Marc Riley Article
by John Graham
Radio One will never be what it once was. The remainders Lamacq and Peel are good guys, albeit with sometimes questionable tastes they more than make up for, but they just aren't Radcliffe or Riley. The Mark and Lard show began on the old format Radio Five with Hit The North and, believe it or not, around the early nineties Radio Five was an excellent station. It still had sport but at ten (or there about) came yoof shows. In addition to this Radio Five had knockout docu-shows about cult heroes (Sid Vicious, Lenny Bruce), horror film docus (Spinechillers) and crappy fifties American radio shows (X Minus One, Dragnet etc) which just rocked so f***ing hard. Mark and Lard were in the middle of that.
I remember hearing, amongst others, The Fall, Beatnik Filmstars, Butthole Surfers and S*M*A*S*H for the first time on that show. I recall listening to them interviewing FMB one summers night as my parents were on holiday in Brighton and I was doing my own version of Home Alone, aged 15, convinced there was some pervert in the back garden. Then they went to Radio One when Radio Five became an all country station. I remember rediscovering their show, waiting to pick up my olds at Clacton train station around midnight in summer 1994. That night David Yow was reading Charles Bukowski and I first heard Neil Young's song Piece Of Crap, which I couldn't believe. Then came a week of Henry Rollins' tour diary and I became hooked again. Their show got me back on the right tracks with regards to music.
Their ten to twelve show, Monday to Thursday, always began with two classics which, shock horror, were bona fide classics. Then came Radcliffe's little gag and then until midnight the nation was fed a non-playlist of the best current releases and basically anything from anytime that was cool and rocked. It remains the only time I've ever heard Black Flag on Radio One. It was also home to where I first heard the Pixies, Suicide, the Meat Puppets up to the Delgados, Bis and Kenickie amongst other cool stuff. Thursday nights would see Mark Kermode do a Cult Film Corner which was a blast, covering stuff like Russ Meyer, Clerks, Star Wars and Repo Man. And the sessions were live with band interaction which was something that put them above the sessions elsewhere.
Mark and Lard took the piss out of everything in sight. They had the coolest, hippest show and still acted like hyperactive lemons. The transition to the mornings was never going to work. Replacing Chris Evans with them was like replacing Ned Flanders with Barney Gumble and Krusty The Klown. Basically ten to twelve was their audience, students and people with senses of humour, and them playing to the morning crowd was like "running into a Klan rally wearing a Boy George costume" - Bill Hicks. Then along came Zoe Ball and Kevin Greening (Selma and Patty) to do the mornings and Radcliffe and Lard were switched to two to four in the afternoon, where they now rot. No one listens to the radio from two to four.
Have you noticed how the rise in gang activity coincides with Mark and Lard's fall from grace? Seriously though, hasn't music really began to suck since they left the ten to twelve slot. Barbara Hershey has just died in the film Beaches, a bummer as well. Mark and Lard will always be remembered round these parts for bringing as much to music for me as anybody else. An insane injection of sanity in the f***** up world of music. Mr Marc Riley answered these questions.
Have you ever punched Radcliffe?
Did you really once bite someones ear off when they stole a chip off your plate?
No! (I have him on tape saying he did!)
What do you think of your popularity in Loaded magazine?
We're not popular with anyone are we?
Give us the story behind Oink magazine?
My mates (Patrick - 'Studio Audience' and Tony Husband - 'Yobs' - Private Eye) were the editors. And despite the fact that I couldn't draw, made me a cartoonist! Stroke of luck that eh!
Do you still bare any grudges towards Viz?
Whatever became of Stench Trench?
Split up due to musical indifference!
Can we have that Creepers discography in full please? (I'm not taking the piss)
Please, please, please let us, Gringo Records, release a Creepers single.
How are the twins?
Very well thanks. They're still in the Isle Of Man. Kev still cuts cat's tails off and Paul is now Chief Punishment Administrator for the local nick!
Your face doesn't match your voice. Have you ever considered plastic surgery?
I'll take that as a compliment... for now.
Is the Al Jourgenson/Jello Biafro power vomit side project band Lard a tribute, an homage if you will, to yourself?
I would have thought so!
Are you and Mark E. Smith still mates?
Was there a love triangle between you, him and Brix?
No, not for want of trying.... on their part.
Have you met the Spice Girls?
No, but they were lucky enough to speak to us on the phone (We Love Us competition).
Which is your favourite?
Why is Mark Lamarr called Monkey Boy?
Little ears like a chimp.
You're not very fat. Are you on Slimfast milkshakes?
No. I'm the athlete of the team - squash 4 times a week, sex once a month.
Is Patrick (the Studio Audience) a fatty?
No, he's as fit as a butchers dog.
You are a comic genius. Who are your influences?
Lenny Bruce, Lenny Henry, Lennie Bennet.
Is Radcliffe Frank Sidebottom?
Whatever happened to the Jimmy Nail voodoo doll?
Ritual burial - didn't seem to work though.
Who does Shit Agent currently represent?
Just me and him.
Are you a grumpy sod in real life?
No. When I was little, I saw Worzel Gummidge in Brightlingsea. Unfortunately he kicked a toddler up the arse. Good on him I say!
Who's your all time favourite band?
Dave Bowie and the Dave Bowie Band.
Have you ever appeared on Crimewatch UK?
Not that I'd admit to.
Can I have a naked picture of you for the fanzine? (and to show my mum)
Just get hold of issue #23 of Razzle - page 43 - "One For The Ladies".
Danny Baker is obviously an influence. What particularly do you like about his style?
Your nose seems to be a bit wonky. Has it ever been broken?
No, unlike yours if I get me 'ands on you!
Are the Shirehorses the hardest working band in the business?
Have you got a TV show with Caroline Aherne in the pipeline?
If you believe Mr Manchester Diary (Manchester Evening News).
You two briefly did a show called Wot? What was that on and how many did you do?
BBC 2. One show.
Thanks to John Graham for letting me use, and for sending me the transcript of this interview. It was featured in issue 8 of his fanzine "No Pictures"
Features Interviews and articles from the sort of bands that John Peel features on his radio show. It is even recommended by John Peel which is high praise indeed. You can get further details from http://members.tripod.com/~GColeman/index.html
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