Tuesday, 6 July 2010
Indietracks interview #23: The Pooh Sticks
Sixteen days until the festival starts! Today we're interviewing Swansea pop mavericks The Pooh Sticks, who have reformed exclusively for the Indietracks festival.
Forming in the late 80s, the Swansea band started out by using ramshackle pop charm to lighten up the indie scene. They were notable for their jangly melodiousness and lyrics gently mocking the indie scene of the time such as on “On Tape”, “Indie-pop Ain’t Noise Pollution” and “I Know Someone who Knows Someone who knows Alan McGee Quite Well”.
The band changed direction on their 1991 US breakthrough The Great White Wonder, eschewing the indie pop sound for a more American-styled Power Pop sound. Subsequent albums Million Seller and Optimistic Fool followed in this style. We're joined by Huw Williams for a few questions.
Hi Hue, over the last few years there have been various retrospectives and fond rememberings of the 80s indie scene. Do you find people reflect the period accurately or is there a temptation to romanticise or reinvent history?
Well as much as I enjoyed bagging all those Sea Urchins flexis, I also remember grabbing early Def Jam 12''s and hopping out to Big Black and Sonic Youth shows.
The group started out quite jangly and poppy and then took a power pop direction for the later albums – which are you most pleased with?
We were always a pop group whether it involved a bit of jangle or a spot of power.
Apparently you used to make up overblown stories, fictional line-ups and other fun ways to market the band – which were your favourite?
I have no idea what you're talking about. I think you've mixed us up with another group. The only fib I can recall is that we pretended that Amelia from Tallulah Gosh was on some of the records.
Okaaay. Is there anything you regret doing as a band or wish you’d done differently?
Turning down a support slot on Nils Lofgren's European tour in 1991.
What have you been up to since the band was last together?
I've been staying in with my memories!
Why did you decide to get back together for Indietracks? Simon from The Loves claims it was his idea…
Yes it was all Simon's idea. Malkmus was telling me the other day it was also Simon's call to get Pavement back on the road. So if you want your fav band to reform, suggestions on a postcard to Si Love!
What can we expect from the band’s Indietracks performance? Will you be playing a career-spanning hits set?
We'll be giving it 110 % and it'll be a show of two halves.
Will you be playing or recording any new songs?
Is that a dare!
Yes, a double dare in fact! Are there plans for the band to do anything else together after the festival?
I'm gonna jump into the Pooh Sticks jalopy and jam in my 'Owl Service' DVD.
Great! See you at the festival!