Adrian Flanagan’s Guide to Sheffield
When Professor Adrian Flanagan isn’t tinkering with synths as part of nerd disco pioneers The International Teachers of Pop or coming up with avant-garde concept albums for The Moonlandingz, he can often be found moseying around the city streets seeking creative inspiration and the odd doughy bargain. From the man himself, here’s a quick look at how an average day in the life of a Sheffield-based organ grinder might pan out…
I’ve lived in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, for almost exactly the same amount of time that I lived in my birthplace of Salford, Lancashire.
20 bloody years.
20 selfless, penniless years providing joy, music, culture, agitation – but mainly, I’ve been someone for the fine people of Sheffield to point and laugh at in the street. In those 20 years of self-development, discovery, horror and adventure I was taken under the dainty wing of producer and local synth “ledge” Dean Honer, made ridiculous and fun records with Phil Oakey and Mungo Jerry as Kings Have Long Arms, been in a serious car accident and an even more serious bike accident leaving me with life-changing injuries: badly broken arms and wrist, a torn sternum, broken jaw, facial lacerations and a damaged heart and lungs. Post-accident I was told by so-called experts that I’d never make music again. Since then, I’ve written four curious concept albums as the Eccentronic Research Council with the actress Maxine Peake that has seen me/we embraced verily by the “serious art world”, played concerts in the National Gallery of Scotland and been featured on national TV singing songs about witches on The Culture Show.
More recently, I’ve been touring the world and making records in New York with Sean Lennon, Yoko Ono and the cowboy from the Village People with a semi-fictional beat combo, The Moonlandingz, and now, whilst said project is on a hiatus, I’m doing a high-octane psychedelic disco effort called The International Teachers of Pop. Since forming eight months ago, we’ve been invited to do gigs in a cave with Jarvis Cocker, played the very posh Somerset House in London with Roisin Murphy, got a little record deal, did a short tour, and have been getting lots of love from radio and media. Here in February 2019, on the cusp of a Brexit Britain, I’m readying myself for the release of our eponymously titled debut – out on 8 Feb – closely followed by a UK and European tour.
Basically, a middle-aged man is living the dreams of a teenage boy. But should now be the time I consider growing up? Should it ‘eckers like!