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The Peace & Freedom Magazine Bloo Interview

(Originally appeared in Peace & Freedom, Volume 7, Number 3, Winter 1991/92. Interviewed by Paul Rance.)

After a number of marathon gigs around the London area, Bloo has been building a fine reputation as that rare thing these days, and innovative rocker.

Listing his influences as Lou Reed, Bob Dylan, Love, Neil Young, Jimi Hendrix, Sly Stone and Sonic Youth, among others, the main man kindly answered some of our Q's...

Bloo, tell P&F readers a bit about yourself?

I'm originally from Leeds and moved to London in January '91.

P&F has been disillusioned with the lack of so-called "rebel bands" attacking the Gulf War. What are your views on this?

The so-called "rebel bands" can be put into two camps; the "money spinning" bands, and the "labour of love" bands. The money spinning bands are far more controlled by their management and record company. The people behind the bands understand full well how the national media works, both non-music and music media. Any attempted protest by a band/artiste against the war would of been smashed up by the media and other interest groups. Look what happened to Ms. O'Conor. Who came to her support (Bloo mentions that "No Blood..." was presented to all the national music media and totally ignored)? Such was, and still is, the censorship maintained by the media. The "labour of love" bands were caught sleeping over the short period of conflict and couldn't effectively mount a campaign of musical protest. If the conflict had gone into a year or two, and if more allies had died in battle, then protest would have been more effective and acceptable.

Has feedback been good, re. "No Blood For Oil"?

The feedback was an integral part of making the LP. It represents, for me, the bleakness of conflict, like the cold winds rolling across the desert.

Do you think musicians should put politics/moral comment into their music?

Musicians should comment on these issues (although I don't think of myself as a muso, but more a singer-songwriter-poet), because, historically, musicians have always commented on society. Also, more importantly, in this new world order, nearly all political/moral comment has been controlled, including musicians' influence on youth culture, so anything musicians, and others, can do, will help.

Why have so few black guys followed the likes of Hendrix, in rock; prejudice or not?

No European has successfully followed Elvis, and no African will successfully follow Jimi; 'cos quite simply both are legends.

"No Blood For Oil" has a sparse sound to it - will this continue on later albums?

No, 'cos this album was a personal piece of expression about my own disillusionment recorded on to tape, although future recordings will have different, non-conventional ideas on.

Is London a good place to play. I've heard even the capital is now a difficult place to find gigs?

No, it isn't a good place to play, but it is a good place for major/large indie labels to showcase their new product (bands). A popular way to hype a new product is to stage a gig at a well-known central venue, then give away free tickets, or put everyone with knowledge or influence of the music "hyped" scene on the new product's guest list, thus leaving the ill-informed to pay £5/£6 per ticket for an experience in hype. This hype system is fully supported and encouraged by the national music press.

Why is the album only available through mail order - was this shop rejection or just your decision?

This was a deliberate policy, due to the expense of distributing and promoting this album to the retail sector. However, hopefully, the remix of "No Blood For Oil" LP, called "Acid Falling", should be available in all shops in April '92. Depending on fair distribution , and marketing deal.

What things annoy you?

  1. I don't like the way the music scene is controlled by Oxbridge males, or East End bully boy types. Have you seen the manager of Paris Angels?...
  2. Trying to cope effectively with a true racist, and very ultra-racist sometimes in Europe, society. I'm finding it increasingly difficult to find non-racist areas in Europe to spend time away.
  3. I find the state of co-operation between very small indie labels and other connecting units very sad.
  4. I get really annoyed about the expansionist way the large indies and major labels are operating in the so-called indie scene. These two groups are financing and controlling most of the music scene. Rhythm King, Warp, Blast First (financed by Mute), 4AD, Factory, Creation and Big Life have a very large share. Heavenly (financed by London), Dedicated (financed by RCA), Hut (financed by Virgin) and so on.

Current plans?

I've been working on a new project called "Malcolm X, all hail Marcus Garvey", which will become a double album out next summer. I'm currently putting together a punk rock band for the '90's - gigs in London. My main game plan is to subvert both national major, and indie charts, with my new material and band - by all means necessary (including "No Blood For Oil" release in April '92).

Final word from Bloo, "I think no one, or any thing should have reverence. Punk in the '90's - why not?" Amen.

Bloo - No Blood For Oil Review (abr LP0001/Vinyl) (1991)

Such is the raw beauty of this album and the fact Bloo is a one-man gtr. encyclopedia seems to suggest prejudice is still a barrier. Just Bloo and guitar, with outstanding material being a nod at Hendrix with the national anthem done over; 'Politician Man', celestial vocals alongside sobbing acoustic; 'Fall Down' - power pop catchiness. This guy mixes the bitter with the sweet. Hope he makes it...and remains untarnished.

- Paul Rance, Peace & Freedom, Vol. 7, No. 3, Winter 1991/92

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