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CHRIS HELME

© 2001 Cultural Foundation
 
chris helme at blakey

On the afternoon of Tuesday 13th February 2001 we - that is Paul Crossland, of Blakey Music (and Manager of the Lion Inn) and Pete Bell (of music collective Cultural Foundation) - drove down from the moors to York to meet up with Chris Helme.


We met a little after 2.30 pm at the City Screen Café Bar, where it was warm enough to sit outside for a while overlooking the River Ouse. Moving inside for the interview and then on to Lendal Cellars - this recorded interview (roughly 2 hours long) took place between 3.00 pm and 6.00 pm. Chris was then getting ready for a solo gig at Wilde's.

CITY SCREEN CAFÉ BAR

1. Peter Bell: When did you start writing and singing?

Chris Helme: I've always sang. Me granddad used to sing and me grandma used to sing. Me grandma used to do me dad's head in when we used to go round on a Sunday to see them. She'd come back from church and start playing the organ and he used to sort of call her "that maudlin old ....biddy". My granddad, on me mum's side was really into Nat King Cole and that sort of thing. Who is it that sang "Mona Lisa" - was that Nat King Cole? (Sings) "Mona Lisa ...." That one. Yeah. 'Cos I remember him singing that to me, and I started singing that. And I've always known that tune since ....as long as I can remember. And then.... I was going out with a girl and she got off with somebody who was in a band while I was seeing her, and it really got my back up. So I thought "Right. I can do that". So I started to sort of learn how to play guitar then. That was when I was about 19 I think.

PB: That did develop later didn't it?

Yeah I started at 19, but I didn't really know what I was doing 'til I was about 22 or something. I was..... well I still am pretty awful on guitar anyway. But .... Yeah, it was an old cream Stratocaster that I borrowed. And I blew up my dad's stereo with it 'cos I didn't have an amp and so I used to put it through that.

2. PB: Do you play any other instruments?

Not really. I always wanted piano lessons when I was younger but mum and dad couldn't afford 'em. They probably didn't have the patience to put up with the row I suppose. I was quite musical at school but I never really took an active interest in it. I never pursued .... I didn't want to make a career out of it at school. I didn't think that you could. You know.

So it's quite strange how things turned out really.

PB: When did you start writing?

I joined a band called Daisy Space, which was the first band I was ever in. With a guy called Andy Parrish and Keith Hyde on keyboards and ....... oh, what was he called ... oh, he's gonna kill me, I can't remember his name ... guitarist. It'll come to me. Anyway it was a ... we were trying to learn tunes and stuff like that and .... I was trying to learn an R.E.M. song, I remember, but I kept getting the chords wrong. I'd not really been singing "properly", you know, I was just sort of getting away with it, worse than a lot of karaoke singers you can hear, and I started getting all the notes wrong, and then the words wrong. So I might as well have ended up with my own song really, at the end of it.

So I started sort of doing it by accident like that, really. I think I heard Jools Holland saying that he started writing by getting everybody else's songs wrong, and that was pretty much how I started as well.

PB: I was thinking as much of words as well as tunes.

I've always been a gobby little shite so I've always had a load to get off me chest through one thing or another. I went through that usual complaining about everything...sort of adolescent stage ... and I suppose a lot of it came out of that. And then the sort of usual ... "relationships" and all that sort of stuff really. That's where it comes from. Or somebody else's experiences, or what you see on telly, what you read in the press, what you read in ... all sorts of things really. Or sometimes it just rhymes, but by the end of it you've actually written something which does mean something.

It's almost like trying to describe a dream, you know what I mean, where you know exactly what it is that's going on in your head, but you try and explain it to someone and it's just like "What the fuck are you talking about?" You know. Mumbo jumbo.

