Sunday, December 18, 2011



Back in Mid October I travelled back home to the UK to visit family, when I make these trips home I try to combine them with some live music and this time it was the brilliant The Len Price 3 who always put on a great show, however, I was not prepared to be equally blown away by the brilliant act opening for them and they came in the form of The Past Tense.
The Past Tense are a Mod/Power Pop band from Worcester Park in Surrey, they put on a fantastic live show, filled with an energy more suited to a band of twenty somethings, which by their own admission, they are not!  This makes no difference whatsoever to the show, it is great!
After the show I met Andy (vocals) and he very kindly bestowed upon me the bands two CD singles.
After returning home I found myself playing the singles on constant repeat and wondered what else the band had planned, so I got in touch with Andy and had a chat.

The Past Tense are: Andy - Guitar/Vocals  Ken - Bass/Vocals/Keys and Nuts (Warren) - Drums.

ICM: The band have known each other since school, is this the first band the three of you have played together in?
Andy: Oh no,warren (drummer) and me were in "No Control" a two piece punk band at school, Ken joined later ,in the "Hideous Mushrooms!" It was the early 80's and the threat of war was real in our eyes. Warren and I are original members of the Anarcho Punk band "Lost Cherrees" we had a real blast for 4 years releasing records and being played by John Peel on a couple of occasions, this list goes on throughout the 80's and 90's in various bands with the same core, namely Warren ,Ken and I. 
ICM: So when did you get together as we know you today, The Past Tense, and why the change in musical direction from that of Anarcho Punk?
ANDY: The Past Tense was originally just Ken and I, we always had a love for all types of music and from early 2004 we found ourselves going to lots of Garage/mod gigs at The Dirty Water Club ,The Solarflares in particular,as I never saw the Prisoners in their day and they are a big influence along with Billy Childish, Armitage Shanks and The Stabilisers. We saw the Secret Affair reunion in 2002 and were totally blown away by the music and the really nice people we met .This influence along with other revival bands grew over the next 5/6 years,Squire are a big favourite along with the Purple Hearts.
We just wanted to do a bunch of songs that showed our love for garage/mod/powerpop whatever you want to call it. we had our first rehearsal /jam around Christmas 2009!
ICM: You very kindly gave me a couple of CD's when we met, how do you find the process of making and releasing music now as opposed to back in the "Lost Cherrees" days, is it easier or harder now for bands?
 Andy: We are in a really great position,thanks to Warren. He has a little studio in his basement, so we rehearse and record everything there, there is no outlay for the band so it's real easy to put our stuff onto cd.  Back in the early 80's The Lost Cherrees rehearsed in member, Steve's (bass) garage, much to the annoyance of the neighbours, but it was Punk rock! We were also very priviliged to know some big players in the scene, Subhumans and Confilct to name the two main bands who we associated with and Riot/Clone who gave us our first gig and put out our first  7inch EP.
ICM: You have just recorded your debut album, was this recorded in Warrens studio?
Andy:  Yes, all the way, we just wouldn't be able to put it out if it wasn't for the basement!
ICM: How are you planning to release the album, CD, Vinyl, Digital and when can we expect it?
Andy: Well, originally we were just going to do it D.I.Y in the true spirit of independence, but we may have a certain, well known small independent, mod revival label interested in a short run release on CD. Nothing solid as of yet but it is very promising. We hope to have it out there by March if at all possible. Fingers crossed!
 ICM:  You have just had a track released on the excellent, "Keep Off the Grass" compilation of Psycahdelic type songs, can you tell me a bit more about that?
Andy:  Yes, it's been released by Fruits De Mer, a brilliant collectable label who have released an amazing collection of Psychedelic type records, vinyl only releases. This one amazingly sold out in two weeks, so its rare already.  Our track is a cover of The Good Feelin's - Shattered, an amazing track from the 60's which I have kept in my head for many years and by a stroke of luck I found it on an old compilation tape early this year, so I suggested the band do a cover of it and because Ken is an avid collector of the label he decided to send it to them to see if they would be interested in a release. Yes, was the answer and so its now out and we are really chuffed to bits to be on such a great compilation.
ICM; Back to your own album, the two Cds I have, The Optimist and Wolfman are slightly different in as much as Wolfman is more 60's Garage and The Optimist is a bit more Mod Revival/Power Pop, what can we expect from the album?
Andy: Exactly the same, there are six power pop/mod tracks and six garage/60"s.   If you look at the cover for The Optimist there is the negative of the front cover photo on the reverse, this might be a theme for the album, the two sides of The Past Tense!
ICM: Now, I know you guys really love playing live, what have you got planned in the way of gigs to promote the album when it comes out?
Andy: We are going to look at this over Christmas, get the feelers out there a bit, we might possibly be working with "Heavy Ears Promotions" in the new year, so some mod type gigs happening there, we are going to keep in touch with the garage crowd as well, we also have a regular gig in Kingston every couple of months with the mighty "Witchdoktors;" which is always a good night, hopefully The Fallen Leaves will play the next one too. 
Playing live is where it all happens for us, we do not confess to being polished musicians, but personally i try to put as much into a live performance as I can, sometimes it is bloody hard trying to sing and play guitar at the same time, but you'll always get passion and honesty at our gigs!
ICM: Is there anything else you would like to tell us?
Andy:  Could I just say thanks to all the people who so far have encouraged us by giving sound advice and support, there are too many to name them all but Joel Rodgers, Dan (Fiddlers elbow) Albert, Carl, Paul Manchester, also to the excellent friends we have made from bands like Len Price 3 (top blokes), The fallen leaves ,Long Tall shorty, Pope, Steve Diggle and Mr Bridger.
 Ice Cream Man Power Pop and More would like to thank Andy for taking the time to talk to us and wish himself and the band, the very best of luck with the album release, we really look forward to hearing it.
Listen to more of The Past Tense here: The Past Tense four four   (You can also purchase the excellent "The Optimist" and "Wolfman" singles here!)
 Official web site: The Past Tense Official
Press contact:
You can also find the band on Facebook: Here

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