ADULT ENTERTAINMENT: “It was important to do something a bit cerebral, but also slightly more menacing and something you can dance to”
You’ve just got to throw yourself in there, really get balls-deep in sexy. You have to submit yourself to the devils, the underlords.
Perhaps most famously evidenced by Jarvis Cocker’s inspired ‘Sheffield: Sex City’, a heady mixture of post-industrial northern backdrop, pulsating synth and erotic imaginings can certainly hit the spot when the lights are low and the mood is right.
Look no further than the aptly-named Adult Entertainment – a duo consisting of Sheff-based innovator Adrian Flanagan (International Teachers of Pop, The Moonlandingz and others) and Salford musician Charlotte Cannon – who are bringing some lusty, pumping electronica to the Steel City this month with a motley crew of supporting talent to complement their self-titled shtick of “moist sounds from the underground”.
Last month, Exposed caught up with the pair to delve a bit deeper into the project before being whisked on a tour of some of the city’s less salubrious hangouts.
How’s the New Year treating you both?
CC: Yeah, it’s been fucking tip-top.
AF: I went to Wales. Hung out in the middle of nowhere for a bit. It was kind of like a medieval retreat with all these mad Welsh people; everyone was on mushrooms and it was a very interesting way to see in the New Year.
How did you two meet?
CC: I guess through friends in the music industry really. I was doing my solo stuff, Adrian was looking for someone to do a project with and I think he must have heard about me.
AF: Yeah, this was pre-ITOP and I was looking for someone to work with. Because I’m making music all of the time, everything is very different and I’ve literally got five brains where it’s like, ‘That’s for that project, that’ll be for that project…’ and so on. I just thought she looked fucking cool and her own stuff is weird as fuck, wayward as fuck. I thought she might need reining in a bit and I reckon I’m the only guy for that fucking job.
And how’s that going for you so far?
AF: It’s literally impossible.
Charlotte, what was the main appeal in working with Adrian?
CC: I suppose we just got on instantly when we met, and obviously the stuff he’s done with his other projects is just fucking genius. There’s no reason I wouldn’t want to work with him.
Did you have a clear blueprint for what you wanted to project to be beforehand? Adrian had a big year with ITOP and it’s certainly a bit of a departure from that to a darker type of sound.
AF: Yeah, I wanted to go a bit dark with it. It’s not totally unpop but it’s touching on other areas that I like: acid house, foreign language discotheque from the 60s and 70s – things that are just a bit darker.
With that in mind, do you have to be in a certain sort of mood to work on an Adult Entertainment song? Maybe get yourself going a bit beforehand?
AF: What? Like look at a few mucky pictures? No, I think I’m always in the mood for Adult Entertainment.
So what is the key to writing sexy music?
AF: By being sexy, feeling sexy, walking sexy. You’ve just got to throw yourself in there, really get balls-deep in sexy. You have to submit yourself to the devils, the underlords.
Are you filling a void here? As in, is there enough sexy music out there?
AF: I don’t think there is any sexy music out there. Everyone’s really tame, and even the so-called rock‘n’rollers are getting a bit safe, thinking more about chart placings and that.
CC: Nobody’s filthy enough.
AF: It’s why I’m not happy just doing [International] Teachers of Pop or Moonlandingz, as you just kind of end up chasing approval from 6Music or whatever. I don’t want that to be a defining thing.
You kind of box yourself in a bit that way?
CC: Yeah, because you’re not really writing for yourself doing that.
AF: That’s part of the reason so many bands fail very quickly, and I’ve seen many come and go, but I’m still hanging in there. With this, I just thought it was important to do something a bit more cerebral, but also slightly more menacing and something you can dance to, get off to, fuck to….
The holy trio…
AF: Yeah, the holy trio because all of those things are dead important.
How’s the chemistry between you both as duo?
AF: Basically, I’m the bunsen burner and she’s whatever chemical that’s needed to cause the explosion!
There have been a couple of tunes out there, but it’s been a bit restrained so far – a bit of a tease.
AF: Yeah, there are a couple but not where you can really find them. I’ve kept them unlisted on YouTube because what I find is people will come up and tell you that they’ve Googled the band and just got 15 pages of dirty results instead, so you know that they’ve knocked one out while looking for your music. It’s like a public service.
CC: Helping the masses masturbate.
AF: We’ll be a bit hard to find for a while, until we start getting interest from Radio 1 that is. We’ve got a song about Mary Anne Hobbs, haven’t we? About her sexy voice…
CC: Yeah, she sounds a bit like she’s on the brink of climax.
You’ve got your debut Sheff show coming up at Network in February, and I’ve heard there’s something special planned?
AF: We’re trying our best to not do the typical ‘band night’ gigs, as they just feel like herding cattle, a bit careless even. We teamed up with a few independent promoters in Sheffield, London and Manchester who were open-minded enough to get that we wanted to get away from that four-band bill thing where someone goes on at 7:30pm and headliners at 9pm and then you go home. It was important to us that they felt more like an eccentric club night with cool visuals, where the punters can get dressed up, or down, and express themselves however they wanted. We curate the evening, put on artists that we like and try and pull in a local legend to do a themed DJ set.
Who’s on the Sheffield bill?
AF:We have sometimes nightclub owner and full-time Europop sex panther Dimitri as our live guest. I’ve also got Mr Richard Hawley DJing Las Vegas Grind-style rhythm & blues and rock & roll records in-between the live music. The live music will all be happening between 10pm and midnight, so people have plenty of time to get their wonk on, then we’ll have the Outernational Yorkshire DJs playing dancefloor-heavy Moog pop, Bollywood, Italio disco, psych, French electro, Middle Eastern funk, acid house and krautrock until late. It’s really important that the music policy is open-minded and playful. If people want to dance to Stone Roses or The Libertines then there’s plenty of other places to do that; we want the whole night to be for those wayward misfits and misshapes who don’t like to go to clubs in town because they don’t feel they belong, or because it’s full of aggro units, or because it’s another meat market peddling the same music policy since 1996. Our night’s gonna be a safe haven for adult wrongdoers to indulge themselves in high expressionism. If people want to come dressed as a tree and stand in a corner all night with a person dressed as a dog tied to them, then why the bloody hell not? Adult Entertainment are facilitators of whatever you can muster!
ADULT ENTERTAINMENT play Network on 14 Feb, featuring DIMITRI, Richard Hawley (DJ set) and Outernational Yorkshire DJs. Tickets are a mere £5 and available here.