3. PB: What about the bands that you worked in after Daisy Space.

Well, there was Chutzpah. I was with them for about five years. I think we only had about four rehearsals all the time we were together, but we used to play a lot. About four or five dates a week. Ended up going round France with them. Did that for six weeks. Funnily enough I remember more about that than I do about being in "The Seahorses" really. I don't know why. I think it was probably because we were all really good mates, we'd been mates for five years, and we knew each other inside out, sort of thing, and it was just more fun really. We could lounge about ... we didn't stay in hotels, we slept on the beaches and stuff like that, just busked round all the little cafes and bars and stuff like that, in France.

PB: I saw you at the White Swan, we were playing the Cross Keys just down the road. Was that a regular gig?

Yeah, we used to do it every second Tuesday. Packed. Was it packed? Yeah. Really. I can't remember much about that because we used to go down .... There's a little bench just by the Minster, next to the Cross Keys, there's a little patch of grass, and we just used to sit there and get stoned before we'd do anything. Then we'd go back to the pub and we'd play a set. I remember getting bollocked by my auntie, actually. She said I looked like I was on another planet. And I think I was. I can't remember much about the gigs. I've got a guitar at home which has got the set list from those gigs on it though. With the headstock smashed off it where the drummer rode over it with his bus.

PB: You had a percussionist with that outfit?

Yeah, that was a guy called Matt... Matt Thompson. I'm still in touch with him, actually. I was going to ask him to play on some stuff, but he's down south somewhere and he's really hard to get hold of. But every time I see him, and he's in York, he's always up for doing stuff. And then, you know, we usually just go to the pub and then it's all forgotten.

4. PB: Were you busking prior to playing in a band or was that something that ran parallel?

It ran parallel. I got fed up with waiting for Andy, the bass player, to turn up, 'cos he used to play guitar. And he said that he was the guitarist - I was the singer, you know, and that was my job. And he used to play hell when I tried to learn how to play guitar. But I was sick of him being late so I just figured "Right, it can't be that difficult". So I just... I stuck at it. I think I could actually play guitar, it was just that he kept telling me I was shit so I never bothered with it. So that's probably how I got playing on my own. And Tim, from Fibbers, ended up giving me my first solo gigs.

I didn't realise how easy it was to play on your own. It was just so easy. You could do anything you wanted really without having to worry about people cocking up behind you or... you know. Being able to hear yourself. It's really good playing on your own.

PB: Did you just busk here or did you travel?

Just did it in York. Well York and ... the whole France thing with Chutzpah was a big busking expedition, but we never did it anywhere else. Oh.. I did it in Brighton for a bit, I tell a lie. But I think the beggars outnumbered the buskers. Whenever you used to set up, two beggars'd get a pitch either side of you. So you'd never make any money. Which is a bit shit, so... I ended up moving back here.

5. Did you sell tapes then or did you just rely on the drop

No, we didn't bother with selling tapes. We didn't think we were good enough, actually. Just started thinking, "Well who wants to go home and listen to me?" so....

6. So when did you first start performing your own stuff?

Well the first song I ever wrote was when I was 20, and that was with Andy. I wrote that with him. "Falling In and Out of Love With You", it was called. It was really cheesy. I started writing quite a lot when I learnt how to play guitar - too many songs to remember, really. I'm trying to think of the first one I ever wrote which I thought was good. There was all sorts of stuff. I'm sure that people who've got the tapes.. that bought them off Chutzpah... have probably got them on there somewhere. I just want to keep writing new ones, I don't really want to think about old ones, really.

7. Yes. It's interesting this whole background thing though - the whole process. So you were doing cover material as well? What sort of stuff did you favour?

It's funny, I used to be really into Hendrix and the Doors. But it was odd singing Hendrix songs when I couldn't play guitar. It doesn't really have the same kind of feel, does it, when there's someone playing guitar behind you... and there's me singing "Voodoo Child" or whatever. I used to like the Doors. Used to do "LA Woman" and "Moonlight Drive"..... Velvet Underground - I used to do "Cool it Down", and errr... "What Goes On" and ... "There She Goes". We used to do that one a lot.

Nice tune that.

Hmm. I always preferred that one to the LAs' one.

8 / 9. Influences, then. Who do you listen to, and at that early stage....

