Wednesday, March 23

Miki & Emma's Formative Five

Interviewed together, and for Miki the first time an "official" on air one in fifteen years... Here we go with a first genuinely new Lush event in a very long time! Today's broadcast on "The Age of Piracy" on RRR brings them together to discuss the music that most influenced them, and ultimately their former musical careers, specifically with a list of their formative five.

First hour of the program deals with various musical influences with host Tristen Harris, so while waiting I pop in a bit of breakfast, and attempt to wake-up a bit – 10pm Melbourne time is 6am for myself.

The anticipation builds, and suddenly the program switches gears with a play of Monochrome by Lush. And then Emma begins...

Emma's Formative Picks
1. 'I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better' by the Byrds - this is the first song Emma was able to play on the guitar. She'd had a few guitar lessons, and this is the first song she caught on to.
The Byrds - I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better
3 min

Talking of their differing music tastes, Emma explains that Miki was quite into the garage punk scene of London, Emma was more into the Cocteau Twins. At age 15-16 they'd go together to the March Violets, but at 17-18 their musical tastes had branched, Emma got into Shambling and the Shop Assistants (a band I was heavily into, as well!) around the mid to late 80's.

They developed their sound by a lot of trial and error, not being able to play very well and not being very confident. Echo and the Bunnymen were one influence for the guitar playing.

It was incredibly flattering when they were signed up with 4AD joining the Cocteau Twins, Emma's heros. Here interviewer Tristen Harris talks of the strength of labels such as Creation and 4AD and the type of bands they signed were always good. Emma remembers finding a Japanese import comp release from 4AD, but she didn't have enough money and she'd really wanted it. So, she hid it in the soul section for safe keeping then went and begged her Mum for the money to buy it.

2. 'Destroy the Heart' by the House of Love - They had a brilliant period on Creation (label), the guitar player had a great influence on Emma's playing.
House Of Love | Destroy The Heart - SnubTV
7 min

Speaking of her own, the Telecaster was her main guitar, and she had a Strat which was her 2nd one she owned. There were others, but it was mainly just these two guitars she preferred.

And now Miki brings in her influences...

Miki's Formative Picks
We start of with Miki's first influence, the Delmonas which she describes as a girlband (Did I hear right? Something about Hedgehog scenes??). Miki was 16 when she'd go to a small pub in London which held only about 60 people, the Delmonas were one of the first bands she went to see, they did brilliant covers.

1. 'Heard About Him' by the Delmonas - Miki says she probably used some of this song when she was writing Lovelife or Runaway.
The Delmonas - Heard About Him
2 min

Next, Miki choses the Au Pairs. They were a bit heavy in the feminist, before her time a bit as she didn't get to see them play. She's not trying to start a feminist campaign, Miki says, but this band showed her that it was all right for girls in a band to speak rubbish about boys. There was some charm to speak rubbish. Postpunk was a heavy influence in those days.

2. 'Diet' by the Au Pairs
Au Pairs - Diet
4 min

Emma and Miki share Sisters of Mercy with Alice as their #3 influence. Once again it's mentioned that Emma was more into the singer-songwritery, and Miki was more for the dimensional(?) style songs.

Emma says they stalked away at the band (Sisters), not in an obsessive way, at about age 16. They saw them together all the time, saw them in Leeds and around London, seeing them live. The band were always theatrical and Miki and Emma made alot of friends at the gigs. They liked that the Sisters of Mercy didn't take themselves very seriously, though people thought they were. The two saw them play around 1984?

Miki adds that "we obsessed in our teenage fandom, taking a peek through the dressing room, spying on frontman Andrew Eldrich eating cake."

The joint pick by Emma and Miki
5. 'Alice' by Sister's of Mercy
Sisters of Mercy "Alice"
7 min

About the talk of a reformation, Miki says there's been a couple offers, a couple times. "I've got a baby, got 2 kids. I want to hold down a job and have a family."

Emma explains its never made sense, they've all got kids and day jobs... everything would have to come together for it to be right... She'd never say never, but its not foreseeable. "I havent played live for 6 years"... since Sing-Sing "We've all got day jobs and a baby — which is all great!"

Finally they closeout of the program with Lush's De-Luxe...

I apologize for any mistakes and some roughness (but I did fix the typos later!), all is typed while the broadcast is still in progress. If you'd like, you can visit the RRR/The Age of Piracy website: March 23rd - Guests: Miki Berenyi & Emma Anderson from Lush.

Of their influences, it was like hearing from some old friends there too. Several of these albums are still in my collection. I was listening to the same music at the same time – it's been forever since I've heard these old songs. Maybe that explains why I love Lush so!

As feared, the interviews with Miki and Emma were recorded seperately. I would have loved to hear them interact together on-air, they clearly had collaborated beforehand in the making of their list. But still, it is afterall the first on-air interview we've heard in a great long while. Let's hope that it isn't another 15 years for the next time.

And in the meantime, for now, I'm going back to bed ;)

Just passing this along – Streaming audio of the broadcast is up temporarily at (to the right side, halfway down the page). I cannot verify this as the player does not load on my stoneage computer system ;P

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