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Opportunities abound for interviews at Strummercamp as many of the bands are milling around the field, chatting, buying drinks or eating. Everyone is friendly and I chose to interview two young bands who really impressed me on the day. I also wanted to interview The Hyperjax as they were one of the much-loved bands of the day but I bottled out when I met Sam Wood (vocals) as I had my hands full of chips and burger. I have them lined up for a full Mudkiss in depth interview so watch this space. Though not my usual in depth, soul searching, typical interview, I came prepared with just 5 simple questions as I knew it would be an action packed day for all concerned.


Pink Hearse scored a big hit with me, so I told Nikki the singer just how much I had enjoyed the set. She agreed to a lil' interview with me and all the band sat on the grass and chatted in between a hearty lunch.

Mel - Hi, I’m here with the band ‘Pink Hearse’ would you like to introduce yourselves, we’ll go round.

The girls each introduces themselves, “I’m Rai I play bass, I’m Nikki Hearse and I’m the lead singer, I’m Amy and I play drums, I’m Fenton and I play Rhythm guitar".

Nikki - Catlow’s not hear sorry.

Mel - Where are you from?

Nikki -We’re based in Fleetwood in Blackpool but we’re living in Manchester at the moment aren’t we.

Mel - What do ya think of Manchester?

Nikki It’s alright, I think some people are rude some people aren’t, but it’s just living in the city cos I come from a town.

Rai - We don’t really like our area that we are living in

Nikki - It’s very chavy

Fenton - We’re living in Salford at the moment

Nikki - Cheadle’s nice I like Cheadle, it’s pretty

Mel – Yea, it’s posh in some places

Nikki - (to Fenton) What do you’s think of Manchester when you come and visit?

Fenton - It’s different I like it, it’s better than Blackpool, better than Fleetwood, Fleetwood’s just a little town. There’s hardly anything there, you come to Manchester there’s a lot more to do, lots of different people to talk to.

Mel - So how did you get onto Strummercamp?

Nikki - Ahh this lovely gentleman here (points to Andy) this is Andy our Manager.

Mel – Hi Andy

Andy - Hiya

Nikki - Yea he tends to get’s bookings and asks us if we can do it and stuff, cos I’m awful with the whole booking.

Fenton - We’d be lost without our Andy.

Nikki - Yea we would be very lost without him.

Contact: Andy (for bookings) at or email, 

Mel - How did the band first get started and what are your influences?

Nikki - We were just three best friends who really wanted to start a band... so we did. We found a drummer and after a few gigs, a lead guitarist and just went out there and did it. Its been amazing.

It's weird because we are all sooo different, our music tastes are so different from each other. We tend to be more influenced by horror movies and random stories about things that happen to us.

Mel - What are the names of some of your song titles, which you played today?

Nikki - Zombie Rock 'n' Roll - Ready for The Fight - Frankenstein - Virtual Valentines Day & Dead Beautiful.

Mel - Is this the first time you’ve been to Strummercamp?

The girls all say Yea

Mel - What’s your impressions, so far?

Nikki - I’ve only ever been to the Rebellion Festivals, and this is like my first Strummercamp and its quite good cos they have a bit of everything. Like, I was really shocked because they had like quite a folky band on, a reggae band and they had us on, its really good I like it!

Mel - We’ve just watched a great Rockabilly band (Aces & Hearts).

Nikki - Oh I love Rockabilly, I couldn’t watch them though cos I had to get all my gear off and stuff.

Mel – Is this the first day of being here?

“Yea, yea” say the girls in unison

Mel - What sort of memories do you have of The Clash and Joe Strummer? I know you’re all very young so you probably didn’t get to see them!

Nikki - No, no I love them, my favourite Clash song is ‘BankRobber’, I love that song.

Someone comes over and asks the girls where he can buy their cd, Andy get’s called to sort him out.

Nikki - Sorry

Mel - It’s alright, how old are you all by the way?

