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24 September 2014
top of the Pops 2 top of the Pops 2

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David McAlmont and Bernard Butler swung by to fill us in on their latest album!

Do you remember when your first Top of the Pops was?
David: It was 1995, can’t remember what date exactly, but I think it was the summer. It was the best thing that happened to me at the time, because you think of it as an institution, and most of us that are on it these days have grown up with it. It's a legendary thing to be a part of.
Bernard: I never really remember being here, I just remember watching it. It's much better watching it in a way, that's what's really important, and really hits you. I remember the first time I was on, and watching it a couple of days later and it was very strange, for all the same reasons, because you grew up with it, and then you see yourself on the box and your mum's watching. It's that kind of TV really where it's across the board. That's what I love about it, and you really remember the occasion amidst all the pop music.

Is there an artist you particularly remember as a kid, or a performance you were inspired by?
Bernard: All the Smiths performances. I had all their performances on tape, and knew all the guitars they'd used on which song, what they were wearing, everything. I remember New Order as well, and that was really funny because they always insisted on doing it live, which you can do now, but in the 80's they were given a hard time for doing it, and they always sounded shocking! But I always thought it was really impressive that they made the effort.
David: There was a lot of music about at the time, but my mother was really fond of Tony Bennett, so I guess that was really the first time I got into the idea of male expression. And Art Garfunkel's 'I only have eyes for you' in 1975 was a favourite and still is.

You guys were together 7 years ago. Can you take us through the reason for the return, and the new single?
Bernard: Very musical reasons really. The music I was making seemed to be turning in that direction and suggesting David's voice. Then I remembered I hadn't spoken to him in 7 years, so I'd better deal with that! I just called him up and said here's a load of songs, if you like them they're yours. If you don't, don't worry about it. There wasn’t really any chit-chat about anything else. And within a week, we were working on the songs. 'Falling' was one of the first songs we wrote. It was the first one that came out fresh once we were together. It was quite deliberate that I was trying to write something that was specific to what I thought 'McAlmont & Butler' was. I always thought of 'McAlmont & Butler' as a thing, rather than just 2 people, or 2 solo artists. We wanted it to be more of a trade mark. We see it as something very singular that we do together. 'Falling' represents all those things really - a very singular sound.

There have been stories about a bit of a falling out last time you were together. Did it fit straight back together, or did you find it difficult after the last time?
David: Well the press is entertaining, but eminently forgettable unless you decide to keep a scrapbook which we don't. The most important thing for us is that we were big enough to get over anything that may have been exchanged then. We prefer to leave it at that, and often what happens is that the press just run with the story they want to anyway. But for us, we're back together, we've made a stunning record, and there's everything to look forward to.
Bernard: It's a positive thing. We really don't care about talking about the past. We don't want to hide it, we just think it is dull. We feel it's really inspiring to say that you can put all this nonsense to one side and create what you really want which is this positive and uplifting record.

Sounds, Strings and Songwriting >>>

  Simply Red  
  "That's a bit supermarket, isn't it. I'm not making that many bottles. "  
  Robin Gibb  
  "There's been great moments both as a songwriter and as a performer."  
  Paul Roberts - The Stranglers  
  "We certainly weren't going to call ourselves The Bay City Rollers."  
  Lisa Stansfield  
  "I just thought, how many times do I have to sing this song?"  
  Soft Cell  
  "I think it's the only time that a banjo's been played in the Ministry of Sound."  
  "Agnetha said she liked it. If I met them I would curtsey."  
  "We really surprised lots of people by simply hanging in there."  
  Kim Wilde  
  "I used to be really jealous of Claire Grogan...I thought she was gorgeous."  
  "Failure was not an option, we were materialistic and greed was good."  
  Human League  
  "We did a US tour with Culture Club and Howard Jones...solely for the cash."  
  Altered Images  
  "Women were treated as a bit of a novelty in the music business in 1981."  
  Belle Stars  
  "The pop music lark just seems like a lifetime away now."  
  Steve Strange  
  "Look, you’re playing me like a bitchy queen and I’m not like that."  
  Five Star  
  "We all grew up wanting to be famous and we lived our dream..."  
  Phillip from Ruby Flipper  
  "At my age, I'd find it difficult to get my legs where they used to go..."  
  Glen Campbell  
  "I got to work with literally everyone in the business; Nat King Cole, Sinatra..."  
  David Gray  
  "Lots of tension in the camp. We're battling Gareth Gates for the No.1 spot"  
  Robert Palmer  
  "There's this homegenised force feeding of what is hip."  
  "I think George manipulated our relationship for publicity"  
  Tom Jones  
  "I'm pulling all my old jewellery out now and comparing my rings with Wyclef"  
  Ruth From Pan's People  
  "I could show you dozens of times I forgot the moves..."  
  Badly Drawn Boy  
  "Everybody has to do what everybody else does in order to have a hit single"  
  John Otway  
  "I think the music business is probably not happy with what we've done..."  
  Jimmy Cliff  
  "I look at someone like Ms Dynamite, I come away with a positive feeling."  
  Human League  
  "We wouldn't trust anyone that didn't wear eyeliner."  
  Status Quo  
  "I probably went about four or five years with a pair of stage jeans"  
  Gary Numan  
  "There are so many things in my past that you could make fun of."  
  McAlmont and Butler  
  "We were big enough to get over any-thing that may have been exchanged."  
  Primal Scream  
  "The producer at the time told us we'd never work again."  
  "I prefer miming, I prefer if we weren’t playing live."  

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