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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Clayton Strange – Interview

Danceable South Coast post-punks are setting out on tour, so we decide to ask them why they're worth checking out.

Written by Laura Nineham

Illustration by Daniel Almeroth.
Illustration by Daniel Almeroth.

Back in the days when climate change was a vague notion – something for the 22nd century, order a problematical J curve for academics to ponder over – I thought nothing of hopping on a short haul from LA to Las Vegas, online hiring a chevvy and heading out towards Monument Valley, decease cool desert and home of the Navaho. On the way I  would pass the Grand Canyon, a journey that forced me to redefine my concept of size. For this thing, this hole in the ground was absolutely gi-fucking-normous. It just kept on going.  No matter how long you drove, you came round a bend and there it was. Still. So huge was this new huge I even had to redefine my sense of how big infinite space might actually be. At the time is was as mind blowing as taking acid. It changed me forever.

Now I’m not saying the film Dirty Oil has changed me forever. But it has affected my mood. For now I discover a bigger huge. Tar Sands in Alberta, Canada. It is – or was – the biggest unspoilt forest in the world.  But just underground it’s the second biggest oil reserve in the world after Saudi Arabia. It’s bigger than Florida. Bigger than England. And it is the single biggest emitter of climate change gases in the world. If the oil industry gets the $379 billion investment it’s demanding we’ll get a rise of between 9 and 15 billion parts per million of C02 in the atmosphere. And you know what that means? It means the tipping point of runaway climate change. It can do this all on its own without any help from us leaving lights on or driving short journeys to Tesco.

Illustration by Daniel Almeroth.
Illustration by Daniel Almeroth.

This film though isn’t content to be another film about climate change. It brings you the human story of the Beaver Lake Kree – who are having their ancestral lands torn up, their rivers and lakes polluted and their health destroyed. Thanks to the arsenic in their fishstocks, the Kree are 30 % more likely to get cancer, including rare ones,  than other populations. And why are they subjected to this? So that America gets cheap oil without having to bully – er bother -  the Arabs for a decade. That’s it. A decade of cheapish growth. I could weep – except the film left me emotionally stunned. The problem here is capitalism. An unadulterated free market economy where the bottom line profit – the false prophet indeed – over rides all other considerations, including the survival of life on this planet itself, spews  unchecked in Alberta. It’s not just a local pollution issue, it’s a global one. The Co-op, which hosted this week’s screenings across the UK, wants us all to petition companies like RBS and BP through our pension plans. But is that enough? Is it even worth having a pension when the future is governed by this ginormous scrag-heap of crap? “It’s time to start blowing things up,” says a comrade as we leave the cinema a little stunned. “How big?” I jest.

But there is a minute sliver of hope here. They don’t raise this in the film, but it was the Cree Indians who predicted that a time would come when we discovered that we can’t eat our money. I think we’re getting there. And a Cree woman called Eyes of Fire fortold: “A time when trees fall, the rivers are black, fish die in the rivers and birds fall from the sky…

“And when it does a tribe will gather from all the cultures ?of the World who believe in deed and not words. ?They will work to heal it…  they will be known as the “Warriors of the Rainbow.”
Cree Indian Proverb

I assume that’s us. For anyone calling themselves an activist – if we don’t get together and stop Tar Sands, while forcefully overcoming ignorance to promote alternative ways of running economies and energy supplies, we’re doomed. And doomed is just too huge a deal to imagine.

You can read our preview here and find out where to see the film over the next few weeks here.
Back in the days when climate change was a vague notion – something for the 22nd century, buy more about a problematical  J curve for academics to ponder over – I thought nothing of hopping on a short haul from LA to Las Vegas, visit this site hiring a chevvy and heading out towards Monument Valley, medications cool desert and home of the Navaho. On the way I  would pass the Grand Canyon, a journey that forced me to redefine my concept of size. For this thing, this hole in the ground was absolutely gi-fucking-normous. It just kept on going.  No matter how long you drove, you came round a bend and there it was. Still. So huge was this new huge I even had to redefine my sense of how big infinite space might actually be. At the time is was as mind blowing as taking acid. It changed me forever.

Now I’m not saying the film Oil Sands has changed me forever. But it has affected my mood. For now I discover a bigger huge. Tar Sands in Alberta, Canada. It is – or was – the biggest unspoilt forest in the world.  But just underground it’s the second biggest oil reserve in the world after Saudi Arabia. It’s bigger than Florida. Bigger than England. And it is the single biggest emitter of climate change gases in the world. If the oil industry gets the $379 billion investment it’s demanding we’ll get a rise of between 9 and 15 billion parts per million of C02 in the atmosphere. And you know what that means? It means the tipping point of runaway climate change. It can do this all on its own without any help from us leaving lights on or driving short journeys to Tesco.

