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Band Members: Tom McClure

Here's TWO sets of questions for Tom, the first lot were asked in early 2009:
When was the last time you went dancing

At tim's 40th birthday party last year. it was GRATE.

What aspect of modern manners do you think should be changed, for the better

Ditch the concept of being politically correct, and be nice to people instead.

Apart from international rock and roll, what other hobbies or interests do you have

Playing violin in orchestras and quartets, sharing an allotment with some friends, photography is something i like but i don't spend enough time doing it to be any good

What is your idea of fun

Making my electric violin do ROCK guitar solos, and asking for the monitors to be turned up to get more feedback.

What is your favourite urban legend

This is one i heard around the time of the last national census. There was an email that went around that claimed if enough people wrote 'Jedi' as their religion on the census form the government would be compelled to include it as an official religion at the next census and allocate government funds to it.

Have you ever worked with somebody who is, or was, in a band

My work colleague was 59 and played ROCK in a covers band and still owned a few guitars and a very heavy fender amp.

How would you rate your level of expertise on computers

Compared to most people older than me, not too bad. Compared to most people younger than me, total grandad.

Do you have a sure-fire method of being cheered up

Talking with my friends while drinking a nice pint of beer in a nice pub.

What is your favourite meal/dish that you cook yourself

Fillet steak and chips with gravy and peas.

What time is your bed-time

About 11pm but i tend to ignore this and it ends up being sometime between 12 and 2am.

What is your favourite pub that isn't there any more

The Durham Ox because it was where it all happened, and you could guarantee to find people you knew in there.

What languages, apart from English, can you speak

I can't speak any other languagess so you won't find me trying to pronounce the album title.

... and these come from around 2006.
When were you born?

9th May 1974. 32 years old by the time the album is released. ooh young man!! (not)

What is your prime musical function in The Validators?

to play the violin like it's on fire.

What other bands have you been in?

Sikorsky, and Lazarus Clamp. Also gigged and recorded with Airport Girl, The Chemistry Experiment and Last Harbour (in Amsterdam). Also recorded with the Mcquaid Collective(my first string arrangements), OK Cane(my first recording), and Discordia.

How did you come to join The Validators?

It's a long and miraculous story but it ended up with me meeting Mark in the Durham Ox in 1998. I had been playing in Sikorsky for most of the year and word had spread that i played electric violin in bands. One night, upstairs at the Charlotte, Mark asked me 'if i asked you to play orange would you PLAY orange?' and of course the answer to that is always 'yes'! Shortly afterwards i was sent a demo tape of the songs for 'say it with words' and the rest is history.

What was the first gig you went to see?

I can't remember. it was probably around fourteen years ago when i went to university. it's all a bit hazy. i know i saw bon jovi at the NEC in my first year and realised my mistake.

And what was the second?

Again i can't recall. Probably something bad put on by the Villiers Hall student committee. I almost saw Carter that year! Saw Voice of the Beehive at the Leicester University Christmas Ball 1992!

What was the first gig you ever played yourself?

Sikorsky at the Physio and Firkin. We put ourselves on and didn't know any other bands so we didn't have any support playing. Managed to get fifty people through the door to see our first ever gig, and that was our best turnout ever as well.

What was the best gig you ever played? The first great gig i played was with Lazarus Clamp, upstairs at the Garage. Our bass player, Kim had just left the band a couple of weeks before the gig so I learnt a number of bass lines on my violin and played most of the gig through my octave pedal. We asked the sound-woman to eq my violin like a bass guitar and it sounded fantastic. It went down very well with the crowd and made a great gig. We found another bass player, George, shortly after and i never got the chance to play bass on my violin again.

We've had that many great gigs with the validators recently that i've lost track, but we just played at luminare in kilburn and the sound on stage was the best i've ever had, and it is a great venue as it's fairly new and has not yet been wrecked by years of wear and tear like a lot of venues.

And what was the worst?

Sikorsky. Couldn't get our drummer to play a support slot at the Physio and Firkin so we did an acoustic set without him. Unfortunately it sounded terrible, very few people turned up, and the headlining band asked if we could stop so that they could get to the night clubs later on. Mercy killing if ever there was one.

Do you currently subscribe to any magazines? If so, what are they?

No. used to get the new scientist but found i couldn't read it all in a week and they would pile up. too much information.

What are your Top 6 Records That You Bought Within A Year Of Them Being Released (re-releases don't count)?

  • Radiohead - ok computer
  • REM - Automatic for the people
  • Gorky's Zygotic Mynci - Barafundle
  • Air - Moon Safari
  • Spiritualized - Ladies and Gentlemen we are Floating in Space (in the pill box wrapping!)
  • Laura Cantrell - Not the Tremblin' Kind

    Slightly disturbing but accurate list none-the-less. Notice how none of the above are from the last four years.

    Analogue Fun! If The Validators were The Velvet Underground you would be John Cale. If The Validators were The Famous Five you would be Dick. If The Validators were G-Force From Battle Of The Planets you would be Keeyop. Which of these Analogues do you prefer? Why?

    The Velvet Underground because they were/are a top influential band of the last forty years, and from a personal point of view, i could do no better than be John Cale. i don't like enid blyton and as much as i think G-force from the Battle of the Planets is a great analogy, and also GRATE, i don't think i could put up with being Keeyop, not if you compare that with John Cale. No contest.

    Do you have a more accurate analogue you would like to suggest?


    Finally, do you have any webpages of your own you would like to link to?


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