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30 June 2006

Warning: This interview does not ask Milburn about a certain band from Sheffield that they're all mates with and sound a little bit like. Preparing to do their own hijack job at Reading and Leeds this year, we opt instead for the topic of fighting...

Milburn went to school with some other kids. They all played guitars and stuff. Two bands formed and they used to do gigs together. They sounded kinda similar. One supported the other. One got lucky. One got luckier. 

How the stage is set for Sheffield's Milburn. Having lurked in shadows for too long as media hype rapidly became obsession - but not in their direction - the four piece are now starting to get the credit they deserve.

We met them in a pub in Kings Cross and nattered over a few beers...

Virtual Festivals: You've each got one word. Describe Milburn.
Rest of band: You can do it Greeny. String us four words together…
Greeny: Productive. Charisma. Elderberry. Apple-juice.
Rest of band: That’s five…
Greeny: Apple-juice is hyphenated though…

VF: What will you spend the millions of quid you're inevitably gonna earn?
Tom: Swimming pools…
Joe: A full length snooker table, those small ones are shit…
Louis: I’d invest in Sheffield Wednesday
(Rest of band yawn in response to Louis’s answer.)
Louis: Oh alright then, I’d buy a big fucking vibrator.
Tom: Yeah, I’d get a swimming pool and an instructor because I don’t know how to swim…
Greeny: I think I’d go for a theme park or an adventure land or something…
Rest of band (laughing): Hold on Greeny…
Greeny: No, no…you buy half of it or something, get someone else to invest in it. You could have dodgems and a playground. Get a waltzer and see how much you could drink before getting on it…

VF: A lot has been made of the Sheffield scene; does it exist? Do you all know each other?
Louis: We went to see Bromheads Jacket on Saturday, they were fucking right good. They’re a very good band. We bumped into them at an early point, about two years ago when they were called Fixated. We don't know The Long Blondes though.

VF:What festivals are you playing at this summer?
Greeny: We’re playing Oxygen and Reading, Leeds and T in the Park, and the Secret Garden Party as well. We’re playing Jersey as well and the Fuji Rock festival in Japan.

VF: Who would win in a fight between Milburn and four large lions?
Milburn: Ha ha ha!
Greeny: Zulu Zulu! Four baby lions would be alright.
Tom: Maybe two lions we could beat, you’d have to have a proper secret weapons though. Four Lion Bars would be OK.

VF: Ok how about Abba?
Joe: Fucking hell, they’d get a right pasting.
Tom: Isn’t one of them dead? One of them is a recluse now. So they’d be outnumbered.
VF: You used to practice in Greeny’s grannie’s attic. Is she a big fan?
Greeny: She’s coming to Leadmills, but she’s got a bad back so I don't think she'll be hammering it in the moshpit. I think it would kill her. I don’t want to see me nan dead because of me, but she’s coming to Leadmill.

VF: What do you think of the state of the current British music scene. Is X Factor style pop like Will Young on the way out in light of the guitar renaissance?
Joe: I don’t mind him any more [Will Young]. He’s proved himself a bit. But the birds who watch Boyzone are now into stuff like The Kooks, no offence to The Kooks though. Does mean we get more fit birds coming to our gigs.

VF: Are you enjoying the rock’n’roll lifestyle. Have you thrown any TVs out of windows or driven any Rolls Royces into swimming pools a la Keith Moon?
Joe: We just tend to fight each other, get pissed and have rumbles in corridors and that. We roly-poly down corridors and that.
Greeny: We like lifts. We’re really sensible and then we get inside, the doors close and we just go mental.

VF: What bands or musicians have helped mould you?
Greeny: I don’t know, I like a bit of classic, I like a bit of funk. I’d have to say the Chili Peppers, especially that song 'Suck My Kiss'. I went to see Chad Smith [drummer from RHCP] do a drum solo thing at a drum clinic. That was just amazing.
Tom: I don’t know it changes all the time. Elvis Costello.
Louis: Um. The Spice Girls? No, The Sonics. Early 60s frat-band.
Joe: I don’t know, again, it changes all the time. I reckon probably The Coral, because there’s loads to see and look at. They don’t perform for the crowd really, there just doing it for the music, and they sound brilliant.

For more on Milburn click here.

- Click here to discuss this on the Festival Forums!
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Article by: Tom Fair

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