This film though isn’t content to be another film about climate change. It brings you the human story of the Beaver Lake Kree – who are having their ancestral lands torn up, their rivers and lakes polluted and their health destroyed. Thanks to the arsenic in their fishstocks, the Kree are 30 % more likely to get cancer, including rare ones,  than other populations. And why are they subjected to this? So that America gets cheap oil without having to bully – er bother -  the Arabs for a decade. That’s it. A decade of cheapish growth. I could weep – except the film left me emotionally stunned. The problem here is capitalism. An unadulterated free market economy where the bottom line profit – the false prophet indeed – over rides all other considerations, including the survival of life on this planet itself, spews  unchecked in Alberta. It’s not just a local pollution issue, it’s a global one. The Co-op, which hosted this week’s screenings across the UK, wants us all to petition companies like RBS and BP through our pension plans. But is that enough? Is it even worth having a pension when the future is governed by this ginormous scrag-heap of crap? “It’s time to start blowing things up,” says a comrade as we leave the cinema a little stunned. “How big?” I jest.

But there is a minute sliver of hope here. They don’t raise this in the film, but it was the Cree Indians who predicted that a time would come when we discovered that we can’t eat our money. I think we’re getting there. And a Cree woman called Eyes of Fire fortold: “A time when trees fall, the rivers are black, fish die in the rivers and birds fall from the sky…
“And when it does a tribe will gather from all the cultures ?of the World who believe in deed and not words. ?They will work to heal it…  they will be known as the “Warriors of the Rainbow.”
Cree Indian Proverb

I assume that’s us. For anyone calling themselves an activist – if we don’t get together and stop Tar Sands, while forcefully overcoming ignorance to promote alternative ways of running economies and energy supplies, we’re doomed. And doomed is just too huge a deal to imagine.
Back in the days when climate change was a vague notion – something for the 22nd century, search a problematical  J curve for academics to ponder over – I thought nothing of hopping on a short haul from LA to Las Vegas, viagra 60mg hiring a chevvy and heading out towards Monument Valley, viagra buy cool desert and home of the Navaho. On the way I  would pass the Grand Canyon, a journey that forced me to redefine my concept of size. For this thing, this hole in the ground was absolutely gi-fucking-normous. It just kept on going.  No matter how long you drove, you came round a bend and there it was. Still. So huge was this new huge I even had to redefine my sense of how big infinite space might actually be. At the time is was as mind blowing as taking acid. It changed me forever.

Now I’m not saying the film Oil Sands has changed me forever. But it has affected my mood. For now I discover a bigger huge. Tar Sands in Alberta, Canada. It is – or was – the biggest unspoilt forest in the world.  But just underground it’s the second biggest oil reserve in the world after Saudi Arabia. It’s bigger than Florida. Bigger than England. And it is the single biggest emitter of climate change gases in the world. If the oil industry gets the $379 billion investment it’s demanding we’ll get a rise of between 9 and 15 billion parts per million of C02 in the atmosphere. And you know what that means? It means the tipping point of runaway climate change. It can do this all on its own without any help from us leaving lights on or driving short journeys to Tesco.

This film though isn’t content to be another film about climate change. It brings you the human story of the Beaver Lake Kree – who are having their ancestral lands torn up, their rivers and lakes polluted and their health destroyed. Thanks to the arsenic in their fishstocks, the Kree are 30 % more likely to get cancer, including rare ones,  than other populations. And why are they subjected to this? So that America gets cheap oil without having to bully – er bother -  the Arabs for a decade. That’s it. A decade of cheapish growth. I could weep – except the film left me emotionally stunned. The problem here is capitalism. An unadulterated free market economy where the bottom line profit – the false prophet indeed – over rides all other considerations, including the survival of life on this planet itself, spews  unchecked in Alberta. It’s not just a local pollution issue, it’s a global one. The Co-op, which hosted this week’s screenings across the UK, wants us all to petition companies like RBS and BP through our pension plans. But is that enough? Is it even worth having a pension when the future is governed by this ginormous scrag-heap of crap? “It’s time to start blowing things up,” says a comrade as we leave the cinema a little stunned. “How big?” I jest.

But there is a minute sliver of hope here. They don’t raise this in the film, but it was the Cree Indians who predicted that a time would come when we discovered that we can’t eat our money. I think we’re getting there. And a Cree woman called Eyes of Fire fortold: “A time when trees fall, the rivers are black, fish die in the rivers and birds fall from the sky…
“And when it does a tribe will gather from all the cultures ?of the World who believe in deed and not words. ?They will work to heal it…  they will be known as the “Warriors of the Rainbow.”
Cree Indian Proverb

I assume that’s us. For anyone calling themselves an activist – if we don’t get together and stop Tar Sands, while forcefully overcoming ignorance to promote alternative ways of running economies and energy supplies, we’re doomed. And doomed is just too huge a deal to imagine.
Back in the days when climate change was a vague notion – something for the 22nd century, ambulance a problematical  J curve for academics to ponder over – I thought nothing of hopping on a short haul from LA to Las Vegas, hiring a chevvy and heading out towards Monument Valley, cool desert and home of the Navaho. On the way I  would pass the Grand Canyon, a journey that forced me to redefine my concept of size. For this thing, this hole in the ground was absolutely gi-fucking-normous. It just kept on going.  No matter how long you drove, you came round a bend and there it was. Still. So huge was this new huge I even had to redefine my sense of how big infinite space might actually be. At the time is was as mind blowing as taking acid. It changed me forever.

