Dec O'Reilly



1.   Sense of Urgency - a brief intro and history please?

We're a 6 piece ska-punk band (guitar, bass, vox, drums trumpet and trombone). Half of us share a house in Stoke (Myself, Joe and Tombone) whilst the other half live in Manchester (Weevil, Holly and Beard). As SOU, I forget how long we've been playing to the exact date. Me and the singer Joe (also my brother), started a band when I was 14 and he was 17. At that point we'd been brought up with our older brothers old tapes and lp's like Specials, Stiff Little Fingers, Buzzcocks and The Clash and we'd just started to hear Op Ivy and the new ska and punk stuff. Starting a band just seemed the sensible thing to do. We kept messing with member changes, changed the name a few times and became SOU about 5 or 6 years ago. The only difference then was that we had a sax instead of a trumpet and a different bass player. The old bassist and sax player quit and we kept on trying to do gigs without horns and more member changes. Til recently we managed to acquire the skills of Holly (trumpet) when I joined a ska tribute band and Tom Weevil on bass who we'd known for years from just watching and playing gigs in Stoke. Now we're just up for playing anywhere and doing as much as we can.

2.   Whats are your personal ambitions as a musician and a person?

Playing music's what it's all about. I've always wanted to play the guitar and play live gigs since I can remember. That's what I love about SOU as well. Everyones proper into their music and just really enjoys playing tunes together. As far as ambitions go, for the time being I just want to play music that people enjoy and get to see a few places and find some likeminded folk who dig the songs and what we're about.

3.   Punk and ska are so similar yet paradixically so far apart - how do you link the two and what are the two scenes like in your local area and is there a good crossover of fans?

Whenever there's a decent gig on, its usually a trip to Manchester that's required. Stoke has the odd punk and ska show on but it just seems more enjoyable in Manc. There seems to be a genuine scene where people are friendly and really want to hear new bands. I've always thought of ska and punk going hand in hand, and I think a lot of people will happily attend a punk show one night and watch a more chilled out ska/reggae show the next.  Bands like Sublime who could effortlessly put a Minor Threat and Toots and the Maytals song next to each other in a set is a prime example of how you can mix the two.

4.  Trumpet 'O' Spoons the human metal detector is dead.  So whta I hear you say and I totally agree but the mans cutlery collection was renowned the world over as being a monument in the world of table utensils?  The question is would you eat a metal fork for money and is Uri Gellar's penis crooked?

I'd kill 2 birds with one stone and stab Uri Gellers nads with a fork. But not eat either. He's a douche.

5.   Where do you draw your influences from and are there any political edges to SOU?

Most of us all differ with musical influences but punk and ska is everyones common ground. Some members are into garage, hiphop, dub, thrash, metal, older punk, dancehall etc but we all like a lot of the same punk and ska bands like Slapstick, ASOB, Big D, Operation Ivy, Link 80, Satanic Surfers, Bigiwig, Broadways, Lawrence Arms and stuff like that. Musically, we listen to as much stuff as we can whether it be music from films or whatever and just try to think of ideas. Most of our influences in the lyrics are just how we go about our day. We watch loads of films and think of ideas from stuff like that, but when Joe starts to write the lyrics its usually just what pisses him off and what frame of mind he's in. As for politics, with the odd exceptional band I prefer to not hear too much in music. Everyones got their right to believe in whatever they want, and you want to go to a show to see good music, not to hear about some band preaching the atrocities of war. I may start preaching about Stoke council only leaving out one bin bag to use every Wednesday though. That would start an uprising.

6.   To start up a band and hit the stage is an admirable thing but initially what was it like.  Nerves, lack of confidence must play a part - how do you overcome this and what motivates you to keep on playing?

The first gig I played was when I was 14 and that was well nervewrecking. It was with an old punk cover band and just being so young was offputting enough. It seems to be over dead fast though and soon enough you can't wait for it. I really look forward to getting up and banging out a set and if a few people are feeling it, mission accomplished.

7.  In 20 years time where do you see SOU.  Some old farts reliving the past over a few beers saying -'oooh them were the days' or still burning and getting out there gigging?  Is music a real life ambition?

I'm gonna try and do it as long as I can. I haven't planned on any other real goal at the moment other than finishing the last year of Uni. But after that, I intend on putting as much of my time into this band as possible and I hope the others all feel the same way. Maybe we'll have a long run like Status Quo if all goes well - but not be wank like Status Quo.

8.  Edible Cricket - is it justified.  The balls are suet dumplings, the bats are mate of thick pastry fillled with sumptuous steak and the wickets are delicious candy sticks of many a fine flavour?  Steve Scab of The Scabs loves the sport and really likes to play it completely naked except for his marshmallow shinpads?  Would you indulge in a few overs with Mr Scab and do you think the next world swimming championships should be held in a pool full of gravy?

I hate cricket in any form. I don't care much for swimming either.

9.  Joys and gripes about the music scene please plus heroes and zeroes in life and music?

The music scene I like to think we're a part of is ace. With promotions like Bomb Ibiza, you know people just want to have a good time and a bit of drink to some good bands. There doesn't seem to be any hidden agenda of fashion or status, just a genuine bunch of music loving folks. As for heroes in music, I'd go for Brendan Kelly cos every band he touches turns to gold. A zero would be Pete Doherty. I don't see how people can worship a talentless crackwhore and see a sex symbol out of a piss sodden dirty tramp. I don't really have a life hero other than actors and directors and just cool people. Mel Brooks and Bruce Campbell would be up there. The bottom of the list is reserved for anyone who goes on Big Brother.

10.  Best gig to date - who with, why and where?

I really liked Mikey Wongs gig at the Thatched House recently. Was just an ace atmosphere and a good day all round. Playing in Redditch about 4 years ago was also pretty intense just cos it was the biggest crowd we've ever had.

11.  Corners Muldoonis  thinking of setting up a swan vesta match appreciation society.  Basically everyone needs to wear a skintight yellow t-shirt that says 'the flames' on it as well as a pair of skin tight red leather shorts and wooden clogs.  The aim of society is to promote the world of the match (or lucifer to the more archaic of mind) and indulge in random burnings of cretins.  Personally I am all for burning cretins as long as its done in the privacy of ones sitting room but I am a bit of a Captain Webb fan so cannot agree with the Swan Vesta ethos.  Do you like matches (elaborate please), should lighters be banned due to their satanic connotations and who is the biggest cretin you know?

I keep reading this question and keep getting confused. Right, You gotta keep matches cos they're more classy for lighting a tab than a lighter. Like a 30's wiseguy. But they're shite if its windy so lighters are an essential for the satanic worshipping and the God fearing cigarette smoker alike. As for the biggest cretin, I'd love to use one of those lighters on either Russell Brand or Jimmy Carrs, smug twatlike faces with a nice dab of petrol for good measure.

12.  Push SOU for all they are worth - niggle our curiosity and persuade us to check out this fine outfit?

We play fast, we play hard, we  mix in a variety of music and you're guaranteed a shitload of energy to boot. Plus, we need your cash.