Joseph Porta and his Blyth Power have always been of my favourite bands because they have a style which not is like any other punkband in the world.

Isnīt it a little difficult for a drummer to sing?

It was at first, but after 18 years I'm beginning to get the hang of it. It's no harder than talking while you're driving a car really. Same with anything - you improve with practice.



History? A short or long one?

Joseph put the original band together in late 1983, after The Mob, in which he was previously drummer, split up. First release was a well-received casette called 'A Little Touch of Harry in the Night.' Subsequent releases were on the band's own label, All The Madmen, until 1988 when they were signed by Midnight Music.
After Midnight went bust around 1991, the band formed their own label again, called Downwarde Spiral Records, on which they have been releasing their own material ever since.
Line-up changes have been too frequent to document, but ultimately the band has retained its identity, as it has never relied upon the individual personnel involved for its essential character, but rather the songs themselves.


Please tell me  alittle about every member, family, interest, family and
something abd about every one?

There are currently four members. They are:

Steven Cooper, guitarist, vocals. Steven is from Norfolk and likes football, tatoos and public houses. His loyalties are divided between two entities knownas 'Norwich City' and 'West Ham United', as there are close family ties with the East End of London.
Bambi, bassist. Likes football and trains. Hails from the midlands somewhere, but his origins are shadowy. He likes a football team called Liverpool, although as that city is a quagmire of despair, we can only wonder why.
Ann Hatcher, Keyboards, vocals. Annie grew up in Lancashire and has no interest in football whatsoever. She used to play rugby though, and consequently regards football as a sport somewhere on a par with golf and snooker.
Joseph Porter, drums, vocals. Joseph loathes football, preferring trains and model aeroplanes. He grew up in Somerset, near the Royal Navy air station at Yeovilton, and consequently prefers Sea Vixens and Hawker Hunters to Saab Viggens and the like, although the Swedes, he claims, are to be commended on their decision to use the Scottish Aviation Bulldog as a basic trainer.


I saw you back in 1991 I think in a pub in Stoke Newington but thenJoseph wasnīt in the band that time, and your music falls a little on that
I think because Josephs voice is so important or why?

That couldn't have been us, as Joseph has been in the band since day one. The band has never done a gig without him.

When I saw you then people sat down and only drank beer, isnīt it boringto plawith that sort of audience? What do you do then to get them up?
Personnally I don't mind if people just want to sit and listen. They pay their money and do what they want. I hate it when bands tell people to dance. If you can't make them want to dance, then the problem is with the band, not the crowd.


How is a really good gig with you?
Somewhere with a good PA, so the sound is excellent onstage. Then it's so easy to sing and play it's almost effortless. Naturally we perform better then.



Can you live on your music?

Just about, by the skin of our teeth.


How does the average BP fan look like?
There is no average Blyth fan. They're all different shapes and sizes. Most of them have sensible haircuts these days though.


Downwarde Spiral, is it your own label, do you have any more artists
No. The label only exists as a name to put on our own recordings.


How much do you sell approxiemately?
Probably between one and two thousand of anything we release, although we keep them in stock and continue selling them.


You have been on the road for a while, whatīs better now and whatīsbetter back when you began to play, I mean with the band and with gigs and
so on?
It's getting harder to find gigs nowadays, as live music is a dying art form. On the other hand the band is so much better now, as we learnt by so many mistakes over the years. We can operate better and cheaper now, and there is a lot more awareness of what goes on onstage. When we first started it didn't seem to matter, as we were very much rooted in the anarchist-punk movement. Nowadays there is a much clearer understanding and appreciation of what the band is about, as we aren't lumped into a category with a bunch of bands with whom we have little in common.


Is it fun yet to play? What drives you to play music?
Playing live with the current band is better even than building Japanese import model aircraft. It's a lot of fun now, as we have a stable line-up of the band, who all care about what they're doing. I don't know what drives us though - I just can't imagine not doing it.


Do you do any covers?
There is a cover on the new CD - the 'hidden' track after the 11minute silence at the end. It's a song written by guitarist Steven, that was played by his old band The Maccabees. That, and the occasional old school hymn, but nothing else.


You play a sort of political music, doesnīt every band do that even if they say they donīt do? Where do you stand politically?
Politically the band try to stay neutral. There is a message in the songs, and it's well to the left, but we don't preach politics. They are there if people want to look. Personnally I voted for the Liberal Democrats in the last election.


When you do a song w,hich is most important, the lyrics, the melody or
to have a refrain that people remember?
The lyrics first and foremost.