Now I’m not saying the film Dirty Oil has changed me forever. But it has affected my mood. For now I discover a bigger huge. Tar Sands in Alberta, Canada. It is – or was – the biggest unspoilt forest in the world.  But just underground it’s the second biggest oil reserve in the world after Saudi Arabia. It’s bigger than Florida. Bigger than England. And it is the single biggest emitter of climate change gases in the world. If the oil industry gets the $379 billion investment it’s demanding we’ll get a rise of between 9 and 15 billion parts per million of C02 in the atmosphere. And you know what that means? It means the tipping point of runaway climate change. It can do this all on its own without any help from us leaving lights on or driving short journeys to Tesco.

This film though isn’t content to be another film about climate change. It brings you the human story of the Beaver Lake Kree – who are having their ancestral lands torn up, their rivers and lakes polluted and their health destroyed. Thanks to the arsenic in their fishstocks, the Kree are 30 % more likely to get cancer, including rare ones,  than other populations. And why are they subjected to this? So that America gets cheap oil without having to bully – er bother -  the Arabs for a decade. That’s it. A decade of cheapish growth. I could weep – except the film left me emotionally stunned. The problem here is capitalism. An unadulterated free market economy where the bottom line profit – the false prophet indeed – over rides all other considerations, including the survival of life on this planet itself, spews  unchecked in Alberta. It’s not just a local pollution issue, it’s a global one. The Co-op, which hosted this week’s screenings across the UK, wants us all to petition companies like RBS and BP through our pension plans. But is that enough? Is it even worth having a pension when the future is governed by this ginormous scrag-heap of crap? “It’s time to start blowing things up,” says a comrade as we leave the cinema a little stunned. “How big?” I jest.

But there is a minute sliver of hope here. They don’t raise this in the film, but it was the Cree Indians who predicted that a time would come when we discovered that we can’t eat our money. I think we’re getting there. And a Cree woman called Eyes of Fire fortold: “A time when trees fall, the rivers are black, fish die in the rivers and birds fall from the sky…
“And when it does a tribe will gather from all the cultures ?of the World who believe in deed and not words. ?They will work to heal it…  they will be known as the “Warriors of the Rainbow.”
Cree Indian Proverb

I assume that’s us. For anyone calling themselves an activist – if we don’t get together and stop Tar Sands, while forcefully overcoming ignorance to promote alternative ways of running economies and energy supplies, we’re doomed. And doomed is just too huge a deal to imagine.

Four-piece Clayton Strange have already been heralded as “Portsmouth’s most promising local band at the moment” by the local press, sickness and they’re gaining popularity across the South Coast. I managed to grab a few minutes with drummer Steve Bull to find out why they’re making a name for themselves in the South, and to find out about their first national tour.

“With our sound we are trying to mix fast, sharp guitar, intelligent driving rhythm and heartfelt melodies,” says Steve after I ask him to describe their music. “We draw influence from electronica, rock and pop acts like Foals, Talking Heads and Metronomy. One thing that is keeping us different from a lot of the other bands is that we steer clear of computers and keyboards, and focus on creating interesting sounds in a live setting.”

Straddling Portsmouth and Brighton, Clayton Strange are made up of four lovely lads who formed the band when they were teenagers. Singer Deniz Muharrem, guitarist Rob Dawson and drummer Steve have been playing the local circuit for a few years, under a different guise.

After honing both their instrumental and song writing skills, the band changed direction and became Clayton Strange. “Our songs have always been about life events and experiences, but our sound had evolved to the point where we felt our old name didn’t fit” says Steve. “We tell stories that haven’t been told; some about us, and some about others.”

Clayton Strange have a new bassist to compliment their new name, after their original bassist left “for personal reasons”. Dan Charter joined the band after playing in a few local bands. “He’s always been around the music scene and has already added a lot to our creative process,” says Steve as he tries to pinpoint just how they know each other. Dan couldn’t have joined at a better time; the four lads are set to dominate the world, providing their gigs go as well as those they played last year.

In 2009 Clayton Strange had a couple of really successful support slots. They played with the Virgins and the Joy Formidable, but the highlight was supporting Let’s Wrestle; it was a rare gig where the support act outshone the headliners.

“We’re looking to build on this success with an energetic UK tour and a debut EP release set for the spring,” explains Steve. He thinks part of their success is down to being friends since school and knowing each other so well: “we have a real understanding of each other’s playing which translates into a tight and exciting live sound.”

Clayton Strange will be kicking off their UK tour in March with a gig in Bristol, before making their way up to Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds and York, before heading back south to play London.

Steve concluded: “We can’t wait to get on the road, play to more people and have new experiences. Manchester will be really special as we are playing the Night & Day, such a famous venue, and sharing the bill with our friends Run Toto Run.”

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