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20 Questions: Faerground Accidents

Faerground Accidents centre around the songwriting talents of cross-dressing former psychiatric patient Bomar Faery. Originally based in Manchester and recording with keyboard imp, Henrietta Rowlatt, the early demos came to the attention of John Robb (Goldblade/The Membranes) who raved about them in a review on his Louder Than War website, whilst at the precise same moment, Bomar was committed to a Psychiatric hospital. Decamping to his spiritual home of Sheffield on release, Bomar re-grouped with Henrietta and the pair teamed-up with ex-Artery guitarist Murray Fenton. Robb was so impressed with the new material he signed the band to his Louder Than War label, releasing the singles ‘We Hate The Same Things/Back In Town’ on pink vinyl and ‘She Makes Me Want To Die’. Catching the attention of Adam Ant who invited the band to open for him and the indie festival scene, the bands live shows have become talked about spectacles, with a growing nationwide following of Faeries in attendance wherever they appear.Bolstered by bass player Simon Milner and drummer Adam Pearson, the band have released their debut album, Co-Morbid on Louder Than War, their bittersweet new wave pop sound is littered with an arch, waspish camp that renders serious subjects with lashings of pathos and irony.

We caught up with flamboyant Faerground Accidents frontman for our 20 questions:

Where are you and what’s the weather like?
I’m in a terraced house in Sheffield. Surprisingly, it’s sorta drizzly.

What’s your favourite record in the charts?
I haven’t a clue, I haven’t paid any attention to the charts for ages. I love Arcade Fire’s new record. If that’s in the charts then that.

What are your favourite films?
Velvet Goldmine infected me at quite an early age. By the time I’d finished watching it, I was wearing a dress with dodgy make up all over my face, not sure I’ve evolved much past that. Not a film, but the thing that gripped me the most recently was a series called The Fringe about a series of events that seem to follow a pattern that’s linked to a scientist who’s literally confined to a mental hospital. They have to bust him out to help combat all sorts of strangeness. It’s kinda like the X-Files but more so.

What is your favourite book?
Probably R.D Laing’s Divided Self actually. I always find myself referring back to it. He was a radical psychiatrist who theorised that “madness” was caused by the disparity between a person’s “false” self and their “true” self. I read it after I’d had a breakdown and it really rang true and certainly helped me chart my way back to coping with myself more. The current medical model relies on drugging patients up to stop them feeling the undesired feelings whereas his method is more about working through it, finding a language that can express it and understanding the causes more than just getting rid of the symptoms. He had a patient called Mary Barnes who was smearing her own shit everywhere and he got her to smear paint instead. Eventually, she started making these really gorgeous paintings to express her inner state and became very well regarded. Some people say he’s a madman himself but it’s helped me. One of David Bowie’s favourite books too apparently so who knows.

What are your favourite TV programmes?
I don’t have a TV so random stuff on Youtube or Netflix at the moment, I go through phases. I’m in a watching American news talk shows phase at the moment because it seems like a fascinating moment in their history where everyone’s debating the nature of freedom in quite a heated way and it’s quite hard to avoid the compulsion to rubberneck it. On Netflix, I’ve also been a bit hooked on Designated Survivor which is a kinda fantasy world where an actual reasonable human being has become President through a series of fluke circumstances with all this cloak and dagger stuff going on about massive conspiracies. That’s gripping too. Oh, and Rick And Morty.

What was the first record you bought and where did you buy it from?
The first record I had was I’m Too Sexy by Right Said Fred. My Mum insisted I’d asked for it but I remember being surprised and not remembering asking for it. I did end up liking it though. I must have been about four or something.

Do you believe in God?
Personally, no. Not the micromanaging-everything-we-do-sky-bloke. I’m all for people trying to find their own connection with something outside of the mundane everyday in a personal way so I can see the appeal but taking moral guidance from centuries or millennia old books of dubious authenticity seems quite a silly idea, especially if it makes you act like a twat towards other people.

Who are your idols?
I don’t really have any anymore. There’s sort of permission-givers, people who showed what could be possible. David Bowie’s fascinating and I really admire the insatiability he made everything he wanted with. Arthur Brown literally mesmerised me. I met him once and he did what he called a “guided meditation” with me where he kinda hypnotised me into finding this kind of place of clarity but it was outside everything and ridiculously calm. I can still access that place when I need to so he really left me with something. It’s impossible to explain really. He seems to have spent years learning mystical Know-Thyself type techniques that were actually really effective so I wouldn’t be averse to pursuing that path more thoroughly at some point.

Do you have any pets?
Yes, a Chinese dwarf hamster called Bobbi. In an ideal future, I’d have loads of goats because they’re my favourite. Mischievous little bastards, my spirit animal.

Who would you want to play you in the film of your life?
Jack Nicolson

Vinyl, CD, Download or stream?
Vinyl’s lovely but streaming’s easy, especially for finding new things on a whim. There’s been some pressing issues with our vinyl but it should be available soon and I’d like to think it’ll give a proper vinyl experience because that’s how we put it together.

Tell us about your latest album?
It’s called Co-Morbid and we released it through Louder Than War Records in September. It took a long time to finish for various reasons so I feel quite distant from it now, to be honest, but it was written around themes of interpersonal conflict and fracturing yet we tried to make it snappy and poppy at the same time. The songs are kind of pop songs but seasoned with despair and madness. We designed the tracklisting to be like a traditional A-Side and B-Side we’ve called Empty and Full that’s supposed to take you on a journey through dark emotions and back again. A lot of people seem to love it so I’m glad it’s turned out to chime with people who’ve heard it.

Who would be your dream collaboration?
Mozart because he was batshit and I think it would never work so it’d be interesting to see what happened. I’m really enjoying The Human League again at the moment and Phil Oakey’s been to a few of our gigs and seems to like us, I wouldn’t be averse to working with them on something poppy yet disturbing.

When was the last time you cried?
Quite recently but I was on a speed comedown and everything was making me emotional, I think it was watching the news that tipped me over.

What’s the best cover version you have ever heard?
The Human League’s ‘You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling’. It takes the melody and chords and just utterly runs with it taking it somewhere totally unexpected. Glasvegas’s version of ‘Be My Baby’ too, it sounds really raw but sort of sparkly at the same time.

What’s the strangest thing that has ever happened at one of your own gigs?
In a not really thinking about it properly way, I threw a solid wood skull into the crowd at a festival. Luckily someone caught it but I was warned afterwards that it could have knocked someone out and I’d have been in a lot of trouble. We’re not a band that wants to physically injure people who’ve come to see us so I’ve been more careful with heavy projectiles since then.

Have you ever been starstruck?
I was once starstruck by our guitarist Muzz when he played a gig with his previous band Artery. He came to talk to me afterwards and I couldn’t speak because I was too in awe, which was strange because we did know each other. I’d had a huge amount of ‘shrooms so that might have contributed but the gig was amazing all the same, other people who hadn’t taken shrooms said it was too.

What is your culinary speciality?
Mashed Potizza; it’s a pizza with a mashed potato base. I love cooking anything veggie, really.

The Royal Family: should they stay or should they go?
Some people really seem to like them but I can’t see the appeal; they’re like a less accessible version of Made In Chelsea. I think if you want garish pomp and ceremony you should go and see Elton John or live in North Korea.

If you could change one law, what would it be?
I’d legalise fox hunt hunting making it fine to chase after fox hunters with dart guns and gradually give them body modifications turning them into foxes. I started a petition for it on change.org.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.