“SONG FOR EWE”
with MAGGIE DUNNE of
WE’VE GOT A FUZZBOX AND WE’RE GONNA USE IT!!
“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day.
Today, it’s a founder of an 80s band who I have a real fondness for, one that I recently remembered when reading John Robb’s “Death To Trad Rock” tome, and one with possibly the most ridiculous yet simultaneously pleasing band names ever – “We’ve Got A Fuzzbox And We’re Gonna Use It!!” (even the double exclamation is satisfying). Unsurprisingly their handle became shortened to Fuzzbox and they had a real TOTP hit with a song and video I distinctly remember and definitely had on a NOW compilation “Pink Sunshine”. From Birmingham, they were label mates with VS favs The Nightingales and Ted Chippington, and their bubblegum distortion of pop punk still feels fresh now, which explains their triumphant comeback at the 100 Club, it’s the legend that is Magz aka Maggie Dunne featuring her both timeless and timely “song for ewe”.
As with many of my fav bands there’s a Peel connection. The late great John Peel mentioned VS fanzine on air 20 years ago this March, but 9 years before that Fuzzbox featured in the Festive 50 with their song “Rules & Regulations” which is a pearler, and their two Peel sessions and one for Janice Long appears on a Cherry Red compilation “Love Is A Slug”.
After one short lived reunion in 2010, the band suffered a tragedy in 2012 when Maggie’s sister and band founder and guitarist Jo Dunne passed away with cancer shortly after diagnosis.
I had revisited the band earlier this year after belatedly picking up “Death To Trad Rock”. It’s funny that since I dived into it, this year has truly seen a resurgence of that whole 80s Thatcher era punk and zine anti-scene, with some amazing new records by Nightingales, Membranes, Yeah Yeah Noh sounding as vital as they always did. I was then pleasantly surprised to see that Fuzzbox were hurtling back to, bringing back their eccentric zeal and DIY anything goes attitude!! (note double exclamation correctly placed here too). I got in touch with Maggie via FB and some mutual friends, and to say i’m chuffed she agreed to choose a “song for ewe” is an understatement. So without further ado, she’s got a song and she’s gonna choose it…
It’s over to Maggie:
My song choice is “Wars of Islam” by SPK.
“Our rehearsal space for our up coming show was at the Academy of Music and Sound in Birmingham. Whilst talking to one of the young lecturers about my musical influences I mentioned SPK and “Wars of Islam” stating how ahead of it’s time it was and encouraged him to listen to it. I’m looking forward to hearing his opinion.
SPK’s considerable influence on electronic and dance music is easier to see from a distance. For the record their live shows were simply spectacular.
Now I’m a golden oldie, I find it a joy to share my musical past with those of music’s future.”