Joined-up thinking: The Co-Operative
Published: 5 May 2012 13:300 comments
The Guide caught up with Nine Below Zero frontman, Dennis Greaves, to find out more about this innovative meeting of musical - and, it turned out, horticultural - minds.
"Glenn is my neighbour," Dennis explained. "I was recording the Nine Below Zero album down at his studio, and he said it would be great to do a collaboration, and while we were talking about that he said he wanted to make an allotment - and so we started growing vegetables while making an album together!"
The resulting album, entitled The Co-Operative, (which sadly makes no reference to the best way to grow spuds), featuring a mix of new material and covers, was released last year. Dennis told us that the very limited tour of the record would feature a mix of oldies and newies - in terms of both music and fans.
"It's quite interesting; we pick the best of Glenn's career and the best of our career and play on each other's songs," he said. "The songs we have been playing for years are going to be different and we also have two drummers! It takes those songs into a new place.
"At the shows, we get the dads, their sons and cousins. You're sort of forever turning around. We get people finding us on the Young Ones, so they think that's really cool and some are into old rhythmn and blues. I find young people really quite knowledgeable."
The guitarist added that he was concerned about the upsurge in the popularity of tribute bands, with some acts pulling even larger audiences than the still-touring originals.
"I'm 54 now and we grew up with vinyl and all these great bands. I used to go and see AC/DC one night and The Jam the next, and when I was a kid I used to listen to The Who and Jim Hendrix. There's a big nostalgia thing going on, going to see tribute bands people get reminded. I think that people feel safe and warm hearing those songs, and also there's young kids who never got to see the Rolling Stones - they can see a great tribute act," he added.
"Luckily, NBZ have been making new products for the length of our career, which has kept us fresh. I try to change the set around every time; we have got the material to do that. If you're a band that played for a few years in the 80s and have not had a new record out since you can only do the hits.
"That is why we have done the Co-Operative - getting two bands together to do a fresh new project. If you stand still you may as well finish."
The Co-Operative are at South Hill Park on Saturday, May 12. Tickets cost £18 from www.southhillpark.org or call 01344 484 123.