Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Music Questionnaire No 14 - Alan Savage

I've known Alan Savage, or "Sav", since the late 70s when I was in a post-punk band called Drop and he was in a more successful post punk band called Basczax, he's always been an explorative and intuitive musician, whilst always keeping the basic grounding in pop music that I never had. Here's what he says about himself-
"I drifted into teaching and to my surprise find I like it as it is never boring. I was born June 1959. I am tall – 6 foot 2. My father was an ICI process worker, I grew up on a council estate in Middlesbrough. I lack the sports gene and am an avid reader and writer. I love to sing and play, it makes me feel (mighty) real."

Who are you?

Alan Savage

Where are you based?

Manila, the Philippines

What instruments do you play?

Guitar, Bass, Piano (badly)

What is your current musical project?

Dada Guitars. Trying to make an EP a month.

Name a record that had a big impact on you in your youth

Hot Love by T.Rex

What was the last CD you bought?

Kanye West: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

List three records by artists we all should hear:

Velvet Underground: first album, Aretha Franklin ‘Lady Soul’, Debussy: Preludes

Describe a live performance that had a big effect on you:

Gang of Four, Rock Garden, 1979.

Your favourite live venue:

Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London.

What’s the strangest place you have performed live?

Oh I can’t think of anywhere particularly strange. In a classroom maybe to a class of Year 12 students who asked me to play one of my songs.

Tell me about a great experience as a performer.

Playing every week at the Teessider when I was in Basczax. I lived for that Friday night and remember the gig when we got the Flowers (Fast Records) to play with us. A magic night.

Is improvisation important to you?

Yes. It’s good to leave the parachute at home sometimes.

Name three heroes/heroines:

David Bowie (musical) J.G.Ballard (literature) Rosa Parks (for refusing to stand up on that bus for nasty white people – an action that sparked a revolution)

Favourite city?


A couple of favourite books?

I would have to say ‘A Clockwork Orange’ Anthony Burgess, and ‘Les Enfants Terrible’ Jean Cocteau – two books that made me feel my mind expanded when I was fifteen/sixteen.

A couple of favourite films?

Very hard one this. But at a push: Cabaret and Shrek.

A favourite website?

Guardian Online

What makes you laugh?

Steve Coogan as Alan Partridge. That was the last time I laughed so much I cried.

Is there a pop song you feel sentimental about, and can you name it?

Theme tune from the 1968 children's programme 'White Horses'. I'm not sure why it reaches me still.

Thanks Sav

The Music Questionnaires are an ongoing series.