The Little Express
Back Issue Compilation Vol. 2

ANDY: . . . The actual track "25 o'clock" was one of the last to be written because I came up with what I thought would be a good title for the ep/mini-lp, and it's the kind of ludicrously corny title 'cause psychedelic music had a fascination with time, time going wrong and time going backwards; so I thought it was extremely '67 psychedelic to call something 25 o'clock, as 24 hours is the ultimate time, so 25 is the one after, you know, the one beyond the ultimate, that doesn't exist.

DAVE: This particular track is really a rip-off of the Electric Prunes' "I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night".

ANDY: In fact, "25 o'clock" is probably the most American sounding track on the album, it's got that Amboy Dukes and Electric Prunes feel to it, wobbling feedback, Russian-type bassline; you could always hang about as long as you wanted with that type of bassline, make any noises you wanted until you came back in, so we had to put one to it. All the clock noises were off BBC sound effects (Big Ben), Dave's metronome, and John Leckie's watch cause we couldn't find a good ticking sound, so we just held his watch by the mike.

ANDY: Bike Ride To The Moon - this was sung in as "Syd Barrett" an accent as I could possibly manage, a kind of loopy Cambridge...

DAVE: It's got the most stupid lyric ever written, especially the last line.

ANDY: Yes, people are going to be writing in asking for the lyrics, and boy, are they going to be disappointed! Yes, it's very Syd Barrett, Pink floyd, as in Arnold Laine. There were lots of songs about bikes in '67, like My White Bicycle, Syd Barrett's Bike, most people had eccentric grannies who wanted to ride bikes, taking a trip on their bicycle; so Bike Ride To The Moon has got the lot in there, including a stolen "Move" bass line for Colin!

COLIN: Yeah, there was a fuzz box effect.

ANDY: Yeah, right, a fuzz box bass because The Move were always putting this sort of thing on their records,so we thought that would be just right to throw in there as well. As I say, these are all kind of "nuts and bolts" psychedalia, you know, you just pinch little components from all your favourite groups at the time. The bike noise on it is Ian, or E.I.E.I. Owen playing a car ratchet, some sort of wheel ratchet.

DAVE: It doesnt sound like a bike at all, it sounds like a ratchet!

ANDY: Yeah, it just sounds like someone standing there whirling a ratchet!

COLIN: There wasn't a bike on hand, was there?

ANDY: No, we didn't have any session bikes!! But we did attempt to get an organ.

DAVE: Oh yes, we wanted a big Hammond organ, and Rob Andrews said "I know someone who's got one. It's Verdon Allen who used to play for Mott The Hoople; he lives in Hereford and occaisionally hires his organ out". So we said, oh alright, let's have a go on it. He came down with his Dad and we all had to manhandle it. . .

ANDY: Well, the fact that he came with his Dad was quite funny 'cause here's this almost legendary glittery rocker. . .

COLIN: And his Dad was telling us, all the time we were trying to unload this organ, what a good player he was.

ANDY: Yeah, I think his old man was actually his agent as well!

DAVE: So we borrowed this organ and in fact it's the original "Mott The Hoople" organ, but it's in wonderful condition, it's been really looked after. They toured alot and they went all over the place, but it's in beautiful condition; it had a sort of brass badge on the front of it, and I can always remember when I used to see them on Top Of The Pops with this big Hammond organ with this big brass like an R.A.F. crest. That was their trademark and I couldn't believe this was the same organ.

COLIN: He was extremely protective about this organ.

ANDY: Oh yes, he was very protective. I don't think he really wanted to lend it to us. But what transpired is the fact that there was this Leslie cabinet which is a cabinet that has a speaker that whirls around inside it and gives that peculiar whirling sound. I can't really describe it.

DAVE: It's like a rotating speaker, it's called a tone cabinet, you hear it with a Hammond organ; it changes speeds and makes that vibrato effect.

COLIN: When I mentioned those tracks from an old Mott The Hoople album, that seemed to reassure him that we weren't just timewasters. . .

ANDY: That we weren't going to mess his organ up! Well, what we wanted to do was put the vocals through the revolving speaker, and when Verdon went away we took the back off the organ to plug a microphone into the amplifier that's in the organ. . . it's a reasonably legitimate thing.

DAVE: It's the accepted way of doing it, there's a special socket in the pre-amp section of the organ.

ANDY: Right, but his kind of over-protectiveness about this organ means that he actually came back into the studio later that night to see what we were doing with his organ, and he hit the roof when he saw that we had the back off his baby! "What are you doing in there?". . . "Oh, it's okay we're just plugging into the amp at the back". . . "oh you never told me that you were gonna do that!" And there was a terrible bust-up, and what transpired is he wanted his organ back immediately, so we packed it all up. He couldn't take it that night but we put it in the corner and assured him we wouldn't use it.

DAVE: But not before we'd gotten the basic track for "What In The World" down!

ANDY: Flipping the disc right over, we have side 2, track 1, "What In The World", and would you like to tell your captive audience about this, Colin?

COLIN: What is there to tell, really? I had this track hanging about, didn't know what to do with it, so we just altered it slightly and I don't know. . . how would you describe it?

DAVE: It's a good song, it should have been a single 'cause it's probably the most instantly hummable of all the tracks.

COLIN: We psychedelicised it.

DAVE: Yes, it's a bit long actually in it's present form, but we thought we've got to fit up a side somehow!

COLIN: It's really a 2-minute pop song that we enlarged; it got out of hand and went to about six minutes full of backwards sounds.

ANDY: I did like the tape effects and it's probably got the most sensible lyric on the whole record as opposed to the others which were written for a "silly" effect!

COLIN: It was hanging about on tape for a long time.

ANDY: In fact it was sort of an XTC potential, wasn't it? "Cause you brought up another one called "Big Day" which I thought was far too good and not "67 period" enough to use on 25 O'Clock, so I think it's going to be one of the main songs on the next XTC record.

ANDY: Right! The last track on side one is "My Love Explodes", and this is an attempt at a cross between the Yardbirds' "Over, Under, Sideways, Down" and there's still a bit more Floyd-ery in there. But we had to get as many maraccas as possible on this track to give it the right Bo Diddley shug, so we ended up with plastic washing-up bottles full of rice, boxes with grit in them, anything that would "shhh", we even used real maraccas! We cellotaped the whole lot together till we had this enormous ball of things that went "shhh", the size of a beachball, and Ian had to go in and shug away to this track. Actually, they sound like good maraccas, even the ones that aren't real maraccas, and I've still got them now, and they've never needed repair! The little voice at the end after all the fireworks go off, courtesy of the same BBC sound effects record, is a tape that John Leckie had. He was in New York a little while ago and had his radio/cassette player going and he was tuned into this ludicrous New York radio station where this chap was singing this rather. . . how would you describe this song he was singing?


DAVE: It was actually a protest song.

ANDY: Called "Hey, go f--- yourself with your atom bomb", this chap was singing this song over the air, and John Leckie couldn't believe the banality of this song so he turned on his cassette to capture it for posterity, and he left the cassette running. At the end of the thing there's a phone-in where they invite people to phone in and comment on the song, and there's this marvelous guy who phones in, with this Woody Allen voice, and he is really outraged. . . "That's the most obscene abomination of a song!" So we thought this was marvellous and we nailed him on the end of "My Love Explodes". So the strange "Woody Allen" voice is a very irate New Yorker who's commenting on the song "Hey, go f--- yourself with your atom bomb".

DAVE: In fact, if you want to hear more of the original version, at the end of side 2 on the run-out grooves, if you've got a record player capable of playing it, you'll hear spinning backwards at twice the speed, a snatch of this gentleman's song in its original form.

ANDY: Right, on to "Your Gold Dress", which I think is possibly the duffest riff! It's sort of a fetish song 'cause there were lots of fetish songs around in '67, you know, people would get fetishistic about clothes, boutiques in general were raising their ugly heads up.

COLIN: A lot of people like that track.

DAVE: That was the first track to be written.

ANDY: Yeah, that was the very first thing to be written, in fact, most of it was put together at Crescent Studios while we were putting the finishing touches to The Big Express. I'd had the idea to do this psychedelic tribute and "Your Gold Dress" was the first number to come out; and that was all due to borrowing a cheap rancid fuzz box down at Crescent Studios, and coming up with this wasp-tone. The sitar playing on "Your Gold Dress" is actually one or two notes from an Indo-jazz LP. There were a couple of exposed sitar notes which we lifted off this LP and made a tape loop of and they just kept going round and round, and we faded them up in the mix when it was necessary to sound like a sitar, and if you listen closely, it's the same few notes going round and round.

COLIN: And that goes into the birds of "Mole".

ANDY: That's right, and I asked Dave to play the very pretty piano piece in the chorus because one of my favourite psychedelic LPs is Their Satanic Majesties Request - The Rolling Stones, and there's lots of Nicky Hopkins sort of frivolous, lacy piano playing.

DAVE: That's right, what's the track?

EVERYONE: "She's a Rainbow"!

DAVE: That's the inspiration for the piano playing, definitely.

ANDY: So the piano parts on "Your Gold Dress" is us tipping our floppy felt hat to Nicky Hopkin's piano playing on Satanic Majesties Request.

COLIN: I like the D.I. guitar in the middle.

ANDY: Yeah, it's a smattering of The Hollies' "Stop, Stop, Stop" in there. It's just double track D.I. guitar which means you don't go through an amp, you plug it straight into the desk and you get a very thin sound; and if you make it even thinner by turning the treble up, you can get it sounding quasi-sitar like those sitar guitars you can buy. And the last track "Mole from the Ministry", that was actually written in the studio. What happened was we had a lull one afternoon when Dave went to Birmingham to a little workshop to collect some tapes for the mellotron which was indispensable for this LP. You get three tapes on one rack and he came back with flute, cello and strings.

DAVE: Actually, if you've never seen a mellotron before, it's quite unbelievable that you can still, in 1985, buy spares for it.

ANDY: It's really rubber band technology.

COLIN: One part moves another part moves another part, it's done with levers.

DAVE: It's all done with rubber bands, fan belts and levers. Anyway they've got this Mellotronics or Novatronics as they're now called, a little warehouse in Birmingham, and you can still buy racks of tapes, and each set of tapes there are three sounds. Well, we were getting a bit tired of the existing tapes we had in our mellotron so we thought it was time to get some more. The existing ones are all over Big Express and Mummer.

ANDY: Yeah, things like the choir on "Human Alchemy" and on "Elements".

DAVE: Buying the mellotron was the best $700 we ever spent. We've really had a lot of use out of it and it's such good fun.

ANDY: What transpired is that we thought you can't make a psychedelic album unless you've got mellotron cellos and flutes at least, so Dave went off to get the tapes, and I was tinkering around on the piano in Chapel Lane studios and just came up with this little descending riff, and started to muck around with very John Lennon piano chord shapes and thought well we better come up with some lyrics that would have been pertinent to the time and the mole was a suitable kind of animal cause groups would be writing about things like moles, as "We are the Moles" by The Moles or "I am the Walrus". You know, any kind of lumpy animal with a slight Alice in Wonderland surrealism about it was fair game. So the title "I'm the Mole from the Ministry" sort of fell out and all these ludicrous lyrics got written as we were kind of learning the track in the studio; so the track was actually written in the studio and put together and recorded that evening. It just sort of fell together very quick and we sort of tarted it up as we went along, with these brand new flute and cello tapes, and did sort of a George Martin walrusy 5 minute string arrangement underneath the playing. It was great fun doing it and in fact a Japanese fan wrote asking what the tune was being played at the end of Mole from the Ministry when the slight return comes in, the backwards piece, and he thought he'd recognised it from Go 2. Dave's actually playing the little tune over the slight return, and it's the main riff behind "Life is good in the Greenhouse" on Go 2 being played on a Zippy Zither, about $7, so there's a bit of cross fertilization for you!

DAVE: I wonder how many people would spot that!

ANDY: But it was great fun to do, we could all imitate as many Beatle-isms as we want. We've got the bass guitar to be as McCartneyfied as we could.

DAVE: Oh, I got this great George Harrison guitar tone with a sort of slow tremolo on it with the strings all slack and baggy. You can just hear it chungling away under the chorus, it got a little bit buried in the mix; and there's this wonderful mistake in the middle! We were running through the track and like we said it was all first takes, there was no chance to go back and repair anything, and I was fiddling around trying to think of things to play. Because the guitar was tuned down three semi-tones, my ears hadn't quite figured out the guitar part, and I played this awful bum note in the middle and you can just hear it, it shoots over the top, and I said "I'll do that properly", and they said no, we won't use it, and what happens?

DAVE & ANDY: We used it!

ANDY: Yeah, it's a very bum note but it's quite nice, it's authentically George, I can assure you! But the voices at the end that seem to be going lome, lome, actually that's mole backwards cause we were chanting mole, mole, over the fade-out which was used backwards at the end.

DAVE: And most of the little voices you hear chattering. . .

ANDY: (Excitedly) Oh, yes!

DAVE: . . . came off of a sound effects album, you tell them all about it, Andy!

ANDY: OK, here we go. . . all those little chatting voices throughout the track saying things like "Fish and visitors smell after three days", things like that. What it was is an LP that I bought for 25 pence in a junk shop, and it's all about the year 1776 which was the American Revolution and it was an LP of speaking supposedly famous quotes from 1776, and what we did was go through and pick out the best quotes of Benjamin Franklin, and shuffled them all up and sped them up and slowed them down.

DAVE: It's such a bizarre concept for an album, I couldn't believe it. It was perfect.

ANDY: You couldn't get more obscure if you tried, and it was quite accidental. Most of them are phrases or sayings of Benjamin Franklin as in "fish and visitors smell after three days".

DAVE: Oh, and there was a horse in there as well.

ANDY: Oh yeah, I think that's part of Paul Revere's ride. His neighing horse actually comes through in the mix just before the "Day in the Life" middle section. I think that's all the Dukes stuff we can ramble on about.


COLIN: Well, it was just a track that I had hanging around, no lyrics written, made up virtually on the spot right in the studio.

ANDY: You had a few ideas, didn't you?

COLIN: Yeah, musical ones, but as far as lyrics, only a possible first verse.

L.E.: It sounds "Hollies" influenced.

ANDY: I don't think we intended to do it like the Hollies, it's just that we started kicking it around. . .

COLIN: I don't know, I started strumming the chords around at home and I thought this sounds a bit like them, but then we elaborated on it in the studio.

ANDY: Take the components and listen to all those Hollies' records and take their sound and reproduce our song but using their tricks, the set harmonies they sing, the mixture, the little Rickenbacker type electric, a couple of big acoustics. . . cha cha chum!

COLIN: We added a few vocal frills at the end.

ANDY: Yeah, you have to sing it like you're holding your nose, you have to get the right nasal. . . neneneneneeehh!

COLIN: Well, a lot of that went down.

ANDY: It was really tricky to do actually. You realize that those bands have. . . I mean vocals aren't really our strong point especially harmonies. . . and those bands that we've chosen to tip the hat at, like the Beach Boys or the Hollies, the vocal heavy bands, it's really tricky 'cause they obviously have a natural thing for it, it doesn't sound like they're straining to get it, but it took us a lot of trouble.

COLIN: Once you've got the main voice down, you do the harmony to sound like a harmony they would have done and not just a harmony you thought of.

ANDY: We just got all the components and just "Hollied" them up, and it was good fun doing it, actually that was the first mix that we did in the session. It sounds different from the others, you have to sort of get into mixing; it sounds good, but it was the first real one we did at the studio.

L.E.: Can you tell us about the word-linking that accompanies the songs, the little girl that comes in, background noises etc.?

COLIN: That was an afterthought.

ANDY: I don't think we could afford Derek Guyler. The original idea was to get Derek Guyler who's like a great sort of 60's-like voice to narrate nonsense, because all those psychedelic records just had nonsense on them or bits of studio throw-out or stuff at the end of tapes or they just say things that don't particularly mean anything.

L.E.: BBC out-takes?

ANDY: Yeah, sort of a mushroomy ambiance, so we thought we must have some of that mushroomy feeling and we finished it and had literally half a day to put the finishing touches on it. It was on a Sunday and there were three little girls that lived with the family above the studio, so we got two of them in there, sat them down and I wrote out all this gibberish, a sort of Alice In Wonderland nonsensical. . .

L.E.: Like turning into a bun. . .

ANDY: Yeah, you got to have references to turning into things.

COLIN: Climbing on the back of a giant albatross, that sort of thing.

ANDY: Climbing on the back of a giant something or other, fill in your own creature; I just sort of did things like turning into a giant cream bun. Oh yeah, actually we had all these bits of tape of Colin laughing, and bits of speech and stuff, and we just spun them in the background accidentally, you know, we just put all this stuff on 24 track not knowing what was on the other 23 tracks at any given time and push the faders up in any combination and it was what accidentally came through. If it was good, we kept it.

L.E.: Seems a crazy thing to say, but there's some good laughing!

ANDY: Yeah, it ws genuine laughing as well; we couldn't think of anything to laugh about and the situation got funnier because when you've got to laugh on cue, you can't do it, and because we couldn't do it, we started laughing.

L.E.: The next track, "Have You Seen Jackie?". . . Pink Floyd?

ANDY: Yes, a mixture of Pink Floyd and Keith West's "Tomorrow", and Jackie is one of the sort of characters that you could have had in Excerpt from a Teenage Opera, had it been finished.

L.E.: It's also necessary to get the accent with Pink Floyd, a sort of cockney?

ANDY: Cambridge, I think, old Syd Barrett came from Cambridge, that's in the London area. Jackie is. . . well you don't know what it is. . . it's not a boy and it's not a girl, much like Arnold Layne. The song "Arnold Layne" was about this chap who stole women's underwear off the washing lines, so I thought to get the right feel we'd better have a story about somebody with a "is it a boy or is it a girl?" type sexuality.

COLIN: That song was going to go on 25 O'Clock, wasn't it?

ANDY: Yeah, it was virtually ready for the other one, but we didn't have enough money for 25 O'Clock to do more than six tracks, so we thought ah well, we'll have to put Jackie on the shelf. It was originally called "Have You Seen Sydney?", loosely pertaining to Syd Barrett, but I changed it at the last minute to Jackie which is a boy/girl name and also the name of the '60s British magazine Jackie. In England there was a big advertising campaign that was very popular and "Have you seen Sid?" became a national catch phrase, so I thought I'd better not use that and we changed it to Jackie a couple of days before we went into the studio. Colin's playing the backward autoharp, a funny sort of sucking noise; he had to play it forwards over the top of the whole track, everything going backwards, then you turn the track around and what he's done becomes backwards. The instrument is a little box, this one's about two foot wide by about one foot, theres a hole in it with a couple of bridges either end and then you just have like thin piano wire that you literally tie to the thing and you then tune it.

COLIN: You can either hit them or play it with a plectrum.

ANDY: And if you rushed the plectrum over the whole thing you get that real corny "and now the drugs take effect" neeooowww-wwgrhhh sound.

L.E.: "Little Lighthouse", the foghorn at the beginning is an obvious connection.

ANDY: I thought the best bit of the Steve Miller Band's Sailor album was the beginning with all the foghorns and stuff on it, and I've got a funny feeling, I haven't heard the album for years, but I've got a feeling they probably used the BBC library tapes, and we did as well, so it's probably even the same foghorn. But the actual song is one we started with Todd for Skylarking. We did a drum track and a little bit of guitar and it never got any further. I wasn't happy with it, nor was he; it sounded a bit too industrial, the lyrics were too psychedelic or whatever, too flowery or brainpowered, it just wasn't the right sort of track, and I thought I'll leave it. But when we came to do this new Dukes thing I thought ah, a place for this track at last. When we started doing it, we tremoloed about three or four guitars, and they're all tremoloed at different speeds so you get that funny, hazy sort of sound, like on "I Had too Much to Dream Last Night" by The Electric Prunes - the whole track shimmering. That's a really easy psychedelic effect, just plugged in the old tremolo thing, set each one at a different speed and you get that kind of mass shimmering sound. I forced Colin to do the "19th Nervous Breakdown" bass line at the end. It sounds like the American bands that used to copy The Stones on the West coast or the East coast even, like Blues Magoos, they would have the sneery, Jagger-y vocals, clunking guitar, and lots of maracas.


ANDY: What can I say about this, my goodness, the backing track is one bass drum on a chair, and a cymbal.

COLIN: Everybody is singing on this, it's us doubled, it's that situation where you keep doubling yourself.

ANDY: It's a bit like those records that the Small Faces and the Kinks touched on where they had that sort of pubby ambiance. We didn't have a pub piano so we had to screw up a real piano and record it with a wobble on and slow the tape down so it was out of tune. "Albert Brown" is actually a mixture between my Grandfather and my Grandmother, because my Grandfather's called Albert Partridge, and my Grandmother was Elsie Brown. So he's Albert Brown and he was wounded in the first World War and he's really popular down the pub, always getting the drinks in and is permanently drunk. It was a good little "I was Kaiser Bill's Batman" knees-up to do, and the spoon solo nearly broke my hand! I've never played spoons before but I thought it can't be difficult it's only two spoons.

COLIN: Sounds real good actually.

ANDY: I had all these bruises over the first finger of my left hand where I'm whacking it, you have to run it down your fingers to get all the crackly bits. Let me think, what other instrumentation's on it? Oh, there's a megaphone, "Come on all you chaps, sing along with me", that sort of thing. So it's a cross between "Oh What a Lovely War", you have to imagine First World War soldiers, but done with a sort of Carnaby Street style, because Carnaby Street was infatuated with "Your Country Needs You!", Lord Kitchener and Edwardian things generally; so it's a mish mash of all that in one song.

COLIN: There's a bit of synth brass in there.

ANDY: Yeah, we thought it would be nice to have some brass on it and in the rush we couldn't get the brass so at the last minute we relented and put a little synthesized tube of it on.

L.E.: So you're still using your mellotron.

ANDY: Oh yeah, that's all over this record, you just lean on the mellotron and it's 1967 again. Like the Tardis, you're suddenly taken back. The mellotron was bought in Wales for about 250 quid, really cheap; that's what this band's into - cheap technology, ha ha, redundant technology! So, Albert Brown comes to it's grinding drunken inevitable end and there's all that laughing.

L.E.: I can imagine the next track, "Collideascope", being a lot of people's favourite on first listening.

ANDY: This might be my all time favourite on this record, it's certainly a favourite. This is supposed to be like a very much "dyed in the wool" Lennon piece of psychedalia. It's somewhere between "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" and "All You Need is Love", it's reasonably choral and has that kind of pumping rhythm. The lyrics are complete nonsense, it's basically about looking down a kaleidascope the wrong end and seeing the world all going wrong. It's all like references to things like putting a nail in your eye, seeing things wrongly, everything upside down, you'll see ships fall out of the sky, sort of psychedelic type things that were being written at the time. Full of juxtapositions of wrong things, as in stuff like plasticine porters etc. It's sort of an easy trick to do because you just grab any two incongruous things and marry them together, and you get instant "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" lyrics.

L.E.: It's difficult on this album to know who's harmonizing where.

ANDY: Well, I'm harmonizing myself on the chorus of this, "Wakey Wakey little sleeper".

