Sounds 15th August 1981
[Missing first half!]
…Orphan in the pouring rain who finds happiness and sun through listening to ‘Go For Gold’ – but the band staunchly refuse to use Jo’s attractive charms as a selling point at all.
“I think if we were on the radio, people would buy our records without any need for all that,” Jez states firmly. “It’s only that they don’t get to hear us. I mean, we could pursue success through becoming a real cult band, but we’ve chosen to try via Radio One, so in the end you reach loads more people.”
Which is fine in principle (well, it would be great in actuality as well – I’d love to hear GAOB! On the radio all day!) but the vagueness of the band’s attitudes is more than a little worrying.
Jez tells me of Girls At Our Best! being “totally unique”, but is unable to say why, to give reasons, actions or ideals that separates them from hundreds of other bands. Jo talks of wishing to take alternatives, but can list none. Maybe they’re just a great pop band, but still frightened to admit to such an unfashionable image.
And so we left the sunny suburbs(with the clouds disappearing again for brilliant sunshine), laughing and screaming – friends again after the last day’s ordeal of numbing counter-interrogation. We part with a smile and restored faith, blissfully unaware of the further bombshell imminent.
Four hours later, in the back bar of Tiffany’s, Girls At Our Best! drummer Tich effectively destroys his image as ‘strong but silent’ by bellowing in my ear that he really doesn’t like the rest of the group.
As he downs yet another pint, I warn him that I’m duty bound to mention all this in the article, to which he arrogantly retorts: “I don’t care – as long as I’ve got enough money to buy drink and so I don’t have to get a job, then I’m happy. I always wanted to be a professional musician, so that people can say ‘There’s D. Carl Harper – he’s a drummer’… that’s why I left the Expelaires, cos they weren’t serious enough.
Tich’s brother gets another round in and confides in me “he’s always like this after a few – I don’t know why he doesn’t leave the group.”
But D. Carl Harper is not about to leave the group – he likes playing drums and drinking beer far too much to jeopardise his cosy lifestyle for a principle he considers relatively unimportant. Nevertheless, his comments are obviously based on truth and some other allegations he made about the others suggest not only a degree of jealousy on his part, but also possible some dubious deception from Jez.
However, a week afterwards Jez phones me at home and apologises for the band’s apparent reticent attitude – “We feel as though we should do the interview all over again.”
I politely decline the offer, saying this feature should represent what actually occurred, not some perfect meeting that we all might prefer. And anyway, this indecision, those doubts, that veiled arrogance, are all part of Girls At Our Best!, a group so exciting and vital that arguments and misunderstandings are a natural – almost essential – part of their development.
The magical healing powers of Girls At Our Best! as so wondrous, their singles so uplifting, that music so emotional… the best part of breaking up is when you’re making up!
This interview would have been around the time that the band were recording or had just finished recording Pleasure. Which could explain Tich’s non-appearance on several tracks and his tetchiness!