Interview Pt. 2: B-Leaguers & Hooligan Crooners
This is part two of an interview with Jim Styring of B-Leaguers and Barry Phillips of Hooligan Crooners. Part one can be found here.
B-Leaguers and Hooligan Crooners have a split album coming out on March 31 entitled Tales From a Punk Rock Tour. In addition, they’ll be sharing the stage at the album release show on the same date. The venue is the Mulberry Tavern in Sheffield with details below. You’ll get a chance to see and hear them again as an April 1 date at The Treaty of Commerce in Lincoln, Lincolnshire was recently added.
Here’s part two of the interview:
When I first heard B-Leaguers’ EP Death of a Western Heart, I almost immediately thought of Screeching Weasel or Descendents, two of my favorite bands from the early days of punk-pop. Should we expect more of the same hooky punk-pop tunes with Tales From A Punk Rock Road Trip?
Jim: Thank you! Great bands! I love Descendents! Yes, the two new tracks, ‘World Famous (in a little town)’ and ‘Voting For The Neighbours’ are big, hooky, singalong punk tunes, turned up to 11 ! And we’ve put, ‘Rock and Roller Toons’ on there too, from our first record. It did well for us, so we thought we’d give it another chance to be heard (and we shot the video in Liverpool and down The Cavern Club).
You’ve got some high profile dates booked for shortly after the album release. There’s the album release show on Friday 31st March, show at Mulberry Tavern, Sheffield and more to follow, I understand). For those who haven’t yet had the opportunity to see/hear you guys perform live, what should they expect?
Jim: Well, first of all I’d say, thanks for coming out! No point without you! What you can expect is good, honest punk rock and roll! Songs you’ll be singing as you leave the venue. Loud, fun, sweaty. There are no barriers, for those 30/40 minutes we’re all in it together.
Bools: For Hooligan Crooners? A lot of smiles, a lot of tunes, a lot of influences hanging-out…from Phil Spector to The Clash and The Boys or Rudi to Social Distortion and Rancid with some glam and Mott The Hoople thrown in. Sometimes a bit rough around the edges (we live so far apart we don’t get to rehearse together much) but always high on the energy. Mostly though…smiles and wanting folk to have a good time…we all need some escape at some point don’t we.
These gigs are going to be pretty exciting for us…we’ve just parted company with our original guitarist (on good terms) and we are replacing him with something of a guitar legend (who I played with years ago so I know him really well). He is an utterly astounding guitarist and yet he has a true punk-rock heart. I don’t think it’s frowned upon these days when someone can “really” play in a punk band. Just as it is still OK if you’re not a virtuoso but you’ve got ideas, spirit, attitude, charisma or whatever. The sound is certain to change a little, we’re looking forward to a little more of the New York Dolls/Thunders stuff to come through…we’re really excited about it.
When Henry Rollins and Iggy Pop toured together, their spirited (but friendly) one-upmanship became something of legend. Along those same lines, is there any chance we’ll see a similar dynamic with B-Leaguers and Hooligan Crooners?
Jim: Well, Hooligan Crooners are such a great band, we’ve certainly had to up our game. But that’s no bad thing, you’ll be getting the best from both bands. Doesn’t hurt to be under a bit of pressure! But we’re all good friends, so there’s no real competition, just two bands playing their hearts out for the crowd every night.
Bools: We would love to do enough touring together to test that!! I somehow think that with the characters involved there is just as much chance of fifth-columnists from within/around each band undertaking (good-natured) sabotage of their own. Things always get messy when Hooligan Crooners are left to our own devices…remarkably short attention spans. But, of course, it is only natural for there to be some level of competitive edge…although now we are a little more experienced it should just inspire us to up-our-game and not turn into jealous divas!!
Attending the March 31 album release show?
For those interested in attending the March 31 album release show at Mulberry Tavern, Sheffield, here’s the info on the venue:
• Mulberry Tavern, Arundel Gate, Sheffield S12PP
• 07979881519 (Events)
• 07712336338 (general)
On Saturday 1st April, both B-Leaguers and Hooligan Crooners will be performing along with Suburban Toys. Info on that event is available HERE.