Hi Phil, you've been so busy since you decided to start making music again last year. What inspired you to start recording again?
There were a few things that got the ball rolling for me again. I'd lived and worked for 20 years in London, and was getting mighty sick and tired of it. The stress of my job had actually got me into hospital with a suspected stroke. It wasn't - I'd simply collapsed with stress. And then Grant McLennan died. It just hit me that life is short and precious, and that I was wasting it by being unhappy in London. So I resigned my job, and we sold our flat and moved to Devon. The natural thing to then do was to pick up the guitar in earnest again and see if I could write...
You've got a new band now - how is it that going and how does it feel to be performing alongside a band again?
It's fantastic having a band! And they whip up a storm. Arash Torabi (bass) and Andy Fonda (drums) joined me about three months ago and are terrific. I'd done a few gigs with just me and an mp3 player providing the backing tracks. They were fun, but there just isn't the spark that you get from playing live with other people. I feel rejuvenated!
What attracted you to playing at Christmas Twee?
I cannot tell a lie! The idea of wrapping up an indie night with some lovely steam trains was just too good an opportunity to miss.
Too right! And what can fans expect from your Christmas Twee appearance?
They can expect some old June Brides and Phil Wilson songs, with a few numbers of mine and one or two cover versions (strictly chosen with dancing in mind!). But it's a different sound to the June Brides, that's for sure. Expect a lot of rockin'.
You were a massive part of the C86 scene - what do you think of the current indiepop scene it has inspired? You've already played alongside many of the new bands, such as Pocketbooks and MJ Hibbett for example....
What has been terrific, and a little surprising, is that the legacy of what was a small UK scene seems to have become such a worldwide phenomenon. It actually feels healthier and stronger than it did in 1986. Which is bizarre! I've played with a lot of great new young bands this year who clearly have record collections full of sixties jangle and C86. It's great to see so many people playing and enjoying this music, and embracing the ideals (chiefly of independence and mutual support) that were important to myself and many of the bands who were active in the 80's scene.
What records are you listening to at the moment? Are there are any new bands you're excited about?
I'm listening to much the same type of music as I always have - sixties pop, sixties soul, reggae, Krautrock, punk rock, country, new wave and, of course, indie pop! There are some really good new (ish) bands out there on the indie scene. Summer Cats, the Tartans, POBPAH, Pants Yell! and Let's Wrestle spring to mind. And Davy Henderson (Fire Engines/Win/Nectarine No. 9) is doing fantastic stuff with his new band the Sexual Objects. And let's not forget the lovely MJ Hibbett....
What are your plans for the next year?
I'm hoping to get together enough songs to record a new album for Slumberland Records. And to get out and play a lot more concerts. We have a small German tour in February...and are open to offers after that!
Phew - sounds like you're going to be extremely busy! Just one final question - tell us what makes a perfect Christmas for you..
A frosty Christmas morning with that beautiful, soft, winter sunlight. Then out for a walk and hot soup at the seaside. Then home to a roaring fire and stuffing myself stupid with too much food and booze.
Sounds perfect to us Phil - Christmas can't come too soon for us over at Indietracks Towers! See you very soon...Phil has very kindly given us an exclusve mp3 - "I Own It", which is an unreleased demo of a new song - enjoy!
Free MP3 Download: I Own It