Nick Laird-Clowes aka Trashmonk
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Nick Laird-Clowes/Trashmonk - Dream Academy Star Signs to Poptones

Alan McGee's new cult indie label, Poptones release the excellent "Mona Lisa Overdrive" on September 10th 2001. Here's the story so far, plus entry into our competition...

Trashmonk - Sapphire

The man sang backing vocals on the last T Rex album. He's rented office space with Paul Simon , he lost his virginity to an Australian model at John Lennon's house. Brian Wilson called him a genius. He also presented the cult eighties music shabang, The Tube with the late, great Paula Yates and old Julesy.

Trashmonk's story is rooted in all the tawdry skin-up narratives of fame you could imagine. At the age of 13 he relocated to Isle of Wight festival and witnessed the epithany that was Jim Morrisson's wanton declaration to the crown to suck my cock And suck his cock they did.

Scurrilous involvement with underground magazine terrorists OZ during it's now legendary obscenity trial saw civil disorder and public nuisance become Trashmonk's prevailing creed. At the Youth Action Committee the banner under which he rallied on July 4th 1971, he took part in a demonstration led by one father, son and holy ghost, John Lennon.

TRASHMONKThe eager, precocious activist (still only 15) was briefly adopted by Beatle John who invited him down to his Tittenhurst mansion in Surrey. Whiling away his time watching old Beatles videos in Lennon's Sgt Pepper' hat, the activist apostle had the bitter-sweet occasion to hear an early demo for Imagine, and had his first sexual encounter - with a 27 year old australian model.

But what has all this to do with music? Well everything and nothing obviously.

Developing an obsession with former New York Dolls guitarist Johnny Thunders Nick decided to return to his roots to form a punk band - The Act co-starring Sam harley and Dave Gilmour's brother, Mark. Signing to Hannibal, the label run by Joe Boyd producer to no other than Nick Drake.

The Act's debut LP received a five-star review in Rolling Stone.

However a, mid-seventies performance on the Children's TV show Magpie' saw the band drift haplessly into derision and obscurity. Much the same fate awaited it's presenters to be fair.

And the rest - whilst not being history - may for the moment at least be worth ignoring.

The Dream Academy came - The Dream Academy went. With major sucesses and failures on both sides of the Atlantic.

After a brief and perfunctory spell in the brotherhood of heroin chic, Mcgee invited recovering Laird-Clowes to record some demos for Creation. As a result Nick's electronic and fucked-up folk entered into our lives as Trashmonk.

Recorded in Nick's ladbroke grove flat-cum-studio, and featuring sounds found during his continent-hopping days, from Nepal to Senegal, Trashmonk's album, Mona Lisa Vverdrive came hurtling down the lesser co-ordinates of the techno folk fast lane.

Beck like, Drake like, Mercury Rev like, Dave Clarke like - Trashmonk lays convincing enough claims to the future of folk and the melodic esoretic. The album itself is anon-specific blending of the traditional and the experiemntal. Carried by wistful muse - driven by technology. It's everything you would expect from someone just returned from the trappings of recovering monastery life:

" After the end of Dream Academy I had a period uncertainty. What sort of music should I make? And if so, then where? I had no more tapes! I decided to travel from the East on a search for wisdom. Experiencing everything that was simple. I went to the Himalayas, Pakistan, the Chinese boundary to Afghanistan, Nepal... I studied with a buddhist and Zen teacher and travelled on toward the home of the Dali Lama. And this is where Trashmonk really kind of comes from."

Poptones release "Mona Lisa Overdrive" on September 10th 2001

Report by: Alan Sargeant

 
 
 

 

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