A Fresh Faced Del
I was checking out Punk Globe's Guest Book and saw a message
from Peter and The Test Tube Babies..
Having been an fan of the band I contacted Del Strangefish
and asked about doing an interview...
To my surprise he got right back to me
and the results are here for you to read....
I hope you enjoy!
Punk Globe: In what year did the band form?
Del: We came up with the idea of starting the band whilst going to punk gigs in 1977. One of our mates had 'The Queen Gives Good Blowjobs" on the back of his leather jacket which didn't go own too well as it was the Queens siver jubilee year. I think he took a few beatings. We didn't play our first show until 1978 though!
Punk Globe: Are you still centered in Brighton?
Del: We are now. We've all moved around the punk globe a bit. I lived in Spain for a while, so, I'd fly back to the UK or meet everyone wherever the first show happened to be. We've always hated rehearsing so the first gig was always the rehearsal. You were out of luck if you were the promoter on the opening night. We don't bother to rehearse anymore as the songs are all scarred into our subconscious.
Del Still Rawking and looking good
Punk Globe: Who is currently in the band and what do they play?
Del: Peter on vocals and real ale Del Strangefish on Guitar and Cider Cave Man Dave on Drums and Cider H applies the Bass Gravy
Punk Globe: How many are original members?
Del: Peter and myself are both original even though Dave and H have been part of it for long enough now. Almost 10 years! We still charge them new member tax though!
Punk Globe: I think I first really became aware of Peter and The Test Tube Babies when I heard "The Queen Gives Good Blowjobs" and of course "Banned From the Pubs". I believe that was in the early 80's..
Del: Our first official release was ' Elvis is Dead' in 1978 on a compilation album entitled 'Vaultage '78'. I think "Banned From the Pubs" came out in 1982. "The Queen Gives Good Blowjobs" was never a single and only appeared on an album of demos "The Loud Blaring Punk Rock Album."
Punk Globe: What Label did you release your early albums out on?
Del: First Album, though it seems strange now looking back, was a live album entitled "Pissed and Proud" on 'No Future Records'. They're hearts were in the right place but they couldn't really keep up with demand so after that we formed our own labels 'Trapper Records' and 'Hairy Pie' and brought in independent distributors. Nowadays we just sell the record to the highest bidders or the company with the best distribution.
Punk Globe: How many releases do you have out?
Del: Can't remember exactly. We're a pretty lazy bunch so its probably only around six or seven official studio albums in over 30 years. That works out about one every five years. Hardly prolific! Each album only takes us about ten days to record. That's sixty days recording in eleven thousand days of existence. A work ratio of 0.5454545%. Quite proud of that figure!!
Punk Globe: There is band from The East Bay called Filth that did a great cover of "Banned From The Pubs" have you ever heard it? They were big when Green Day and Rancid were just starting.
Del: I can't remember if I've heard that one or not. There are quite a few cover versions of that song doing the rounds on UTube. We have a version up on our MySpace sight by the Chaotic Dolls' an all girl punk band. Dont know who they are or where they're from. They don't seem to have a website or MySpace. Ours is www.myspace.com/fourbuffoons Funnily enough were playing with Rancid in Portsmouth tomorrow.
Punk Globe: Where did Peter and The Test Tube Babies play their first gig at?
Del: Peter and The Test Tube Babies played their first gig at the Alhambra. A small club on Brighton seafront. Its now a Thistle (Corperate Hotel). We opened for a band called 'Fan Club"
Peter and The Test
Tube Babies making
Brighton Beach proud...
Punk Globe: Who were some of your early influences?
Del: The first album I actually went to a store and paid for was 'The Clash'. I was heavily influenced by the fact that you couldn't really hear what Joe was singing about, the guitars where out of tune in places and the fact that you can hear the metronome at the beginning of '48 hours'.
Punk Globe: Have you toured America?
Del: Regularly, frequently but not lately. Last show in the US was the farewell to CBGBs week a few years ago. First show in America was Annie's in Oakley near San Francisco. in 1984.
Punk Globe: Did the band ever stop performing or have they been going steady since the late 70's?
Del: We never stopped performing and have been going unsteadily since then. Basically we were always too lazy to split and also too lazy to bother to phone each other at times. I used to live in a house with no phone or doorbell, so if you wanted to get in contact you had to come round and throw stones up at the window. This made it extremely hard to book us.
Punk Globe: Did you play alot of the festivals this summer in Europe?
Del: There seemed to be more festivals than ever this year. We've played about fifteen this year, starting in Athens, Greece, as early as February.
Punk Globe: What do you think of the live music scene in England and Europe?
Del: England is shit for gigs at the moment. No-one has any money and promoters don't want to take any risks. Europe is better. At least they pay your flights and provide somewhere to sleep.
Punk Globe: Please tell the readers about upcoming Peter and The Test Tube Babies shows and any tours you have planned ?
Del: We have 12 dates in Germany at Christmas, we've been doing that tour every year since 1982, and then we are going to Australia and New Zealand for new year. We play Auckland on New Years Eve so we'll be the first in the world to see in the new year! Cheers!!
Punk Globe: Do you plan on doing any recording?
Del: I have written some songs lately. Our last record "A Foot Full of Bullets" failed to get the distribution we were promised and ended up only available on Amazon and some lesser internet stores. We put a lot of effort into the writing and recording it (for us!) and were pleased with the result but hardly anyone ever got to hear it. So, for that reason, we are a little apprehensive to rush in and record anything at the moment.
Peter and The Test Tube Babies playing live
Punk Globe: Can you give the readers a website so fans can contact you?
Punk Globe: Have you met Amy Winehouse yet?
Del: I have. I work closely with Lily Allen so I've crossed paths with Amy at various TV recordings and festivals. Usually in the bar!!
Punk Globe: Do you have any favorite bands you like to pay with?
Del: Dave is in a band called 'FlatPig' www.myspace.com/flatpigofficial and I have my own band called 'The Del Strangefish Inexperience' www.myspace.com/thedelstrangefishinexperience I'm hoping to do a few festivals next year if I get the time.
Punk Globe: Any last words of wisdom you would like to give our readers?
Del: No wisdom really. Follow you instinct!!
Punk Globe would like to thank Del Strangefish for the fun and
very informative interview... When you see that Peter and
The Test Tube Babies are playing, buy a ticket fast......
Make sure to check out Dave and Del's side projects also..
Inspiration for a new song? Remember "The Queen Gives Good Blowjobs"