GREG KEEFFE of biG fLAME – Song For Ewe

“SONG FOR EWE”
with GREG KEEFFE of
bIG fLAME

“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists & music people beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day. Today’s guest is guitarist of angular Death To Trad Rock-ists, clanging idealists and noisy iconoclasts bIG fLAME.  From Hulme in Manchester, they came in 1982, slayed and left in 1987 but haven’t left my imagination. All angular rhythms and angular elbows, they featured on the C86 cassette and released a gaggle of records on the Ron Johnson Records label. They also had four incendiary sessions on John Peel and legend has it they were a major influence on the Manic Street Preachers (they wish they ever sounded so spiky).

Our man today also started a club night called The Wilde Club at Manchester’s Man Alive and post-bIG fLAME went onto form a band called Meatmouth (with Nic Blincoe who I’ve enjoyed live at Paul Blast First Smith’s Disobey club) who put out music on Factory records. Then a Professor of Sustainable Architecture at Leeds Metropolitan University and now a Professor of Architecture at Queen’s University in Belfast (appropriate given his band’s often brutalist sounds), I’d love to welcome to VS Greg Keeffe!

Here’s a great pic by Mick Peek of the band in their 80s punk “pomp”.

But what did Greg choose, wait no longer…it’s a belter!

“Hi Nick

I’ve chosen Augustus Pablo ‘King Tubby meets Rockers Uptown’ which is a dub of Jacob Miller’s ‘Baby I love you so’…. In the early 80s I squatted in derelict social housing project in Manchester called Hulme – I lived in this Crescent- shaped modernist block, which was basically empty except for a few punks/weirdos and some Dreads…. Every sunny evening the Dreads would put the speakers on the balcony and blast Jah Rastafari across the bleak post-industrial collapsoscape. It was like a beautifying force and it made me hope – that I would survive this dangerous lifestyle I had fallen into….

This is one tune I loved from the period, and the first Dub tune I ever heard, complete with rim shots, space echo, reverb and copycat – I was blown away!! I thought it was the future and it’s amazing because Dub has become the future – all the elements of what we call music today are embedded in here…. enjoy!”

THANKS TO GREG. ARCHIVE PHOTOS BY MICK PEEK. 

CHECK OUT GREG’S BLOG HERE…

Author: Nick Hutchings

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