Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Slightly Erratic and Mildly Drunken Interview With Jon Fat Beast

Somewhat sadly, London appears to have caught the same disease that has long afflicted Perth and Melbourne in Australia, with live venues giving way to more "upmarket" ventures. The disappointing announcement of the closure of the Bull and Gate, long a fixture for up and coming bands seems to make this interview timely.

The Time Box was an incredibly important regular live music night held at the Bull and Gate at a time when not many others were prepared to give new alternative  bands a go. Never one to miss an eye for the main chance, Plunder The Tombs seized a surprise opportunity to talk to the man responsible, Jon Fat Beast.

I'd be the first to admit that this is not the best interview, not least because at least one of the participants was far from sober when it was done, but in the best tradition of Gonzo journalism, I think we'll just whack this out there, relatively unedited, so the rest of you can appreciate the very high journalistic standards that we employ at Plunder The Tombs.

James Von Sutekh
Is this the guy behind Timebox and Brian?
I would very much like to interview you.
Jon Fat Beast
It is me. Yes I am for my sins Jon Fat Beast.
Yeah an interview would be lovely,but quite sweary on my part no doubt.
If you want an interview its as easy to do on here isnt it ?
I dont know.I`m an idiot obviously.
James Von Sutekh
Sweary is fun. Fuck. Fuck. Muthafuker. Shit fuck cunt. I look forward to interviewing you.
The penguin fascinates me...
Jon Fat Beast
Theres plenty of links on google etc for Timebox and Hype but probably not a lot on Brian. My pic on my FB site was a messy Brian gig. Mick (Mercer) probably remembers more than me about the five or six years I did Bull and Gate clubs. I was normally drunker than him. We had 4 timebox venues at one time in London alone.

James Von Sutekh
Tell us first about Timebox. How did that come about, and how did it evolve?
Jon Fat Beast
I was 18,new to London and Punk had just finished its short spell knocking bloody pomp rock into oblivion .I started putting on goth/punk/evolving indie acts on at The Red Rose Club in Finsbury park and upstairs and down at The Clarendon in Hammersmith.
I wanted my own venue and approached the Bull and Gate in Kentish town to take over booking ALL their nights.
I put thousands of acts on at Timebox over a two year period. Voice of the Beehive and The Poppinjays were regular staff, as were loads of other famous pop tarts.
I just wanted to see great new bands in a nice atmosphere
Timebox was all about unity and fun/and I married a penguin Live on stage.
James Von Sutekh
What were the bands that really fascinated you at the time?
Jon Fat Beast
I loved All About Eve, they played a few times, The Primatives from Coventry, I loved Voice Of The Beehive, Half Man Half Biscuit, Bogshed, The Fifteenth, all played loads. A Witness, Breathless, oh there’s hundreds I loved. it was very much a Do it Yourself attitude .We loathed record companies or agents.
I used to call Simon Cowell a cunt twice a week, he was at Phonogram as an A and R man
I upset loads of important people. We just wouldn’t tow the line
Record papers Melody Maker, NME,Sounds etc loved us. Some weeks we would get half the country’s gig reviews from Timebox venues.
We enjoyed what we were doing but I did it full time.
I would get sent over 300 demos a week at its peak.
We were very cheap/free entry and made our money selling hundreds of sweary tee shirts I designed
I am just ranting now. lol

James Von Sutekh
Tell us about Brian? And we do want to know about the penguin.
Jon Fat Beast
Brian got quite famous, really very strange considering it was just me, and a mate of mine Sean on guitar, Jesus Sex on drums with any indie stars we could rope in whenever we played. We once pulled 500 just to see Brian at Dingwalls. Mad. It was just inappropriate cover versions sung and played badly whilst I poured buckets of various foods on my head. It was just two fingers up to bands who took themselves too seriously. I enjoyed every minute. Ian Brown from the Stone Roses wanted to hit me for covering one of their songs. He chased me around Camden one drunken evening.
Jon Fat Beast
Oh and I married a penguin.................
James Von Sutekh
I hope you two were very happy. How would you describe Brain's music
Did you ever release anything?
Jon Fat Beast
Brian’s music was "Shite but we don’t care" as our tee shirts said. My favourite song to sing was anything with swear words. It wasn’t much about the music really, more the theatre.
James Von Sutekh
Timebox- your venue: who played there (in the Goth sense)
More to the point, what do you think of the current scene?
Jon Fat Beast
We must have had 500 Goth bands at least. Wayne Hussy used to be sick in the ladies toilets on a regular basis if that’s any help. I don’t think there is a well defined "Current Scene", where I now live, In The Midlands every band seems to be speed metal/Goth which I find very dull. I like Operatic/Goth acts but nowadays I mostly listen to Radio 6 in the UK, its all new stuff, a cross section of punk/Indie/Goth stuff. I have worked with Goth bands since Sex Gang Children and Flesh for Lulu days.