WMF Preview: Organised Scum

The end of festival season is always sad – there’s no more opportunities to disgrace yourself in a field and go home with little to no consequences, it becomes less appropriate to get horrifically drunk and worst of all, less opportunity to discover new and great artists. But, worry not, for Worcester holds a golden opportunity. You may not be able to camp in a field and build up a wall of B.O. but you will find more than a few hidden gems amongst the sprawling metropolitan festival. Dotted across various venues within the city, every type of music will be showcased alongside spoken word and comedy acts on Sunday night. The best part? It’s all in aid of a wonderful charity: St. Paul’s Hostel. If you have any sense left after the summer, you’ll be heading down to soak up the talent between the 15th-17th of September.

Joining FEET on the Uncover night are our faves Organised Sum. Alluring and mysterious, we can’t get enough of them and are very smug that they will be playing in our home city.

WHO: Organised Scum | WHERE: Saracen’s Head | WHEN: Fri 15th @ 7:45pm

Organised Scum

How are you feeling about Worcester Music Festival? Are you excited?

We’re very excited about Worcester Music Festival. We were invited to play at Wigan Live music festival last month, and that was great fun, so I have equally high hopes for this one.

Despite not having any social media, you’ve been getting rave reviews from the likes of NME and 6Music as well as playing shows from London to New York which have been giving you a great introduction to new fans. But how would you like to introduce yourselves in your own words?

We’re trying to make music that’s direct, to the point. Music that reflects some of the insanity and inanity we’re all surrounded by currently, but with a sense of humour and a good beat.

What have you got planned for the future?

We’d like to play some gigs in Her Majesty’s Prisons, but as of yet – no invitations have been put our way. Other than that, we’re mostly just trying to write and record regularly and stay strict about quality control.

Have you played at other festivals before? How was your experience?

There was the aforementioned Wigan Live event. That was great. In my experience, people tend to be very receptive and generous at these sorts of events. They’re fun to do and always have a good atmosphere.

What was your first live performance like? How has your act developed since then?

We played our initial gigs in a basement bar at our University. This is going back some while. We started off doing a mixture of industrial funk, They Might Be Giants covers and noise rock that mostly horrified people. Although some responded positively. We had an early composition called ‘Crush the Neo-Liberal Scum’ (from which our name is partly derived) that, in retrospect, will probably go down as a career highlight. We’ve calmed down a bit since, although we still rock out on stage.

How has your local music scene affected the way you play live?

I’ve been playing in bands since I was thirteen, and I would say that the general experience of doing pub gigs and the like has helped me realise that you have to try and keep things simple and just focus on doing the basics well when you’re playing live

Have you got any tricks up your sleeve for your performance?

Awkward stage patter? We tried doing a cover of ‘Kung Fu Fighting’ recently – whilst maintaining a level of ironic distance and also acknowledging that we’ve read Edward Said and all that jazz – but we just ended up looking like tossers. I suspect that’s true of most of what we do.

Are there any other acts you are looking forward to seeing or any that you’d recommend?

I’m seeing the Sleaford Mods in a few weeks, which I’m very excited about. I really regret not going to see Imarhan last year, and I’d recommended both bands to anyone.

And finally, do you have any tales of the road you’d like to share with us?

During our trip to New York last year, I managed to get into a couple of heated exchanges with the locals because my Louis Theroux-esque attempts to jolly things along and play the ingenue were misinterpreted as superior-sounding British hostility. (Or at least, that’s my interpretation, it could just be that these people took a dislike to me for reasons that I’m not self-aware enough to fully understand).

A bagel vendor, in particular, got angry at me for not understanding the ordering system and then proceeded to manufacture my bagel in a distinctly aggressive manner. This took place in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, where I was joining my friend on a crate-digging expedition (shout out to Max!), and my next destination was the flagship Captured Tracks store down the road.

Still a little bruised by the previous encounter, I decided to double-check with the shop manager whether he minded me eating my veggie bagel in the store. He said he didn’t, which was nice of him, because he had no way of knowing that I wasn’t the kind of irresponsible eater/record flipper who’d get cream cheese and peppers all over his hard-to-find Pere Ubu cuts.

I guess what I’m driving at here, and what I’d like to share with your audience, is that it is imperative – IMPERATIVE – for the Brit abroad to exercise caution when going around trying to be all Louis Theroux about things. (At points I was even pretending to blow my fringe from my eyes – I don’t even have a fringe! – and standing there with my hands on my waist and my arms jutting out in Louis’ distinctive angular style). Some people can handle it (see the above Captured Tracks anecdote), and some people just fucking hate it.

Perhaps it’s a New York thing. The bagel, for the record, was tasty and well-made in spite of the frustrations – so I can’t fault the guy’s professionalism.

Worcester Music Festival takes place 15th-17th of September across the city and is in aid of St. Paul’s Hostel who are working to improve the care they provide for the homeless.


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