The Blow Monkeys are unique with a career spanning over 40 years. Always making new music and always stretching their own musical boundaries. With worldwide hits such as the classics“Digging Your Scene” and “It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way”, they became household names but there was always so much more going with this distinctive band. Their relentless desire to move forward, to collaborate, to be socially engaged and to have something to contribute continues. Back in the 1980s they worked with people as varied as Curtis Mayfield, Paul Weller, Cheb Khaled and even Jamaican Toaster EEK-a-Mouse! Dr Robert even took time out to release one of the UK’s first homegrown ‘house’ records “Wait”, his top 5 duet with Chicago soul diva Kym Mazelle. Reformed in 2008, The Blow Monkeys have been incredibly productive…releasing six new albums and playing hundreds of concerts. Their latest album “Journey To You” (2021) was recorded during ‘lockdown’and features the extraordinary single“Time Storm.” BMG have also re-released their classic album from 1986‘Animal Magic’ as part of their “Iconic”series. It comes as a 4CD boxset and tasty white vinyl limited edition with extra tracks and rarities galore.The Blow Monkeys continue to evolve. From their beginnings on the underground club scene right through to their appearance on the biggest selling soundtrack of all time “Dirty Dancing” (You Don’t Own Me) and beyond. Long may they swing.
EXCLUSIVE ‘24/7 VALENCIA’ INTERVIEW WITH DR. ROBERT OF ‘THE BLOW MONKEYS’
24/7 VALENCIA: Could you tell us some more about your latest album, ‘Journey to You’?
DR. ROBERT OF ‘THE BLOW MONKEYS’: It was recorded during ‘lockdown’. I wanted to try something quintessentially Blow Monkeys with lush arrangements and funky grooves and edgy lyrics. ‘Time Storm’ is probably one of the best things we’ve ever done and its really pleasing that we can play a lot of these songs live now and people seem to like and know them. We aren’t some kinda nostalgia act – that never interested us. The key was always to keep creating and moving forward.
How does living in Spain compared to Britain?
Right now it feels like we dodged a bullet! I love the Spanish people and their way of life. I will always love the UK too but successive governments have impoverished the people and the culture with lies and propaganda. Brexit is an example. They have stolen our kids’ future. That said, I have faith in the younger generation – they are less ideological but more switched on. We have handed them a ‘hospital pass’.
What are your memories of ‘Red Wedge’?
All good memories. It was a great feeling to be part of something bigger than ourselves. We made some lifelong friendships there and the concerts were memorable nights. People say you can’t mix politics and music, but that’s bullshit. I was politicised by music and I think Red Wedge turned a lot of kids onto something politically. It was never just about supporting the Labour Party. It was much wider than that.
Is Brexit a step back for Britain?
See above. A total scam and a disaster for all. The media were complicit too, giving disproportionate airtime to scoundrels like Farage with his nasty false, incendiary message about ‘immigration’ and his misleading offensive posters. A person that has never won an election in his life.
Do you have a favourite guitar and amp for live and recording work?
I’m not really much of a ‘gear’ freak. Right now I favour the Epiphone ‘Lucille” and the Boss GT 100 pedal board, which I can just plug into any amp and off I go.
Describe working with Paul Weller…
Intense. Attention to detail. Never gives up on a song. A pleasure and an honour.
What can we expect of ‘The Blow Monkeys’ show in Valencia?
Lots of energy and a mix of old and new all presented in our unique fashion. There are only the four of us up there but we make a good noise!
Interview by Will McCarthy
Article copyright ‘24/7 Valencia’
THE BLOW MONKEYS
Friday May 12th 2023
22:30h (Doors open) / 23:00h (Concert)
Advance tickets 25€(+gg) (www.mutick.com); 30€ on the door and subject to availability.
Address: Carrer de Ricardo Micó, 3