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Nectarine No 9 - Interview

  by Olga Sladeckova

published: 12 / 3 / 2004

Nectarine No 9 - Interview


The Nectarine No. 9 has been the most stable group of the Edinburgh-based musician Davy Henderson since he left the influential Fire Engines. With the band's fifth album 'I Love Total Destruction’ just out, he talks to Olga Sladeckova

Edinburgh's Nectarine No. 9 first burst onto the music scene in 1993. Its musicians, Davy Henderson (vocals & guitar), Iain Halford (drums), Simon Seeton (guitar), John Thompson (bass guitar) and Todd Thompson (guitar), however, all started making music much earlier than that. Davy Henderson is one of Scotland's most respected musicians, and, other than the Nectarine No. 9, is best known for leading the influential 80’s cult band the Fire Engines with whom he released various singles, and a mini-album, 'Lubricate Your Living Room' (1981). Between the years 1981 and 1993, after the Fire Engines split up and before Nectarine No. 9 formed, Davy Henderson remained in music, playing in various bands, including Win which he formed with Russell Burn, and with whom he released two albums, 'Uh...Tears Baby' (1987) and 'Trigger Finger'(1989). Their 1987 single, 'You've Got the Power', was infamously used at the time in a television advert to promote a McEwan's Lager beer campaign. Nectarine No 9 have proved to be Henderson’s most stable band. Their music has been compared to such highly respected, but diverse groups as the Velvet Underground, Captain Beefheart, and Sun Ra.They were also invited by Radio 1 DJ John Peel to play the very prestigous Meltdown festival at the Royal Albert Hall. Nectarine No 9 have now released 5 studio albums. Two of these, 'A Sea with Three Stars' (1993) and 'Saint Jack' (1995), came out on Postcard, one 'Fried for Blue Material' (2001) on Creeping Bent ,and two, 'Received, Transgressed and Transmitted' (2001) and their most recent record 'I Love Total Destruction' as joint ventures between Beggars Banquet and Creeping Bent. ‘I Love Total Destruction’ came out at the beginning of March. It has earned many complimentary reviews from the press. The band will be setting out to play a few gigs in April and May to support its release. This will include playing the Pennyblackmusic Bands' Night on April 15th. Pennyblackmusic spoke to Davy Henderson about the background of the band, the new album and the forthcoming live show. PB: When and how did you first become involved in making music ? DH: I played with the Talkovers - that was me on a guitar and Angus Groovy on bass around 1978- we had one song 'That Girls Wearing Harmony Hairspray Psst, Psst'. Bobby Charm ,the singer from the Scars, was our drummer. PB: Could you tell me more about the music scene up in Scotland around the time that you formed the Fire Engines with Russell Burn, Murray Slade and Graham Main in 1979? What bands did you listen to at the time and why did you decide to form the Fire Engines? DH: Everybody you didn't know and everybody you did said they were in a group. We were friends (original enemies) with TV ART who later became Josef K. They could really play (we couldn't). They knew Orange Juice and the Associates and we used to get to support them. We used to listen to anything but we really dug the Fall, Beefheart ('Doc at the Radar Station' had just come out ...I think) the Voidoids, the Pop Group ,the Slits ,the Contortions. The whole ZE records thing had just started. Vic Godard was doing 'What’s the Matter Boy'. Rusty, me and G. were in the Dirty Reds. The original singer (who's now a world-famous actor) was crap so we dumped him. I thought I was the boy for the job. Murray and I were friends from school. We'd go to the 'White Riot' together. He was into the Voidoids, Robert Quine, Television and all that plus he could really play and he sort of had his own thing as well. PB: After the Fire Engines you were in Win for some time.Your music was picked for a beer campaign. How did that come about? DH: They couldn't get Simple Minds so they got us. PB: Nectarine No. 9 formed in 1993. Could you tell me more about how that happened and where did you know the other members from? DH: We started making the Nectarine stuff up in 1990....Si was in Win. I met Ian through Si, them both being from Nottingham, around 1984..so we knew each other real well by the time we became the Nectarines. PB: Your third album ‘Fried For Blue Material’ came out on Creeping Bent. How did you get in touch with the label and Doug MacIntyre who runs the label and who is now also your manager? DH: His lot done a cover of one of our numbers. We met him after a show via John Williamson who was originally going to do FFBM but he was too busy with Bis, so Douglas took us on. PB: I interviewed Doug MacIntyre and we were talking about Nectarine No. 9. He said he thinks that Nectarine No. 9 in time will be regarded with the same respect as the Velvet Underground. What do you think about that? DH: He's referring to the paperback, not the band...the Nectarine No.9 have yet to make an original record...at the moment we're sourcing 1959-62...we'll never catch up. PB: Youhave put out your new album ‘I Love Total Destruction’ through Creeping Bent and Beggars Banquet records. When did you start working on the album and is it all new material ? DH: We started making it up about two years ago...it's all new to us ,straight to tape, two microphones,an echo unit and a Jaguar. PB: Why did you decide to call the album ‘I Love Total Destruction’? DH: "Revolution gonna bring total destruction"-Little Roy from the album 'Packin' House'which is available on Pressure Sounds on both CD and vinyl. Buy it .I love it! PB: Is it only you who writes all the lyrics for NN9 songs? They seem to be based on real events. Do you just write about anything that happens in your life? DH: I prefer noise over meaning, string it all together and you got something… nothing fancy....Albert Ayler! Townhall! Freewill! PB: The last song on the album is called ‘I Love Robert Ryman’ Robert Ryman is a painter. How did the song come about? Is Ryman your favourite painter and what do you like about his painting? DH: It originally had the words “at the rehearsal of Robert Wyatt’s funeral... there was Chairman Mao with his permanent frau on the cow from Apocalypse Now..." but they didn't fit so we kept it a bleak instrumental. I like his white paint all the time. PB: Do you have a favourite song on the album and if which one and why? DH: I like'The UNfunkadelic' ...the drummers just blow me up. PB: What are your plans for the near future? You are obviuously going to be playing a few gigs in April and May. DH: We will be playing with you in London at the Spitz on the 15th April then in Aberdeen on the 1st May and in Glasgow on the 2nd May. T-shirts will be available. PB: Thank you very much. Nectarine No 9 will headline the Penny Black Music Night at the Spitz along with support from Applecraft, the Scoundrelles and Air Formation on the 15th April 2004.

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Nectarine No 9 - Interview

Nectarine No 9 - Interview

Nectarine No 9 - Interview

Nectarine No 9 - Interview

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I Love Total Destruction (2004)
Unpredictable and unique fifth album from the long-serving Scottish group Nectarine No 9, which is fronted by Davy Henderson, the former singer with the Fire Engines and Win

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