D&V

SHORT but rather sweet little fanzine interview with the Jef Antcliffe from Sheffield drums and vocal duo D&V, one of the few bands who released more than one record on the Crass label in the early Eighties.

As well as interviewing D&V, at the same gig I also talked to Flux and KUKL, an Icelandic band who would later become the Sugarcubes. For some reason, I kept the Flux interview but gave the D&V and KUKL interviews to mates to publish in their zines. Needless to say, I lost my copies soon after they came out.

Actually, come to think of it, did I ever see that KUKL interview?

Either way, I recently rediscovered that long-lost D&V interview in the marvellous Punks Is Hippies zine archive. Big love to them.

* * *

D&V – WHAT do you say about them? Well, last year they brought out one of the most original and exciting releases I’ve heard on Crass records in ages. For what it’s worth, they are my favourite band this week – apart from Frankie Goes To Hollywood, of course.

I strongly recommend that you give them a pound and they will send you a copy of their ace new tape which is called The New Beginning. Send the money to 96 Brougham Road, Hackney London E8. Anyway, enough of the adverts. I talked to singer Jef at the Leadmill on one of the dates D&V played with Flux, KUKL and Chumbawamba on the miners benefit tour last summer.

Everything about you – your lyrics, your music, even your appearance – seems very different to other bands with a record on Crass. Is this deliberate?

“Well, yes and no. We don’t really make a point of it. It’s how we are. It’s certainly not deliberate in that sense.”

What is the Nearest Door?

“Well, the single is based around the concept of being inside and outside life. The inside is the individual and the outside is the world outside of you, and the Nearest Door is the mind. It’s something I thought about a long time ago. ‘Why not try the Nearest Door?’ means get in touch with yourself. It’s not as cosmic as it seems.”

Would you call D&V a punk band in any way, shape or form?

“I suppose so, yeah. There’s a lot of people going around trying to define punk, but I’d say we are. Obviously, we haven’t got a grating guitar sound and so a lot of people would think that we are not a punk band. We’re certainly not just a poet and a drummer.”

Do you ever feel restricted by that, just having drums and vocals?

“We did when we first started but that was just because it was a totally new thing altogether. But now Andy’s getting more and more into drum sounds and stuff like that and we’re learning to use the drums more – because percussion is a very interesting thing.

“You are only limited by your imagination – there’s a lot you can do with it. So I don’t think we’re restricted at all. We don’t have a set of songs that sound the same cos it’s a two-way thing on a 50/50 basis of rhythm and rhyme. There’s so much you can do. It’s all a matter of trying hard enough.

“What we found funny was that there was all this talk of Steve and Penny doing it ages ago and at the time we started we didn’t know a thing about it. A lot of people thought we were just following that, and also that Siouxsie and Budgie thing but really it was just by chance.”

Why don’t you play more gigs with non-punk bands? I think you could go down really well with some mainstream audiences.

“We tried that with a few local bands in Leeds, we had a bash at that. It was fun. It was different, and I know what you mean, but in a situation like this tour, you get a group of people who really do bother and care about everything, even small things like putting up the banners.

“Other bands just don’t want to know about that sort of thing. We feel more comfortable in this kind of situation.”

Do you recognise any kindred spirits? Any bands you identify with – though that’s probably a bad word.

“No, I know what you mean. No, not really as such, cos what we do is inside us. And although we’d never get arrogant about it, we’re different to every other band. I listen to any kind of music, from Crass to reggae ..”

Maybe not bands you listen to but they’re doing the same kind of thing as you?

“Well, we’re here – that answers that. We only work with people with the same sort of convictions.”

Realistically, what’s the most you can hope to achieve with D&V?

“Self-realisation I should think, more than anything else. Because at the end of the day, it’s nice to be able to think that you’re maybe inspiring other people to do something, but also it’s a chance .. it’s an outlet for my emotions and feelings. The more I do this, the more I live and do something worthwhile rather than just towing the line.”

Is it by accident or design that you haven’t done any interviews with the music press?

“We’ve been offered them before by Sounds and NME but we’ve never taken them up. Apparently there might be one with Sounds in the near future, but I don’t think it’ll be the usual interview format, with glossy pictures and things. But the only kind of music journalist we’d trust are the freelance ones or whatever. There’s so much they can do to alter what you say.”

Okay, last question. Is it important to be optimistic?

“Oh yeah, very important. If anything, that’s the main thing we try to put across. A lot of people are very sarcastic and say that ..”

The tape becomes totally indecipherable at this point so I suppose we’ll never find out what sarcastic people say. Sorry.

[Originally published in Testament of Reality *10 in late 1984. Live photo by Trunt. Hear D&V at this fansite]

See also interviews with Flux, the Mob and Crow People

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9 Comments

Filed under expletive undeleted, interviews

9 responses to “D&V

  1. Good to see that (and better here than having to load up a massive pdf also!). I still rate their Snare single on One Little Indian, which I guess is the last thing they did… where are they now?

