The Automatic: Spender Pennie
You'll have all heard the Automatic's Live Lounge cover version of Kanye West's song 'Gold Digger' by now, right? It's a thing of beauty, a joy forever, and makes you wonder why yelping puppies don't get to make more rap songs these days...
...and the man responsible for that and all the other yelping on the Automatic's records is a fella by the name of Alex 'Pennie' Pennie. But having put on the expensively-tailored coat of a super-blinged-up, crib-pimping rap star for one song, does Pennie have what it takes to see this thing through to the bitter end? We sent ChartBlog's ever vigilant Amy V to find out...
NOTE: Don't laugh at Westwood. He's got connections.
ChartBlog: I'm here to ask, following your cover of Kanye West's 'Gold Digger' – can we bling up the 'Matic?
Pennie: Probably not! But for the purposes of the interview...
ChartBlog: Bless you. You will also get extra credit if you make use of the words 'phat', 'yo' and 'fo' (as in 'real', obv), Westwood style. So first we have the bling, jewellery, talk me through how yours is going to work...
Pennie: I'd have to have blinging socks cos everything else I wear is plain, kinda boring. The ones I have on now are yellow, white and pink stripes, I guess the yellow ones would have to be gold, the white ones silver and the pink ones rubies. Just jewel-laced socks.
ChartBlog: That's a new concept. If you don't make millions with your band then you can launch the jewel laced sock.
Pennie: Pimping your teeth isn't cool, this is the new cool.
ChartBlog: You wouldn't pimp your teeth?
Pennie: I'm not a big fan of the bling teeth. I'm probably the worst person you could have asked these questions to...
ChartBlog: Yeah. I don't think you're really getting into the spirit of this...
Pennie: I'm trying my best!
ChartBlog: OK then, what about a gold medallion? It's a must.
Pennie: To be honest, with the gigs that we play it's rare to have my contact lenses still in or my t-shirt not ripped off so I think if I had big bling around my neck it'd be like suicide.
ChartBlog: So you're still planning on doing gigs when you're a millionaire bling-ateer?
Pennie: Oh yeah, sorry! I keep falling out of character. Yo. I'm just going to end every sentence in yo. Ho.
ChartBlog: Talking of hoes, you're going to have the standard babble of hoes following you around everywhere.
Pennie: Babble?! Is that what hoes are collectively known as?
ChartBlog: It is now.
Pennie: Can I not have a harem?
ChartBlog: A harem of hoes, that sounds good. A babbling harem of hoes...better. If you were in your bling phase now then you'd be sitting here in this dingy stairwell with your hoes pouting and gyrating behind you, so who would you pick for the job? They have to be well known though, you can't say Mary from the shop.
Pennie: Mary from the shop? But I want Mary from the shop.
ChartBlog: OK, so you can have Mary from the shop. You like her?
Pennie: Oh yeah. Nah, there isn't really a Mary from the shop.
ChartBlog: I guessed...
Pennie: There is someone I like. You know the series, The OC? You know that blonde girl Anna? I always thought she was really hot.
ChartBlog: I have no idea what or who you mean. But I will find out.
Pennie: You know that film – she's not as nice in the film, cos she doesn't dress as nicely – where she's a boy and the boy's her, they switch bodies. It's called It's a Boy/Girl Thing, it's her but she used to be cool in The OC. So she should go back to that then come and be in my harem.
ChartBlog: All films have that plot. Anyone else? Derdrie from Corrie?
Pennie: My nan. She's like Deirdre from Coronation Street.
ChartBlog: I'd have Hyacinth Bucket.
Pennie: That's what my nan's like!
ChartBlog: Really? I love your nan!
Pennie: She's phat. With a 'ph', I could be in trouble if she reads this.
ChartBlog: You're going to have to marry one of these hoes, or maybe ten.
Pennie: Don't they have a ride or die chick?
ChartBlog: You're getting into this...a what?
Pennie: Yep! They always rap about it. It's like the girl who was always there at the start when you were nothing. You get really famous rappers with these ugly unattractive girls and that's cos they were the ones that they went out with when they were 15 and they know that they're real. Which is a nice concept, really.
ChartBlog: Now we're on to the most important subject, forget the hoes and the bling – the car. The pimpmobile. First of all we're gonna need a car...
Pennie: I shall have a Vauxhall Corsa. You said I could have any car and that's the car I used to have before it got run into by a jeep.
ChartBlog: Oh no! Has he gone to car heaven?
Pennie: He has, in a cube shape.
ChartBlog: I'm sorry. So you have your car, what are you going to do with it?
Pennie: Put a swimming pool in the back and I want a small safari park on the front seat.
Pennie: and the wheels will be made of jelly.
ChartBlog: I don't think Tim Westwood would be up for that.
Pennie: Yeah but I don't want him anyway, he's rubbish. I want Xzbit. I want to specify that, he's funnier. Well actually, Tim Westwood's funnier...
ChartBlog: But in a tragic way?
Pennie: Yes! In a completely negative way.
ChartBlog: Now what about your crib?
Pennie: Where I keep babies.
Pennie: You know crib? That was a joke...
ChartBlog: Oh. Er, yes, so your crib, house, place where you don't put babies... What would it be like?
Pennie: It'd be in a blip. In a blip, like a zeppelin, suspended from a balloon so I could basically travel around and go anywhere in the world.
ChartBlog: That would make it hard for your homies and MTV Cribs to pop around.
Pennie: That's a good thing. I'd give them a rope ladder and wish them luck.
ChartBlog: So, the big question. How many pairs of trainers will you own? Exact figure please.
Pennie: Well at the moment I've got no trainers with me, I have one pair of shoes on tour with me.
ChartBlog: They're not gonna last. But look [puts foot in Pennies face] it's good to have holes in the bottom of your boots.
Pennie: So it is [feels holes, in boot]. These are my shoes, guess how old they are...
ChartBlog: Er, 7 years?
Pennie: 4 weeks. I have to have about 6 pairs of each.
ChartBlog: Have you been rambling?
Pennie: No, this is just what happens on tour with shoes.
ChartBlog: Now, who are you going to have beef with?
Pennie: I'm a vegetarian.
ChartBlog: Har. Oh dear. If you were going to write a song about having beef with someone you don't like who would it be?
Pennie: Oh that Akon bloke. I hate him, he's rubbish. Especially that song with the lyrics that are like 'I wanna f*** you' they changed it to 'I wanna touch you' for the radio. The actual real version is 'I want to f*** you' it's like eww, charming. It's horrible! So I'll have beef and salami and pastrami with him.
ChartBlog: Fabulous! So, you've reached the pinnacle of your career...
Pennie: We have? Oh.
ChartBlog: No! I'm not finished, I didn't mean now.
Pennie: Oh I see, I was disappointed!
ChartBlog: I was going to ask what you'd do with all the money...
Pennie: Well I'm a man of simple pleasures as you can see.
ChartBlog: I was gonna say! That's a marvellous coat. I'm a coat connoisseur. Where did you get it from?
ChartBlog: I thought that was for people who wanted to look like they're in a band, rather than...
Pennie: I'm really not bling!
ChartBlog: Not YET you're not... One day you'll be hanging in your zeppelin pad with your hoes and you're gonna say 'that girl, on the stairs, she said this was gonna happen!'
Pennie: You've allowed me to see into the future. I'm also going to spend my millions on treacle.
ChartBlog: Treacle. Lovely word. I think we'll end the madness there...
Your ghetto-fabulous ChartBlog reporter was: Amy V