The Monday Club
Nursing a coffee, whilst sat inside a quiet Greystones pub, is quite a perverse feeling.
Usually the walls are reverberating with the sounds of live music and Exposed is enjoying a fine ale whilst mentally preparing a review of what’s on show. But today, they’ve kindly opened their doors early so we can use its surroundings for our September instalment of Exposed In Session.
Joining us are Paul, Marc, Darren and Dan from The Monday Club – all smartly dressed and looking perfectly at ease with the pre-interview photo shoot (overlooking Darren’s persistence to close his eyes during shots). Tipped as Sheff’s next big guitar band, and with their latest single Itchy Feet receiving huge kudos and a glowing review from the Exposed gang, we were eager to get the lads in to talk music, mod icons and, erm… snooker?
Hi chaps, what live tracks will you be playing for Exposed in Session?
Paul: We’ll be doing Itchy Feet and a new song which we’re very excited about called Time Ticks Away.
A little birdie told me that Itchy Feet was actually written as homage to Alex ‘The Hurricane’ Higgins. Can you confirm?
Paul: Yeah, it came from a newspaper article that I read on holiday about Higgins just after he died; I took direct quotes such as “itchy feet” and “raise your glass to an empty seat”, and then used other bits from the article to inspire the lyrics.
You can be seen playing snooker in the Itchy Feet video – and looking pretty good, I might add. Was this a case of clever editing or can you boys play?
Paul: I think we had to do a fair few takes! But, to be fair, me and Darren were members at Wadsley Bridge Snooker Club at one point.
Highest break? Be honest!
Darren: Oh dear. Actually, I think mine is about 26 – I think the practice paid off at one point.
Paul: Mines probably about 19 – which I don’t think I’m ever going to top!
Marc: Mines probably about four or summat! *Laughter*
Dan: Yeah, I’m nearer to that sort of figure, too.
Ok, well, I think this naturally leads us into a bit of “If snooker players were in music bands?” For example, Ronnie o’ Sullivan has a slightly Brit Pop look about him – with his Gallagher-esque style swagger. What about Steve Davis?
Marc: Steve Davis would be in a math rock style band or something similar.
Darren: Yeah, he’s definitely into a bit of his prog rock, I reckon.
Do you not think Davis is a bit of a crooner? I could see him performing a cheeky Sinatra number…
Paul: I think that’s more like John Parrot – I could imagine him being a cruise ship entertainer! *laughter*
Dan: I saw Ken Doherty in the casino the other night. He’d fit in nicely with The Style Council, I reckon.
Well, Judd Trump certainly has a bit of a Busted haircut going on. He needs to sort that out.
Marc: Peter Ebdon would just play pure jazz for hours on end.
Paul: Stephen Lee would be in some sort of Blues Rock band – I could imagine him churning out a few riffs.
What about Stephen Hendry? It’s a tough one because he’s so glum all of the time. Would he be in an emo band?
Darren: Nah, I bet Hendry just hates all types of music. I think he hates everything apart from snooker.
Finally, where does Hazel Irvine fit into all of this?
Darren: I bet she’s got a wild side… maybe like a death metal band.
Paul: I’ve got it. She could be the lead singer of Arch Enemy
We should probably talk a bit about music now. So, you’re with Tiny Teeth Records, who have a few promising bands playing under the label. I suppose people are going to be looking towards local bands such as yourselves to spark the revival for the local scene… does this make you feel slightly under pressure?
Paul: We love Sheffield, and there’s nowhere else I’d choose to live, but I think we’re looking at the bigger picture. Not to be disrespectful or anything but we’re just getting working hard and enjoying it as opposed to worrying about things like that.
I suppose there’s always the danger of being pigeon-holed as a ‘Sheffield band’. Automatically, people start searching for comparisons to the Arctics, Milburn, Pulp, etc. Or articles bang on about how ‘northern’ or ‘down to earth’ bands are – *nods of agreement* – but would you agree that local music appears to be picking up again?
Marc: I’d say so. Tiny Teeth have been great in terms of helping younger bands and providing them with a platform to push on from.
Paul: I think it can be hard to keep an eye on the local scene when you’re in a band – you kind of have the blinkers on and I don’t manage to get to enough gigs as it is.
Marc: We had the Saturday off during Tramlines, so we went around and watched a load of bands. It made us realise that there is a lot of talent out there.
As a band, you’ve got this mod-style image going on – which is probably an underrepresented genre in contemporary music. Would you class typical mod bands: The Jam, The Kinks, The Small Faces as influences?
Paul: Definitely. Paul Weller is a bit of a musical hero of mine. There’s not really anything that he’s done which I don’t rate.
Reight, let’s test your inner modness. Who would you choose to have a pint with out of Paul Weller, Roger Daltrey or… Jimmy from Quadrophenia?
Darren: I’d go for Jimmy. I think that would be… nice. We’d meet in Brighton and just get on one… it would be mental.
Paul: Weller for me. I think Jimmy would be a bit too much, like. You could have a good natter with Weller, I reckon.
Marc: I think I’d go for Roger Daltrey, just for the legendary status of the guy.
Dan: Yeah, I’d go for Daltrey – purely because he’d have some incredible stories.
Anything exciting for the band around the corner?
Darren: Yeah, we’ve been spending time in the studio and should have a single release ready for November time.
Paul: The single is Time Ticks Away and we’re really looking forward to getting it out there. We were pleasantly surprised by the feedback from Itchy Feet and we reckon this one is stronger and a bit catchier!