Monday, 3 February 2014

Q & A with Sam Knee

Sam Knee is the man behind "Scene in Between" a splendid book filled with rare photos of Indie legends in their youth. It also features postcards from Morrissey and interviews with members of The Pastels, Heavenly, and My Bloody Valentine.
The Rebel: Edwyn Collins has always insisted that Vic Godard is a genius. Do you rate him? Is it true to say Vic was the first musician to wear Oxfam suits etc Sam Knee: "I think it’s fair to say that Godard was the first to wear Oxfam suits in the new wave era, at least to wear them with an understanding and appreciation of the past whilst simultaneously inventing a new template of style for the next generation to form sartorial foundations from. So yeah I’d go as far to say he’s a pioneering style genius. Dontsplitit is one the trebleyist moments of 78 and a personal fave rave along with the O’level 45’s from the same year."
Collins and Alan Horne set up Postcard Records. Can you remember when you first heard about them and what do you think is the best record Postcard released? "I didn’t become aware of Postcard til after it’s demise. It wasn’t until my sister started dating a new boyfriend who’d just been evicted from his bedsit on Southend seafront and moved in with us for a year or so along with his vast record collection. The singles virtually filled the entire floor of her bedroom, sprawling out in piles of yellowing photocopied paper. This would have been 1983 and a delight to my teenage eyes. Many a day was spent laying on floor idly thumbing through the mass of vinyl, selecting a couple at a time to then roll across the room and plonk on the record player. I recall enjoying the instrumental b side to ‘Falling and laughing’ quite a lot as I thought it sounded vaguely like the Milkshakes, who I was well into at the time. I must admit the A side didn’t grab me too much although thought they looked great on the sleeve and in many ways more 1984 than 1980."
Did Alan McGee kill rock and roll? Before him young people played music their parents hated. Creation fetishised the 60s and spoiled everything. Discuss. I don’t think Creation’s responsible for killing rock n roll, it was on the cards anyway. If anything it breathed life into it’s decaying corpse for a couple of years until terminally overdosing on youth apathy around 88 when the whole E bollox culture came barging in and the return to rockist values with the rise of grunge and return to pre punk heavy rock. Yuk. How difficult was it to get your book published / do you have advice for kindred spirits? It was surprisingly easy. My publishers daughter was attending the same nursery as mine, we got talking at the fete one afternoon about the possibilities of an indie style bible, and here we are. What's been the nicest response you've had about the book so far? I haven’t heard anything negative yet strangely enough, everyone seems to love it. I’m quite looking forward to someone giving it a real slating to balance things out. I hear you're asking people for photos for a voll 2 - would you like to see my photos of Julian Cope, The Cramps, Edwyn (where do we send them)? Yes, please send any 80’s indie pics to Also on the lookout for any film footage of bands/ people/ places from those days for my documentary. Get in touch Are there any young bands you respect or feel excited by? Not really, I exist in a 60’s to 80’s bubble that’s refused to burst, and all the better for it. I’m sure there’s cool stuff going on somewhere, but as a middle aged man it’s really none of my beeswax. What is your fave song by a) The Pastels, b) Felt, c) Primal Scream Pastels fave is probably Baby Honey predictably enough, the long version with raga guitar ascensions is truly psychedelic. "Felt would have to be Index the elusive first 45. Solitary guitar racket from a mumbling Lawrence in a bedsit in Brum somewhere circa 79. Primal Scream. Their debut single All Fall Down and an absolute fave of mine to this day, perfect 66 Love style jangle.
Have you ever chatted with Morrissey / would you like to? And did you buy his autobiography? "No I’ve never met him. When I worked in a high end vintage clothing store in San-Francisco in the early 90’s he came in with his band and splashed about $10.000 between them on original 50’s denim and gabardine etc. I kept out of the way and just bagged stuff up, whilst the shop owner delivered the big spiel. I was bought the autobiography for Xmas and ploughed through until it got to the Smiths demise and boring legal wrangles." Do your family like your book? "Yes they’re thrilled. My mum even gets a photo credit." Is it good being Sam Knee? It’s red with purple flashes
Scene in Between is published by Cicada Books.

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