You asked me earlier about when I used to sing and stuff - I remember singing in me sister's bedroom, 'cos she had all the records ... I never used to have enough money to buy all the records. She used to go out and buy them. I think the first sort of stuff she was into was all that .... it'd have been about 1979, when there was that mod revival. And she was really into the The Jam, and Secret Affair, and .... I remember she got a Kinks record that I thought was really good. "Golden Hours", I think it was called. Is it "Golden Hours"?. It's got this big gold cover with these faces on it, all these trippy faces. I used to listen to that.

And then, I think by about 1984 she was listening to Prince and stuff. I got into Prince. I swore down that ... She always used to bollock me, because she used to say I used to copy off her 'cos I only used to like stuff that she liked but... I don't know, she probably had good taste in music. Because she said that I swore down that I wasn't going to like Prince. But I ended up really getting into it. I used to like Prince quite a lot. I think a few years ago I wouldn't have openly admitted that. Yeah, I do like Prince. He's really ... pretty much a genius really. Although it's not the sort of music I can play. I don't know enough about music to get me head round playing with that.

He has some serious people playing with him.

Yes he does, yeah. Fantastic players.

What else was I into ....... When I started playing guitar I suppose I started listening to more acoustic stuff.... Like Van Morrison. A little bit later on I got into Nick Drake, and Tim Buckley, John Martyn. There was all that singer / songwriter early seventies sort of stuff. And I liked Jackson Browne and all that kind of American stuff as well. And Crosby, Stills and Nash, and all that sort of stuff. But it all seems to be quite acousticcy. But then I'm not just an old folky. I like ... I was listening to Spiritualised today. And ... I bought this little production sampler, this Korg thing, which I'm having quite a lot of fun with at the moment. But I've got to be careful not to neglect my guitar playing, otherwise I'm going to forget how to do it. It's like a drum machine / sampler sort of a thing. And that's fantastic. Just sample your own stuff in, or sample stuff off other records. I'm there for hours just fiddling around with that, which is pretty cool. Get some good loops going on that. So since I've bought that I've been listening to some other stuff as well, like .... I like "Death in Vegas" and "Primal Scream's" last couple of albums have been really good.

10. Seeing you work recently, the impression is that you've always worked acoustic but then you say your first guitar was a Strat.

Yeah, but have you ever plugged a Stratocaster into an amp, like just a normal hi-fi amp? I mean, it doesn't sound like it's going to tear your head off. It's really, sort of, tame. I think I always found it easier ... 'cos I've got big sausage fingers, and the strings on acoustics are a bit further apart than they are on a lot of electric guitars. I think that's one of the reasons why I started playing acoustic. Also, like you don't have to spend a tenner on batteries every day when you're busking. So I suppose there's quite a few reasons really. And also it's because I'm a bit ham-fisted and I hit guitars too hard anyway. So....

You'll end up playing bass.

(Laughs). Yeah. Well I have been recently, actually. I quite enjoy playing bass. I always set me sights too high though. I've been listening to stuff like the Meters, and ... what else .. Who's that guy who used to play with Fairport Convention? (Ashley Hutchings, Dave Pegg?) He was pretty good wasn't he. I tried to play a double bass though the other day, and that's just impossible. You've got to be so ... I don't know, you must have hands that're just, like, the strongest things in the world to be able to play that.

Roy Piper brought a stand-up electric up to one of our jam sessions the other week, superb sound, a Steinberger thing.

All right, yeah. They look horrible though, don't they? They look like space ships. Part of the set from 'Thunderbirds'.

11. What gear do you use then, what guitar are you using now?

Well my favourite at the moment is a J50. Gibson J50. 1974. Which I swapped for a ... I used to have an old '71 Telecaster, but I never played it that much. So I swapped that for that. I've got a couple of J200's. A 1954 one. Which is really nice. But you can't play it live 'cos it doesn't have a socket in it.

Do you ever mic it up?

