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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The last bus

Here's the second half of David Hepworth's article in the July 1980, issue 3 of The Face.  Thanks to Jackie Whatmough for the scan.

Distracted Distractions (l to r): Steve Perrin, Adrian Wright, 
Mike Finney, Pip Nicholls, Alec Sidebottom.  Photo: Paul Slattery.


Alec: "Everybody else was experimental and we weren't..."

Mike: "... so we were in effect the only experimental band..."

Guitarist Adrian Wright, bassplaying Pip Nicholls (caught on the rebound from a Buzzcocks audition) completed the line up and they progressed towards a contract with Island via the gorgeously titled "You're Not Going Out Dressed Like That" and "Time Goes By So Slow", both garnering encouraging press reactions.

If they have subsequently succumbed to the blandishments of the London record business, it's well concealed; their openness and friendliness is most disarming.  They admit to remembering the days when you could obtain a decent Frozen Jubbly for less than 12p, which puts them in the middle twenties, or, as Alec drily observes, older than Buzzcocks but too young to quality for Crass.

The Distractions' music is short on bitterness, long on bemusement.  It takes a fuddled glimpse at life through the streaky windows of the last bus.  Finney stresses that each song, with the exception of the old Eden Kane chestnut, "Boys Cry", is derived from a specific experience.  I'm assured that "Waiting For Lorraine" would never have come about had Perrin not had the misfortune to have four girlfriends in succession turn gay on him.  It seems a plausible thing to happen to a Distraction.

The cover of "Nobody's Perfect" is a beauty.  Hypercool model girl mooching round art gallery executes doubletake while passing portraits of deeply uncool Distractions.

"Everybody isn't handsome and successful with women in this world," says Alec.  "80% of the population probably aren't - and we just reflect that."

Talk of women brings us to round to Pip, whose gender isn't exactly advertised.  "I was in the band a month before I knew," says Alec, still incredulous.  "I was talking to her once and she said 'Oh... I'm a girl'.  These bloody swines never told me."


(c) The Face, No3, July 1980

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