Skating and fall over on the cutting edge of pop (if there is such a thing?), Resque, longtime comrades of Carter seem more intent on playing with their genitals than their instruments.
Interview: Gina Morris.
Well boys, have you got any good anecdotes?
"Why, are you ill?"
There is a definite reason for conducting the interview inside London's Imperial War Museum - to prove that despite being a simplistic, happy pure-pop group, Resque are wordly wise, conscientious and above all intelligent.
So, things are going well so far.
David Simons (vocals and guitar) and Mark Lions (guitar and backing vocals) seem thrilled at the prospect of probing into the past and bringing their toy soldiers to life. They flit from one preserved and polished enemy craft to another with radiant eyes, gasps of "WOW", and pouring masses of suppressed knowledge, statistics, facts, names and dates to anyone who'll listen. So Resque prove a point, they do know more about life than girls and being happy, half an hour later all three of us are unable to speak, we're depressed as an aardvark in the North Pole.
Whose miserable idea was this anyway?
Resque formed almost three years ago in Reading, the antidote to the then, fatal stages, of the Thames valley scene, with songs about girls and generally uplifting but shallow topics. They challenged nothing but people's attitude to pop. "Pop doesn't mean shit," mopes David in the more pleasant surroundings of a local ale house. "People think we're really naïve because our songs are so happy. We are the complete opposite of the Reading trend, we write about positive issues like this song from the album called 'My Big Ambition' which is self explanatory, I mean we called the album 'Life's A Bonus' - you can't get more positive than that."
Two years ago the band had a phone call from a group called Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine, who asked if they could support Resque at a forthcoming Southampton gig. It was a favour that neither themselves or Carter ever forgot. When the South London duo made it big, Resque became their sturdy support companions. Now the Beatle-esq foursome have their own mailing lists of 2,000 British and European supporters. With this amount of enthusiasm it shouldn't be long before the general public cry out for optimism.
"I hope our new EP does well after all our distribution problems with the last one, we had forty Radio 1 plays and the records wasn't even in the shops in Reading. What's the new one called? Well we wanted to call it 'The Mush EP' or the 'EP, EP' EP, or 'The Rash' EP so people could say, have you got 'The Rash' by Resque? (No, but I know a woman who has)".
At some unholy hour this morning Resque appeared on Cheryl Baker's Saturday morning patronise programme. They made bracelets from an assortment of candy before performing 'She Drives My Train' in front of gaggles of pre-pubescent disco tots.
"We like doing TV work" Mark enthuses. "We were interviewed on Transmission once and the interviewer asked us what our favourite trick was and we said Roger, our bassist's glasses trick. They wanted him to do it but he couldn't because it involved getting his penis out. He does loads of tricks with his penis, a real selection, there's the 360, the "It's triplets Mrs Jones", the cagoule, the kangaroo and the all time classic, dropping the shopping. You're intrigued aren't you. To drop the shopping he had to do the cagoule first where he pulls his ball bag over his genitals - so it looks like one of those bum bags - and then he lets it go, and that's the dropping of the shopping."
"I was in town the other day" blurts David, "and I heard this woman behind me say to her son, 'oh you've dropped the shopping'. I turned round really quick expecting to see the kid with his knob out. Roger has got the most plastic genital in the world though... But you're not going to print any of this are you?"
Would Roger mind?
"Not really" shrugs Mark, "If you persuade him he'll get his knob out for anybody, he even does his tricks when he's sober. He's been on stage naked too. Yeah he's done it about three times now, the most memorable at the New Cross Venue in front of 900 people - it was a great encore. He walked back on first and everybody stared in disbelief, he didn't even have his bass with hi to hide the important bits."
The boys new EP will complete their contract with Musidisc for two singles and an album, from here on in Resque are looking only to the majors. They see no happiness in cult indie status whilst constantly working on the cheap. "If we had money we'd be lethal", spits David. "Everything we've ever done has been on a shoestring budget in short spaces of time. We did the whole album in one week and the single in four hours, recorded and mixed. We really like the rough sound but everyone else hates it, we like a bit of snap and crackle with our pop."
"Just to emphasise again we do promote ourselves as a pop band we don't pretend to be anything else and pop is a dirty word. When I was at school there were loads of pop bands around like The Jam and Madness. We confuse people because we're on an indie label and we've got a bit of credibility but basically I just want to be in the major charts. Being indie is like being in a gang and you're in or out, as soon as you're out you've sold out."
What about Carter, do you feel they'll be the turning point for major league snobbery?
"I hope so but the other day some girl said to me, I used to like Carter before they made it big, but that's so stupid. Surely you should get really excited if they get on Top Of The Pops because they're like your band."
The Resque boys are extremely amiable chaps. I'm not a huge fan of pure pop bands but witnessing the youthful energy of this lot on stage several nights running whilst supporting Carter, it gave me a flash of childlike excitement. Like knock and run as dusk, sticking the V's up behind the teachers back and reading Viz by torchlight way past your bedtime - all those cheeky fun things you do when you're a kid. That's Resque live.
"A few years ago" begins Mark, "me, my brother and my dad were sitting down to dinner and my mum came in and said to us, with a really straight face, lads you should start to feel your testicles. We both spat our food out in shock and said, What? She told us she had read an article on genital cancer and we should be feeling them every night - I couldn't tell her I'd been feeling mine for the past five years."
Mark and David are astonishingly honest, whether it's the beer talking, they just feel comfortable with the conversation or when they say "don't print that though will you?", every third sentence they really mean it, nothing is side stepped, nothing ignored and no subject refused. Outside it's beginning to get dark and the stack of empty glasses on their side of the table kicks off anti-fascist rants linked to the days outing. A debate without a victim to whom we could aim the anger, we all agree with each other - about everything - and they get the lagers in.
"It does make me really angry though" continues David still tormented and frustrated. "Did you see those two German blokes behind us when we were looking at the photo of the SS guards?" (The SS guards were forced to move the gaunt and gassed, dead bodies of the Jews into vast burial pits) "I only noticed them after I said I'd have shot the bastards for forcing them to do it. But I didn't mean shoot Germans... Just Nazi's. It so frightening though because it's still going now. When we supported Carter in Berlin recently I met this girl who told me there was still a huge East German Nazi party who march through Berlin all the time."
Mark, David and the beer decide everyone should be forced to go to the war museum and conclude today's outing, despite the depression it caused, wasn't futile at all.
Let's talk about Resque's high point, the memorable moments. Apart from Roger's testicles - your TV appearances - the naked bodies and apart from your narrow escape from a prison sentence when you set off an army smoke canister on a British rail train for a dreamy effect in the video - oh and apart from when Jimbob got up on stage with you in Paris to sing 'Yeah' when he was totally out of it.
"Erm, other great moments, I can't think of any others."
These boys are full of anecdotes, they just don't know it yet.
Capital P.O.P, at it's poptabulous best.
Siren magazine, issue 7, February 1992.
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