The girls run through their ages from 17, 21, through to 23. Amy she’s 17 the youngest of the band.

Mel - What’s the best band you’ve seen at Strummercamp so far, I know you haven’t been here long so you’ve probably not seen many, so who are you looking forward to seeing today?

Nikki - Really looking forward to TV Smith and The Damned. I’m gonna go and watch The Hyperjax as well at 5, as I know The Hyperjax.

Rai - We’ve played with them before so.

Mel - Have you played in Manchester before then?

Nikki -We have yea, not often but we have played.

Fenton - We played at The Retro Bar, and Star & Garter, they are good places to play, but we haven’t played a great deal in Manchester.

Mel - Have you all still got day jobs?

Nikki - DAY JOB!!!

Fenton - Yea we have.

They proceeded to tell me they work in a variety of places such as Morrison’s & university.

Nikki I am actually going to get a job cos I’m saving up to get my tattoo done!

Mel - Are you hoping to make this a full time career?

Nikki - Oh yea definitely.

Mel - So what is the band currently doing, apart from Strummercamp?

Rai - We have our first album coming out soon.

Mel - What’s that called?

Fenton - ‘Crayons Usually Never Tell’ chuckles

Nikki - There’s a secret message in it.

We all laugh……………

Rai - Yea we started recording in August last year, the guy that was doing it was taking forever but hopefully it should be out soon, that should be a good thing for us really.Mel - I always try to end on a silly question, soooo who would you like to muddy kiss, being as our name is Mudkiss.

Nikki - errrm so many

Mel - Who’s the first name that springs to mind?

Nikki - God I dunno, too many boys!! Let me think…I’d kiss everyone! Yea I like boys, but they are scared of me for some reason hahaha.

Mel - Thanks Girls, enjoy the rest of the day!



Another new up and coming, band we seized the opportunity to watch this afternoon, they kindly allowed us some time for a chat, in-between the tents.

Mel - Hiya, would you like to introduce yourself?

They each spokeYea I’m Damian, the bass player from Aces & Eights, this is X ray cat, hello I’m Nic, I’m Reverend Black or Matt or whatever hahaha. Our drummer Adam is somewhere else, he’s putting his trousers on.

Nic - Where can we get the fanzine?

Mel - It’s on the website, I’ll give you a card later and a flyer.

Matt - Which fanzine is it?

Mel - It’s, we interview people, review gigs and have book & music reviews. We’ve been going just over a year.

Matt - What sort of books do you review then, just owt?

Mel - Music related books really.

Matt - Hahaha, sorry, well it could be searchlight or summat like that, Watchtower!

Adam joins us somewhere here…

Mel - We’ve just interviewed the men they couldn’t hang, have you heard of them.

Damian - No I don’t think I have

Mel - Say cheese (Vanessa takes candid photos)

Mel - They were headlining Strummercamp in 2007 but anyway. Right, so why are you all from first and foremost?

Matt - I’m from Leeds
Damian - I’m from Bradford, these guys are from Leeds
Matt - He’s not from Leeds, he’s from Nantwich
Nic - I’m from Cheshire yea, it’s about an hour away. He’s from Darlington (points to Adam)

Mel - Have you been to Strummercamp before?

No’s all around from the guys.

Damian - It’s really good, it’s really nice, it’s really warm which is good. I’ve got sunburn.

Vanessa - You like taking your top off anyway dontcha?

Damian - Yea, ‘laughs’, we played a gig yesterday in Wales and we came here and got here at half two in the morning. Set us tents up, we didn’t sleep then started sun bathing, ever since so. It’s been good.
Nic - It’s really warm so....
Matt - We’ve not really been sunbathing, he’s lying, we’ve been on the band stand keeping out of the sun, cos I’m from Yorkshire.
Damian - I’ve been for one in the sun.

Mel – I suppose my first proper question would be what’s your impression of Strummercamp?

