THE SANITY CLAUSE
1. Ok Bob tell us about yer new band man, the dudes involved, the ethos, the style and the releases and gigs to date?
The Sanity Clause existed before I joined but disbanded and re-grouped with me on bass about six years ago. At that point we had Tim on keyboards but he left about three years ago cos his ears bled! I’m on bass and vocals, Iain is the drummer we practise in his cellar (otherwise he’d not be in the band J). Steve is on rhythm guitar and lead vocals and Neil is lead guitar and vocals. Steve is lead vocals on most songs but me and Neil ‘sing’ on some too. We play for fun really although most of our songs have a serious message. Our website describes us as ‘old school punk from Lancashire’ which probably sums us up. Our songs have a bit of variety and we have more than 30 in our full repertoire including a handful of covers. Our musical influences vary I can only speak for me but mine are mostly punk. We’ve probably played about 50 gigs since I joined or maybe more I couldn’t be sure, mostly in Lancashire or Greater Manchester, we’re lined up to play Wakefield in July which will be our first time over the Pennines I think. There were a coupla CDs from before I joined and we released a CD 3 years ago with this line up just after Neil joined and have just released another (see the promo bit at the end).
I got into punk late ’77 I think and started off playing guitar about ’79 but gradually drifted to bass because every man and his dog played guitar and I wasn’t much good tbh. I’m barely adequate on bass but it’s never been about proficiency, music should be fun not convoluted, egotistical, technical masturbation that has nothing to say. I prefer to be shambolic. I was in bands that never got out of the bedroom til I first played a coupla gigs with Potential Victims from Rochdale in ‘83 including supporting The Mob but sadly was totally off my face which I didn’t dare show again after letting people onstage to play my bass during our set even though I’m left handed and they weren’t. Then played with Barf on guitar and vocals, did about half a dozen drunken gigs in the late 80’s. Around that time I also put on gigs at the Fusebox in Blackburn and Darwen Youth Centre, did Nuffzanuff zine and distribution, sabbing etc. etc. all the standard punky stuff. Then I played guitar for Raw Veg who were from Preston and did about half a dozen gigs. I joined the Thought Police on bass around ’90-’91, Iain sang and played guitar for them and we recorded a tape and played one gig if I remember rightly. I then had a break of about 15 years before joining The Sanity Clause and also a covers band through work both around the same time. Didn’t enjoy playing the covers, mostly ‘classic rock’ (urgghh!) but it improved my bass playing slightly and was an experience including playing a gig in a Preston prison.
Ah at the risk of quoting Mr Lydon I don’t have any heroes, that might make it seem like he is a hero of mine but he isn’t. Zeroes? Always thought Billy Idol was a complete tosser and don’t get me started on the Tory Party.
Hell where do you start, early punk, 80’s punk, some reggae, even a bit of classical but didn’t and still don’t like Abba! I went veggie in’81 and vegan in ’83 and have stayed that way. I dabble in a bit of Buddhism and meditation but not regularly.
It’d be an ‘up and under’ but I reckon I’d win cos his corpse’s genitals would have decomposed by now and I’d hit him with King Kong’s testicles that I keep amongst my mammalia genitalia collection.
I’m not sure there really is a local scene but Doddy from Total Bloody Chaos is trying to put on gigs regularly in Blackburn at the Charles Napier so I’ve enlisted to help under the banner of PMT Promotions. We’ve got 4 Past Midnight lined up for 9 Feb, Addictive Philosophy at Easter and The System early June all with local supports to try to keep things alive. Last gig we did the band members outnumbered the punters and me and Doddy had to shell out to pay the bands, I’m sure it’s something you’ve experienced?
Most of our gigs have been just us but we’re getting on a few more with other bands. We’ve played also some strange gigs including our last one with a jazz duo and a prog rock band preceded by an odd disco. A few years back there was ginger Goth night .
Best band? Burnley Library with Andy T was fun if only cos most people left before we played, they usually leave whilst we’re playing. We played gigs with What A Riot, Kill Pretty and Addictive Philosophy in December who are all good bands.
Best gig? Hmmm playing on the back of a float for Preston Guild was fun particularly playing Right to Riot as we passed the town hall and the mayor’s entourage. This year I’m aiming to get us more gigs myself and play further afield hopefully, although we all have other commitments, which sometimes limits what we can do. We’re cheap and willing.
The obvious answer would be that I’d made love to Uranus so I’m not saying that, bugger I already have!
Four words for each? I know jackshit about cars this will be difficult.
I sort of dropped out of punk circles for a while and ‘settled down’ after a fashion so lost touch with a lot of it. I’m back out the woodwork now and it’s good to see people are still interested and involved. I’m not sure what to make of all these reformed bands though, sometimes seems people will spend lotsa money going to see them at the expense of newer lesser known local bands.
10. Tell us about the song writing process and how it goes from first thought to final ditty?
Steve used to write all the songs and Iain and me would add the banging and crashing but since Neil joined he’s brought some songs to the table and as a band we’ve grown in confidence. Iain and me still haven’t written any songs but could resurrect some old ones from our time in the Thought Police together?
If you don’t need to be a caterpillar I reckon I’d win cos I’ve a longer stride. A frass jacket? I’ve some frass records somewhere but no coat. I do live on a leafy diet and I’m very self defecating but I’d no idea there were Polish Penis thieves so your question’s raised my awareness although I’m still not sure whether they steal Polish Penises or are Polish or even what the plural of penis is, my Latin’s a bit rusty amo amas amat et cetera et cetera ceteris paribus!
Our new CD is just out ‘Ye Are Many They Are Few’ ten tracks for £6.00 inc. postage or a fiver if you catch us at a gig. Come and see us if only to witness the full horror. Three of us ‘sing’ so that’s a bit of a change. We take turns in choosing the set list so rarely play the same songs two gigs running. So far this year gig wise we have: