Sie Norfolk brews down and sits off with Andy Morten (drums and vocals) and Louis Comfort-Wiggett (bass and vocals) to discuss what makes good marmalades.
Let's start with the key influences on your songwriting?
Andy: Whatever’s eating away at my brain at the moment I sit down to write. More often that not that’ll be whichever classy vintage pop disc I last heard, but inspiration can come from anywhere: people, films, books, conversations. Knowing that I’m writing for Louis and Mike certainly encourages certain tropes and moods to become more pronounced. And writing solely for two or three-minute single sides (as we’ve been doing since we got back together) is a great way of forcing you to be economical and get your message across with the minimum faffing about. I hate music that faffs.
Louis: Key influences on my songwriting, mmm? I don’t write a great deal, but when they do come, they’re invariably out of nowhere. I spark off Andy a fair bit, particularly for lyrics. So “nothing” and “Andy” would be my answer.
What's on the turntable for you guys at the moment?
Louis: The usual really. Tony Hazzard’s ’70s efforts for Bronze, Dr Byrds & Mr Hyde, Thoughts And Words and Silverhead’s 16 And Savaged were all dug out recently.
Andy: Jim Noir’s new album Finnish Line has been on a lot, as have old favourites like Evie Sands’ Anyway That You Want Me, The Tremeloes’ Master and Spirit’s Twelve Dreams Of Dr Sardonicus, all of which I’ve managed to score nice original copies of this year. My nine-year old son has taken a shine to ’67/68-era Kinks and Manfred Mann so they’re rarely off the CD player. Could be worse!
Andy: When Bronco Bullfrog got back together we dreamt up this plan that we’d only release 7” singles, each one on a different label to the last, just for fun really. Few bands and labels were making singles during the late ’90s/early 2000s when we started putting records out. Fortunately, there are stacks of cool labels putting singles out now, and the two-track 7” has rightly become a popular medium again. Sunstone is one of the coolest – the boys that run it are serious music heads (that’s how we met) and it makes us feel like we’re doing something right being affiliated with them.
Any live dates on the horizon?
Louis: No, but it might happen one day in the very distant future. We’re all pretty active in other gigging bands at the moment, so definitely keeping our hands in.
Andy: We’ve been asked to tour and play festivals in Europe but that’s not what we want to do at the moment. It’s all about writing and recording.
Favourite kind of marmalade?
Louis: I picked up some honey marmalade at a wood fair recently. It’s an orange marmalade only made using honey and is swell. Mind you, that Bottle Wreck Porter Marmalade by Hammerpot Brewery is decent also.
Andy: Louis brings me the Bottle Wreck Porter Orange Marmalade when he comes to visit and it doesn’t last long. I like a red onion marmalade too.
When are you having an existential crisis or has it been and gone?
Louis: I had a small one at the weekend. I’m 43 now, I have them irregularly throughout the year, and I reckon (like an untreated rash) they’ll only get worse.
Andy: Sometimes I think I’ve been having one since I was about 15 but then realise that’s not very likely and that I still have that particular pleasure to look forward to.