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Interviews Billy Butler - 11th November 2011 - BBC Radio Merseyside

The following is a transcript of a radio interview.

Billy Butler (BB): Great news Space are reforming - we'll have the lads in and they'll tell you all about it and their first gig a big show at the O2 Academy on the 22nd December.

(Song: Space - Neighborhood)

BB: There we are that's Neighborhood and the band Space. Now I've got three of the band with me - Tommy, Jamie and Franny and together with Allan Jones, Ryan Clarke and Andy Parle they'll all be back together again on stage on the 22nd December at the O2 Academy. So welcome boys..

Tommy: Hiya Billy.

BB: So looking at you boys, I can see you're doing this just for the money...

Tommy: Laughs... you cheeky thing!

Jamie: It's for the botox!

All: Laugh.

BB: We just played that song Neighborhood and we've got piles of people phoning and asking whereabouts is it because it sounds a lot safer than where they live.

All: Laugh.

BB: Anyway welcome in boys, it's the season for getting back together again? Because Cast did it...

Jamie: It's because everyone's skint and it's Crimbo!

BB: He's summed it up!

All: Laugh.

BB: And because you couldn't get on X-Factor but that's another one of those things you'll just have to put up with.

Tommy: Thats the one.

Jamie: We're too good looking to get on that mate.

BB: But you've been back a few times in the past haven't you in here Tom? You were back in here when you had The Drellas and the Red Square the last one as well? (Tommy: Red Scare) Red Scare? You know, and you to me are always the infinite picture of a rock and roll star, you've got that lived in, gaunt face...

Tommy: Cheers! Thats all the crack. Yeah, it's the Keith Richards look.

All: Laugh

BB: But if you put on a 1950's rock and roll suit and somebody put it in a magazine as undiscovered 1959 Memphis artist Tommy La-Scott they'd all go 'oh yeah you can tell he looks like one!'

All: Laugh

Tommy: You're looking very suave with your moustache yourself there Billy

BB: Well we've all got to try and do a bit this month apparently. Yours is natural, you're all right...

Tommy: Yeah, yeah

Jamie: I'm growing mine but I've gotta get rid of the bum-fluff on the sides...

BB: So there comes a time doesn't there when you suddenly decide... I mean when you originally split up was it because it just wasn't working out or was it because of 'differences', 'musical differences', they're always quoting that! Musical differences being - I hated him, he hated me...

Tommy: Exactly that, yeah!

Jamie: Every band, you know it has a shelf life doesn't it? And you know, we just got to the end of the road, basically.

Tommy: It'd gone stale, you know what I mean? We'd been on the road with each other for forever and you just get fed up of each other and we needed a break you know what I mean?

Jamie: We needed to go grow some tomatoes...

BB: It's always great isn't it when you're with a band and you're working together and you can each anticipate what the other is thinking. But I suppose after a long time together that gets boring.

Tommy: Oh yeah.

Jamie: It's like having five wives, you know it gets...

BB: You know, you'd have five mother-in-laws as well with five wives...

All: Laugh

Jamie: That as well! But it just gets monotonous after a while and you need to go away, you need to take a break to realise what you had... you know what I mean?

BB: Because you did have almost a three year break didn't you before your last album and are you more anticipatory now? Hey mate that was an eight letter word I just used!!

Tommy: Laughs, hey yeah just give me a minute to think what it meant!

All: Laugh.

BB: Just gimmie a minute to make it rhyme.

Tommy: No basically we all met together. Our original drummer Andy Parle he died last year. So we all met together at the funeral and it sort of broke the ice because we hadn't seen each other for a few years, we started going to each others gigs and stuff, we started to get mates again. Then I started the Drellas, and when I started doing the Red Scare I started doing some of the Space songs and it just felt weird without these not doing it, it felt not right you know so... thats my reason why we got back together.

Jamie: That and he'd have had a massive lawsuit on his hands!

All: Laugh.

BB: But Jamie and Franny you both haven't sat still, you've been with other bands and had your own things going haven't you?

Franny: Yeah you do, but the thing is it's really hard because you're in such a successful band for such a long time it's really hard to find your identity again. You've done something for so long and you go away from it you find it really difficult. You were this person doing this thing and you're not doing that no more so you've gotta go find something else. So you know the music's in your bones so you still doing your music, but as Tommy's just said it was once we'd met up after Andy's funeral last year...

BB: When you were all doing separate projects was it with the intention of proving it to yourself or proving it to the other members you could do it without them or just...

Jamie: It was just for the love of music.

Franny: The funny thing is Bill we all, even though the band disbanded we never hated each other we were still all friends so there was no competition, never.

Jamie: No we never had anything to prove, we were doing it for the love of music. No-one had anything to prove, we proved ourselves back in the 90s, we didn't have anything to prove to anyone.

Tommy: Our solo stuff was like our mid-life crisis music.

All: Laugh.

Jamie: I thought that was Love You More than Football... but you know.

BB: I've still got on me Sky+ box the Tommy Scott guitar school...

Tommy: (Laughing) What?!!

BB: Remember you did a half hour thing...

Tommy: Oh yeah, it must have been a blag that because I'm not that good at guitar...

BB: You did a half hour thing on how to play guitar.

Tommy: First I've heard mate... go on do tell!

BB: He was surrounded by guitars and equipment.

Jamie: My guitars probably.

Tommy: Oh in the studio thing... oh I know what you're on about yeah

BB: Tommy Scott in the Studio.

Jamie: ...Surrounded by my guitarists.

BB: Hey Tommy I'll sell you a copy if you want one

Jamie: A signed one! I'll teach you something you don't know about guitars like!

