Etcetera ETC with Young Southpaw


November 29, 2020

Young Southpaw chats to Henry Kaiser about his phenomenal new record A Love Supreme Electric, Coltrane & Miles, Thomas Pynchon, guitars on Antarctica, and much more


Henry Kaiser: I really got into music in high school. I think it was the San Francisco music scene, the kind of live gigs we could go to. We could go and see all kinds of great Indian music at the Ali Akbar College Of Music, go to all-night concerts of Indian music. We’d go to The Avalon, Winterland, and The Fillmore and see amazing things. Amazing bills that Bill Graham would book, where he’d put on B.B. King, Charles Lloyd, and Love, something like that. So I just got to see a lot of music, there was underground radio, there was non-commercial radio. I heard 20th century classical music, experimental music. And I fell in love with enjoying music as a consumer in high school. I didn’t start playing guitar until I got to college. Got a guitar in 1971. November 1st. Then I became a producer instead of just a consumer, slowly. 


Young Southpaw: Was there something in particular that made you want to pick up a guitar? 


HK: Three experiences that happened in the same week made me want to pick up a guitar. I heard an album called Topography Of The Lungs with Derek Bailey, Evan Parker, and Hann Bennink, and I could identify - like Derek Bailey was talking directly to me with his guitar. And I went to a really great John Fahey concert, in a high school auditorium where he played for three hours, played his whole repertoire. And then right after that, I went to a Captain Beefheart concert at Tufts University in Massachusetts. Fred MacDowell was opening. This was before The Spotlight Kid was released, and they played that material. And Elliot Ingber, ‘Winged Ell Fingerling’, guitarist who has also been in The Mothers with Frank Zappa, played the best, most exciting, moving guitar solo I’d ever heard in my life on an instrumental called ‘Alice In Blunderland’. And I went out and bought a guitar the next day. And I still have that guitar. It’s a black telecaster. Actually, I just made a video show about my first three guitars that went up on Thanksgiving. It’s at the Cuneiform Records YouTube page. It’s called ‘A Thanksgiving For Guitars’.  



November 23, 2020

Young Southpaw chats with sunshine pop maestro Louis Philippe about his new record ‘Thunderclouds’, his backing band The Night Mail, the legendary él and Humbug record labels, and much more, with LP offering great insight into his creating such wonderful music. 



Young Southpaw: Your press release calls the album ‘the autumnal side of sunshine pop’. Which is a great phrase.  


Louis Philippe: It’s not mine (laughs). Or maybe it was, I can’t remember. 'Autumnal' was actually a good word, I think, to choose for the record.  


YS: I know I associate certain bands and albums with certain seasons. Do you find that yourself?  


LP: Yep. If you say ‘autumnal’, The Clientele are very much a band that I associate with that season. With the spring, I would associate like Roger Nichols & The Small Circle of Friends, which is something which is a little bit niche but there you go. The Meters would be summery. Because obviously you would go for The Beach Boys for summer, yeah, but not all of the Beach Boys are summer, some of the Beach Boys are actually winter. Some of the more experimental stuff. But yes, I associate music with seasons. I wouldn’t go straight into thinking ‘oh yes, of course, this is a January record. This is a March record’. But yes. It’s not forcing to associate a record or a type of music with a time of the year. Not at all. And autumn for some reason seems to be more evocative than other seasons, when it comes to music. I think it’s because in pop there’s always a solar, a sunshine element. But most great pop - I’m not saying my record is great, it is great, but that’s not what I’m saying - there’s an element of melancholy and nostalgia. This is like the leaves turning, and the days shortening, and a different kind of warmth. So yes, I suppose that autumn really fits in very well with my idea of pop.  


YS: Evokes twilight as well. 


LP: Yep. Actually there’s even a song on the record which is about twilight. The song ‘The Mighty Owl’, which is the owl of Minerva, which only comes out when it gets dark.   


(listen to the end to hear ‘The Mighty Owl’)  




November 15, 2020

Young Southpaw talks to American ‘English eccentric’ Anton Barbeau about ABBA, memories of lost songs, the bird lifestyle, meeting Graham Chapman, and so much more. 


Listen to new record ‘Manbird’ at 



Young Southpaw: What made you fall in love with music as a kid, do you remember?  