I have done, yeah. Not live though. Oh no, I have. I did mic it up live once. I played at the Theatre Royal with it mic'd up. For some charity thing. And that was great. It was just like playing in my living room. It was brilliant. And then the other one, which is a 1980's one, which is a really nice guitar. And a L'Arevee. But that's more for finger picking, open tuning sort of stuff.

Do you do claw-hammer, and that sort of stuff?

I don't really know what I'm doing with it. The thing is, there's a way of doing it... I've got this little ... you know them awful videos you can buy from guitar shops where there's this guy called Happy Traum or something, and he's sat there going... telling you that, you know, there's only ten different ways of doing it and that's it. If you do anything else then it's wrong, you know. And I'm like .... I mean, I can't play, but I can pick me own stuff when I've written it like that, you know. So... really - I've written it, so that's right as far as I'm concerned. So he can shove it up his arse really. But I'd love to be able to do all that really fancy picking, like old country sort of ..... It'd be great.

That's why I like Nick Drake as well..... He taught himself and no-one could figure out how he plays it because there's not really one style there, it's just his style.

Well.... Amplifiers? Train-spottery type of stuff

Oh, God (Laughs). Anoraks. I've got an old Fender Bassman, which is ... how old is that ... about 1962 or 3 or summat. I got that in America. And I've got a Fender Twin, mid '70s one. I used to have one of them Tech 21 things which I thought were really good. They were great for putting acoustics through 'cos you get loads of horrible feed-back, especially with the pick-ups that I've got on. They have this little microphone dial on it. You can have it on your pick-up or your microphone, and you can have it in between. And I was using that as like a... sort of a way you can get really mad, horrible, sort of Hendrixy feed-back, but through an acoustic, so it sounds even more ... awful. But I got rid of that amp, I sold it. They're transistor amps as well, they're not valves, but they sound.... You can get about five or six different amp sounds from them. And they don't sound like.... They do sound pretty warm. Good amps, them. There's six / seven dials on the top, and you just get them all set up differently.

12. Do you use your own amp, or do you tend to go through the PA?

I usually, with acoustics, use the PA, but that's probably because I can't be arsed to carry an amp around when I'm playing on my own, or if there's only, like, three of us. But I'm going to start going through one 'cos I really like how it sounds. But at the moment I've got ... the Bassman's too bassy for it, and it'll feed back too much, and then the Fender Twin'll just cut everybody's heads off. So I think I might have to invest in one of those .... I've heard that Marshall do quite a good little acoustic amp. Those Trace Elliot acoustic amps? I used to have one of them. I didn't really like it. No.

13. How many songs are you working on right now? What... to finish? Yeah, I read somewhere you had two albums' worth.

Well I have got two albums' worth, yeah. I've probably got more, actually. It's just I only like two albums worth. And there's the other ones ... it's funny when I remember the songs I've actually written which I think ... "Aah, that's crap, I don't really like that" or "It's not me" or ... you know. I'd love someone else to sing all the ones that I've discarded. I used to be able to write one, and then... not write one for ages. Which used to sort of.... it was great because you'd write one in five minutes and you'd think "Aah, brilliant". And then try and do that again, and it was really difficult. Before I knew it I was pulling me hair out before I was even actually writing anything that was any good. Now I seem to have, like, six or seven different pieces of music - all together. And all I've got to do is write lyrics for them really. And the tune comes as it comes.

And as time's gone on I've got better at singing, and I suppose the more music that you listen to the more avenues are open. Some days I'll just sit down ... and I'll just spend a week, maybe, on finishing them seven off and then go on to another lot.

At one point I thought that I'd not written anything for ages but what I'd actually been doing was sitting down and recording stuff here, there, and everywhere - like if I was sat on the toilet, or if I was watching TV, or Marley was asleep, or whatever, and I could get me little Dictaphone out. So there's all this music, there's so much of it, I've got something like ... three / four minidiscs full of different tunes. With no lyrics. So, that's like ... three albums. But I've just got to figure (laughs) ... find something to write about.

It comes that way round does it? - a clichéd question, but ... your tune first ... is that generally how it goes?

