Photograph by Neelam Khan Vela

“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 someone who’s ears were probably burning when I was last at a gig (back in January, but it might as well have been a decade ago given what’s happened since), when I talked about him with mutual friend Sam Curran of Imperial Wax. Charlie Wyatt is a real go-getter garage head originally from Gravesend, my birthplace, and although I got to know him mostly virtually via my mates from the Birmingham ColdRice collective and Luke from PNKSLM Records, it turned out that, through my Dad I knew his pops who ran pubs in the town most famous for being the last resting place of Pocahontus. Unfortunately I’d finished putting on garage gigs at the Whitechapel Gallery as Velvet Sheep before I could get Charlie’s band Thee MVPs to play but they were next on my list. Charlie is as hard-working and driven and committed to punk rock as John Dwyer of Thee Oh Sees, and as he recently pointed out on his thirtieth birthday he’s been playing the guitar longer than he hasn’t. Although Medway has always been a hot bed for garage from Billy Childish et al, it’s mostly been a Gen X thing, and Gravesend hadn’t changed as a suburban backwater since I started VS fanzine there in the 90s, so Charlie upped and left to Leeds to find a more furtive scene. Not only that but he started his own label Eeasy Records modelled in the image of such garage greats as In The Red, Goner, Burger, Dischord and Castle Face, and he’s played more shows at SXSW than you’ve had shonky BBQs and has mostly off his own back managed to tour with heroes (of his and mine) like Ty Segall and Flat Worms, not to mention OBN IIIs, Meatbodies, METZ and Twin Peaks. Despite various line-up changes and single releases over a few years now, unbelievably we’ve only just got to Thee MVPs debut album “Science Fiction” but by Jimminy it’s been worth the wait, and by Jove I don’t know how he did it, but Charlie also persuaded man-mountain Bob Weston of Shellac of North America to master it. If this doesn’t give you shake appeal I don’t know what does, so it was an absolute no-brainer to welcome back to these digital pages the admirably diligent, never reticent, always magnificent Charlie Wyatt!

Recorded in a barrage of days in Leeds, it’s redolent of Reigning Sounds, Coachwhips, the aforementioned Flat Worms and bands from the Flex Your Head compilation doing Wire covers. It’s urgent, beat heavy, like the recent Segall/Chippendale Wasted Shirt project but tuneful like Brigid Dawson flavoured Oh Sees. The bass break down in the middle of lead single “Ship Episode / Planet Episode” would have made Bob Weston proud no doubt, but it turns out to be mere aperitif for an album that is a slap up, blowout bona fide banger.

I knew Charlie had taste so I couldn’t wait for his choice, and I wasn’t disappointed, and surprisingly this is the first time this legendary artiste has been chosen, so without further ado, here’s Charlie Wyatt’s top notch “song for ewe”…

“Hi Nick, thanks so much for having me on again, it would be wonderful to share this Link Wray tune with you.

My dad’s big on rockabilly so I’ve always been aware of Link Wray but I never dove into whatever wasn’t being used in a Tarantino film. Around the time I was researching starting this label I was letting YouTube run off into it’s own hole after watching a Johnny Winter live set on the Whistle Test.

I was quite floored by this song being the next tune to come on, I thought Link Wray hung it up till he got found out again from Pulp Fiction but it turns not only had he been busy the whole time, he actually spent some time getting a band together in the UK in the mid 1970s and cut the record ‘Stuck in Gear’ with future Blockheads drummer Charlie Charles amongst others. This tune is on there but the whole record is generally damn soulful and covered in groove, a huge change from the rockabilly clatter he’s known for.

Always great to DJ, the rhythm section slays, he plays some great lead guitar on it and has a hell of a cool voice for an older dude with one lung. Plus he’s the only dude to have an instrumental song banned on radio. 200% badass. Show this to someone you got a crush on.”


Thee MVPs “Science Fiction” is out on 29 May and you can and should pre-order it here from Eeasy Records…


Check out Charlie’s last visit to VS when he chose a cracker by OBN III’s…


and if like Charlie, you also like the OBN III’s here’s their leader Orville Neeley’s “song for ewe” too…