Category Archives: Interviews


I recently wrote a Motorhead piece for Uncut. This allowed me to make contact (via – thanks Steve) with a personal hero, the guitarist “Fast” Eddie Clarke, who recorded some of my favourite ever riffs, like “No Class”, and “Shoot You In The Back”. Eddie is a good bloke and a great raconteur, and I suspect that his nickname derives as much from the speed he tells a story as the speed he plays a solo. It was one of those rare occasions where one interviewee could easily have told the story himself, so that’s what I’m doing here. As you might imagine, it’s quite long, so I’ll put it up in bits. Blue Goose sounded a bit like Crazy Horse, incidentally.

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A kind of Everest interview, in the sense that I dropped Heather Wood an email because she was there. I wanted to see if she might like to chat to me about The Young Tradition (1965-1969), a folk group that she was in with Royston Wood (d.1990) and Peter Bellamy (d. 1991). Happily, she did.

The Young Tradition mainly made records of traditional songs and one, called Galleries, which is more in the Medieval music vein. There is also an EP of shanties, including “Chicken On A Raft”, which is a song about egg on toast.

At one time, they lived in a flat at 30 Somali Road in Camden, downstairs from Bert Jansch and John Renbourn. “The place was complete mayhem,” Bert told me about five years ago. “They made more noise, drunk more, and smoked more dope than anybody else.”

As it turns out, it’s almost exactly 50 years since the trio first met and started singing together. So here, by entirely planned complete coincidence, Heather undertakes an ersatz golden anniversary interview. Thanks, Heather.

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Among the sad passings this year was that of Australian artist Martin Sharp. I’m certainly no expert on Martin’s art or its influence, but I always responded to the colour and the humour in his work – say on his sleeve for Ginger Baker’s Air Force – even before I knew it was his. I interviewed him in March 2013 for Uncut about his work with Cream,  but his remarks on mid-1960s London are well worth a look even if psychedelic heaviosity isn’t precisely your bag.

Martin wasn’t in great health when we spoke, but his wit, insight and generosity of spirit evidently could not be dampened by illness.

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John Fahey Film: In Search Of Blind Joe Death

James Cullingham (who made a Fahey doc for Canadian radio in 1982) has made a nice film about John Fahey. It is the first such documentary – a surprise to Cullingham as much as anyone else. It’ll be on BBC4 in November apparently,  but in the meantime it’s showing in London in the coming week. Details at the bottom of this, which is a news piece from Uncut magazine I wrote a couple of months ago. 

The film tells an at times enchanting, occasionally disturbing story, tacitly as much about the rise of Fahey as a hip figure as much as anything else. (It’s hard to imagine Pete Townshend, sincere as his admiration for Fahey  is, participating before now in such a film.) I hope you have the opportunity of checking it out. There is more info at:

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