It was hard to believe that I'd managed to secure an interview with Colin Swan of the Direct Hits. Only months before, I had suggested that the existence of Colin Swan and Geno Buckmaster was one of the greatest mysteries of the entire mod revival. Up until that point, friends and I were satisfied with ignorantly listening to their remarkable 1984 album, Blow Up!. We knew nothing of the stories surrounding the recording, but it did little to detract from our enthusiasm for songs like My Back Pages and Ever Ready Plaything.
It was a really pleasant surprise to discover an official online presence. I appreciated that it was more than a mere press release, it really satiated that part of me that loves hilarious anecdotes of messed up band antics: August 1981 - Steve Warburton sacked as drummer for refusing to cut his hair, following a disastrous gig at The Castle in Tooting High Street. This was the night Robbo borrowed a scooter from a mod, and runs into a wall in the pub car park. Talking to Colin revealed even more tales of lunacy, from unreliable drummers to rickety aeroplanes held together with sticky tape. It was great and I just wanted more.
I took the opportunity to ask him how much material was in "the vaults". I was startled with the response, "Oh, about 100 songs..." I urged for an immediate release of everything, just as I would later urge for a re-print their highly celebrated fanzine, The Direct Hits Monthly. Sure, it's frustrating to know that there is so much more material in existence, but then it's incredible to think that almost every band has this sense of history and dialogue. Providing there is a sentimental type in the band, there is this assurance that there is always more material, whether it be stories or demos or even explanations. There is hope that it can all be duly celebrated at a later date.
C&CM Conversations: The Direct Hits
Ever Ready Plaything
Henry, The Unhappy Inventor
Just Like An Abacus
What Killed Aleister Crowley?
My Back Pages
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