Sometimes. Sometimes it doesn't. It depends really on ... I mean if you've really got to get something out then it comes out with the lyrics and the tune and everything, you know. And they're usually the best songs, because the whole feel of the tune is just .... It comes out as one, you know. I think if you have too much time to spend on one thing or another it ends up watered down a bit. I'm quite a firm believer in getting it recorded as soon as you've written it.

There's a difference between being open-minded and not really knowing what you want.

Paul Crossland: Do you want a drink?

I would, actually, yeah. All this talking's making me dry. I'll have a .... Aah it's half three, I'll have a beer. Oh, you can't have a beer in here can you.

PC: They've got beer behind the bar.

Yeah but only if you've been to watch a film. Do you want to go to a pub? Carry on in a pub.

PC: Yeah.

Alright.

LENDAL CELLARS

14. PB: When you're gigging these days what cover material .... Do you just pull them out of the ...

Well I don't really do any covers. Not really..... if I go somewhere and it's like "Da Daaah!. Chris Helme Playing Live ...et cetera". If I'm doing it for a laugh, like I'm doing these things on a Tuesday night at Wilde's, which is quite good fun... I play a few songs that I'm writing. Or a few ones that I feel like singing, of mine. Maybe some old Seahorses stuff, but ... covers-wise. Dylan's always quite a good one to take the piss out of 'cos of his voice and stuff. Van Morrison, Velvet Underground. Them old ones, I suppose, the one's I used to do years ago, 'cos it means I don't have to learn any others. It's all a bit 'Stars in Your Eyes', though isn't it, that sort of thing. It's like "Tonight, Matthew, I'm gonna be like ......."

15. PC: The last two times I've seen you play live - the Theatre Royal, and the first gig at Blakey, you did that Faces one.

Oh, yeah. "Ooh La La".

Yeah, and you know the chorus about 'knowing what you know now, when you were younger' ... I wondered if that was ... Poignant? .... relevant to .....

Well, funnily enough, I'd heard that song years ago. And I'd never heard it for ages after, and then Marley was born, and I picked out that "Ooh La La" album. I've had it for ages, just never really listened to it. And I put that on, and I was doing like a compilation while I was rocking him off to sleep, he's in one hand, and I was trying to sort me CD's and the minidisk out with the other. And I really liked that one. With Seahorses we never did any covers. There was always talk about us doing covers and stuff like that, to pad the set out or whatever, but .... I just thought it was a bit of a cop out really. But it was fun to do that when I played at the Theatre Royal. That was good fun. But .... The relevance of the lyrics ... I don't know.

I suppose .... You see my mum really likes that song, and I'm sure it's because of the lyrics in it. It's about some lad relating to his granddad. I've never really thought about it to be honest. But I'm sure I will do when I sing it again. (Laughs). Just stop dead in me tracks half way through. "My God, I'm getting old".

16. PB: There were a few questions came through on the web-site. There are a few here from around the world. Oh, yeah. From where abouts?...Well. Juan Pablo, from Argentina... You're joking! ..No. ..I've never been to Argentina !

These are verbatim questions, right?

Yeah, ok.

"Would you make another album with John Squire if he asked you?"

Erm... it depends. I would if his songs were any good. I mean, I can't play songs I don't like and.... If his songs were absolutely fantastic and were right up my street, then I'd do it. As long as he didn't sit in on the vocals. That was the whole shame about the whole thing. It was just that our musical tastes differed so much. You know. I mean, he's a guitarist. He loves playing that sort of thing, you know. The twiddlier the better and ... I hate all that kind of crap, you know.

He says "Do It Yourself" is one of the best albums he's ever listened to.

17. "Is there a possibility to see you here any time" ... in Argentina that is....."A lot of fans in Latin America would love to see you play".

I'd love to go and ... yeah, definitely. I'd love to go to that side of the world anyway, and just hang around there. The musicians there are just shit hot, aren't they? They'd have to teach me a thing or two about rhythm, really. Yes, I would love to go over there.

