Local musicians Punky Rebel Media have released an album which features a song plainly expressing their opinion of the current Peterborough City Council. This interview with two band members Simon Stabler and Chris Howard was broadcast at 08:55 on Friday 2nd July 2010 in the Peterborough Breakfast Show on BBC Radio Peterborough. The interviewer is Paul Stainton.
PAUL: Now we’ve tried to find songs written about Peterborough many many times. There aren’t many knocking about, but even fewer have mentioned Marco Cereste our illustrious Leader and the Cathedral Square fountains, until now. (MUSIC: This is Peterborough). Good morning to local punk band Punky Rebel Media. Simon and Chris Morning.
SIMON: Good morning Paul. Good morning Peterborough.
PAUL: You could do us a version of that for the show, couldn’t you?
SIMON: I’m sure we could.
PAUL: Do us a little theme tune for the top of the show.
SIMON: Yes. If you want.
PAUL: This is Peterborough’s ONLY Breakfast Show … soon. That’ll be great, when Liver and Kidney merge, go to Cambridge or wherever they’re going, I don’t know. That was brilliant. What made you come up with the song, and namecheck illustrious Marco and the wonderful John Peach?
SIMON: ‘Cos I’m a bit angry about this whole Peterborough redevelopment. It’s been going on for years. We’re now in something like the forty fifth announcement on the South Bank redevelopment, which has yet to happen. All we’ve seen is eight point five million pounds being thrown at a football ground, when school dinners can’t be paid for. And when John Peach went, when he was, I don’t know, stabbed in the back I suppose his supporters would comment.
SIMON: Allegedly. I thought no-one could be worse than Peach but then we got Cereste. Peach was out of incompetence. Cereste, I think they’re putting acid in the water cooler, the kind of ideas they’re coming out with.
PAUL: Well they’ve got hair and skin in the fountains. Allegedly.
SIMON: Is that all? All these vanity projects, we’ve got the water fountains, and we’ve got ideas for water taxis, cable cars. I don’t know where they’re going to put the cable car station, because Peterborough is so flat we’d have to start in Derby or somewhere like that.
PAUL: (LAUGHS) I like the cut of your jib sir.
SIMON: Oh aye.
PAUL: I like the cut of your jib. So you’re political songwriters then, activists, through music?
SIMON: Yes, occasionally. I’m not the kind of person who writes I love you until the end of time. Any approach at a love song for me is a broken love song. But I’m very passionate about Peterborough. This is my city, and I just don’t like the way it’s being done down by parties who are benefiting while the rest of the people of the city are failing. All these quangos, Opportunity Peterborough and the lot, they don’t care about Peterborough. They just come up with these pie in the sky ideas.
PAUL: Get him on the Council, the strength of feelings. Is it the only song you’ve written about Peterborough?
SIMON: No. A couple of years ago we did a song called Last Orders which was about the closure of pubs in Peterborough. We still do that as a live favourite. That was talking about the North Westgate development, another pie in the sky idea that never came to fruition.
PAUL: Do people really get your songs? Do they enjoy it?
SIMON: Definitely. I think the only people who don’t get the songs and the way we’re looking is the Council and those quangos.
PAUL: (LAUGHS) He’s got a bee in his bonnet eh? How do you live with him when you go on tour?
CHRIS: Well, we just leave him to do the talking really and just speak when spoken to. I just do the music really.
PAUL: How long has the band been going and where have you been playing?
SIMON: The band’s been going for a couple of years. Last summer we had a change. The bassist and guitarist left because they both moved, and they were starting families, and stuff like that. So Chris joined the band. We’ve only just started gigging again. We did a gig at the Met Lounge last week. We’re hopefully doing something in the Cellar Bar in August but we’re trying to track the promoter down on that. we’ve played a fair amount of places. we’ve been to London a couple of times, to the legendary Hope and Anchor where the Clash and Madness and all that played in the early days.
PAUL: Brilliant. Brilliant times. Well it’s a pleasure to have somebody on the show who’s trying to make a difference in the city via the power of music. Passionate, committed, I love it. I absolutely love it. (SINGS) This is Peterborough, this is Peterborough. And you’ll record us a little jingle? Do us a little jungle for the show.
SIMON: Yes. We will do.
PAUL: We don’t mind sticking the knife into Peterborough now and again.
SIMON: Well Peterborough councillors at least, not the city.
PAUL: Not the city, no. We’re all for the city. It’s just some of the things that happen here we don’t agree with. But listen, good luck. Where are you gigging next?
SIMON: don’t know yet, but we’ll let you know. we have got a website, myspace.com forward slash punkyrebelmedia so check us out.
PAUL: Good stuff. Simon and Chris from the band cheers guys.
BOTH: Thanks Paul.
PAUL: Thank you very much. Simon and Chris from Punky Rebel Media.