Si Wolstencroft was the drummer in The Patrol, the band that predates The Stone Roses and featured Ian Brown and John Squire and he went to school with the pair of them.  He was also the first drummer in The Smiths and then spent ten years in The Fall before linking back with Ian Brown for some of his solo tracks… he also famously played with Brown and Squire during the soundcheck for the recent legendary Justice Tonight appearence at Manchester Ritz. 
Luckily he’s doing his own book on one of the great untold stories of The Stone Roses. It’s due out next year and we interviewed him…
 
 
 
Early 80’s Manchester saw the emergence of a certain group of talented musicians who went on to form some of the city’s most celebrated & seminal bands. People  like Paul Ryder, Ian Brown, Marr & Squire, ‘Funky Si ‘ Wolstencroft was part of that very group of players & early next year on of Manchester’s most revered drummers from that golden era releases his Biography which is central to the journey’s of bands like The Stone Roses & The Smiths & that whole Manchester 
scene, though that’s just the tip of the iceberg as he went on to become the much demanded drummer to a list of influential bands with11 years in The Fall and not to mention playing with The Colourfield then teaming back up with Ian Brown to co-write “Golden Gaze”…Here he talks to Louder Than War about the coming release of his book… 
 
 
 
Your story Si, from setting up The Patrol with Ian & John becoming one of Manchester’s best new drummer’s around that period to go on & play with an array of truly great bands resulting in an impressive back catalog of music…so why is it now your putting the Bio together, is it some thing you’ve always wanted to do, get in all down… 
 
Yeah it is,…many people have said I should chronicle my drumming career over the years and I started to write it all down 18 months ago before my memory was “shot” completely.  
 
 
What influenced you to pick the sticks up & play in your first band, The Patrol,… which you,Ian & John put together in early 80’s, then moving on to the more funkier Freak Party with Johnny Marr, which sounded like the roots of a great band,… 
 
Watching The Sweet perform on Top of the Pops every week was the deciding factor to put down the knitting needles and biscuit tins and getting my first drum kit and joining a band! 
As for Freak Party, we were searching for a singer when Johnny hooked up with Morrissey and decided to work along with him instead. When Johnny asked me to join The Smiths, Freak Party were already dead in the water 
 
…and the name..Funky Si, where, or who gave you it… 
 
Johnny Marr. 
 
 
The Patrol was you on drums & Ian on bass, so what did the Wolstencroft/Brown Rhythm section sound like… 
 
I sold my Woolworths bass guitar to Ian once the band had started rehearsing at my mum and dads. He didn’t play it longer enough to really master the instrument. 
 
 
Then you got back with Ian years later on his solo work, writing/contributing,…was that on his 1st solo album… 
 
No, I was working with The Fall and just had the birth of my daughter when he put his first solo album together, I co wrote the track Golden Gaze on Ian Brown’s second solo LP called Golden Greats and played on Dolphins were Monkeys.. 
 
 
The Patrol & working with Jonny Marr is not even half the story, does the book cover the bands you played in later-on… 
 
Yeah, I went on to play with a few bands, The Colourfield with Terry Hall in 84 then two years in The Weeds then on to 11 yrs with The  Fall. Then after working with Ian Brown for a couple of years I played with I-Monster, Carpe Diem and in 2010 worked with Jez Kerr from A Certain Ratio. 
 
 
You’ve always kept on the move musically, workin with so many different bands & artists…was it some thing you always wanted to or is it just the way things worked out… 
 
I happened to be in the right place at the right time and the wrong place at the wrong time all at the same time!! 
 
 
A question I’m sure you’ve been asked a few times but what’s your take on not going all the way with The Roses or The Smiths, though at the same time you’ve had a fantastic career playing with other influential/big bands others could only dream of… 
 
When The Smiths went huge I was gutted I turned down the job but after being in The Fall for 4 years before The Roses went huge I was just really glad for the two bands, however the The Smiths split up in 1987. I am now enjoying playing drums more than ever! so yes I have  got over the disappointment. 
 
 
I suspect maybe there’s many people outside MCR who think they know the roots of their fave bands, The Smiths & The Roses yet do they?….will the book give us a new/different view on the roots of those bands as well as your own… 
 
There have been many books written about The Smiths and The Roses and this will be an inside story from the horse’s mouth. I was the answer to a question on the last seasons series of BBC2 mastermind and the contestant got my name right thank god!! 
 
 
I imagine with so many different people and groups you’ve played with the research for the book must be quite intense, plenty to cover…have you had much help on this & has it been hard recalling it all… 
 
Yes I have been help of my mates Andy and Lee for the format and it has been hard to recall events that happened over 30 years ago but now we are in the digital age it is easy to jog your memory looking at youtube, such as some footage I have seen recently of The Fall performing “Big New Prinz” on The Other Side of Midnight hosted by the late Tony Wilson. 
 
 
Will everyone in the book be happy with your take Si… 
 
yes and no 
 
 
Bringing it right up to today what’s life like, what do you do and do you still see the many  known & unknown musicians from back then…do you still play drums with some of them today
… 
 
Life is great and I still see all my contemporaries from the 1980s all the time and the recently played on stage with Ian Brown and John Squire at the Justice tonight gig at The Ritz in Manchester during soundcheck which was a huge buzz for me.  
 
 
Looking back through that 80’s period and writing this book does it make you realise how talented, original and switched on people like yourself, The Roses and others were, as well what a great time it was… 
 
Yes it was an awesome time, the music business was different back then in the analogue age, there are so many bands to listen to on the net and so its very hard for you to be able to stick your head above the parapet and have to work harder to get noticed 
 
 
A story well worth a read for Manchester music fans,… but when will it be released and have you got a title yet…? 
 
The book is called “You Can Drum, But You Can’t Hide” due for completion January 2012 with a view to sealing a publishing deal in the Spring of 201

12 COMMENTS

  1. He was only 10 yrs in the MIGHTY Fall, but look at your headline, wankers… still dont get it do ya?? I guess we know where youre on about..certainly not art..anyhow, cant wait to read Si’s book..

  2. Looking forward to reading what Simon says about his time in the Fall group. And from which language was the above garbled crap translated? Mandarin? Get yourself an editor next time, please.

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