© Fotos & Words by Steve Drury
Interviews Pd: one
A selection of interviews Party Day did for The Spider, and the Glasshouse EP.
It's such an emotional and fierce rock music, and I think possibly one day it will be recognised as being very important.
Carl: "If just one person comes up to me after every gig and say that, it'll make me want to do it again, because if the band can make people feel inspired, and like they've just witnessed something worth witnessing, it makes you feel..."
Does it boost your ego?
Martin:"We keep it in check, we're not ego-trippers."
(Tell me, what's it like living in Barnsley...?)
Carl:"I wouldn't like to think we were being big-headed about anything we do, because anyone can be in a band, and when I used to go and see bands, they inspired me to start my own, and I hope I'm inspiring people to do the same."
But if you've done something you're really proud of, isn't it hard and awkward being modest."
Michael: "Nobody likes an arrogant bastard."
Are you naturally shy?
Carl: I hate being watched, actually. I'd like to play with a paper bag on my head. I always think, God, I bet they think I'm a right berk. It can freak you out a bit."
Do you foresee a day when you'll take the trouble to have a wash and shave before going onstage?
You're too wrapped up in the music to worry about sweat and stubble?
"Adrenalin flows. We normally play for about 50 minutes, and when it's going well, that 50 minutes is a pearl of a time. You come off and it seems like you've been on for just two minutes, it goes that fast."
Do you ever reach a state where you're more or less galloping around the house/flat/room, feeling ridiculously excited by everything to do with life in general, desperate for something creative to do, for some means of channeling all that beautiful energy?
"It's good, isn't it? I think it's good, when you can't calm down, it's amazing."
Does having Party Day to concentrate on help lessen the pain caused by your girlfriend, Jean, leaving you?"
"Mmmm.. yes, it does."
It must make you so proud, being Party Day.
"Proud? I don't think I've ever thought of it like that, although I was thinking a few days back about other bands I'd like to be in.
"I asked some people who are in bands, if you had the choice, what other group would you be in? And they were all saying, The Banshees, the whatever else ... but I just couldn't think of another I'd like to be a part of."
"I'm glad I'm in this one, it's the first time I've ever been in, the first and the last."
Mr Spencer - SOUNDS, 22 Sept 1984
Coming from Barnsley, Party Day have to put up with an endless queue of boring swine waiting to ask them things like…
"Are you influenced by Danse Society at all?"
So they sit, they listen, and they talk back, (sometimes not as politely as they're expected to) and all the while it's so clear, so blindingly obvious: why Party Day bother with pointless, shallow, time-consuming interviews, when they could be off making music instead?
After all, Party Day are one of those bands you can end up worshipping, listening to time and time again, (hear 'The Spider' and '’Row The Boat Ashore' - their two singles) falling deeper in love with them on every precious spin.
"And knocking on my door, you take your liberties too far”
I interviewed them on the occasion of the release of their new single, 'The Spider' on their own Party Day Records label. It follows up the successful 'Row the Boat Ashore' which made in-roads on the indie charts last year. The new single has a more moody, introspective feel, with poetic and enigmatic lyrics. "We've got hundreds of songs which we all write together - we're very democratic. People can come and see us over and over again and never get bored, because we can change the set every night. Whenever we play, we managed to fill a 27 seater bus with fans." Are those your friends or people who've got interested through the music? "Oh, some of them are our enemies. As long as they pay their money, we don't care."
They have a few horror stories to relate. They did a gig once at the '1 in 12 Club' in Bradford: "It was an all-day affair. We were told we'd be on at 5 o'clock. Then the management asked if we'd mind lending our gear to the other bands. So everyone else went on with our instruments and we didn't play until 11 at night. To top it all, we didn't even get paid."
The conversation drifts to the subject of local Leeds bands. As it happens, a member of The Three Johns - is in the other room so we fetch him in. The two bands reminisce and it turns out that The Three Johns were also playing at the ill-fated '1 in 12 club'. "When did you get onstage? We didn't play until 11 and everyone had gone home. There was only one bloke dancing . . . "That was me!" says John delightedly. "I remember you. I thought you were great." All too soon it's closing time and Party Day slope off to the bus station. No dates are settled yet, but gigs will be arranged to promote the new single. They are well worth looking out for.
SM Feay - LEEDS OTHER PAPER, 25 May 1984
"The trouble with Barnsley," announces Party Day's self-appointed spokesman, Martin Steele, "is that there's too many bands. People start up a band one week and by the next, it's broken up again. They've got no staying power. They're all content to jump on the latest bandwagon, they don't try to create something new themselves."
Party Day are trying to do something different. Originally inspired by punk, they've been going for 3 years now.
Martin, Carl Firth and Mick Baker are all founding members.
A band like Party Day deserve to be approached with enthusiasm, intelligence and respect. Treat them the way they treat us.
Is it embarrassing, having people tell you how great you are?
Michael: "It can be, because you don't know what to say to them, you don't know whether to say 'Oh thanks, thanks for coming', or ...'well, I know, I know' ... so you just stand there".
You're brilliant! All that carefully calculated energy, and those shocking stabs of guitar weaving in and out.
So far only a few of the fanzine interviews have re-surfaced from this period, here are pdf copies of each interview:
There are four tracks on Party Day's 12 inch EP and they get steadily more indie as they go on. That's not to say they get worse. The only slightly weak link is the third track, 'Let Us Shine', but the title track,'Glasshouse', more then compensates. It's a light melodic song which is uplifting without being superficial. If Party Day are looking for direction, this maybe where to go.
"The first 1,000 have sold and the second batch have just come in." said Dean from Party Day. But unlike the album, also called 'Glasshouse', it hasn't hit the unpredictable indie charts. Nor has success come overnight for Party Day, 'We've had two 7" singles, an album and three tracks on compilations," said Dean.
"Sales have mainly come through playing live. Although,we haven't played for a couple of months now, but before, we were playing about once a week."
"We're actually making money on records now. Before we were always out of pocket. "This is our first on Rouska. All the others were on our own label, "We got to know Richard through the fanzine, Rouska. We made a few free badges for his fanzine, he came to gigs, and we've been on his agency for a little while now.”
"He gets regular gigs for about six bands. Leeds is pretty good for gigs, but where we come from, Barnsley, isn't so good. In Leeds, people seem interested in our gigs, but we've played a few times in Sheffield and the response wasn't great."
"It's difficult to break out of an area, so the next stage forward for any band is to bring out a single."
"Coming from an industrial town in the north it's good because you stand out from all the London bands, but people interviewing us always seem to concentrate on 'being from the North', so I don't know if it's really a help."
"We've been going since '81. To start with, we were more thrash music, but now it's getting more and more commercial, We're old men you know!! We've had setbacks and times when it's got on our nerves, but there's always been something to look forward to."
"In some ways we'd prefer to be on a bigger label because of the promotion, but we do have more freedom this way."
Anon - LEEDS NEWSPAPER, Autumn 1985
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