COLIN: It depends who's in the studio at the time.

ANDY: Yeah, if Colin's in the bath, I'll have to do my own doubling.

L.E.: It's even more difficult on the Dukes' project because you're getting into more of these distorted voices.

ANDY: Disguising your voices, yeah, well I tried to sing this one really Lennon-y, like you're supposed to have a bit of chewing gum in your mouth when you're doing it.

COLIN: Actually, on "Vanishing Girl" we both sang lead vocal and blended the two voices together.

ANDY: So it sounds more Hollies, they used to have two people singing in unison and you couldn't tell who it was.

COLIN: Well, your voice is a bit more nasal, to sound like Allan Clarke.

ANDY: Because look at the size of these nostrils! If you want something pretty nasal, you could park your truck up here, you really could!

COLIN: Well, I didn't want to say it!

ANDY: The funny little voices about half way through "Collideascope" are from that wretched little comedy series "Nearest and Dearest", which took place in a pickle factory in the north of England. It starred Jimmy Jewel and Hilda Baker, and she has this funny surreal way of talking. She says things like "Yer not going to stay in this house on the put it up bed", and she gets all the words wrong.

COLIN: "Living in holy mattressmony".

ANDY: "The world is my lobster", that sort of thing, and we just nicked a bit of stuff from the feature film of "Nearest and Dearest", and you can hear Jimmy Jewel saying "Bloody Nora!" 'cause that was his catch-phrase. Colin's doing some sawing on the track, so if it sounds like sawing, that's what he's actually doing. We miked up a piece of wood and saw, and then the piece clonks off, and "Bloody Nora!", then there's a sort of terrible scream, and then you hear Hilda Baker saying "The only changes here will be made over my dog's body". She says some wonderful things.

COLIN: Some of her phrases are very sort of Lennonesque anyway.

ANDY: That sort of stuff from "Spaniard in the Works", he talks in this kind of - we took a trip 'round Pickininny Surplus, saw the statue of Eric and then to Buckinghell Palace - well she actually talks like that so we thought it would be good to nick bits of that and throw it in. The big crunching sound on there is a big bin full of tambourines, one tambourine didn't sound any good, so we put about a dozen of these tambourines in a bin, and I smashed it up and down on the floor, and it sounded pretty good.

L.E.: How about all these little links?

ANDY: This little girl who does most of the links is called Lily Fraser, her real name is Emily but she insists on being called Lily, and she did most of the narration. I just wrote down this nonsense, and I thought the Puffin was a kind of Alice In Wonderland type character, and she talks to him while he's sipping his herbal tea, cause they're usually doing something like that, smoking a hookah or drinking tea or whatever; and he just says "You cant get the buttons these days" which is the sort of thing an old Victorian Puffin would be worried about, they don't make buttons like they used to and buttons being a very Victorian thing.

L.E.: Did you enjoy doing the Dukes again?

DAVE: Yeah, I think so. It wasn't quite as much fun as the first one because the novelty had worn off. In a way it was like going over old ground as we'd covered most of the tricks in the first one, but I enjoyed working on these songs more because I think they're better songs.

ANDY: Yeah, I think the songs are generally better quality songs. It's not as effect-y as 25 O'Clock, it's straighter, maybe more 1968; they're sobering up a bit.

DAVE: I think the piano could have been better, personally. I'm a bit of a rough kind of player as it is.

ANDY: It sounds dead authentic, it's not TOO good!

COLIN: I think I enjoyed it just as much as the first, it's always difficult when you're going to do something "two".

L.E.: Will there be anything on film?

ANDY: We've been asked to do a video for "Albert Brown".

L.E.: In a pub?

ANDY: Well, we have to come up with something that feels authentic and cheap, Virgin says it's gotta be cheap. So maybe we'll go into a pub, get very drunk, and film it.

At this point, Andy and Colin had to leave, so I'll make this the end of my transcription. Should I find more stuff about the Dukes in other ancient Little Expresses, I shall continue... —> Steve

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[Thanks to Steve Levenstein]