Pete Mella's writing portfolio

Stuff I've written. All my opinions are my own, not those of any current or former employers.

Kings Have Long Arms interview

Interview for the L2SB website.


The last twelve months haven’t been the best for Adrian Flanagan. To the outside world the mastermind behind electro-loonies Kings Have Long Arms has still been the same old self-publicist in the beenie hat, constantly bigging himself up with a hilarious immodesty, and playing blistering live shows causing spontaneous congas around Britain and parts of the continent.

However, last May, KHLA were in a serious car smash on the way back from a gig in London. They crashed on the M1 while swerving to avoid another, fatal accident. Adrian took the main brunt of the smash.

“I came round on the embankment of the M1 to the sight of ambulances, police cars, a screaming girl, dead people and if things couldn’t get any worse, I was covered in blood, glass in my face, my head was double its size and I had one of Ralph’s fur coats wrapped around me (I’ve had intense therapy to get over that one…). I’m still going through physical and mental scrutiny by solicitors, I’m still being violated whilst being traumatised/physically damaged.”

“I’ve been having to go to Physio and hospitals and psychologists,” he says. “I had a fractured jaw, a fractured cheek bone, my teeth have been mangled, my sternum was split, I’ve lost all feeling in my bottom lip, my back,neck, shoulders and legs muscles were all f*cked up, my heart and lungs were badly bruised, I spent 7 months with serious concussion – my head hit a dash board/windscreen at 80 miles an hour – I was on super strength pain killers for 10 months.”

Despite the crash and these injuries, and against doctor’s orders, KHLA played the Razor Stiletto first birthday party at .Zero a mere week later.

“It’s been a very very difficult year,” he admits, “but I’ve still tried my best to keep you all entertained, I’m not a light weight you know, ha ha.”

Although supportive of Sheffield’s newfound trumpeting as an ubercool city in NME, Adrian is wary, and feels his name is somewhat absent…

“I don’t want to take anything away from the Arctic Monkeys as I think they are a fantastic group,” he says, “they work damn hard, write great little songs and the lyrics are fabulous. I can totally see the appeal, but that whole Sheffield/New Yorkshire scene seemed so cobbled together. I’m glad for Sheffield, I’m Glad for the Arctic Monkeys, and I was very very glad for the Thee SPC, but I do think everyone noticed that massive big KHLA space missing from that particular NME jigsaw.

“Even so people voted in numbers at The Apocalypse Now Then event, loads of people were saying the same thing to me that night they all said, ‘it should be you they are writing about, you did a lot of the ground work for some of these bands’… ‘You name checked these people in interviews – do they name check you back?’… ‘You’ve been bigging up Sheffield and it’s great music scene for ages’… ‘you are like a really big secret fighting to get out of a bag’.

“People are genuinely feeling sorry for me, which I find really hilarious, ha,ha.”

“I really love Sheffield and I really love the people here,” he continues. “The music business and what the NME or anyone writes shouldn’t be taken so seriously. Sheffield has existed as the musical capital of the UK without any plaudits or handouts for a good few years now; it is thriving with loads of great original groups. But I’m not so naive to think anyone owes me or isn’t out for themselves. We are all desperate in are own little ways, we all do what we do, I help when I can, I take what I can, but I would never ever, ever be a part of an NME created SCENE, however desperate.

“The Arctic Monkeys did not need that New Yorkshire feature, their mates’ bands definitely did. I feel both pride and sorrow when these things happen. Do you get me? Plus since when has it been ok to twin Leeds with Sheffield? F*cking blood has been spilled between the two cities on many occasion. Can you imagine them twinning Manchester with Liverpool?”

Adrian’s got a current crop of young bands he has his eye on, and will no doubt take them under his sinister electronic wing in the current months.

“[Heart] Yeah! are f*cking great, Jim Friend of Batman is dead funny and a great artist, Supersonic Winds of Neptune – long hairs in drag have always been my bag. A new lofi hip hop kid from Sharrow who goes under the name of I.M Tetsuo, he’s really good-really raw.

“I’m hoping to get some of these people on at A Yuletide Apocalypse Now Then event that will take place on Friday December the 23rd, so put that date in your diary kids, May have some of my usual pals on too, It’s Christmas after all, we all need our familly around.”

‘All Hail Satan’ is out on 17th October, and Adrian DJs at the Ladytron gig at The Plug that night.


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This entry was posted on October 8, 2005 by in Interviews, L2SB, Music and tagged , , , .
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