Friday, October 09, 2009

Phil Wilson Was In An Indie Band Once

MJ Hibbett and the Validators’ new single, My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once, is inspired by the true story of Phil Wilson, who swapped the seedy glamour of indiepop stardom for the more financially secure world of the civil service.

Phil Wilson – indiepop legend, former civil servant, and MJ Hibbett’s muse and showbiz pal – has kindly lifted the lid on life after teenstar adulation.

As you stalked the corridors of power, did you get asked to sign June Brides records?
Ha! No!!! Most people would ask what I'd done before joining. When I explained, almost none of them had ever heard of the June Brides (or even indie music). Although, having said that, I met my wife at our office and she had seen me play live years before, without realising that I was that same chap. Also, Tim Vass (the Razorcuts) and Mick Thackray (The Legend's brother and ex Swinging Soul Sister!) worked at The Treasury at the same time as me...It's a small indiepop world.

Swinging Soul Sister?
The Legend used to appear live with backing "singers" - billed as "The Legend and The Swinging Soul Sisters". Mick was one of those singers (whose main job was to shout "Gabba Gabba Hey" every now and then!).

Are Mark's lyrics fact-based or the product of creative license?
There are, indeed, bare bones of truth, elaborated with a thick coating of poetic license! I do still have my hand-painted June Brides shirts - but can't fit into them any more :-( And anyone who has ever, ever released a record has a cult following in the Far East. I even have a cult record label ("Every Conversation Records" in Tokyo). I think touring Japan is a bloody good idea and hope to get there one day. And the ethics of punk can definitely be applied to the world of work! That's why I joined the civil service - I definitely would not have wanted to be working for any bloated capitalist corporation - in exactly the same way as I wouldn't sign the Junies to a major label!

You were advising on tax policy for Customs and Amelia Fletcher is now Senior Director of Mergers at the OfT. Is there a danger of indiepop taking over the civil service or is the civil service an attractive option for indiepop stars?Ex-indiepop people only have a few options - teaching, the civil service or destitution! The rest of the June Brides are either teachers (Big Jon is a deputy headmaster at a girls' school) or in the civil service. Who else is gonna take us on?! There were 3 indiepop stars in an office of over 1000 - so no great danger, as yet, of an indiepop takeover ;-)

Phil Wilson is playing two gigs next month:
6 November - La Pequeña Bety, Madrid
21 November - Inn on the green, London, W10 5XL (Parliament Club with The Fallen Leaves and special guests)

The last word goes to MJ Hibbett:
The single's also got our version of "House Of Fun" by Madness as well as a live version of my one-man Rock Opera "Dinosaur Planet" on the mulitimedia.

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