Damian - It’s great, I’m definitely coming next year, if we’re not playing and bring me girlfriend down.
Nic - I like it, it’s a bit more family orientated, really.
Matt - I don’t normally approve of kids to be honest but I actually quite like the vibe, It’s a nice atmosphere and that’s cos it’s families.

Mel - Yea, there’s never any trouble or anything.

Damian - The security they are all like volunteers and I like that, cool.

Mel -Well I’ve just interviewed Phil, a couple of weeks ago.

Damian - Yea…We met Phil

Mel - How did you get to become involved with Strummercamp, did you approach them or visa versa?

Matt - No, Phil saw us, we did a gig for Rock N’ Roll Hellcat, at the Retro bar in Manchester.

Mel - I know Phil is trying to get different types of music on. Do you have any memories of or tales around Joe Strummer or The Clash?

Damian - Yea, my dad’s a really big fan, he sort of put me onto punk, when I was pretty young, and my dads always been in bands so when Joe Strummer died he was so upset.
Nic - Yea I can see why
Damian - The Clash sort of mean more every time I listen to them. I always go back to either the first album or ‘London Calling’ its just great.

Mel - What’s your favourite Clash record?

Damian - It’s the first one, the first album.

Mel - How old are you by the way, what sort of ages?

Matt - 27  
Damian - 23, I’m 24 in September
Nic - 25
Adam - 27 

Vanessa - (To Damian)Why the double bass instead of the electric guitar, not that it’s not fantastic?

Damian - As I say, I started off with punk when I was really young, but it’s like with The Clash as well, they were heavily sort of Teddy Boy influence and rockabilly. I sort of went to a lot of punk gigs, but I got to about 16, 17 and I was like this isn’t for me I’m sort of like into the hair and I wanna look smart.

Mel - It’s sexy the double bass as well isn’t it?

Damian - hahaha, yea you can’t get over that sound!

Vanessa - It’s a womanly shape!

Mel - He slaps it around just like a woman too hahaha

Damian – Well, I’m not saying out but…..always slapping me G string (laughs all round)

Mel – What’s the best band you’ve seen at Strummercamp, or looking forward to seeing?

Nic - Hyperjax
Matt - Yea Hyperjax
Damian - They’ve been going a lot longer than us
Nic - They play double bass and stuff it’s like rockabilly sort of thing as well.

Mel - I think I’ve seen them before here.

Damian - I wish we were here yesterday but we were playing a gig, so..we couldn’t get down early enough.
Nic - I’d liked to see The Damned and would’ve liked to have seen Billy Bragg.
Damian - The Damned are in the tour bus, over there, all the windows are all condensed up. Don’t know what’s going on in there?
Nic – Captain Sensible is in there with his.................?
Damian - That is really witty! Dave Vanian’s  staying out of the sun.

Mel - What is the band currently doing, apart from playing at Strummercamp obviously? Do you have any plans in store?

Nic - A European tour, just a little one with The Hyperjax.
Matt - And The Graveyard Johnnies.
Damian - We might be doing another European tour with The Speed Kings, but that’ll be later on.

Mel - Any sign of a recording contract or anything?

Nic - We’ve got a single out.
Matt - We’ve got a mini album out on Raucous Records, it came out about the end of last summer, last August.
Nic - We’ve got material to put an album together, but it’s hard, all the labels are kinda holding there breathe, you kinda gotta do it yourself. But to do it properly it takes a lot of money.
Matt - We’re not like skilled professionals, we’ve got jobs hahaha. We don’t have a vast amount of money.

Mel - What jobs do you do?

Nic - I work for an internet company at home, and teach guitar lessons as well.
Matt - I’m a lab technician.
Damian - I’m unemployed at the moment hahaha.
Adam – I’m a delivery driver.

Mel - Well thank you very much for the chat, let's have a posed shot!

(Go buy their album 'Aces & Eight's' on itunes, it's dark n' rockin)

Interview by Mel 24.05.09

Interview photos taken by Vanessa/Band shots by Mel