d successfully used stream of consciousness/cut-up method in a lyric. Regarding albums, this year’s ‘A New Jerusalem’ is my favourite as it sounds very complete to me, journey-like, from Will Blake to Scorpio Rising to Ettuspadix. 2014 single ‘Bananafingers’ is the most popular with the public, still being played all over the East and the USA. 

The video documentary Dutch Gumbo is a bit long, but tells a story and most bits are covered in there. The most memorable show was with SPB (Sean Parker Band) at the French Days Festival in Gezi Park, Taksim in 2011. A couple of years later I was tear gassed along with about 3000 fellow injured in the Gezi riots, most losing eyes due to rubber bullets fired by Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s police.
  • What are your thoughts on the current UK political climate? How much do you feel UK life changed whilst you were away? 
A contributing reason of my self-exile was Tony Blair’s Alan Partridge-esque ‘modernisation’ of Britain. Though I like most sane people voted him in in 1997, he immediately introduced tuition fees just as I was returning to university, and was busy finding excuses to invade Iraq as I left. 

For years it seemed you couldn’t tell the difference between party and policy, and Jeremy Corbyn has refreshingly changed that, returning the debate to humanistic ideals, when all I can see in the south east is people scowling suspiciously at each other. Daily life seems a constant struggle for everyone I know under 40 to get by, on top of being vocally hamstrung by an increasingly virulent political correctness.
  • What is the current situation with SeaFiSh? Will it return? 
I will always be proud of being ‘ideas man’ and co-founder of Seafish, it was my CBGBs and Hacienda all rolled into ten months in Bognor Regis. It was incredible being able to put on Eat Static, The Members, Attila the Stockbroker, Deborah Rose and Speech Painter to name a few, before Arun District Council made it impossible to continue. 

My agnosticism was called sharply into question by an actual poltergeist, who/which we dubbed Pete, Pete the Poltergeist. For months I was only able to sporadically sleep in my own room, the amount it banged about. I’m a rationalist, and could honestly find no explanation for clearly human consciousness-originated actions, from multiple sources, clocks and pint glasses flying from shelves, a cacophony of physical doors slamming  – neither rats nor pigeons, nor the age of the building. It started when I had the carpet pulled up, interestingly, but when it subsided the real trouble started. 

The Fish ended really sadly in around Christmas 2016, and I see no scope for any return, on my part anyway – it would be good to see Bognor have a great cultural venue again, but it certainly won’t be with me heading it up.
  • What are you currently watching, reading and/or listening to? 
Books that I have open are The Unmasking of Oscar Wilde and the Essential History of Art, but the truth is I’m far more enamoured with my friends’ facebook updates than either, and of course the attendant political theory/conspiracy theory (delete as you wish) links that often go with them. I’m editing ‘Empire of the Mind 3’, final part of a series of south coast-originated poetry and prose, so that takes up a lot of my eye/brain time at the moment.

As a younger man I had a list of albums that I had to listen to if I got the chance. Online made that possible a few years ago, so now listening is a daily voyage of discovery from friends’ recommendations - to mixed results. The problem is so little of it sticks – but that’s probably because I don’t have the emotional and mental plasticity of of a fourteen year old brain anymore. The new Antidote songs are incredible, as is Stage Van H’s new traditional Greek-inspired work, and can’t wait to hear David Devant and His Spirit Wife’s ‘Sublime’ album.
  • What are you currently working on aside from preparing the tour? 
Apart from editing ‘Empire of the Mind 3’ as mentioned above, I’m releasing my own ‘A Cacophony of Indifference’ album, both before the end of 2017, and planning a sixth book for publication next year. As artist liaison for Brighton’s Real Music Club we’re organising a Crayola Lantern show after a successful Zofff one at the Prince Albert last month, and I’m continuing to contribute to the Liverpool-based Getintothis, now the UK’s premier must-read music and culture site. 

We’re opening a Hove Skeptics at the Pub group, further to the work I do for the Worthing chapter – which will see guest speaker spots from (RATM number one chap) Jon Morter and artist (and son of Lucien) David Macadam Freud next year – and the Seraglio Open Stage at the Brunswick in Hove continues the first of every month, after the brilliant WildeFest 2017 in October. 

Thanks, Sean!

Lichfield Interrogates: Simon Reynolds

Lichfield Interrogates: Future of the Left

Lichfield Interrogates: Everything Everything

Lichfield Interrogates: Dave Haslam