After so many favourable reports I was looking forward to seeing and hearing Middle Finger Salute at the good ol' Bridgehouse 2 in Canning Town last month. Inhabitants of deepest, darkest Blackburn, clocking up a mere, youthful 68 years of age between them, MFS are making a pretty impressive dent in the punk/oi scene of late.
What we Live For available on download now.
Formed in 2005 with Calum on vocals and guitar, Danny on guitar and vocals, Jonny on bass and vocals, along with Marsy on drums and vocals, MFS have already supported the likes of The Adicts, Stiff Little Fingers, Slaugter and the Dogs, U K Subs, Towers of London, Goldblade and of-course Demob, to name just a few.
Lorraine: SSssoooo Danny, you have volunteered to be in the Mudkiss hotseat ;-) Let's begin at the beginning. In fact, where DID it all begin? How did four young guys in Blackburn become Middle Finger Salute?
Danny: Me and Cal were in a few bands back when we were 14 together, but they were ones that only lasted a week and we were playing music we weren't really into and we wanted to do something more "us" in a way, so we formed MFS, but at the time we had no drummer, no bassist. We tried a guy called Sean on bass, who thought of the name, but couldn't play well!
We booked a practice, and Cal told us "I've got a drummer coming, he'll turn up, trust me" then this 13 year old version of Marsy turned up and was good, so he stayed in. Jonnys our 3rd bassist...but he's spot on so he's in it for the long haul! Thank god we found Jonny...through Marsy too...he was dead into the music anyway and can play bass like a motherbitch!
Lorraine: Were you all already into the punk scene? What bands were you all listening to and going to see?
Danny: Just getting into it really around that age, had been to see SLF before, and were into Bouncing Souls, Peter and The Test Tube Babies and the Macc Lads haha!
DANNY AT REBELLION 2008
Lorraine: You seem to be hurtling along at great speed, supporting such names as mentioned previously, playing at large festivals such as Rebellion, sharing the stage with Cock Sparrer, not to mention three albums under your belt. Are you all very hard-working and ambitious? Would you call yourselves disciplined or is it just a matter of doing what you love best?
Danny: Erm...Just disciplined at what we love best, we work hard at it, but it's not any less enjoyable, it's fucking ace!
Lorraine: All of your album releases, including the latest 'What We Live For', are self pressed CDs. What makes the DIY ethic so popular, why have you followed this route? Is it simply that modern technology makes it all more accessible or is it down to a good old distrust and avoidance of the old fashioned music moguls?
Danny: I dunno, it's easy enough to self press stuff and make the money, but doing it that way it's hard to market your "product" effectively like there's no big budget like a label have, we have to self promote it for free - so Myspace it to death.
If any label's willing to help though :P
Lorraine: Despite the fact that I am not a fan of covers, I admit to singing along to your cover of The Spice Girls' 'Tell me what you want'. Why the Spice Girls, any profound relevance there or fond memories hehe.? Did I read that you also do a Steps cover? Please explain!
Danny: Haha, YES!! Spice Girls are the best! The only band in the world ever to have merchandise including bags of crisps with their logo on it!!!
But it's something we obviously listened to when we were 6-8 sort of age, and just play them cos it's funny haha!
Trying to think of Cheesy cover number 3...Any Ideas?
Lorraine: How about a Cliff Richard Christmas number? :-) I have a wonderful photo of Calum striking a pose worthy of a RADA audition (snigger). Who is the main driving force in the band or is it pretty balanced between you all? Any major fights or disagreements?
Danny: I'd say it's pretty balanced, we all do different things, and it comes together well - course there's little disagreements but it's nothing major ever - why argue over something that's meant to be fun...
They usually all start over if we should play "True Believers" by the Bouncing Souls...as soon as that is mentioned, all Hell breaks loose!! ahah!
Lorraine: As mentioned earlier, you have met quite a few names in the scene, has everyone been supportive and who have you enjoyed working beside the most? Is there anyone you haven't liked or thought was a right twat? (just whisper that bit).
Danny: Everyone seems really supportive, but you don't know what they say behind your backs.. Cock Sparrer have been ace, the most down to earth band probably in the world! People like Andy K and bands like Goldblade are dead supportive too!
Lorraine: I have to say I wasn't at all disappointed when we caught up with you at the BH2, but can you remind me why we were shouting "You're shit" ?
Danny: It's a song haha, we thought it would be good fun to have everyone shout YOURE SHIT!! at us, and it ends the set in a light-hearted way, rather than some deep you know, ballad, I guess, I dunno.
Lorraine: For the unitiated, how would you describe yourselves and your sound?
Danny: 4 mates from Blackburn doing what they enjoy the most!
Lorraine: What are the next big dates for MFS, what are you looking forward to in the future?
Danny: We are supporting SLF tonight, and there's Rancid and Sham 69 coming up too which should be cool! Then in the new year there's Punk and Disorderly in Berlin, which is cool, cos we get to annoy Cock Sparrer again for a weekend haha!
Lorraine: Finally, if Jim could Fix it (is he still alive?) for any dream to come true for Middle Finger Salute, what would it be and what would it be for you personally Danny?
Danny: I don't know, nothing really, make the most of what you got and see where it takes you!
Lorraine: Sound advice, thank you Danny and you check out future gig dates and info: