Blasting off as they meant to go on with influential singles ‘Going to Heaven to See if it rains’ (October 1986) and Never Seen Before (April 1987), plus an appearance on the seminal C86 compilation from the NME, Close Lobsters immediately proved themselves to be leading exponents of scuffed up indie pop/rock. The band – Andrew Burnett, Bob Burnett, Tom Donnelly, and Stewart McFayden formed Close Lobsters in in Paisley, Scotland, found success both in the UK indie charts but also on American college radio, which led to extensive touring of the USA.
Fast forward to 2020, via an extended break of about 23 years from 1989-2012, and the band released their latest, brilliant album ‘Post Neo Anti’, recorded between 2014 and 2019, and produced by John Rivers, who produced their debut 1986 long player ‘Foxheads Stalk This Land’.
We recently said good things about recent single ’Godless’, out now on Last Night From Glasgow, and rightly so, because it sees a band that still relevant and making some of the best music they’ve ever made.
We spoke to Andrew Burnett from the band about tracks which have shaped the life of the band. There’s a spotify playlist to accompany the feature, so jump aboard and go follow the playlist and Backseat Mafia there.
The track that influenced you/us to start making music?
A random selection: ‘Spanish Boots of Spanish Leather’ by Bob Dylan. I wrote the title of the track on my high school History notebook and my teacher on seeing it through the corner of his eye when passing my desk seemed to imply that I may be some kind of pervert. On reflection it was like a scene from Dexys Midnight Runners ‘I’ll Show You’ – which incidentally is another huge influence on the group – not specifically that track you understand but the group as a whole….etc etc.
Punk Rock was the initial spark. But having said that we were active in various incarnations beforehand such as ‘Gong’ ‘Neu’ and ‘Kraftwerk’ and other such things – effectively where the wild things are.
Tour bus favourite?
On one of our US Tours our roadie, the eponymous Woody from Brooklyn, an afficianado of Heavy Metal Cock Rock, took great offence at my De La Soul Three Feet High and Rising cassette which was all the rage in those days, so much so that he expelled it vigorously from the van cassette player in a right fit of pique. I think it was at Ghetto Thing.
‘Sonic Reducer’ by Dead Boys, and ‘Reminisce Pt 2 by Dexys Midnight Runners are great favourites of the group.
Playing music often got a bit tiresome so we often went for comedy. Jerry Sadowitz ‘Gobshite’ was a big favourite as was Sam Kenison.
Saturday night tune?
Nowadays it’s got to be anything by Frank Ocean for me but back in the day it would’ve been New Order ‘Bizarre Love Triangle’ the extended disco mix – if there even is such a thing.
And a Sunday morning record?
Bob Dylan ‘Shelter from the Storm’ Live 1974. And Frank Ocean.
The first record we ever bought?
T-Rex ‘Children of the Revolution’ aged 7. Bob was Gong ‘Camembert Elecrique’or some other mad shit. Tom was probably listening to radio static from outer space. Stewart…Swell Maps, Jim I would guess Ballroom Blitz by Sweet -but he’ll probably kill me for that. In fact he just did – it was actually ‘Into the Valley’ by The Skids. The Sweet were well before his time.
The Cover we would love to play?
The Mekons ‘Where Were You’. Still waiting for a reply to an email I sent the group about that before our recent album show in February in Glasgow. Still waiting. Guessing it’s not a mutual thing. While writing this I think we should also try ‘Sonic Reducer’ by ‘Dead Boys’.
The best cover of all time?
Our best might be Leonard Cohen ‘Paperthin Hotel’, or The Mob ‘Mirror Breaks’. Both pearls which we didn’t absolutely destroy with childlike recklessness.
We used to cover Flesh 4 Lulu ‘Lame Train’ when we still harboured ambitions to be a glam rock group. We were on the verge of using make-up. I did go for a sensual green skinhead though, later sported by one Frank Ocean. There’s a strange symmetry to all this.
The best cover version of my/our music?
The Luxembourg Signal and The Wedding Present tied for their respective renditions of ‘Lets Make some Plans’. Both triumphant in their own special way.
Foundlings ‘Under London Skies’ on the new Isolation Session by Last Night From Glasgow Records is lovely.
We would also like to acknowledge even if they don’t the reminiscence of the chimney sweep anthem in the recent Mary Poppins remake movie (Check it out!).
The best song we/I have written?
‘Wander Epic’. Its Epic but a little underproduced due to some technical and financial constraints. But if you listen close enough the epic and mythological dimension come through quite well in all three parts. This is obviously my narrow and partial judgment.
The song that I remember most from my childhood?
‘Seasons in the Sun’ Terry Jacks. Sweet Melancholy for the disturbed aged 8. A nice introduction to ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ by Lou Reed. At that point our older sister had an inkling we might be ‘a bit off’.
Our/My favourite track made by friends?
‘Tombstone’ by The Reverse Cowgirls.
And by the band that should have been/should be bigger?
The Church Grims excellent retrospective album ‘Yankee Mags’, and The Reverse Cowgirls, and The Only Ones, and The Go-Betweens.
Our/My guilty pleasure?
Watching Lazio play calcio. Dedicated to our good friend Floriano in Rome.
The record in our/my parents record collection that attracted attention?
Nina Simone ‘Ain’t got no’
The record I shall have at my funeral?
Whatever was played at Stalin’s funeral. ‘Lament for a Tyrant’ I think it was.
The words of this song inspire me?
Bob Dylan’s ‘Murder Most Foul’ is epic. ‘Atmosphere’ by Joy Division. ‘In My Room’ Frank Ocean. (This is all just today. It renews every day as it should)
The best record ever?
Post Neo Anti by Close Lobsters. Of course.
The record that makes us/me sad?
Gorecki Symphony ~ 3 ‘Symphony of Sorrowful Songs’.
The Soundtrack to ‘Manchester by the Sea’ in bits.
‘Tears in Rain’ – Vangelis
‘Mesa’ – Zimmer & Wallfisch
‘Distant Sky’ – Nick Cave & Else Torp
The record that gets us/me on the dancefloor?
‘My Time’ Dutch feat. Crystal Waters, and Sugerhill Gang ‘Rappers Delight’
Anything by ‘A Love From Outer Space’ but specifically Andrew Weatherall & Sean Johnsons Live Remix of ‘Bruce Springsteen’s ‘I’m on Fire’.
The best record I have ever written/we have ever recorded?
Post Neo Anti by Close Lobsters. Of course.
Thanks very much. If you like, you can leave a little link to your latest project/song/video/album/tour dates, and we’ll link that all into a post.
(*LNFG taken from the now immortal line in Abba’s Super trouper)
Our FB page is quite good. We need more likes though. Can you get us more likes?!!
also if you wanted to add your social media links, we’ll slot those in as well.