18. The last question from him is "What do you think about Oasis?"

In what respect?

I don't know, that's just his question.

As people I think that they're all really nice fellas. You'd meet a lot worse going out on a Friday-night-out at the pub. As musicians I think Noel's a very prolific song-writer. He's probably under a lot of stress to write decent tunes, and he worries too much about it. Hence the last album. I think they're a good band. I think that musically they're a lot better band now, technically - wise. But there's summat I've found.... that if you're technically proficient ... it usually floats by you. I mean, I really like lumpy music. I don't like chrome finish music, like Steely Dan or that kind of thing. People hate me for saying it but I really can't stick Steely Dan, I think they're shit. But I really love Velvet Underground 'cos it's badly played, and it's great. It's got something else. Which I think music's about.

There's a question from a guy called Tim Starboy, from Russia:

19. "Are your new songs influenced by the Beatles like, say, "Dreamer""

No. I was really into John Lennon at the time. And that was sort of like a 'Stars in their Eyes' moment for me really. "In the style of..... " Although it doesn't sound anything like it 'cos it's got all sorts of stuff all over it. And I didn't smoke enough weed at that point. No. Influenced by all sorts of things, really...... like a sponge, and it just all comes out the other side - all mushed up.

20. And he asks why you're performing alone without a band.

Well I am and I aren't I suppose. It's a lot easier to play on your own because you don't have to ring anybody up. And you don't have to wait for somebody else to learn it. And you can sing it how you want. It can be as long as you want. And you can have three middle - eights if you want. It doesn't really matter. Being with a band is quite restricting in some respects but then at the same time you can, if the band are good enough, you can have a really good wig-out and its good fun.

21. He says, perhaps you've answered the question already - he says "What do you think about the latest Oasis album?"

(coughs) It's alright. I haven't bought it.

22. Nora Freytag, from Central Germany, said, "Would you be interested in doing some concerts outside the UK? If you're interested in playing in Central Germany I could try and arrange something with some people who might support me".

God, it's very cryptic this, isn't it. Do you know her?

No, these are just people who've visited the site (www.blakeymusic.com)

Well .... That's mental. The internet. Fantastic. Yeah, I'm interested in doing gigs everywhere, really. I'm interested if people are interested, basically. So .... I'll say, "Yes" to that one.

Then Daniel has a few questions:

23. "Any news on a record deal?"

I've found, actually, that they want it on a plate. I've noticed that the bands that're getting signed now are bands which need no development whatsoever. They've got it all pretty much ready to release. And ... that's it, you know. The record companies are less and less willing to invest any money into actually getting something developed. And with me not having really a band it's quite difficult at the moment. So, what I'm going to do is get something out on the internet. Get my web-site up and running, and I should have something out in April I think. I'm going to do an EP first, about six tracks. But the other thing as well, is that .... I mean the record company thing is that you don't have to worry about money. But at the same time you're not really coming out with what you want to come out with. You're coming out with what they think is gonna sell, which is ......

How do they know?

Well they don't know, do they? They're just telling you that they do.

24. Here's another: "You haven't played "Cold Comfort" since 3 dates in Leeds, Liverpool, and London. Is this anything to do with the obvious reference to John Squire?

There isn't a reference to John Squire, is there? I don't think so. Er.... "Too many lines and not enough weed; I wish there was somewhere in between; da da da da.... " (Hums song through). That's alright, I'm just singing it - through my head. No, it's nothing to do with John. It's just about .... I suppose .... I don't know really. I think the reason why I stopped singing it is because I couldn't really decide what it was about. (Laughs). I like the middle eight. It's about "tiny cracks in an hour glass". But I don't know what it all means really. Times running out, I suppose. I dunno. I might resurrect that one. The only reason why we haven't played it is because I can never seem to get it how I want it to sound. It always sounded like we were just sort of busking through it, which can work, and sometimes .... usually ... it doesn't.

25. "When is there likely to be a full tour?"

