“SONG FOR EWE”
with TODD TRAINER of
“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day.
Today’s guest is the hard-hitting, dry-witted drummer of SHELLAC. While Steve Albini gets the column inches and Bob Weston keeps things on an even keel, it’s the demonic and sardonic Todd Trainer who catches the eye, particularly if you’re in the front row, when his sweat can also catch you in the eye, that is if it’s not the water splash from his theatrical cymbal crash.
Shellac were responsible for one of my greatest gigs ever. Back in the day when I produced the fanzine back at my folks’ house on an old BBC Model B computer and a second hand photocopier bought for my 18th birthday, I used to get the train from Gravesend into town in order to see the support band and then leave early to get the last train home. The Highbury Garage was a regular haunt.
When I saw Shellac headline, it was the finest I’ve ever cut things to make it back home. Albini was a grunge era legend and there was no way I was missing this. Not for the first time though it was the support band that caught the eye, not least because the support were Shellac related. It was Todd Trainer’s own band the sludgy, deeply funny Bricklayer Cake – like a dronier, dozier Killdozer that dazzled me first and then when he returned, drums to the fore in a flying V formation, flanked by Albini and Weston, Trainer’s Shellac pummelled me into submission with blasting songs like “Wing Walker”, “The Crow” and “The Dog & Pony Show” from the masterful “At Action Park”.
While I’m proud of Velvet Sheep’s endorsement by John Peel, Shellac’s connection to the esteemed DJ is far more bittersweet. Their scheduled session came after Peel’s untimely passing, and their song “The End of Radio” took on even more poignance and became the band’s tribute to a irreplaceable broadcaster. I can’t now listen to the song without thinking of Peel’s dulcet tones, and it was the undisputed highlight of the ATP halloween show I saw the band play at the Forum a couple of years’ back.
Last year Shellac made the brilliantly titled fifth studio album “Dude Incredible” and I am honoured that Shellac’s own top man Todd Trainer agreed to choose his “song for ewe” and it’s short but sweet. Not so much bricklayer cake as angel delight…
Over to Todd:
Syd Barretts “Milky Way” is an excellent innocent sounding song with a charming childlike melody that always captivates me and inspires me to contemplate our existence.