Anton Barbeau: Well, yeah, back to The Beatles. My parents had five or six Beatles records, plus John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ when I was growing up. I was born in ’67, about a month before ‘Sgt. Pepper’ came out, so I’m sure I was hearing Beatles before I was even born, and I’m sure I heard ‘Sgt. Pepper’ when it was first out, even though I was only a wee baby. But yeah, The Beatles. My earliest memory is crawling around through my parents collection, trying to find the one that had ‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand’. That was my favourite song, from age zero.  


YS: You get compared to Robyn Hitchcock, Julian Cope, and XTC a lot. Are you fans of those guys? 


AB: Oh, I am, very much so. Huge influences. It’s funny cause I’ve sort of found ways of connecting, if not directly to the artists, to those who have worked with them. So that’s been a funny little part of my career story in the past few years. I had a band in England called Three Minute Tease, which included Andy Metcalfe and Morris Windsor who were in The Egyptians and in Soft Boys. And I’ve also worked with Kimberley Rew. We did a gig once, Three Minute Tease, Andy, Morris, and myself, with Matthew Seligman, who we lost earlier this year to COVID. He sat in with us as well. So that world, the Robyn Hitchcock world, is definitely something I’ve dipped more than a few toes into. Robyn’s a huge influence as a songwriter. Maybe not so much anymore, because I went through the period of, when upon discovering his music it made perfect sense to me. It was sort of the idealized version of what I wish, of what I was trying to do, or something like that. So I aspired to that. These days, like I said, it’s ABBA and Fleetwood Mac. But Robyn Hitchcock’s a big influence. And XTC of course. I did end up working with Colin Moulding, on a couple things. That was wonderful. I supported Julian Cope on dates on his 2011 and 2012 tours and that was amazing! That’s a dream come true.  





October 26, 2020

Young Southpaw talks to Amelia Fletcher & Rob Pursey of Heavenly, Swansea Sound, The Catenary Wires (and many more bands) about Spinal Tap, mix tape mishaps, wearing togas, and much more.


Young Southpaw: I was going to introduce you and list your bands but there’s like an infinite amount and they just seem to keep proliferating. So what ones are currently active? 


Rob Pursey: The main one is The Catenary Wires which is the two of us, recently joined by Andy Lewis who plays bass, Fay Hallam who plays keyboard, and Ian Button who plays drums. And all of those people have other musical lives as well, a lot of them more celebrated than ours. We’ve done two LPs and we’re just about to do a third one, nearly finished recording it. And then there’s Swansea Sound. This is a band that emerged during lockdown. What happened was I’d written some songs that were too fast and sort of punky really for The Catenary Wires, cause The Catenary Wires is a fairly melancholy outfit (Amelia laughs) 


Amelia Fletcher: We’re very melancholy.  


RP: And also I sing in The Catenary Wires and because my voice is low, I make any song sound melancholy even if it is fast. So we got in touch with Hue, who was Amelia’s friend more than mine because she sang in The Pooh Sticks back in the day, and Hue was the singer in The Pooh Sticks. And I thought he might wanna try singing it. And he did. He recorded the singing on his phone in a cupboard and sent it back to us and it sounded great. So we mixed the songs on the basis of that. And then put the first single out a few weeks ago. And there’s more in the pipeline. 


AF: There’s also one called European Sun, which is our friend Steve. Who writes great songs and didn’t know how to record them so we effectively arranged and recorded them for him. And then there’s Nancy Gaffield & The Drift.  


RP: It’s just The Drift. At the moment it’s got Nancy Gaffield with it but it won’t always.  


AF: Nancy Gaffield is a poet, and we basically do semi-improvised stuff, influenced by the rainy Kentish countryside in the background.  




October 14, 2020
Young Southpaw reflects on how much Eddie Van Halen's music has meant to him 


October 4, 2020

Young Southpaw has his first repeat guest with The Black Watch’s John Andrew Fredrick. Always a good time with the elegantly loquacious Mr. Fredrick, talking about Nabokov, tennis, the new Black Watch album ‘Fromthing Somethat’, the possibility that Rachel Cusk, Epiphone Guitars, The Ocean Blue, & Congress are all listening to this episode together, and much much more 


Young Southpaw: Speaking of secret messages and Nabokov, I re-read ‘The Vane Sisters’ last night.  

