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STEVE DIGGLE - 'SERIOUS CONTENDER' INTERVIEW BY SHELLEY

Steve Diggle, guitarist from one of my fave bands found time for an interview! We all know about his wild Pete Townsend guitar moves and a love of champagne. There’s much more to him than this though. After Buzzcocks first split in 1981 he formed Flag Of Convenience.  He’s written a book; ‘Harmony in My Head’, has his own great band with Chris Remington & Eamonn Sheehy, performs solo acoustic gigs and even does a bit of college lecturing!

 

Shelley - Buzzcocks recently won two Inspiration awards. Did you think it would all last so long after the reunion tour of 1989?

 

Steve - We didn’t really expect it to last. As with all things in life nothing’s permanent, it could continue for another 20 years or end tomorrow. I suppose it’s similar to a marriage. We’re not like the Who though, they couldn’t even stay at the same hotel together (laughs). It’s great that we’ve inspired other people and are mentioned as being influential by so many bands.

 

Shelley – You’ve appeared at quite a few festivals over the summer. Which type of venues do you prefer?

 

Steve- I love the electric atmosphere of smaller places, like our recent gig at The Brighton Coalition in July. That can be a magical cybernetic thing. Larger venues are great too with much better backstage facilities and decent food. We recently played at the Lokerse festival in Belgium where I managed to destroy six and a half thousand pounds worth of hired drum kit with the mike stand.

 

Shelley – Your own bass player, Chris Remington has been standing in for Tony Barber while he works with the Sex Pistols. Did he audition for this or step straight in?

 

Steve- I’ve known Chris for ages. There weren’t any auditions, He was able to take over and learn the songs really quickly in just a few days. This kind of thing has happened before when John Maher left and we had to get Mike Joyce in. Same with Steve Garvey too.

 

Shelley- Touring- love or loathe it? Just looking ahead to January 2009 when Buzzcocks perform their first two classic LP’s live around the UK!

 

Steve- It can sometimes seem a pain at the time but afterwards you always look back and have enjoyed it. Yes, I do like touring, it’s all part of my work.

 

Shelley- Is it true that Buzzers rehearse in a garden shed? I read this in another interview a while back.

 

Steve - I’m not sure where that story came from (laughs). I’ve not noticed any sheds yet but would love to have a huge one in my own garden for rehearsals.

 

Solo work 

Shelley – Your band appear at Harlow Square in Essex on November 28th. Any more shows in the pipeline?

 

Steve- Yes, there should be one in Wrexham early next year (February 2009). We’ve been approached about a few other gigs which haven’t yet been confirmed.

 

Shelley- I’ve a question here from Kev: will we ever hear any live Flag Of Convenience stuff again?  I remember superb gigs all around London at Dingwalls, Rock Garden, Bull and Gate when FOC were going and some great tracks such as Heartbeat Story, Astrid Proll and Men from the City.

 

Steve - Astrid Proll, I’d forgotten about that one! Yes, maybe. I’m kind of looking into that. A few people have asked this question so I’ll work on including some of these songs in the set. I’m trying to get a bit more organised.

 

Shelley – When will the DVD from the 100 Club gig be available.

Steve - It's delayed because the company have been taken over.
We have other material that might be used on a DVD some time.

 

Shelley- Another one from Kev: in your book it’s mentioned that you wanted to play with the Clash. Are there any other musicians or bands you’d like to collaborate with?

 

Steve - Not really, aside from Buzzcocks I’ve got my own band to concentrate on. We’ve just recruited another guitarist who’ll be with us at the Harlow Square gig. He’s from Hove, just over the border from where you live.

 

Shelley - I believe a college lecture about Steve Diggle’s musical experiences recently took place on the Isle of Wight?

 

Steve- It was arranged through Glen Matlock as he knows someone who works there.  I’d not been to the Isle of Wight before. The students were 16-21 year olds studying different aspects of music. I had a pint of Guinness during the talk which was amusing as the kids were told not to eat or drink anything. I warned them to keep away from the drugs.

 

Shelley – Everyone’s dying to know if there’ll be any new recordings?

 

Steve - I’ve written over 20 new songs for my band and Buzzcocks. Pete’s also been writing too. I've been rehearsing this week so great solo songs are ready to record.

 

Shelley – This article’s going online. Will you be able to read it? Have you got to grips with your computer yet? I think a few people may be wondering about this.

 

SteveI’ve got a new Apple now. Someone’s helping me to set it all up. I have an e-mail address but hardly use it and occasionally log into MySpace, although the page is maintained by other people.

 

The Steve Diggle shirt

 

Shelley – Tim would love to know where your famous spotted shirts come from.

 

Steve - Some of them are given to me by a certain company, others are especially made up. In the future there may be a Steve Diggle shirt on the market that people can buy. Meetings are taking place about this very soon.

 

Shelley- I’ve a final question from Carlos: if you could change one decision you made regarding your career, what would it be?

 

Steve - I wouldn’t have gone to the Lesser Free Trade Hall in 1976 (laughs loudly). No, not really- I can’t think of anything. Even bad decisions turned out for the best in the end.

 

Many thanks to Steve for talking to MudKISS. Can’t wait to see those polka dot shirts in the shops. I’ll certainly be ordering one for my hubby!

 

Catch his band live at Harlow Square (Essex) on November 28th. 

Hot news- Buzzcocks perform their first two albums live on the ‘Another Bites’ tour, Jan’ 2009. Not to be missed! For more details check out the following sites:

 

Steve’s MySpace page www.myspace.com/stevediggle

Buzzcocks MySpace www.myspace.com/buzzcocksofficial

Buzzcocks website (a wealth of information) www.buzzcocks.com

Secret Public (Buzzcocks fans site, a great resource) www.secretpublic.com

 

Photo’s by Phil Guild

Huge thanks To Carlos, Lynda, Kev, Karen, Nancy & Tim