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Interview: Hollie Cook, Prince Fatty and Horseman at St Pancras Station

Interview: Hollie Cook, Prince Fatty and Horseman at St Pancras Station

Interview: Hollie Cook, Prince Fatty and Horseman at St Pancras Station

By on - Photos by Gerard McNamara - Comment

"It's organized chaos!"

Sampler

Beyond the odd solitary man with a guitar singing No Woman No Cry reggae is rarely heard live in a train station. But on Monday April 23rd that's exactly where Sex Pistol daughter and neo lovers rock star Hollie Cook could be found performing with producer engineer Prince Fatty and deejay Horseman as part of St Pancras rail and Eurostar terminal's Station Sessions festival series (the week before saw an appearance from visiting Jamaican artist Josie Mel). As embarkees from France went in search of home comforts like UHT milk and a cold beer they were treated to Hollie and Fatty's serene dubby musings: Milk and Honey, Body Beat and covers of Old Dirty Bastard's Got Your Money (complete with flashed wads of notes as props) the Whispers And The Beat Goes On and Andrew Sisters For Me You Are. Perhaps unsurprisingly given the importance of clear passenger announcements the acoustics were pretty good. Hollie's parents Pistols drummer Paul and nutritionist Jennie were also in attendance. Bereft of proper questions, Angus Taylor scored a quick impromptu interview with Hollie, Fatty and Horseman post performance. Thanks to Mel Ruben for making this chat possible.

Hollie Cook

How was performing in a train station? Have you done that before?

PRINCE FATTY: No, but you know what? It was a lot of fun. After the initial few seconds where you're just getting it all together then it's nice.

HOLLIE: It was really weird but in a good way! I felt like a busker and that's a good thing.

HORSEMAN: It was different. Like Hollie said it was like busking. It was nice.

HOLLIE: I did a small amount of busking in my teenage years. It's sort of like passing trade, isn't it? It's cool to see people stop and pay attention.

How often are you in this station?

HORSEMAN: So often! It's like our second home you know!

HOLLIE: We're here once or twice a week for the last five weeks. We like it here.

PRINCE FATTY: I'm here at the Eurostar at least once a month literally. I love it man! The Eurostar is the bomb. Oh, I shouldn't say bomb, sorry! I nearly got arrested! I meant the Eurostar is great!

Prince Fatty: People think I'm playing records when they hear the sound. But they don't realize I'm doing all the dub and the mix live

Are you going to get on a train in a minute or are you going to spend that money you were flashing around during Got Your Money on a cab?

(Laughter)

HOLLIE: No, my mum's going to give me a lift home and I made sure I gave Horseman his money back!

HORSEMAN: No, no - that was just part of the show - you know what I mean?

Prince Fatty, when you're mixing behind Hollie and Horseman do you find other producers and engineers try to look at what you're doing?

Hollie CookPRINCE FATTY: Well I suppose people are inquisitive and they try and look a bit. This is our portable set-up but sometimes we have the tape machines and that really freaks people out! People are often surprised because when they hear the sound they think I'm playing records but they don't realize I'm doing all the dub and the mix live.

How important is it to mix live?

PRINCE FATTY: I think it brings a nicer energy because the bass goes round the singers. I can follow them as opposed to the singers following a record or remembering exactly. So I can bring energy up or down behind them, which helps!

How did you enjoy making the Hollie Cook In Dub album? What influences do you put into it? Are you say a Scientist or a Jammys man?

PRINCE FATTY: Well for me making reggae is a pleasure. I love it. It was a blast. There's a few of the classic Jamaican producers that I like. I've taken like two of three different things. I'd say more the Jammys and Tubbys - that era. Scientist for me was the beginning of the end! It was still good though! I love those guys but I am a disciple of King Tubby.

HOLLIE: I had no part in it! I was just like "Take it away and do your  thing!"

Prince Fatty: I am a disciple of King Tubby

Hollie, you have a big gig coming up supporting the reformed Stone Roses in Manchester in June. How did that come to be? Are you looking forward to it? Are you nervous?

HOLLIE: Ian Brown loves the music. He came to see us play at the Jazz Cafe in November last year and soon after that he asked, so would imagine it was a result of seeing us live. I'm very nervous! But very much looking forward to it. It's one of those things where it's a very big gig so it's very daunting and intimidating. And it's also that not being a headliner is always going to be a challenge for the audience. The gigs are just a really big deal anyway. There needn't even be a support act in the first place because of that but it's still really exciting.

Horseman, you performed in another unusual place at Easter Weekend, jamming at Reggae In Da City downstairs at Cottons, when Dennis Bovell and Kofi also got up on stage.

HORSEMAN: Yeah! Don Chandler, the bass player asked me a long time ago but every time he asked me we were playing a show so it clashed with Prince Fatty and Hollie. So that time I wasn't doing anything and I went down there, played two drums and did a lickle deejay. There were about seven drummers in the place! The resident drummer was really happy to see me!

Hollie, would you consider playing at Reggae In Da City?

HOLLIE: Of course!

HORSEMAN: They asked me if Hollie could come that time but she was far, far away.

HOLLIE: Wherever I can be, I will be!

Horseman, another group that performed there the time before was Reggae Regular which you used to drum for back in the early 80s. Were you asked to join the reformed line-up?

HORSEMAN: Not again, no. I'm satisfied with where I am now! (laughs) I saw Patrick the guitarist and he knew about it already. What happened was we played at the 100 Club and Reggae Regular was there. The 1981 version and they had a different drummer - but it's not the same.

Prince Fatty tell me about your forthcoming Prince Fatty vs the Drunken Gambler album.

PRINCE FATTY:  I'm just about to go back to the studio now to finish the last couple of bits! I'm about a month late. It will feature the Mighty Horseman and Hollie Cook as well, plus George Dekker from the Pioneers, Winston Francis, Dennis Alcapone, Mutant HiFi. It's basically the full gang in full effect.

Hollie, tell me about your own new album in the works.

HORSEMAN: It's tasty!

HOLLIE: The new album is the main big new plan. I'm just doing it, just writing it, and I guess I've been paying more attention to playing live but I feel like in the next couple of months we'll get stuck in in the studio. I'm building some skeletons at the moment which we're going to breathe some life and flesh into hopefully! It's unplanned. Just going with the flow. More shows across Europe and hopefully the UK as well. Just building on the live show this year as well as getting more stuff done in the studio. There's not a huge amount of structure but at the same there is! It's organized chaos!

Hollie Cook: I'm building some skeletons which we're going to breathe some life and flesh into

You've talked about killing off the Prince Fatty character - is that going to happen? Or has he taken on a life of his own?

PRINCE FATTY: I'm not sure at the moment. I think the Mutant HiFi is going to stab me in the back! That's how we're going to end it. I think he's threatening me but he's still my friend. I think the double cross is going to come...

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