Between 1997 and 1998 the airwaves of Durham were treated to the finest radio show known (and now lost) to humanity: the Al, Nick and Jonny show. Broadcasting on Purple FM immediately after something called ‘The Culture Bunker’ and before MC Merkin, the show featured colossal indie hits, comedy adverts, amateur talent and, in March 1998, a live interview by phone (payphone outside the venue ?) with Cecil from Newcastle University.
Cecil, who had proclaimed themselves to be something along the lines of the saviours of British rock and roll music, were supporting Mansun on their tour for ‘Attack of the Grey Lantern’. Our interview with them was the final straw. Having previously been moved slot for broadcasting Ween’s profane ‘Piss Up A Rope’, our careers couldn’t withstand Cecil’s use of curse words in their enthusiasm for live radio. It was just as well that it was our last show before exams anyway. A glorious way to go out.
Playing Cecil’s latest single ‘The Most Tiring Day’ was what we had to do to get the interview. We felt like right proper DJs. We got given a 7″ copy of the single as well, on yellow vinyl, catalogue number EMI R6490. Continuing a theme, however, it’s not up to much.
Cecil faded away and ‘The Most Tiring Day’ peaked at number 69. It’s a mainly unintelligible vocal that really does smack of the fact that they not only toured but wrote with Mansun. The song is disjointed, never feeling of a piece with itself. The chorus is distinctly underwhelming. The video – something I hadn’t seen until now – features some regurgitating of old mobile phones. Yeuch.
On the flip side is the unexpectedly heavy ‘Sliphill Climb’, a track which also featured on Radio Kerrang Volume Two, a 1997 compilation issued by the magazine. There’s some crunching proto-metal riffs, a portentous bass line, spidery guitars in the background and some sinister synthesisers. If it weren’t for those whiny vocals I could almost go for it.