John Andrew Fredrick: Yeah, that’s a powerful one. That’s the kind of short story along the lines of a number of others of his, like ‘Spring In Fialta’ for instance, or other things, any given Chekov story, or lots of Katherine Mansfield, that you could read throughout your life and many, many times and find so much to be bewildered by and in awe of and in the presence of just wondrousness as well. Did you love it once again? I’m sure 


YS: Oh yeah, and you notice little things more every time. And it’s about those little things, just finding the wonder in the ‘glass-blown minutiae’, the line that he ascribes to Cynthia Vale. 


JAF: Yeah, it’s one of my favourites of his, and one that I think ‘okay, let me brace myself’ when I sit down to read it. Cause Nabokov’s on my top shelf. If you look up there (points to bookcase) you can see at the very top that he’s there. And Henry James and Proust right below him. Yes, absolutely. And he talked very sincerely, as sincere as he could be with interviewers, about the ways in which he wrote to amuse himself. And somebody with such a towering brain, I daresay he would have to invent a certain amount of games for his delight, thinking solely, as he remarked many a time in Strong Opinions that he really writes with nobody but himself, an ideal reader, in mind. That’s not to say that it’s all solipsistic, although he’s been accused of that. I think that he’s not alone. Robert Smith has said many a time about Cure songs that when he wants to hear a great song, without hubris he’d say ‘I write one’. And I can really relate to that because I do write both songs and stories in order to please myself. And I do the same thing when I paint something, to have something that I really want to look at or I’ll toss it.  



September 27, 2020

Young Southpaw gets the scoop on one of his favourite new bands, High On Stress. Chatting with singer/guitarist Nick Leet about The Replacements, Prince, seeing Def Leppard at a mall, High On Stress’ fantastic new album Hold Me In, and a whole lot more  

Young Southpaw: What’s your favourite Replacements tune? 

Nick Leet: Oh jeez, it’s all the hard-hitting questions today! It changes by the day for sure but I’ll cheat a little and name a few. Obviously ‘Alex Chilton’ is great, ‘Left Of The Dial’ is great, ‘Valentine’ is great. They’re one of those bands like - I’m a big Prince fan, obviously, but you know he’s got these different eras and different sounds - and The Replacements...were a sloppy rock n roll band, but they kinda had their different eras as well along the way. And if you’re asking me early, we’re sayin’ ‘Takin’ A Ride’. Kinda that middle period, I’d have to go with ‘Unsatisfied’ or ‘Bastards Of Young’. And then as you get a little later, it’s probably the Chilton and the Valentine, and then ‘Achin’ To Be’ and all of that so...Definitely period-wise would be my answer.  


YS: That’s a really good way to go about it. Let’s not leave it out, what’s your favourite song off All Shook Down?  


NL: (thinks) Probably go with ‘Merry Go Round’. How about you? 


YS: I can see that. That’s a strong second to ‘When It Began’. That song is just a perfect autumn tune to me. Whenever I hear that, I’m 17 and it’s fall out, just that perfect weather.  


NL: It’s funny, the band has played shows with Slim Dunlap and he joined us onstage and we backed him at some of his solo shows. But it started, he’d seen - we were already friends - but he had noticed we were playing ‘Valentine’, a cover on YouTube from some show we were playing. We did that and we did ‘Bent Out Of Shape’. And he called me up and he was telling me how great ‘Valentine’ was, and how we did such a good job. He goes ‘you do it in a different key than we normally did it but doesn’t matter, cause Paul would change the key on me right before we’d go on stage anyway so it all works out’. And I’m like ‘that’s hilarious.’ So I’m like ‘did you see ‘Bent Out Of Shape’?’ cause that’s kinda the Slim era. And he goes ‘eh, I never liked that song’ (laughs) 

Twitter: @highonstress




September 20, 2020

Young Southpaw talks to Suede bassist Mat Osman about James Bond, Kraftwerk, Los Angeles, Swedish LARPers, where he’d take Liza Minnelli for dinner, and his excellent debut novel, The Ruins 


Twitter: @matosman

IG: @matdosman

Buy The Ruins at



Young Southpaw: When did the title, The Ruins, come to you? 


Mat Osman: Titles are really, really hard, to be honest. You want something that gives an angle on the book, without explaining the book. I have these discussions with Brett (Anderson) a lot about album covers and titles and stuff. They need to be a kind of way of looking at it. So there’s lots of, you know, the people in the book are kind of ruined, and it’s a lot about the city, about London, the ruins of London being built up, and all those kinds of things. But at the end of the day, it sounded good, it cropped up in the book, and it looked good on a poster. This is one of the reasons we’re called Suede, and not something longer. It was always like if you call yourself something small, you look bigger on the poster, and it always looks like you’re higher up the bill. If you’re called something like The Teardrop Explodes, you’re always on this line in the middle so... I mean X is the best band name of all-time. It’s just there. 


