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When our writer Richard Collins isn’t smashing out reviews for us, he spends some of his time putting on gigs with his mate Lins at a night called Cosmic Carnage. When he’s not doing that he can often be found talking complete bollocks, we have decided to capture some of this bollocks and call it the ‘Cosmic Roundup of 2015′. He’s caught up with shit loads of our favourite people from across the scene and we’ll be publishing one every day until we run out… like a the weirdest advent calendar!
Behind today’s door we have Gordon Watson. Gordon has been in around the London underground music scene for decades. Axe man for the incredible Terminal Cheesecake and front man for the ridiculous Luminous Bodies who have gained a reputation for being the most fun live band on the scene. This year has seen the release of a rather special live album from Terminal Cheesecake and the release of the Luminous Bodies debut album on Box Records. He’s also in a new project called Melting Hand with members of Bong, Gum Takes Tooth and Terminal Cheescake. Here’s what he makes of it all.
CC: Hi Gordon, how are you?
GW: I’m very well, thank you: I’ve got toothache from grinding my jaws and I’ve gone blind in one eye.
CC: You’ve had quite a year, Luminous Bodies recorded and released an album… the band hasn’t been around that long really, did you imagine it would happen so fast?
GW: Much respect to those who’ve had troubles this year but for me it’s been a fuckin’ great one! It might be as much as two years ago that Luminous Bodies first got together. I was right into starting a basic, dumb-arse, knuckle-dragging rock band but couldn’t find anyone else to do it with. One fateful night I was drinking heavily in Indo’s bar in Whitechapel and one of my drinking companions was Tracy Bellaries – and I think you know that means D-R-U-N-K. I already knew her bass work from Part Chimp and so asked her to join. Very surprisingly she said yes! We’re both Butthole Surfers fanatics so we knew straight away that we had to have two drummers. Tracy suggested Dan Hunt because she knew him from Part Chimp gigs that were with Apes Fight Back (look out for Bodies on Everest! contains ex-ApesFB). Me and Tracy already knew Zoo from feral fool-fuckery \m/ \m/ !! Hostile! and knew he would be perfect drummer #2, the nutter. We’re all mad on Gum Takes Tooth and from hanging out with Tom Fug I knew he was hankering to play 80s hair metal guitar. When we all met for the first time it was love at first sight. It was a rock’n’roll epic saga, like gathering the Seven Samurai or the Mutant Ninja Turtles, except there’s five of us and only one of us actually owns a Katana.
I knew we all wanted to work fast, so it’s been almost no rehearsals, lots of gigs, then record the raw sound before we had a chance to change our minds. We’ve still done many more gigs than rehearsals. And it shows 🙂 Thinking happens at the speed of… thought… Do you like our Owl?
CC: It seems to have been really well received, are you chuffed with it?
GW: Fuck yeah! All down to recoding it with Wayne (Shitwife / Death Pedals) at Bear Bites Horse in Haggerston. I can’t recommend him or it highly enough. If you make noisy music, it’s the best studio in London. We recorded the Melting Hand album there as well as mixing the T. Cheesecake album after we recorded it at Runway, a studio located on a disused missile testing range in Buckinghamshire.
CC: Was Raw Power the biggest gig you’ve ever played as LB? I hear you fucking stormed it.
GW: I’m pretty sure it’s the biggest. Our performance was the usual chaotic shambles, so sorry about that :)? No matter how we try… everything breaks… everyone falls over… the air is full of booze sputum… no one keeps their dignity… all the arrangements are forgotten… cymbals fall like redwoods… the drums end up matchsticks… the sound guys are pissed-off… I have to give a special thank you to Anthony Chalmers at Baba Yaga’s Hut for putting us on and putting up with us. Mind you, there’s a number of promoters that deserve our thanks and praise, Fat Out, Hello Bastards, Tatty Seaside Town (Supernormal) and some bloke called Cosmic Charlie or something… puts on gigs in Brixton and Camden… do you know him?
CC: The Terminal Cheesecake Live album is awesome, did you know you were recording a live album that night? Or did someone just send you a shit hot recording?
GW: Thanks for saying so. ?Well, the sound engineer (Jens Petzold) at L’Embobineuse (a well cool anarcho-hippy-punk artists co-op in Marseilles: vegan food, self-organised means of production, all that) told us he always liked to record his shows and did we mind?… Well we forgot about it while we played and didn’t imagine it would be so well recorded. It sounds mint! That’s just as we played it, so it’s pretty cool that we didn’t fuck up too much. Thanks Jens!
