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Sunday, December 1, 2013

Dexy's & Distractions

Part two of Mick Middles' article in the 13th September 1980 issue of Sounds.



DISTRACTIONS with new man Arthur ('Don't call me the Northern Captain Sensible') Kadmon, second from left (pic by Kevin Cummins)

...In Cork the band found themselves sharing the tiny town with Dexy's Midnight Runners.  Mike tells the tale.

"Dexy's were really cheesed off because we drew a bigger crowd.  It was ridiculous because every P.A. in Cork had gone to Dexy's and we had to make do with this tiny tinny thing.  Well, although they were big pop stars they only drew about two hundred compared to our six hundred.  It was so silly when we got back to the hotel.  One of their road crew kept ringing our managers during the night making false death threats, really silly."

According to rumour, the flamboyant Kadmon revelled in taking the piss out of Dexy's by playing in a donkey jacket and woolly hat kindly supplied by the towns youth.

BACK IN Manchester however, the feeling about Kadmon's arrival is strangely mixed.  His onstage brashness tends to alienate many of the band's most loyal followers.  This doesn't appear to worry him, although he does have a few misgivings.  Sitting in the pub, guzzling Guinness and flashing his newly acquired Bing Crosby album, he talks frankly about his doubts.

"No, I'm not worried about fitting in.  I'll last forever, but I'm very concerned about the whole popstar approach.  I'm concerned about you and what you'll cast me as.  I'm certainly not the new Captain Sensible or anything like that.  I hate those people, I really do.  Like Lou Reed, you say he is your idol.  OK, he may have made some great music, but his attitude is pathetic.  All this treating people like nothings, it's wrong and basically I'm worried that it might affect me.  On a much smaller scale of course.  I mean, look at Mike, it's unintentional but he's started to name-drop."

Mike:  "There's nothing wrong with name-dropping, it's harmless really and pretty unavoidable."

Arthur:  "But it's wrong.  It shouldn't happen because it makes other people feel bad.  It's wrong.  There are people walking about whose sole ambition is to meet Debbie Harry or Sting and when they hear someone name-dropping it makes them feel bad."

Mike:  "I agree to a point, but really, well, I really admire people like The Fall who just completely destroy the whole star system by turning their backs on it.  I wish I could do that, I think it's incredible.  It must be really hard to be that way."

Exchange over, Kadmon talks more about his mistrust of the workings of a pop band.

"Look don't get me wrong.  I love being in The Distractions, it's just that I also feel a little guilty.  I mean, I used to love working for a living, it was great fun.  But now I'm earning more for doing a lot less and having fun at the same time.  I'll just need time to grow accustomed to it.  But listen, you can't label me as a northern Captain Sensible."

Actually, I never had the slightest intention of labelling Kadmon as anything, but as long as he continues to wear ski pants, orange socks, golf shoes and long red earrings.  As long as he continues to remain hyper-enthusiastic, then he's obviously going to attract the kind of attention he deplores.

[to be continued]

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