YS: You can’t get smaller than that 


MO: Exactly. Well, I suppose you could be just like a comma or something 


YS: Yeah, punctuation seems to be creeping in 


MO: Yeah, you don’t want punctuation in the band title, do you? That’s really too much. That’s when you know it’s gone too far. Who had a song about an Oxford comma? It was Vampire Weekend, wasn’t it? That’s too geeky even for me. There are certain things that are not the purview of rock n roll music. And I think the correct use of a comma would fall into the things that you could write a book about, but please not a song.  


YS: I guess that’s the new punk rock 


MO: (laughs) Punctuation is the new punk rock 




September 13, 2020

Young Southpaw talks to author John Higgs about Aleister Crowley, Robert Anton Wilson, William Blake, the possibility of a supernatural James Bond film, Iron Maiden, and a whole lot more 




John Higgs: Illuminatus! is a very important book, and it is a very powerful book. And it has had a sort of strange reality-warping impact on a lot of people at a lot of points. I always recommend people read Robert Anton Wilson and I always sort of say try Cosmic Trigger first. But at some point, people always want to go back to Illuminatus! It seems especially relevant now. In a lot of Bob’s stuff, he talks about a place he calls Chapel Perilous. Chapel Perilous is the place where basically all your maps have run out, and you’re lost, and you don’t understand what’s going on around you, and you don’t know the way forward. And it’s very much like now. For a lot of people. We’re living in Chapel Perilous. And that’s what makes him so useful. Because he talks about the way he found his way out of this sort of state. He says there’s really only two ways out of Chapel Perilous. One is agnosticism. And the other is paranoia. And if you go down the paranoid route, you stay there and you’re trapped, stuck in Chapel Perilous forever. But if you accept that it’s okay that you don’t know everything, and you don’t have to be certain, you don’t have to be the guy who’s right all along...if you can just humble yourself a little...then you can just slide out of that. Which is probably about the most useful advice anyone can give at this particular point. Now we have social media and we have all the sort of ‘wars of the certain’ in the online debates, for want of a better word. People have to be correct, and have this psychological sort of need to be correct and have their viewpoints confirmed. And you just drop all that, and let all that just slide away. That’s the only way out of this.   



September 13, 2020

Young Southpaw talks to Carla Easton about her fantastic new record ‘Weirdo’, her love of Taylor Swift, ‘pop’ not being a dirty word, and much more


Young Southpaw: What have you been listening to the past couple of years while making this record? 


Carla Easton: I was really into Lily Allen’s album ‘No Shame’, which I got around April last year after reading her biography. I loved the textures on that and how it was very much a pop record but dealing with like complex lyrics. So I felt like I could really relate to that. And then Sigrid, I went to see her at Usher Hall in Edinburgh last year. I was blown away and quite excited about how pop music can sort of you know - it used to feel like if you said you were pop, it was quite a dirty word to say, whereas it feels like there’s a new generation come through that are saying ‘embrace it’. And I’ve never believed that ‘pop’s a bad word, you know. So I was quite influenced by them. Also just like my record collection, you know, I’ve got a lot of New Order in it, and kind of a mix of pure pop and indie pop. But mostly it was just getting into vintage drum beats, really, and writing around that. Which I found really good, developing a new sound that way.  


YS: What’s your favourite New Order record?


CE: I’m definitely a singles person, in terms of lots of bands I like. And with New Order for me it’s ‘Your Silent Face’. I think I’ll forever spend my life trying to replicate that synth sound at the start of it.  



CE: I’ve certainly enjoyed new releases that have come out this year. I loved Lady Gaga’s record and Taylor Swift dropping an unexpected album. It’s definitely kept me going, having new music in my life.  


YS: I saw one of your posts where you were debating which version of the Taylor Swift album to buy 


CE: Yeah, I know! I was like ‘ah! what one will I get?!’. And then I settled on one version and I’m glad I picked that. I’m glad that the option to decide was only a week long because about a week after I was like ‘awwww! I shoulda bought that one as well’ (laughs) 




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