Recently I had a rather excellent band recommended to me by the name of Colour Me Wednesday and not only have I been enjoying their damned fine tunes I have also had the pleasure of interviewing them earlier this week. They hail from Hillingdon and have some educational links to Peckham.
They see themselves as a punk band and I have to agree with that. I always felt that the first wave of UK punk in 1976/77 was more about attitude, outlook and enjoying yourself. This bunch of talented guys and girls has all of that in abundance. They prove that punk is about so much more than just image; they don’t have a tattoo between them!
The band members are Jen on vocals, Hat on guitar and backing vocals, Sam on drums and backing vocals and Danny on bass. They all have a hand in the song writing and frankly it’s hard to believe they are children of the late 80s given the meaning and maturity in their lyrics. They have great principles too, so do not expect to see them in a bigoted, racist pub near you anytime soon.
Every year when I plan my trip to the Reading Festival with my good friend Nick we always select a band that we have never heard of but have an interesting name as a must see act for the weekend. Whilst Colour Me Wednesday (CMW) is a pretty cool name (and more on that later) I may have to choose my must see bands by interesting song titles in future. CMW have some fantastic songs in their repertoire including my current favourite “Purge Your Inner Tory” and “Unicorn In Uniform” Just how good are those titles? But it goes beyond that because the songs have real class both musically and lyrically. Regular readers will know that “Purge Your Inner Tory” plays well to my own political leanings and I just had to use a lyric from it as the title to this post!
“Carefree” is one of Sam’s songs and I particularly love the lyrics which the band say are about the feeling of not being able to stay ‘punk’ But the closing lines for me could be even more universal than that. Just how good is the following? ‘Seems we could go on forever, without another care about the world beyond our own doorstep. But I don’t think that’s for the best and I hope I’m not alone. Yeah I hope I’m not alone’
“Lost On The High Street” is reminiscent of one of my favourite Clash songs “Lost In The Supermarket” I reckon CMW could make a great cover of the Clash’s “Julie’s Been working For The Drug Squad” (Folks that is a request from me!). A remix of their “Lost On The High Street” features on their wonderful Sampler 2011 CD along with demos of the aforementioned “Purge Your Inner Tory” and “Unicorn In Uniform” along with the beautiful and fragile “Holiday From Your Life”. You can click here to buy the EP for the almost criminally low price of £1.79 including postage (if you’re in the UK). Not only are the songs superb but the packaging is wonderfully hand crafted just like the early days of punk.
As it was an interview I had to ask a few questions so I did. I started with who is the best band or singer on the planet and agreed that they could include those sadly departed artists and defunct bands if they wished. They all love the Beatles and Jen and Hat particularly love Juliana Hatfield. (Formerly of the Blake Babies and Some Girls). Danny loves REM and Elvis Costello; the band has covered Costello’s “I Don’t Want To Go To Chelsea” at some point too.
My next question was on a ‘what if’ trip. If there was a Colour Me Wednesday chat show who would be the guests on the first episode. Hat went for Russell Brand and Jen would invite Kathleen Hanna from Bikini Kill. Sam suggested that he would invite a selection of those cute YouTube cats. I’d be happy to send my two cats Benny the Ball and Mrs Betty Slocombe to audition for that! Incidentally I reckon that would make a good chat show especially if they invited Mr Costello as well.
A recent survey claims that the biggest tear-jerker of a song is “Everybody Hurts” so that was my lead in to ask if any of the band could think of a particular song that made them cry. Jen offered one of my own favourites from the late, great Jeff Buckley with “Lover You Should Have Come Over”. Ben Folds Five’s “Brick” was Hat’s choice. Sam went for “My Baby…” from band favourite Juliana Hatfield while Danny opted for Weezer’s “Pardon Me”. Some interesting choices I reckon; what do you think dear readers?
I then asked the rather shameful question of what is the most embarrassing song in your collection. The band rightly pointed out that music shouldn’t be embarrassing and if you enjoy it what’s the problem. It’s difficult to disagree with their argument (but if “Macarena” comes up on my iPod shuffle facility any time soon I will not be able to avoid that embarrassing feeling; sorry gang!). Jen and Hat did offer a song and a band that they felt they shouldn’t really like. In my view I would say these were pretty cool choices. It was “Kiss Me” from Sixpence None The Richer a song that sisters Jen and Hat used to practice their harmonies on. They also felt that Paramore fitted the bill here as well given their heavily teenage fan base and image.
My next interrogative line was is there a song that sums up your life so far and obviously I had to extend that to albums as well. When I think about it could I answer that question myself? Only with great difficulty! Any way they did come up with Belly’s debut album from 1993, ‘Star’. Along with Juliana Hatfield’s “Become What You Are”. The band have been to see Juliana on one occasion and it was made even more interesting and exciting by the appearance of one time Blake baby Freda Love.
Jen went on to speak about how it felt singing other people’s lyrics. She said that very, very occasionally she might want to edit a line. In particular she feels that the end of a line should be very evocative. She also admitted that she felt almost possessed when singing a cover version.
When travelling up to Sheffield for a recent gig they amused themselves by swapping jokes about cheese, especially vegan cheese as all the band are vegetarians. Are there many cheese jokes? I can only think of two and they are cheesy indeed. Which cheese would you use to entice a grizzly down from a mountain? Camembert. (It’s all in the pronunciation) and what do you call cheese that isn’t yours? Nacho cheese.
I promised you more on the name later and here it is. How did the name come about? Well it was back in the days before Jen was in the band and Hat wanted to find a name that didn’t evoke Goth or death metal. So she used a bag of fridge magnet poetry and pulled out random words until she found a combination that worked. That combination was obviously the pretty cool Colour Me Wednesday.
If you get a chance to see them live then I urge you to take it. I haven’t had that opportunity yet but I will certainly take it when I can. If you want to book them for a gig then get in touch I am pretty damned sure you will not be disappointed. I would like to offer some big thanks to the band for letting me interview them and for becoming the very first act ever to be interviewed for the With Just A Hint Of mayhem blog in nearly three years!
Check them out on the web here;
Now enjoy a few of the band’s songs and make sure you order the sampler 2011 EP. If I find that you haven’t bought it, remember……. I know where you live! If you missed the link earlier click here to order the CD.