Band of the month September 2016
24th September 2016
The Budgie Smugglers is a punk rock band based in Leicester. Its members are:
Spanky Van Dyke – Vocals, Mikey ‘The Samoan’ Winter – Bass, Johnny Guitar – Guitar and Andrew McDonald – Drums.
Interview with The Budgie Smugglers
We met the band at The Donkey just before the start of their gig to celebrate their second birthday and went backstage to interview them.
Trevor: Who is in the band?
Spanky Van Dyke the singer, Mikey ‘The Samoan’ Winter on bass, Andy on the drums, Johnny guitar.
John: We have been together two years and tonight is our second birthday party.
Trevor: What has been the band’s achievements over those two years?
We have done about 50 gigs; we usually get asked back to where ever we play; we’ve never been thrown out of anywhere; we get paid regularly; people ask us when we are playing next which is very flattering and very nice; we made a video of our entry for the Eurovision Song Contest (it didn’t get selected but it was a nice thing to do) with the help of some students at De Montfort University, Malc the sound guy at The Musician, and it was a song called Hey Baby Yeah Baby
We have a really good laugh, a really good time; we enjoy ourselves when we’re playing and we can see people in the audience really enjoying themselves. That’s some achievement.
Trevor: So how did the band start?
It was me, Spanky, Mikey, John and we all met at Fox Studios and we just clicked. Chris put the initial advert out on one of the musicians wanted websites John and I were the first to reply to it. We had a practice. You started played Tainted Love and started messing around with that and thought we are on to something here and then These Boots Were Made for Walking We set up our own first gig with a local cabaret band at The Soundhouse then promoter Mark Elliot of Trusty Husky put us on to open up for Sham 69 where we went down surprising well and people really liked us. Paul Collins of Wakeup put us on a few of his gigs. We usually play at pubs but we have played in town at places like The Shed We have supported The Vibrators, Radio Clash, March to the Grave, and now we are invading the neighbouring counties as well.
Trevor: Now, by the looks of you have all been in bands before; am I right about that?
Andy: I used to be a band called The Destructors in the early 80s; then I had a break from music for several years before seeing the advert for this band, went for an audition and seemed to get on all right.
Mikey: I started playing with punk band in Barrow-in-Furness about 20 or so years ago which is where I am from; I played with a variety of bands doing metal, thrash, hardcore, I got in a band called The Doogy Men, then I joined the Budgie Smugglers and I’m still here.
Johnny. I used to play in bands with work mates back in the mid to late 90s and early 2000s onwards. Local guy Sam Gilroy of Leicester Rocks I got involved with and had a great laugh, and then joined this band and am really enjoying it.
Spankey: started at 16 in Hinckley in a band called Situations Vacant and we all argued, as you do when you’re 16, I like singing a local cabaret guy called Steven Raffles He asked me to sing a punk song at a pub Karaoke and he told be to out and start a band, so I did.
Trevor: How did the name Budgie Smugglers come about?
It doesn’t sound like the kind of name most punk bands would have, I thought it would be a laugh no one takes it seriously but everyone remembers it.
Did you see if any other bands were called the same name
There was one in New Zealand who stopped a couple of years before we started. The brand Budgie Smugglers (swimwear) they actually follow us we get comments from them on our Instagram.
Trevor: What are you going to play tonight?
We are going to do what you described as The Human Jukebox.
We have put down 40 songs on a sheet and members of the audience can request songs from that and we have some songs either side of that and then we are going to go for as many as we can remember.
1st July 2016 at The Shed
Downstairs one of my favourite rock and roll bands were playing their way through a list of iconic covers from the 60s through to the 00s and more. Budgie Smugglers is a human juke box. They even had a list of songs that members of the audience could request them to play. I remember seeing ‘God Save The Queen’ by the Sex Pistols on it. This is a band that gives you the right to party. It was a tribal occasion. A fantastic string of top-notch songs. [Music in Leicester magazine]
20th May 2016 at The Shed
with The Lurkers at The Shed with The Docs, Budgie Smugglers and March to The Grave.
Another band we know well is The Budgie Smugglers. They started their set with their own individual rendition of Tainted Love, sang just like a football crowd would sing it, chanted and very fast, like a group of LCFC fans after a few beers. But, hey, it was fun! The ‘Smugglers came here to help us enjoy ourselves and they did that, very well indeed. That’s what it’s all about. It’s simple music delivered with cart loads of passion and huge sense of fun and I tell you what – I love this band. As their frontman said: “Say what you want – I don’t fuckin’ care”. But can you take seriously a singer who is strutting around the room in a pair of tartan tights? And a cod piece. of course, but then they are a right laugh and I for one always look forward to seeing them.
Saturday 2nd April
Punk legends The Vibrators headlined the night at the Shed on their 40th Anniversary Tour with support from Budgie Smugglers, IVMK and The Docs. [Music in Leicester magazine]
Friday 20th May 2016
The Lurkers at The Shed with The Docs, Budgie Smugglers and March to The Grave.
See The Budgie Smugglers at The Shed on Sunday 2nd October and on 29th October at Inn The Middle, Langley Mill, Notts.
Here are a few of the songs that the band plays, taken from their ‘songs you can request’ sheet:
Staying Alive by the Bee Gees, Fight for your right to Party by Beastie Boys, Hit me baby one more time by Britney Spears, Anarchy in the UK by Sex Pistols, Hippy Hippy Shake by Swinging Blue Jeans, Paranoid by Black Sabbath, Rave On by Buddy Holly, She’s so modern by Boomtown Rats, Baby Baby by the Vibrators, Stand and Deliver by Adam Ant, Lazy Sunday afternoon by Small Faces and many more.