Art Brut – Outsider Art
Be reasonable – demand the impossible - to burst. Art Brut were allegedly formed during a shopping trip to a South London branch of B&Q in late 2003.
Apparently, one of them was conducting research for a forthcoming thesis on drill bits, one of them was measuring curtains for the proposed new stage of their local Guide Troop drill hall, one of them was comparing shed specifications to establish the warmest on the market, one of them was working behind the concessions till in the internet café area & the other one of them was shoplifting for nails & self-assembly crosses. All 5 met in a bottleneck at the contra-flow near the disabled exit & decided to form a group (NB – Hey kids, group is the ONLY acceptable relevant collective noun in the music industry – bands feature brass, Christians & marching).
Art Brut have been an ear drum buzz floating around the ether for a while now (smuggled from IPod to IPod via the MP3 black market) – their debut Rough Trade 45 (‘Formed A Band’ – RTRADS 174) – finally sees the light of day on March 29th (go buy a copy, now!).
Scratch the surface of Art Brut & youll find a self-depreciating intellect petitioning to get out. This is post punk junk for undecided bluffers – daubers of slogans, formers of societies & designers of note will find no sympathy here. Its all very silly, possibly, but no less thrilling.
‘Formed A Band’ fucks about a bit on a staccato riff by way of an intro before shouting: ‘Look at us, weve formed a band’. ATV eat Blood Sausage & sick up all over Flowered Up. Art Brut hate you if you buy your albums at supermarkets. Its not irony, its not rock n roll, theyre just talking to the kids. They want to be the people that write the song that makes Israel & Palestine get along, a song as universal as ‘Happy Birthday’. Art Brut want to be on TOTPs 8 weeks in a row. Dye your hair black – never look back. My past is my business. Repeat. Play.
‘Bad Weekend’: popular culture no longer applies to me. Havent read the NME in so long – dont know what genre we belong. Sometimes its hard to stop when your mind is set on TOTPs. Fashionistas in Top Shop – txt me back asafp. Art Brut say more in a 3 minute record than youll ever learn at school.
By the time you read this Art Brut will be SOTW everywhere – just remember, you didnt read it here first – no fucking way – its not our fault. Were happy to go along with it, encourage it – hell – well even clap loudly from the back & whistle supportively – but this isnt down to us. Have you got that?
Knowing a good thing when he hears one (hears one) – Johnny Forgotten hot footed it down Sarf to locate the spiritual home of Art Brut & quiz them tepidly about the constrictions of time & space when applied laterally.
trakMARX - Which branch of B&Q did you form in?
Art Brut - Elmers End, it's near Beckenham, where Bowie comes from (well near)...
trakMARX - When you first met, could you tell just from each other's attire that you were going to get along just fine?
Art Brut - Oh yes.
trakMARX - Are you aware that it is illegal in some rogue enclaves of Shropshire to refer to a 'group' as a 'band'?
Art Brut - We weren't, but it seems reasonable. What's the punishment? (repeat offenders can be sentenced to up to 8 years in a Darkness tribute group – Shropshire Judge Ed)
trakMARX - Did you get the 'singing voice' gag from The Office?
Art Brut - No, in fact it's a lyric that Eddie has had knocking around for years, long before the Office. In fact we don't even know what gag you're referring to...
trakMARX - Can Israel & Palestine really be united by a simple song?
Art Brut - Getting serious for a minute - it would be nice to think so, but lets be realistic, it's unlikely. Art Brut aren't political but nearly everyone wants a nice world. In fact we've even had a few worries about that lyric, thinking it might cause more harm than good...
trakMARX - Why do a lot of rock n roll groups take themselves too seriously?
Art Brut - Who knows. There was once a quote (from George Clooney of all people) about taking what you do seriously but not yourself. That's what Art Brut are all about, we work bloody hard but enjoy ourselves, do what we want and have some fun along the way, it's what life is about.
trakMARX - Isn't it a bit dangerous 'banging on' about Fashionistas with a South London post code at the top of your personalised notepaper?
Art Brut - Now hang on a minute... firstly we don't have any headed notepaper, secondly apart from one of the band, we don't actually come from SE London, we've simply been adopted by the area (Don't believe everything you read...). Finally, have you been to SE London recently, Fashionistas? ha ha ha ha
trakMARX - I don't read the NME either - how am I going to find out what genre Art Brut are rocking?
Art Brut - That's what it is and always shall be, Art Brut play Rock & Roll, no matter what anyone else says.
trakMARX - This obsession with TOTPs - is it genuine or are you just showing your age?
Art Brut - Guess it's a bit of both. It's primarily Eddie's obsession (Not that the rest of the band would object to an appearance). It's on the list of Art Brut things to do - once we've done that we'll be banging on about something else... Finally we're going to achieve World Peace....... Maybe.
trakMARX - And finally: Art Brut - Visionaries, Situationists or Stuckists?
Art Brut - Blimey, what a lot of long words... dunno. We're a Rock & Roll band doing things our own way and having some fun along the way. Whatever one of those words means that (well leave you, our dear reader, to make up your own mind about that one – Definitions Ed).
Johnny Forgotten – tMx 14 – 04/04