When I get enough hits on my web-site and enough sales of my EP to get the money to be able to do it I suppose.

26. "Are you worried that when you do return people may accuse you of jumping on the "acoustic" bandwagon? Even though you were playing similar stuff before".

No. Because I was playing similar stuff before. That's the answer to that one. (Laughs)

27. "What's your favourite Seahorses tune?"

Errmm... "Don't Try". Which is the B-side to "You Can Talk to Me". And "The Falling is Easy". And of all the ones that John wrote ..... ermmm.

No. There isn't one.

28. This is a good one. "Any chance of a copy of the demo-tape which has been going round record companies? I'd give it a good review in a fanzine I do around Manchester and Liverpool".

How does he know if he's not heard it? (Laughs). Er... No. Simple. The reason for that is ... it's not my vision of what it should sound like. It's somebody else's. It's done by somebody who couldn't decide whether I was going to be a dance act or not. In that, it wasn't like - it didn't sound like D-Ream or anything, or you know, it wasn't like a cross-over, it just didn't sound right for me. It sounded "good" and everything, but it wasn't up my street really. Trying too hard to be something that it isn't, really.

29. And then he says: "Is there any way of being kept up-to-date with news, gigs, etc. So I can post info on my web-site at www.chrishelme.co.uk?

Is this Daniel's stuff? Yeah. Right. Yeah, he can e-mail me, Daniel can. Yeah? Yeah. And that's straight from the horse's mouth, really. I'm pretty erratic at the moment, because I haven't got any management or anything, 'cos I'm sick of them, so I'm just pretty much doing it on my own. It's getting very organic, I think the word is. Well, that's good. Yeah. It's easier really. I don't spend a lot of time on the phone talking about nothing. Usually the same nothing I was talking about the day before.

30. Emma Campen asks:

"Would you ever consider moving to London for the sake of your career?"

No.. Way. No. Not at all. I don't think you need to move to London in this day and age. I mean ... Why? Why should I? I spend a lot of time down in London but I'm not gonna move there. There's not much point.

31. "How difficult do you find combining your musical career with family life?"

Errrrr. That's a good question, that. You have to become good at juggling your time. I suppose if I was a multi-millionaire it'd be a piece of piss 'cos I'd just get a nanny. No I wouldn't at all (Laughs). "Send him off to boarding school". No, it's just weird. The only trouble I have is, if I'm really inspired at one given time, and I think "Fuckin' hell, I've got to get me guitar out".... and I can't. Because Marley's really into playing me guitar - I know he's only like a year old - but as soon as I get it - that's it, he wants it out of my hands, and he starts hitting it, and .... After I've told him to leave it alone for about ten times, then ... the moments gone and I've forgotten what it was. So I have to kind of .... I think probably the way I work is a lot different. I've started to use my Dictaphone a lot more. It's quite funny listening back to it when there's him screaming in the background. That's about it, really. I think it's probably got better, actually, because I'm a bit more honest in my writing. There tends to be a lot more thought about it, because I'm probably subconsciously thinking about it whilst I'm changing his nappy. Time to reflect. Yes. (Laughs)

32. Then she says: "Will you forgive me for the embarrassingly drunken show I made of myself at Fibbers last April?"

Where's she from?

PC: I think she might have something to do with The Seahorses mailing list, 'cos that's where I've seen her before. I'm not too sure though.

What does she look like?

PC: I haven't got a clue, Chris. She was at your latest gig in London I think. She posted something on the web-site, on the Seahorses mailing list, about your gig in London, and your new hairstyle.

Really? I can't remember. I honestly can't remember. I was probably drunk as well.

That's a fair answer.

Yeah. "Sorry, I can't remember you, love. But I was drunk as well (Laughs). What did we have for breakfast?". (Laughs).

That's it for the internet ones.

This is quite fun, actually. I was expecting something that was just like another .....

Link to Page 2 - Chris Helme Interview

chris helme
chris helme at blakey
 chris helme at blakey
stu fletcher, chris helme, james nesbitt
  chris and pete bell

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