CC: You have a recorded a new studio album we believe, when’s it out? Who’s putting it out?
GW: Ooh, man, I love this album! It’s coming out on Matt Baty’s (Pigs, Pigs, Pigs, Pigs, Pigs, Pigs, Pigs / Blown Out / etc) Box Records sometime next year. I’m really happy with it. He did us a major job on the L. Bodies album, beautiful human being that he is.
CC: What albums have you enjoyed in 2015?
GW: Man, this is really hard… I’m having to recall stuff… it hurts… uuhh… albums that were RELEASED in 2015, right? I might get this wrong:
Selvehenter “Motion Of Large Bodies”
Blown Out “Jet Black Hallucinations”
Gum Takes Tooth “Silent Cenotaph”
Sloath “High Commissioner” (a single)
Dead Sea Apes “Spectral Domain”
Workin’ Man Noise Unit “Play Loud”
Shitwife “Big Lad”
11 Paranoias “Stealing Fire From Heaven”
Pigs, Pigs, Pigs, Pigs, Pigs, Pigs, Pigs “Psychopomp”
Bad Guys “Bad Gynaecology”
Bong “We are, we were and we will have been”
Krautzone “Spiritual Retreat”
Drunk In Hell “PRE-CUM”
Lightning Bolt “Fantasy Empire”
There must be more..??…??
CC: What’s the best gig you played in 2015?
GW: Aaaahhhh…. Luminous Bodies @ Thee Cosmic Carnage all-dayer @ The Windmill of course! Thanks Paul of Sound! PLUS…. there were loads of memorable ones: L. Bodies album launch @ Rip This Joint, & @ Raw Power & with Blown Out & Pigs (also @ The Windmill) & @ Power Lunches with Taman Shud when Tracy passed out cold during the set (check it out on YouTube!) & @ The Peanut Factory when we did our first video interview, T. Cheesecake @ Roadburn – a real honour to be invited to play there (thanks Chris Reeder and Walter!) & Lille, Lyon and Marseilles on our little French tour.
CC: What’s the best gig you attended in 2015?
GW: Uuurrrrggggg…. I got to see some great bands on the same bill as well as going in the audience. My fave unknowns (to me at the time, I mean) who played the same gigs as us have been Bodies on Everest, Workin’ Man Noise Unit and the sadly defunct Lower Slaughter. And knowns: Henge at Jussi Brightmore’s party, Pigs and Blown Out @ The Windmill (again, put on by that Kosmic bloke), Bong @ The Black Heart (dunno who put that one on, do you?).
Strictly as a Billy Bunter, well so many… The Bad Guys album launch @ The Shack, Pissed Jeans @ Birthdays, Weedeater and The Cosmic Dead @ Desertfest, Ufomammut @ Islington 02, Gnod on several occasions, Part Chimp, Blown Out (have I mentioned them enough yet?), Gnar Hest & Anonymous Bash @ Supernormal, Blown Out on several occasions, Michael Rother @ Milhoes de Festa.
CC: Best festival?
GW: An easy one! Yay! It’s always Supernormal! Each year, always and forever! Great curation of bands and other performances, the friendliest security, the mystic trees, the wooden stages ?and the small crowd give it that old free festival vibe that you just don’t get anywhere else. I’ve met loads of new friends there each time and always get to see old friends in compromising situations. Being offered a gig there in 2013 was the reason Terminal Cheesecake was able to get back together in our current form (thanks for taking a chance on us Jimmy, John and Colin). Runners up: Raw Power, Roadburn, Fat Out, Milhoes de Festa.
CC: What are you up to next year?
GW: Well, well, well, well stoked that Luminous Bodies get to support Rocket from the Tomb’s first ever UK show at the London Fields Brewery on 12th December and Melting Hand’s fist ever, ever show @ Cosica on 16th Dec… oh shit, that’s THIS year. Does that count? Terminal Cheesecake playing @ The Lex on February 20th. The aforementioned T. Cheesecake studio album, Melting Hand’s 1st album should be coming out, we hope, but we’ve had a label hitch and are looking for someone to pick it up – anyone? I’d love to get another Luminous Bodies album recorded.
Should have a little tour of L. Bodies, Pigs and The Cosmic Dead in spring if all goes to plan… Seeing loads more gigs, going to Supernormal, getting much more involved in civil disobedience, loving everyone and everything, and everything, and indulging in an enormous amount of mindless carousing… annoying my neighbours all night long.. and the next day…
and the next night… and the next day… etc, etc until it ALL BECOMES ONE MASSIVE BLURRRRRRBZZZZTTTT!!!!.