  2. I’m ashamed to say I never heard anything of their’s apart from the The Nearest Door, which I’ve now lost of course.

    The guy I spoke to now lives in Australia according to Glasper’s book. He doesn’t mention the other bloke.

    Glad you like. I’d REALLY like to track down that KUKL interview but my so-called fucking bastard mates are denying all knowledge of it. Maybe it’ll turn up one day.

  3. Added to the XChannel Music Blog Aggregator:

    http://xchannel.blogspot.com/

  4. paul townshend

    Is the KUKL interview the one Doug printed in his Fungus Sandwich ‘zine? I think I told you that I’m sure I have a copy of that stashed with some of my stuff at my old lodgings, it’s just that every time I ask if I can go round & get my things my erstwhile land lady tells me the cubby hole (loft space in the eves of the roof accessible via a small door in my old room) is inaccessible due to a small mountain of junk which she seems to have collected. It’s starting to piss me off actually. If she wants to keep a piece of me (let’s face it, you can’t blame her for that…) then I won’t flush her bog next time I use it. I will just have to go round & not come back without it.

  5. You’re a delight Paul, an absolute delight. Please don’t ever change.

    Yes, it is the KUKL interview I gave Doug for his fanzine and yes, you have mentioned your accessibility issues before. It’d be great if you could sort it out but no problem if not .. you big useless cunt.

    You’d think Doug would still own a copy of a fanzine he did 25 years ago but apparently not. Piss poor. It’s almost like he’s got more important things to think about.

    Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment, rat-boy.

    xx

  6. paul townshend

    Even after all these years it still delights me to receive your insults. Do you remember that little sketch you did of me with a rat’s head? I still have that somewhere (probably in the same bloody box as the missing fanzine)
    Kissy kissy mwah mwah dear boy.

  7. Hahaha, yes I do remember it. I was so pleased with it I think I did two versions and I still have one tucked away somewhere.

    This must be fascinating for other people.

  8. paul harvey

    I was at miners benefit at the Leadmill as well and have fond memories of that night (actually I went on about four or five dates of that tour as I was totally obsessed with KUKL at that time)…

    D&V were always an interesting proposition, the fact that they just used drums and vocals (aside from the odd track on the album) set them apart from the rest of the anarcho-punk bands and on top of that they dressed like eighties scallies rather than the mandatory black combats and that was viewed with suspicion in some quarters….I actually think they came from one of the monstorous Sheffield or Leeds council estates but I may be wrong….and also there lyrics were not overtly political….personally I loved them and wish I had kept all my anarcho albums (especially now that I see the first Apostles single going for 130 euros! I had 5 copies if memory serves as no-one bought it from me….too violent! *haha*) ….

    Anyway, thought the odd person may enjoy some links to the various D&V releases:

    1)D & V – Inspiration Gave Them Motivation To Move On Out Of Their Isolation (album on Crass Records, there is one copy on Discogs for $40 dollars! I think I paid three or four quid when it came out!)

    http://www.mediafire.com/?dz0w34mmnbj

    Not the best rip in the world at 128 but its the best I could find:

    2) Here are two different rips of “The Nearest Door”
    Both rips are at 320 and its worth mixing and matching both releases, one track is crackly while on the other version its ok and vice-versa (plus the second rip has one of the tracks they did for David Tibet (whoops, its David Michael now) and his Devastate To Liberate compilation (which was actually an excellent compilation, another one I wish I kept now)

    Version One:
    http://www.mediafire.com/?uomdnzmo1dy

    Version Two:
    http://www.mediafire.com/?v1mmzdm1z0d

    3) The ‘Snare’ record they did for One Little Indian that John Eden mentioned, again its not a great rip at 128 but its the only one floating around:

    http://www.mediafire.com/?tjxtgytymnh

    Its funny to think that out of that tour the seeds that led to Bjork and One Little Indian selling 16 or 17 millions albums was sown on that tour…I do not think anyone could have conceived that would or could have happened!

    If anyone ever finds any better rips of the above records could they post them here, I want to sample some of the D&V drum patterns but with the current quality it just aint possible.

  9. Wow, thanks very much for all those links Paul. Will have a big downloading session when I’m sure my laptop is all recovered from its recent problems.

    I’ve not heard The Nearest Door in years and I don’t think I ever heard Snare in the first place, so that’s something to look forward to.

    Could be wrong but I think D&V came from the Manor estate in Sheffield. I kinda liked the fact that the drummer just looked like a normal lad.

    I went to a couple of those gigs on the tour myself – casn’t remember where apart from the Leadmill and Conway Hall. I was the one wearing a Lego baseball cap. Can’t remember much about the gigs themselves either unfortunately. I wish I’d had the sense to take a camera ..

    That tour was definitely a moment in history – and notable if only for showcasing the couple of anarcho acts who actually ended up becoming popstars.

    I always used to moan at bands about preaching to the converted but as soon as Bjork/the Sugarcubes and Chumbawamba started selling records to mainstream audiences, everyone else started bitching about them selling out.

    That was the final nail in the coffin lid of anarcho for me.

    Thanks for the comments Paul. You can definitely come again ..

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