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Dodgy – interview with Nigel Clark

By • Sep 7th, 2007 • Category: features

November sees the return of Brit-rockers Dodgy for a small comeback tour which include two dates at Glasgow’s Carling Academy. It’s been a decade since former frontman Nigel Clark parted ways with the rest of the group, and here he answers questions on the acrimonious split, and the opportunity to bring the Mighty Dodgy vibe back to the airwaves.
Dodgy
Q. Hi Nigel. Good to see the band back together. Good to be back?
A. Yeah, I feel excited about the up and coming few months, should be a lot of fun. Its great when I start thinking about the songs we could play at theses gigs
 
Q. In recent months we have seen a number of bands set their differences aside and reform for one more tour, Shed Seven and the Verve being the most notable. Do you think all of them are thinking purely on a monetary level?
A. I don’t know there reasons for doing it, at the end of the day its the Music that matters MOST. I don’t think we can accuse them of doing it just for financial reasons , if that was the case they should all go and get jobs in the City….Mind you i did want to call the Dodgy tour The Bank Manager Tour! But i don’t think people would get it and they would accuse us of cashing in ….oh well
 
Q. What were the reasons behind your reformation?
A. Personally I had finished my solo album I had a blank slate again and time to think about what’s next. The offer to put Dodgy together was there and I thought why not? Why deny myself the chance?
 
Q. You famously quit the band in 1998. Do you now regret your decision?
A. Life was far to complicated at that time – I had 2 babies to look after – I was with a Record Company (A&M) who were on the brink of collapsing, and they wouldn’t release in The States any of our records. I just had to get away for my sanity. I do regret the way it happened but I couldn’t see any other way out.
Q. How much of an influence did the court wrangle with Polygram (Dodgy took the label to court under the restraint of trade act after Polygram’s parent company refused to release the album in the states) have on your decision to walk away?
A. Quite a lot really- We had recorded 3 albums, the last selling 300,000 in the UK, And we could not get it released in the States. With everything else going on I don’t think I could of dealt with doing another album and having the disappointment again.
 
Q. How has live panned out for you musically and personally post-Dodgy, and post-Britpop? 
A. Well life is full of ups & downs and I’ve had equal amounts of both. I moved out of London in 1999 and moved to the Midlands where I recorded and album called Make Believe Love (not released). It cost me a lot as I wasn’t working and had to pay for the studio. I then moved to Ireland for 6 months, started work again, and did a few jobs in factories before moving back to England. I started another Recording studio In Worcestershire and have been there since. I work with Young kids who are in trouble at School or with the Law. I also work with young bands, most notably up and coming Sunset Cinema Club & James Rea. I released 21st Century man last year on my own label Hijack Records and have been gigging with my wonderful band off and on when we can. My kids are 11 and 10 now and are very happy, and I have just celebrated my 13th wedding anniversary …phew
 
Q. Were you disappointed when the band decided to carry on without you?
A. I didn’t really pay that much attention – I was upset though, but I don’t think I left them much choice.
 
Q. The comeback tour is a brief one, particularly for a band who once played 300 shows in a single year. Is this return a tentative one, to see if it is still enjoyable to play together?
A. I won’t ever play as many gigs as we used to. The door is open for Dodgy now and we can do what we want. I am not just looking at Dodgy being together until Christmas- If it stays fun then we can start to plan a few things in the future – who knows?
 
Q. The ‘Mighty Dodgy Vibe’ helped you create as loyal a following as any band of the Britpop era. Have you resisted temptation to return before now, or is this the first chance that has arisen? 
A. This is definitely the first time i have thought about it. Before, I would not have had the time.
Q. Finally, can we expect this mini-tour to be a final swansong, or is there a door open to produce new material?
A. As I see it, we are back together. I still have my own band as well, and I will co-write some songs with them and hopefully try and get something recorded soon. I will keep writing my own songs for Nigel Clark Band, and I think without a record Company and the Business breathing down our necks we can do what ever we want … Which is kind of like when we started back in 89′.

Dodgy play Glasgow’s ABC on the 5th November. A 32-track album of BBC sessions is relaesed on October 15th – more at www.myspace.com/dodgyuk

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