Sunday, 24 June 2012
Bones and the aft profiles:
Admiral Lord Biscuit
I first time I saw Biscuit playing the drums was with Ollie Briggs and Scotty in the band Ivich Lives at the Half Moon in 2004, supporting the rascally Ludes. Kathy and I, along with almost everyone else who saw them around that time, thought they were one of the most emotionally involving bands we’d ever seen. They couldn’t fail to make the big time, could they?
Later, after their much mourned demise, I had the privilege of playing with Briggs in The Afterrabbit, and at the same time played my first gig with Biscuit, again supporting Ludes, this time at the Crypt in Camberwell, when he played drums during a formidable and legendarily glitter drenched Hank… That line up also including Chris Morris on guitar, Matt Allchin on Bass and Dave Ashby on sax. Later we watched, awestruck at times, as he thwacked his noisy trade for South London legends The Doctors of Love, most memorably in a packed, hysterical, Bimble Inn at the Sunrise Festival.
We also saw him play in the early incarnation of Florence Welch’s Machine in Keano and Chloe’s garden in Lewes, in the pouring rain. The same songs she sang then, we saw her singing on the main stage at Latitude a mere three years later, the drumming noticeably more conservative.
A slot as inventive percussionist with Ludes offshoot Rum Shebeen followed , a highlight being the supporting of Jamie T at Brixton Academy. He’s not just a drummer though…He can play any instrument in the world (except brass, as yet). His house is full of instruments! Glass xylophones! Sitars! Spoons! He writes songs too, unforgettable songs, finger pickin’, bluesy and full of highly original narrative twists.
Last year he led a team that won first prize in The Piano Scrapheap Challenge at the Royal Festival Hall (deconstructing a piano and turning it into a musical something else…)
Becoming friends- he really is one of the most interesting conversationalists, his topics ranging far and wide, not unlike his drumming, over the world and back- I managed to talk Biscuit into doing occasional gigs with me…appearances with my son Arthur on Resonance FM (three appearances on Carole Finer’s Sound Out!), gigs in a wet fish stall in Brixton Village , some exhibition openings and finally would he like to be a part of this new Bones & The Aft project? The people launch at Le Garage in Herne Hill, terrified in front of a thousand inebriate essex boys and girls at Leigh Folk Festival, The Red Gallery in trendy Shoreditchand more besides; the Grosvenor and the inevitable Half Moon in our Herne Hill homepatch........
Coming up next.....Bones and the aft profiles: Wingco Mulleen