Restlesslist 6 Music Interview

Restlesslist on Marc Riley, 6 Music, 22 May

Marc: Absolutely brilliant and with a proper ending and everything, that is Restlesslist there with Grappling For Answers. There is a bizarre story surrounding this session, which I would like to go into when you do the other songs a little bit later on, but for the time being, Matt on guitar and keyboards (Casio) would you like to introduce the band but don’t say who they are absolutely.

You’ve already introduced the main thing so…

Marc: I know you are an entity but…

We got Tom White on drums, Matt Davies on bass, James Hamilton aka Birdie on guitar, keyboards and glockenspiel.

Marc: Birdie, has he given himself that nickname or has somebody else given it to him?

He’s a golf pro… and Ben Elliot on ampathy and keyboards.

Marc: As I say we’ll go into the actual pedigree of the band a little bit later on. We’ve been playing Butlin Breaks, you’re going to do that for us later on in the programme. But have you ever heard of a band called Helm Holtz Resonators… apparently these pads up here are Helm Holtz Resonators, they’re for soundproofing studios and stuff. I’m going be playing them later on but I think one of the Dream Tickets you could hope for would be you lot playing with Helm Holtz Resonators. When I play ’em later, you’ll have to listen to it and you’ll know exactly what I mean… It’s been a bizarre day regarding this session but I’m absolutely delighted you’re here, you’ve come all the way from Brighton and I really do appreciate it. I’ll play The Clash now, you can have a pint, then we’ll have a proper chat later. Thanks a lot fellas.

Marc: Restlesslist, it’s bloody hard to say. Who came up with the name?

Me and Matt did.

Marc: It took two of you to come up with that?

Google it, no-one else in the world is going to think of that annoying a name apart from The Scissor Sisters obviously.

Marc: We’ll get to grips with what you are and who you are in a bit, but you’re going to do Mint Sauce for us now aren’t you.

Yep.

Marc: Oh you know, just chuffin’ marvellous. Restlesslist with Mint Sauce and I can only say it like that – Restlesslist (lisps) Right OK, I’m just going to try and explain what happened today. I was on my way into work, and I was on hands free before anybody shouts at me, and I was talking to Giles from The Earlies about this gig tomorrow night, and I mentioned that Restlesslist were coming in, and he said oh yeah, The Earlies did a gig with them in Brighton a while ago, yeah it was great. I said, I don’t know much about ’em, I’ve just been playing the single, Butlin Breaks, I love it, we’ve got ’em coming in tonight. He said yeah, it’s a couple of The Electric Soft Parade innit? I was like, is it? So I have been playing it in complete ignorance, I play most records in complete ignorance anyway because I am ignorant. But I had no idea it was you guys, and then of course Tom, you were in here, you’ve been here on several occasions, and Matt came in obviously with The Electric Soft Parade, but you were in not that long ago playing at that piano, doing your solo stuff, which I believe you are touring at the moment.

Yeah we were in York last night, I’m on tour with a man called Chris T-T.

Marc: When you came in, you gave me this album of your band didn’t you.

The Restlesslist record – The Rise And Fall Of The Curtain Club.

Marc: What I was trying to explain to you is, I’m 46, and what happened is, this box has now been christened “the black hole” (me: he also put the CD Tom gave him with his new songs in there) Bands come in on a regular basis, and say “this is great” or “this is my other band”, and I go “great, I’ll listen to that”, put it in there, that’s it, I don’t see it again for a couple of months. So I have to apologise profusely, you tried your hardest to open my eyes to the wonderfullness of Restlesslist and it took me ages to find it.

It’s happened in the end.

Marc: We got there in the end as is always the case. Ok so we know how Matt and Tom met, obviously playing together in the same band, but where did the rest of the guys all merge and come together with this project?

Well we all merged in The Hand In Hand, it’s Matt, he’s the manager in that pub. It’s a lovely one.

So hello to everyone there.

Me and Matt just kind of kept on going for a while, and then Birdie and Matty came down from Wales and they’re in a band called Zettasaur and we kind of just got together.

Marc: What was the kind of blue print for the band because as I say, I really do think that the Helm Holtz Resonators are a band to draw a comparison with you, there’s that sense of fun, and it’s instrumental, and when I play it to you later, I think you’ll agree. But what was the idea behind it in the first place, were you just kind of doing kitsch?

Yeah we were just mucking around at home. We got a gig accidentally, so me and Ben had to get a band together and they heard our demo, and dropped us from the gig but we thought we’d carry on anyway.

Marc: That’s like Withnail and I, “we come on holiday by accident”

And then it’s just kind of, I’m scared about saying the word progressed. But yeah, hopefully progressed.

Marc: Progressed has got the word Prog in there.

There’s nawt wrong with that.

Which is not a dirty word.

Marc: Absolutely, we’ve come to that conclusion on this programme. So how long have you been going, have you done loads of gigs and I’ve just been blissfully ignorant of you?

Yeah, pretty much.

Marc: I can’t believe I’m so stupid…

That’s about the vibe. That’s the biog.

Marc: Butlin Breaks as I say, we’ve been playing it a lot, we’ll continue to do so and I’ll play the album now I’ve got it. We’re starting a new programme in a couple of weeks, I hope you won’t be extremely offended if we use Butlin Breaks as the bits of music that we talk over every now and then.

That’d be lovely, that’d be nice wouldn’t it… What’s the PRS on that.

Marc: Y’see, he’s got a business mind on him, good on ya. I know you’re kind of remotely interested in music and that shows in your band. I believe that pizzas are a big topic of conversation.

What do you reckon on Sunday Roast Pizza?

Marc: Well you see there’s another programme on the station that covers pizzas so I’m afraid we can’t get involved. So I’d love to talk to you about pizza toppings but it can’t be done.

Just quickly, would you be averse to a Sunday Roast Pizza?

Marc: As a vegetarian of course.

I’m a vegan but like y’know.

Marc: I think you need to explain to him what a vegan is. Alright then, you’ve come a long way from Brighton, you’re gonna go back but at least you’ve got a pub to go to, regardless of what time you get there and I applaud you for that, I might even come with you. So you’re gonna do Butlin Breaks for us now aren’t you… is that proper Brighton rock? That is so nice. That can go up there, I’ll save that for later. Right OK then, do you want to get to it fellas.

What we doing?

Butlin Breaks, the single that’s out on Monday.

Marc: Look at ‘im, he’s been talking and giving it ten to the dozen and banging on about pizzas and he’s not even prepared.

You brought it up.

Marc: I did didn’t I, sorry.

Marc: I applaud you literally, I mean this, that’s got to be one of the records of the year, when it comes through to Christmas and we’re putting that programme together with all the best records, I can guarantee that that will be in there.

You’re nice you are, I like you.

Marc: Well I am a right creep but I mean it. Do you know we played it back to back last night with John Barry and it sounded right so there’s no greater compliment than that is there. Again thanks for coming.

Thanks for having us.

Marc: Tom, I’ll see you again in a couple of weeks with another band I would imagine. Alright then, I’ll look forward to it.