BB: So who made the initial approach? Because there just comes a time doesn't there when you say...

Tommy: It was funny because it was me and our old manager got back together and I wanted them back and we arranged a meeting but we didn't tell them what it was and they didn't want to come because they thought it was going to be a tax bill...

Jamie: I thought it was going to be a tax bill or a lawyers bill and I said to Franny - Mate, no swerve that man don't tell them you've even seen me but he twisted me arm in the end and when we got there it was all good news.

BB: So are you expecting a tax bill?

Jamie: (Laughing) Ahem... you'll have to speak to my lawyer over that one sir!

All: Laugh.

BB: And Allan, Ryan and And... sorry Allan and who are the other three with you? Allan, Ryan and who else?

Tommy: Phil, he's the one who was in here with me last time, the guy with the blonde hair.

BB: It'll be the six of you then at the O2?

Tommy: Yeah, well we're the only original members left because Andy passed away you know what I mean?

BB: That was very sad that...

Tommy: Oh I know... really sad like.

Jamie: Alot of us getting back together has got to do with him as well you know we've still got unfinished business and we're sure he'd be very, very proud and we all miss him like man.

BB: Okay, lets take a break for the travel and come back and play another song and have a few details of what you're going to be doing on stage at the O2.

(Travel News)

BB: My guests are Space, they've reformed, they're at the O2 Academy on the 22nd of December. I've got Tommy, Jamie and Franny with me right now and I presume you went to the very highest authority before you decided to reform and asked Ian McNabb would it be alright?

All: Laugh.

Tommy: Ian McNabb? Yeah!

Jamie: Who's that?! Is he the one that rights the S.A.S books?

All: Laugh.

BB: I like it!

BB: So is it a one off or is it umm...

Tommy: No we're back now, this is it and we're going to do a tour next year and the year after that we're going to like Thailand and the Philippines and all that.

BB: So you've planned up to 2013?

Tommy: Yeah.

Jamie: Once again our life is mapped out for us!

BB: It's incredible how that can happen after such a long lay off isn't it? You must have been held pretty high.

Jamie: We've been very, very lucky.

Tommy: What it is as well though, we've finally wrote a load of new songs that are worthy of the name. Thats what we think, you know what I mean so we're made up. And there's going to be a new album as well like so.

BB: Did you ever do any shows with our own bands, like did you ever do any shows with Cast at all? I'd love to see you on the same bill, that would be a great show.

Tommy: No we supported with bands like the Stairs and things like that you know.

Jamie: Thats it, moving on...

Tommy: Tickets on sale on Monday!

All: Laugh.

Tommy: No but it has put in the Liverpool Echo, it's got the date wrong - it says the tickets on sale on the 14th December, they're on sale the 14th November

BB: So basically they're on sale from Monday aren't they?

Tommy: Yeah.

Jamie: But I can get you some knock off ones if anyone wants any.

BB: The black market is going to be intense - it has to be to pay for tax bills.

All: Laugh.

Jamie: It's every man for himself now...

BB: So will there be any new songs in the act Tom or will it just be reviving the Space...

Tommy: Yeah, it's some off the first album, all the singles and the new album so it's going to be a lot of songs.

BB: I collect all the early stuff and I haven't got a copy of Money on Gut...

Franny: I haven't got that one...

Tommy: We'll have to get you that one then Billy we'll get you it.

Jamie: Neither have we man... I don't think me and him have got anything... have we?!

BB: well you don't keep your own... The number of people I have in here and I've played one of their early songs and they go I haven't got one of them!

Tommy: You can't listen to it can you?!

BB: I mean I was the same - when I was DJ at the Cavern and you're working with The Beatles and all of them you never asked for an autograph, you never kept any posters or anything like that.

Tommy: You just knew them, yeah.

BB: You don't think of yourselves, I mean you three probably collect other peoples stuff but not your own?

Tommy: More football stuff really.

Franny: Once upon a time... yeah.

BB: Well good luck lads, we're looking forward to that the 22nd of December at the O2 Academy tickets are onsale from Monday. Now will they be available from the O2 or Ticketmaster or what?

Tommy: I think so yeah... I don't know!

Jamie: I told you... come and see me for the tickets, I'll sort you out a good price!

All: Laugh.

BB: Or for the Paul McCartney gig or anything else...

All: Laugh.

Jamie: 07975...

BB: Everything except Take That tickets. Okay I'm going to play Avenging Angels now Tom, what was the story behind Avenging Angels?

Tommy: Its just about losing people like I'd lost me dad and me wife had lost her mum and her dad and stuff and it was about them looking after you like. If anyone messes around with you they're gonna come and look after you you know.

BB: The thing I like about Avenging Angels, you know like a lot of songs it's got a memorable hook, it's one of those songs you play it and you can sing it whether you've heard it once...

Tommy: Thank you very much.

Jamie: favourite Space song.

BB: Your favourite is? Well I'm not playing that!

Jamie: What?!

Tommy: We're not playing your one!

All: Laugh

Jamie: No - I said it's my favourite Space song!

BB: Oh I see - well this is it, thanks for coming in boys and good luck on the 22nd

Tommy/Jamie/Franny: Thank you

(Song: Space - Avenging Angels)

BB: Great having them in the studio here - Tommy, Jamie and Franny, the original members of Space. They'll be joined at the O2 by Phil Hartley, Ryan Clarke and Allan Jones and we'll let you know exactly where you can get those tickets. They go on sale on Monday and they're only priced at £12.50 and I'm sure it won't be long before they're sold out. And here's a man who was very lucky and appeared on stage with Space.

(Song: Tom Jones - Help Yourself)