You have moved on as well…

‘Of course.’

You used to play the whole of The Raven live.

‘Yeah, definitely, we knew it back to front.’

You want to move your art forward…

‘It’s nice to revisit the scenes of earlier crimes and not be just a career move. It’s just for fun. It should not be something you are dependent on. A lot of people have done it as a last gasp to revisit their success because they have not had that success again.
Playing the old album is an enticement, the carrot. Some bands say I will play the record you really want to hear if you will listen to this old record.

Would you be interested in playing the whole new album?
People have done that. That’s disingenuous as well. People have spent money, their own money and they want a bit of your past and not just in the future. I know some people who only play the latest album they are promoting. It’s a compromise and you meet people in the middle.’

You make a set that works…

‘Exactly. That’s the most honest thing. It’s genuinely the more gracious thing to do.’

You have the Godfathers supporting you on this tour.
‘They used to be the Syd Presley Experience before didn’t they? They were quite a tough R’n’B unit from south London.’

What are your thoughts on you old flatmate and mate, the great Wilko and his recent announcement on his terminal cancer.

‘I’m speechless. What can I say? When I heard about it, he was in Japan. Some of my friends were about to visit him in Shibuya in Tokyo. I think it’s very sad. He is cool as fuck. He always was the coolest of the cool and a lovely bloke of course. It could be trick to sell tickets!!! (laughs darkly). You can only do that once though (laughs). I want meet up with him but I don’t really want to broach the subject too much. I’m sure he will have lots of people who want to see him and at the shows. It’s kind of…what do you say- ‘I hear you are going to die soon..’ I’m just going to say can we have a pint, it’s not.. it’s an unworldly situation to be in.’
It’s a hard one to deal with frankly. He’s dealing with it the best whilst everyone around him is blubbing, he’s just dealing with it.’

go back to part one of JJ Burnel interview here

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


  1. Great piece, John. Thanks.

    Gutted about Wilko but happy to have seen him last November – I enjoyed this BBC Front Row interview with him; httpss://

    Cheers, Mark.


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