Is it many interviews? Is it boring?

We do a fair few. It's usually interesting, as th questions are usually about things you never think about.


How is politically in England right now?
At the moment England has no political opposition to the Labour Party, which is no longer a socialist party. Unfortunately a lot of traditional leftists still vote them in as they neither know nor care about the real issues that now divides the government from its own left wing. The only alternative for change here today is to support the Liberals in the hope of supplanting New Labour with a third party which is now the most left-wing of the mainstream organisations.


Which is the question you never get but you want to have, please ask it
and answer it?
There is no one single question. I always like it when people ask me to explain the story behind specific songs, but no one ever does. Ah well, never mind.


How did you react when the terroristattackwas back in september 2001,
with anger fear ,or what and have it changed your life something?
I think I was angry - I always am when peole murder other people. I wouldn't say it changed my life in any way.


Whatīs the best and worst of being in a band?
The best thing is playing live. The worst is having whinging old crusties complaining about the cost of CDs.


Comment on Tony Blair, George Bush, European Union, England in FIFA
World Cup 2002, Sven Göran Eriksson?
Tony Blair: The best leader the Tory party never had.
George Bush: To Quote an eminent songwriter of the day: 'Here comes the war. Put out the lights on the age of reason.'
European Union: Yes please, lots of it now, before they fuck the place up any more. Please, please, please can we have the Euro.
England in FIFA: What is FIFA?
World Cup 2002: Thank God that's over for another four years.
Sven etc.: Seems a nice chap, but not really bothered about football.


Please rank your five favourite record, five favoruite concerts and five
most important things in life?
5 Favourite Records:
Horses - Patti Smith
The Master - Noel Coward
Feather on the Breath of God - Hildegaard von Bingen
Andy Warhol - Velvet Underground
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road - Elton John
5 Favourite Concerts:
The Adverts - London 1978
The Adverts - Weymouth 1978
The Clash - Lewisham Odeon 1979
The Clash/X-Ray Spex/Tom Robinson - London 1978
The Clash - London 1977
(Haven't been to any since then really. I stopped going to gigs once I started plaaying.)
5 Most Important things in Life:
The Blackburn Skua Mk II
The BAe Sea Harrier FRS 1
The Hawker Sea Hurricane 1b and IIc (does that count as 2)
The De Haviland Sea Vixen
The Fairey Firefly Mk V


What do you know about Sweden?
The Viggen, the Draaken, the Lanssen and the Gripen. Oh, they also used the Boeing Vertol as well didn't they?


First, last and the most expensive record you ever bought?
First: Live at the Roxy WC2 (compilation).
Last: London Calling - The Clash
Most Expensive: I once paid Ģ7.50 for a Sex Pistols bootleg. It was crap.


What do you think about "the new way" to communicate with email and
internet and all that?
I think it's fantastic. Best thing since sliced bread.

Whatīs the best and the worst of it? Any favoruite site?

The best thing about it is that it's so quick and easy. The worst thing is all the junk mail that keeps turning up. The problem with an unwanted e-mail is that there is currently no way of digitally sticking it up the sender's arse.
My favourite site is the IPMS Fleet Air Arm SIG's site.


Have you heard any swedish bands worth to mention?
I'm afraid not, but I don't listen to a lot of music to be honest.


Futureplans for the band?
Currently rehearsing songs for the next CD. I have about 25 'on the shelf' as it were.


Is there any good bands in England right now?
I refer the honourable member to my previous answer. Actually there are lots, it's just that no one ever gets to hear them.

Have you got any reviews on your new record? Positive or negative?

Reviews have been good. We don't get a lot of press coverage these days, but such as we have had has been favourable.


Do you care about reviews?
I wouldn't say we didn't care. Obviously we prefer to get good reviews, but good or bad, they don't influence us in any way.


For yourself?
Just to keep on playing in Blyth Power. That and my master plan to build models of all the aircraft ever flown by the Royal Navy, although it may take some time, as I am including sub-types.


Which bands are you being compared to? Itīs difficult to campare you
We are never compared to anyone, which is quite nice when you think about it.


Don't put your daughter on the stage Mrs Worthington.


Itīs difficult to compare you to any bands, why do you think  is itJoesphs voice that do it?

I think it's more the approach to the songs. We aren't really influenced by any one type of music, and that means we have no preconceptions as to what we ought to sound like.

Something more to add?
Nothing really, except thanks for taking an interest, and we hope to come to Sweden one day, but I wouldn't wait up for us.