For a short time in the late 90s and early 00s the music scene was enriched by the presence of Earl Brutus, a band named after an imaginary pub and featuring ex-members of the Jesus and Mary Chain, World of Twist and JoBoxers (good memory?)
The band fizzled out as easily as it formed but earlier this year former members Jim Fry, Gordon King, Stuart Boreman and Shinya “Shins” Hayashida got together and reformed as The Pre New, along with newcomers Laurence Bray, Stuart Wheldon and George Phillips. I managed to catch them live at the Dublin Castle in Camden, but before that got together with them for an extraordinarily relaxed time at the Spread Eagle across the road.
This was definitely one of the less structured and more enjoyable interviews that I’ve done for a long time – not least because I was in a very comfortable chair in a rather nice pub (that’s a familiar part of my life) but because Jim had all the time in the world to talk about the old days, the new days and all sorts of random stuff in between. And just like the Earl Brutus shows of old that I remember, Shins would frequently interrupt the interview with charming yet utterly puzzling random musings.
It was good to hear how an “unlistenable” single made it to number one and was played on national TV, what Shins watches on Youtube and why he’s suddenly picked up a Glaswegian accent, and what Jim really thought of Kenickie. (Now if we could just get them to reform too ...)
The show itself was a typically robust affair, with new songs such as the Pre New Anthem alongside old Earl Brutus songs Navyhead and Universal Plan, and an outing for old World of Twist number Sons Of The Stage (a song since horribly ruined by Oasis novely act Beady Eye). Support came from Cash For Cars, who gave us a slightly heavier and less-glammy rendition of the 1997 Earl Brutus single The SAS And The Glam That Goes With It, joined by Jim on joint vocals.
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