Saturday, 10 September 2011

INTERVIEW: Mathew Priest of Dodgy


DODGY Announce New Album and Tour Dates!
During the Britpop boom of the 1990's DODGY had arrived at the right time, scoring classic hit singles with the likes of 'Staying Out For The Summer', 'In A Room', 'If You're Thinking Of Me' and the unavoidable summer anthem 'Good Enough'. They had it all and could have ended up as big as Oasis or Blur, but in 1998 it all went pear shaped when singer Nigel Clark decided he'd be better off as a solo artist, leaving drummer Mathew Priest and bassist Andy Miller behind at the peak of their success. Nigel's solo career didn't take off in the way he'd hoped while Math and Andy soldiered on and kept the Dodgy name. Not only did they employ a new singer but also another guitarist and a keyboardist, making the Dodgy line up into a five piece, only two of whom were in the original band. 

While I respected Math and Andy's decision to try and keep part of the old magic alive, Dodgy Mk 2 was never going to be anywhere near as good. After an unsuccessful album 'Real Estate,' Dodgy Mk 2 went their separate ways and it looked like those Mighty Dodgy Vibes were going to be left in the past forever. But then in the summer of 2007 the news was announced that the original Dodgy had settled their differences and were reuniting again. After spending the last few years getting reacquainted with live audiences, Dodgy are coming back with their first album in over a decade. In fact it's been nearly 15 years since the release of the last original line up's classic album 'Free Peace Sweet'. But in January 2012 the band are unleashing 'Stand Upright In A Cool Place' which is to be released on Strikeback Records. Dodgy's Mathew Priest gives an exclusive interview about the new record.....


So for those readers that don't know, how did Dodgy end up reuniting?
"When Nigel left the band originally in '98, the split wasn't nasty but it was hard for me and Andy as we didn't see it coming. We weren't getting on as well as we did but we didn't think he would leave. So the idea of getting back together wasn't totally out of the question as we didn't want to kill each other. It actually came about in a real bitter-sweet way. Our lighting tech, Andy Moore was dying of cancer, we loved this guy, been with us from the start. A hilarious man. He was having a testimonial whilst he was still alive and asked me and Nige to go and play for him. It started there really "life's too fucking short, man". He actually died on the first day of our rehearsals for our reunion tour"

How long did it take for the band to decide to record a new album or was it always an aim from the minute you got back together?
"Not at all, but we were always very creative when we got together and this reunion was no exception. Nige is always writing songs. It was a real slow process, we didn't want to push it - rush into a studio, put ourselves under pressure and then all the old problems flare up again. Nah, we decided to take our time, get to know each other again, scrap the first lot of songs and write some better ones and do things at our own pace. The most important thing is that we were getting on, having a laugh and enjoying working with each other again - only then does the magic happen. We figured that the fans had waited 10 years, they could wait a bit longer."


Do you think the extended break has made for a better album?
"Absolutely, I recommend it to anyone, If you're having a tough time with the old man, ditch him for 10 years, It works. Also, we're better musicians, better writers. In the 10 years apart, none of us stopped working in music."

Any explanation behind that title 'Stand Upright In A Cool Place'? Apart from the fact that it sounds like a typical Dodgy title.
"I was listening to a radio documentary about this chap travelling all over the world to find different folk's secret to happiness. The best one was from this druid who said he found the secret to happiness on the side of a bottle of bleach - stand upright in a cool place."

Tell us about the musical nature of the album and any surprises that may be in store...

"Hopefully people will be surprised at how good it is! We've hardly got any other musicians or instruments on the album besides guitars, bass and drums. It's just the 3 of us, harmonising and playing together. Lots of harmonies. I think Nige was trying to summon the spirit of Townes Van Zandt through his songs."


Finally, describe the album in 10 words or less.
"Malvern. Bucolic. Brown. Sunshine. Wasp slayers. Love smells . Happy. Ending Texas."


Dodgy will be touring over the next few months, playing the new album IN FULL as well as a set of their classic hits. Tickets available from http://dodgytickets.sandbag.uk.com/

Sept
Wed 28 - GLASGOW, King Tuts FREE GIG
Fri 30 - MANCHESTER, Band On The Wall FREE GIG

Oct
Sat 1 - YORK, Duchess
Fri 7 - HERTFORD - Corn Exchange
Sat 8 - SHREWSBURY - Four Crosses Hotel
Fri 14 - GUILDFORD, Boileroom
Sat 15 - ST HELENS, Citadel
Fri 21 - FROME, Cheese and Grain
Sat 22 - RIVER COTTAGE
Sun 23 - WHITSTABLE, East Quay
Fri 28 - WINCHESTER, Railway
Sat 29 - KINGSTON, Peel

Nov
Thur 3 - NEWARK, Palace Theatre
Fri 4 - BRIGHTON, Concorde 2
Thur 10 - SWANSEA, Garage
Fri 11 - WARRINGTON, Osale Yard
Sat 12- STRATFORD, Cox's Yard
Sat 19 - CARDIFF, Clwb Ifor Bach
Fri 25 - NORWICH, Waterfront
Sat 26 - LONDON date TBC

Dec
Thurs 1 - BRISTOL, Fleece
Fri 2 - ST ALBANS, The Horn

For more information visit www.dodgyology.com

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