Three of the leading lights of the Manchester indie music scene have got together to form a spanking new power punk trio, modesty entitled The G-O-D.
Chris Bridgett of late ’80s indie groovers Dub Sex has teamed up with bassist Karl Hildebrandt and drummer Simon Wolstencroft – who not only played with Stone Roses‘ Ian Brown, but also survived 11 years in The Fall.
Matt Catchpole caught up with singer-guitarist Chris as his fledgling outfit warmed up for a special David Bowie tribute gig at Sound Control, Manchester on 7 February.
Oh Manchester, so much to answer for.
Chris, please introduce the band and tell us how you got together?
I’ve known Si since he was in The Fall. We’ve done a couple of projects over the years, so when I wanted to try out some tunes I’d been writing I gave Si a call. I met Karl after a Dub Sex show and ended up back at his gaff playing guitars. I thought he was pretty good on bass, so asked him to join me and Si last summer.
Are you the main songwriter, or do you write as a band?
I’ll come up with riffs, ideas, sometimes the full song, but that’s only part of the story. Si and Karl add their parts and help arrange and sometimes turn the idea on its head, I like that. I’m no dictator, I try not to be precious.
What’s it like playing with a new band?
It’s fucking great man. I stopped playing music for 15 years shortly after my band Rude Club split so playing music again after all that time is a blessing that I’m incredibly grateful for.
Is this the end of Dub Sex, or is The G-O-D a side project?
Dub Sex will continue as long as Mark Hoyle has a breath in his body, it’s in every ounce of him. The G-O-D is anything but a side project I don’t work like that, I’m too passionate to do things on the side.
How did you come up with the name?
It stands for something, but I can’t say what.
Will you be playing all new material at gigs or any songs from any of the members’ previous bands?
All original, not sure my Ian Brown, Mark E Smith and Mark Hoyle impressions are up to scratch!
When do you plan on having a record out?
I’ve purposely kept The G-O-D away from recording. To date we’ve done some live recordings that sound great, but the plan has always been to get a set, get it tight, gig it then record. Too many bands record their music before it’s ready. When we come to record, the songs will be well written, rehearsed and tight as fuck. We’re almost at that point.
What label will you be on? Any plans for a full tour?
My only plan for The G-O-D is to be as good as we can for the next thing we do. My thoughts and ambitions only go as far as that. For now that’s the David Bowie memorial show at Sound Control, Manchester on February 7 and after that my plans and thoughts will be focused on our first headline show at The Klondyke Club in Levenshulme on the 20th of February. Labels, tours, t-shirts, all that will happen if we take care of business one show at a time.
Talking of Bowie, how did you feel about the man and his music?
The first Bowie album I bought was Ziggy Stardust. HMV re-released his early albums for £2.99 sometime in the early ’80s. I was 15, so it must’ve been about ’82. On the bus on the way back home from town I was looking at the photo of Bowie on the cover and reading the sleeve notes, when two top looking girls from the year above me got on the bus. When they walked past me I looked up and caught site of one of the girls looking at my Bowie album, she smiled at me. Next week at the school youth club her friend came up to me and said: “You’re Chris and you like Bowie don’t you, my friend fancies you”.
Bowie taught me many things musically but probably the most important lesson was then when I was 15. Being into good music gets you the girls.
How would you describe your sound?
We’re a rock band mate, a punk rock band.
How has the music scene changed over the years? Has the development of streaming and social media been a good thing for music?
Making music available on demand and accessible to consumers when they want it has to be a good thing. However, the flipside of that is that it often feels more disposable and has less value. Discovering new music then moving on can take hours, whereas 30 years ago that same process would take months. I don’t really go in for scenes I can’t be arsed. Is social media a good thing? We’ve had a few teething problems but on the whole I’d have to say yes.
What’s your best showbiz anecdote?
I really can’t share my best ones because I may still get arrested. I’ve only been star struck once and that’s when I met Nico in a pub in Hulme back in the day. I kept thinking: ‘Fuck!, she was in the Velvets and knew Jim Morrison and I’m skinning up with her in the fucking Spinners’. Buy me a drink one day, and I’ll tell you my Robbie Williams story……
What have been you best and worst gigs to date?
With Rude Club we went on tour with The Stereophonics and had a show booked in Southend. One person showed up – that was pretty shit. Supporting The Stone Roses with Dub Sex just before they exploded was memorable. The best live show I’ve been to? Fuck that’s hard. Joe Strummer played an acoustic gig in our rehearsal room when I was 16 that was pretty fucking special!
Why do you think so many great bands hail from Manchester?
Because Mancunians are the cockiest fuckers you’ll ever meet and think they’re the best even if they’re not. What you think becomes who you are, that’s how it works.
Name three records which sum up Manchester for you?
24 Hour Party People by The Happy Mondays, The Storm by World of Twist, Love Will Tear Us Apart by Joy Division.
What current bands on the Manchester scene would you recommend?
There’s a few; MOVE, Heavy on The Magic, The Tapestry, CABBAGE, The Empty Page, Nude, all good bands. (Not as good as us though!)
Favourite place to hang out in Manchester?
And last but not least, City or United?
United, (as in) Newcastle – I’m a Geordie. Karl is City, Funky Si is Red….G-O-D help us!
Tickets for The G-O-D’s first headline show at The Klondyke Club in Levenshulme with special guests Tom O’Toole and Mark Smith are available on this link.