Bit of a freaky name, I’m sure you’ll agree but basically, The Chanteuse and the Crippled Claw are a Sheffield-based electronic pop duo involving the talents of Adrian Flanagan and Candie Payne.
Adrian takes us into their weird and wonderful world and tells us more about the two-piece. Let’s start with the name, it’s quite simple really, ‘Candie’s a singer and I badly broke my left wrist, so much so that I only have 50% movement in it…voila!
The Chanteuse & The Crippled Claw’. Both have proven track records in the music world. Adrian as the esteemed, self-titled ‘1 man Gorrillaz on a giro’, Kings have Long Arms and Candie who was recently involved in Mark Ronson’s Versions world tour as guest vocalist.
We bring the Sting and we got the honey and I’m not talking about that tantric sex practising Geordie. Stings missus must be pissed off, when does she find the time to go shopping?’
Adrian goes on to explain how The Chanteuse & the Crippled Claw started ‘well I, Adrian Flanagan, was created on the 9th day that the earth was formed. I’ve literally been putting out records and music since the beginning of time, year zero zero before Christ to be exact. I bumped in to an old pal whilst I was in hospital. I was recovering from a bicycle accident that left me with two badly broken arms and she was in the next bed recovering from being on tour with Mark Ronson. We’d previously released a single together on Domino Records under my Kings Have Long Arms alias. She is called Candie Payne; she is the Wonder Woman of outsider pop music. From our sick beds we made a pact to work together if only to rid the world of fucktard pop and false prophets. Our existence is really important in the same way as the continuing existence of bees. We bring the Sting and we got the honey and I’m not talking about that tantric sex practising Geordie. Stings missus must be pissed off, when does she find the time to go shopping?’
Bees, sex, Sting…let’s get back to the music, with being round the ‘scene’ when was Adrian’s first love of music first realised, he tells me ‘probably aged about 3, my mum was a young mum in the 70’s when she had me. She loved David Bowie. I had long golden hair; trousers with patches on and my mum would paint my face like Ziggy Stardust. I had quite a pathetic early childhood, some dark times but music was a constant pal and guidance. One of my uncles was a massive Elvis fan; he had pictures of him all over his wall and a bust of Elvis’s head. I would immerse myself in Elvis, read all my uncles scrap books and learn the songs off by heart, I was about 7. Elvis was already dead, but I really understood his obsession, his loyalty to his subject, when you’ve nothing else, music can be an awesome friend, unless of course your friend is Michael Buble.’With music as a best friend who can fail, though it’s interesting as to what influences the music that’s produced, Adrian continues ‘I like a lot of old music. A lot of 60’s psychedelic stuff, 60’s girl groups, French ye ye, Joe Meek productions. A lot of 70’s kids TV programmes like The Children of the Stones and Sky, Ace of Wands, Owl Service, Beasts, really fucking scary stuff that was made for kids that all have strange wickermanesque folk soundtracks with elements of stuff the BBC Radiophonic workshop would be doing around then,..It’s funny, kids TV today is nowt like when i was a kid. Everything’s really fast paced.
I think it’s an attention span thing, when I was kid television absorbed your imagination, slow moving, cheap productions that allowed your mind to wonder and to interpret. Everything’s so on a plate now and it’s wearing a silly dickybow. I also love Coronation Street. I learnt everything I ever needed to know about womanhood from Corrie. I find it hard to keep up with her now she’s five times a week!’ It seems that Adrian’s love for Corrie is immense as he cites the theme tune as the song, he’s wished he’d written, ‘the Coronation Street them tune, which I notice has been messed with recently?? Smacks ITV’s imaginary hand. To have written something that becomes part of every day life/your furniture would be a wonderful thing. I’d also liked to of written Can your Pussy do the Dog by The Cramps…Rock & Roll is so childish I know…’
Looking at the music scene in general, and admitting to being 2000 years old, Adrian has, of course seen a lot of genres come and go. ‘The Caveman scene of 100 years BC was pretty good, hairy geezers with big clubs banging rocks with the wailing voice of a stegosaurus over the top of it. I also liked the Lancashire Witch scene of 1611, really creative with clay and a folk tune, often accompanied by a black dog, their lyrics had the ability to disable one side of your body like the early San Francisco acid scene of 1967 but more smelly. In general, I couldn’t give a flying fuck about music scenes. I’ve always existed outside of whatever’s trendy. I’m my own planet using your Oxygen, thanks!’ he says with a smile!
Looking at the local music scene, in this case Sheffield, we seem to hit a nerve ‘I detest anyone who is happy with the title local band,so no’. Although he admits to liking a few Sheffield based artists ‘with aspirations to break out of this city and never come back’. I’m told that favourites, and I use the word loosely include The Heebie Jeebies (I like the drummer he plays like a Black African Man), that Mairead bird with the scary voice does some pretty interesting stuff too. Other than that I’ve not seen any Sheffield group’s, apart from The Arch Nazards who are without doubt the greatest psyche rock group currently in Sheffield, they very rarely play in Sheffield though’. With a smile I’m told ‘I never go out in Sheffield, I don’t need too when my photo graces the wall of the Washington (pub), I mean would you like to go and sit in a nice boozer that plays good music that also has your face on the wall?’ then suggests ‘maybe they use it to sober people up, or to stop copulation on the dance floor?’
So how are things going for The Chanteuse & The Crippled Claw?
I’m told ‘thing’s are going well. Our debut single ‘Are you One’ has just come out, it got really great reviews online. I avoided sending anything to any national press, trying to get a little buzz on a street level and it seems to be working. We’ve been played on BBC 6 music and a few other radio stations too by dj’s who discovered you’. Saying that it is a fantastic track, it offers something different to what’s around at the moment, there’s also an entertaining video to accompany the song, of which Adrian fills us in on the shoot. ‘We did a video for it with my favourite Actress Maxine Peake who’s work I really love. She’s a fucking great actress so it was lovely to have an arm wrestle with her and chase her with a water pistol over a moor. In fact since doing it I’ve had enquiries from the Old Vic asking me to do Shakespeare. I’m really being taken seriously now as an actor since working with Maxine (laughs) and she’s been asked to sing on the next single by Black Lace (laughs)’.
On a final note I ask Adrian if he has any advice to share with us, his reply is simple ‘having been in two major car accidents and Bike accident’s, always make sure you have clean underwear on and just do the best you can, fuck advice, if it feel’s right for you then it is right for you. The only true lesson comes from our own consequences’. The Chanteuse & the Crippled Claw single ARE YOU ONE is out now and available to download from Itunes/Play.com with remixes from Andy Votel & Jane Weaver, I Monster & Ann Shenton (add n to x).