Thursday, 7 April 2011

Music Questionnaire No 17 - Wavis O' Shave

I got to know Wavis after I enthused about his character "The Hard" on my blog, and he wrote to me to recommend a few videos I might have missed. I later started collecting his records (not cheap) and in email converstions found him to be surprisingly debonnaire and unsurprisingly hilarious. What you don't learn about him in this questionnaire you find out in the hour long special he did for Resonance FM (and I produced)

Who are you?

I am Wavis O'Shave, who, according to Wikipedia, is a surreal English
musician and comedian who regularly appeared on Channel 4's music show
THE TUBE. Well that's true I guess,but I do have a habit of popping
up here and there unexpectedly at a whim or drop of a fedora.

Where are you based?

Second star on the left, straight on 'til morning.

What instruments do you play?

The Theremin that is inside of my head.

What is your current musical project?

I am being filmed for a movie docu about my longevity, for a DVD
national release later this year. It will exclusively include my
latest musical offering 'Sunspots on the Moon'.

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

Responsible for my having a perma tan since the age of 13, 'Sunny
Afternoon
' by the Kinks, 1969. Best served with ice cream.

What was the last music you bought

'The music of the Spheres' - an ancient philosophical concept that
regards proportions in the movements of celestial bodies. To be
honest, I haven't actually bought it yet - been on order since the
last thousand years and 123 past lives. Hard to obtain. No, it was an
illegal recording by the Lancashire based Bootle Brass Band singing
'The perfect gift for Easter'. It is a Bootle Egg.

List three records by artists we should hear

'Woman' by John Lennon - there's something in there for almost every
adult male to think about, 'Happy Talk' 1982 cover version By Captain
Sensible..it's all in the chorus (dreams of Katie Derham coming
through my bedroom window at the dead of night)..and 'Always look on
the bright side of life
' by Python. You have to.

Describe a live performance that had a big effect on you

This is a toss up between Kate Bush and Sooty. Saw Kate on her only UK
tour back in 1979, only ten dates. In those days artistes gave you an
hour and a half. Bushy gave you three hours and a costume change with
just about every number. It was technical perfection, sound and
vision. Seeing Sweep in the flesh..I mean glove..was a dream come
true, I had always been a great fan of his winding up techniques of
long suffering Harry Corbett.

Your favourite live venue:

Bed. Well I do live in it a lot. Partly blame the Kinks.

What’s the strangest place you have performed live?

Long ago I had a band called 'The Borestiffers'. We did a one venue
world tour, a church hall that belonged to the local blind community.
We got it for free because of a misunderstanding that the blind
fellas, expecting a musical concert, could come and hear us free.
Didn't have the heart to tell them all we played was empty suitcases,
bullworkers and an actual kitchen sink.

Tell me about a great experience as a performer.

Turning up as a support act to a rock band on a flying carpet on
wheels that trailed empty tins of Tennants Super strength, as Mustapha
Dhoorinc - in full and precise eastern apparel, turban and all, and
beard down to the shins. Whilst the Islamic intro played, downed what
looked like an unopened bottle of whisky in thirty seconds. It was
cold tea actually. Proceeded to freak the audience out, made it to the
end of the set and scarpered off on the carpet leaving one and all
stunned.

Is improvisation important to you

Yes..you can only write your lyrics on your arms for as long as your
arms are long.

Name three heroes/heroines:

Scotland's Finest, Maggie Bell, sadly best known for singing the
'Taggart' theme tune and for her 1982 hit 'Hold me' alongside B.A,
Robinson. For sure, our answer to Janis Joplin and Aretha Franklin,
just goes to show that you don't get out of life what you put into it.
66, and still the best female vocalist ever to come out of the British
Isles..next,Saint Joan of Arc for proving you can't beat the system...
and on that theme, Bonnie Prince Charlie, the first popstar in history
and history's biggest loser. Finally, Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav
Jung
whose theory of the Collective Unconscious and archetypes made it
ok for me to meet a few mythological Greek gods and goddesses and not
be bonkers. Oh, and Indiana Jones would have made the list but he's
off trying to find my lost 1965 'Beatles at Carnegie Hall' programme.

Favourite City

Electricity..can't put the kettle on without it.

A couple of favourite books;

'Steppenwolf' by Herman Hesse, and the Sanskrit epic 'The Mahabharata'

A couple of favourite films;

Ursula Andress as Ayesha in the 1966 Hammer film 'She' - I would have
followed her anywhere - '2001 A Space Odyssey'.. I would have followed
the spacecraft anywhere,still trying to work those last 20 minutes
out....'Jason and the Argonauts' cos I can meet Talos thanks to Jung,
and 'One flew over the cuckoo nest' (Still can't beat the system)

What makes you laugh;

Natural comedy moments..I've seen myself in Mr Bean and Frank Spencer no end.

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

This one goes to penalties. It's either the Beatles 'Across the
Universe
' cos nothing's going to change my world, or their 'Fool on
the Hill
' - they must have seen me sitting up at the top of
Glastonbury Tor.

Thanks Wavis

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