While Blur, Pulp and Oasis may have grabbed all the headlines, there was a lot more to Britpop than just than just those big three. Formed in Hounslow in 1990, Dodgy were already established and on their second album by the time the summer of 1995 came around. Fortunately for the trio, their brand of clever pop found them in the right place at the right time. After a parting of the ways in 1998, the original line-up are back together and play the Turk’s Head in Dublin this Friday night. We asked drummer Mathew Priest whether this was a continuation or a comeback…
“The comeback happened over two years ago when we did the first tour – a total nostalgia based, doing it for the fans thing – but the reason that we’re still doing it is that we’ve got these songs that we want to record and release. We’re moving forward, it’s the same kind of vibe and attitude as it was in 1993. It’s just a new chapter.”
Is that how it feels, like starting over again?
Absolutely. We don’t have a big record company behind us, we don’t have any expectations apart from our own and it’s us three against the world again. We play the gigs we want to play, it doesn’t have to be part of a huge tour. By stripping it right back to a three piece we can just turn up in the provinces. Not everyone lives in the big cities. We would have loved to play other gigs in Ireland rather than just Dublin but it didn’t happen this time.
You seem to be enjoying yourselves thoroughly…
There’s nothing sadder than turning up to see a band you liked as a kid and finding four grumpy men on stage, going through the songs they wrote when they were twenty. It’s horrible, like watching a tribute band. If all we were going to do was play ‘Good Enough’ for the rest of our lives it wouldn’t be the worst job in the world but we’d soon get bored of it.
Noel Gallagher heard our first album and wanted Oasis to get better to match it…
Dodgy were always a band who did things differently – from running their own club to touring in Bosnia and supporting several political campaigns. What inspired you?
It came out of necessity. The Dodgy Club especially came about because if you wanted to play in London you had to pay the promoter fifty quid and sell flyers to make back your money. We thought fuck that and started our own club in Kingston, inspired by the Stones and The Who and the residencies they used to play. It worked.
Did that give you confidence in yourselves when the music industry did come knocking?
We used to charge double for record company people to get in, it was just about shaking it up a little bit. There were two publishing companies who were offering the same amount money so we got them to play video football against each other in a pub in West London. In the end they guy who lost turned out to be really into us so we gave it to him instead.
You didn’t change your sound to fit the Brit Pop mould did you?
Not at all. We were always doing pop music inspired by the sixties and seventies. I think the Stone Roses were to blame for the whole explosion in the nineties. They had no aspirations to be the Wedding Present, to be small and indie. They wanted to be big and make a connection, something that inspired most of the bands from that era. Certainly we didn’t check out Blur and change our style. I do know that Noel Gallagher heard our first album and wanted Oasis to get better to match it.
Dodgy play The Turk’s Head, Dublin this Friday.