“Be nice, kind and respectful to all you meet but don’t suffer bell ends.“… ForgottenBee catches up with Nathan Cunningham who gives us a colourful view of the world of The Low Flying Geese…..
FB 1/ It’s been a while since the last time we spoke. Can you update us on your ’Piccadilly Rats’ project and the Indiegogo fundraiser you set up?
How do Bee, always good chatting with you…
FB – How do Nath, always good to have you back on the blog and to hear about your latest project news…….
’The Piccadilly Rats’ Live, in moderation project has been a mad little journey to say the least. After the initial indiegogo campaign to fund our four day shoot the project was picked up by Lanor Productions who saw the potential in what we were doing and reckoned that we should make it into a feature length documentary film. Through them we had the resources to shoot more content so that’s exactly what we did including a busking trip to London which was pretty mad!
Didn’t realise there was so many rules and regulations on the streets of London though! Bloody hell, it just made me dislike the place even more. Did you know that you have to audition to busk in convent garden? Shit that init? It kinda defies what busking is all about. They even have a form of busking police who move you on and stuff, it’s a load of shite, pretty sad really. It was nice to get back home to a city where they keep it real. Not a fan of London, never have been and I think our little visit there cemented that. We got some great footage for the documentary though so…every cloud and all that.
FB 2/ What’s been the highlight of 2016 so far?
Seeing the Piccadilly Rats absolutely smash Kendal Calling. I’ve always been a fan of the underdog so to witness what they achieved that day, in my eyes, was fucking brilliant! We really had to graft to get them a slot at Kendal Calling @KendalCalling it’s quickly becoming one of the best festivals in the country. They were on the same bill as Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Madness and The Charlatans just to name a few so for them as a busking band to make that transition from their spot outside Primark on Piccadilly Gardens Manchester to performing at that festival was a great feat.
We seized the opportunity to film the final scenes of our film there and we had our fingers crossed for some kind of climatic ending. They were first on the bill in the house party tent and there were about three people in the crowd, we thought fucking hell here we go, this might not be the great ending to the film we all hoped for but then, as if by magic, the tent filled out and the next thing there were about 400 people bouncing up and down to the Piccadilly Rats, it was absolutely beautiful.
The Piccadilly Rats are great fun, mad eccentric characters and a real people’s band and after that Sunday afternoon in Kendal, everyone who was in that tent, fell madly in love with them. The staff at the festival were great too, they treat everyone like rock n’ roll stars which was nice. We were given a shit load of free beers and stuff! 2. It was great directing a film half pissed at a cool as fuck festival in the sunshine, right up my boulevard.
FB 3/ You work with and meet a lot of names in the industry through your projects. Spill the beans on meeting some of your childhood heroes?
I grew up listening to the Manchester music scene so working alongside Shaun & Bez from the ’Happy Mondays’ was good. Bez didn’t disappoint in a wide eyed kind of way, if you know what I mean?
John Cooper Clarke was a cool cat when we worked with him. He walked in in a tight fitted black suit with a fresh flower pinned to his collar. He strutted in with sun glasses on and snake skin high heel boots, he was accompanied by Johnny Green (the clash’s old tour manager) and fellow poet Mike Garry. After filming we spent a couple of hours drinking with him, he was on Martini’s which made me smile and he was quoting lines from all his favourite films, it was top.
My favourite band when I was at school and stuff was Northside, still love them now. I’ve just shot a video for Dermo (the lead singer) he’s doing some solo stuff at the moment so spending time with him has been cool, he’s a top lad. We started shooting his vid at 10am on a Saturday morning at Moston Miners Club, North Manchester and that’s when we started drinking too, breakfast beer and all that. Work hard play hard that’s what I say.
FB – I loved meeting Dermo during the filing of scenes for the ‘Rum Bastards’.. a wickedly cool guy!
But the most excited I ever got about meeting someone (believe it or not) was Neil fucking Buchanan of all people, I was pissed as a fart like but buzzing my pecks off! For those who don’t know, he was a children TV presenter when I was a kid in the 80’s (one who actually wasn’t a fucking pervert) he did number 73 on Saturday mornings and art attack. My Mrs was in a play in the west end and I bumped into him on the street there, I think he was a bit taken back, I even told him what trainers he wore on art attack (white, black & red Nike air Jordan’s) he was quite impressed. That night I was drinking with actors, producers and theatre types and all I spoke about until four in the morning was Neil fucking Buchanan! I was proper made up, hahaha! Fuck Cooper Clarke!
FB 4/ There’s been quite a lot of political unrest this year. What changes do you feel have had the biggest impact on your industry?
Politics, politicians and any other form of popularity contest in which out of touch arse holes in suits lie and try to pull the wool over normal people’s eyes for power make me want to scream out loud and punch something, so I try to avoid the topic to the best of my ability but hey, here I go. No matter what anyone says (and they can say it until they’re blue in the face) or no matter who you decide to vote for it’s always gonna be SHITE! There’s always gonna be some shirt and tie who’s gonna bring you down.
The Tories are fucking scum that’s ever apparent and how they ever got back into power is beyond me, they must have spiked the council pop with some serious high grade LSD or something…can’t be arsed with it! And all this EU thing blagged my head. I offended someone not long ago cos I didn’t vote but what the fuck am I voting for exactly? “You should have voted to stay you idiot”! He said, so I asked him to give me 5 solid reasons why that should have been the case?? I’ve never seen someone stutter so much in my whole life, he was like a fucking beat box. Then you get the one’s who think they know what they’re on about, develop some half intelligent spiel built up on things they’ve picked up along the way but really, like the rest of us, they haven’t got a fucking clue. I suppose my political angst effecting the game I’m in is that there’s not really any support for working class artists who are actually proper skint and on their arses. In some cases it’s just unaffordable to exercise your art. For example, There’s some really talented actors out there who go unnoticed cos they’ve got day jobs and can’t afford to drop everything and get on a train to London to an audition for a part they may or may not get. That’s why film seems to be dominated by posh heads, middle class bores with no personalities, text book actors who were privileged enough to be able to afford to make that break and become contenders. There hasn’t really been a regeneration of working class actors in ages, your Tim Roth’s, Kathy Burke’s, Garry Oldman’s, Paddy Considine’s, Stephen Graham’s etc etc. There always seems to be a plum in the mouth of all the lead players nowadays. It’s a shame.
FB 5/ You always recommend great New Music – what’s been lighting up the Manchester scene recently and what music have you been listening to?
I’ve just recently started listening to Death to the Strange @D2TheStrange from Salford, they’re fucking brilliant! In fact the bass player Paul Sewell played bass for the Piccadilly Rats at Kendal Calling which was good of him, still got his fucking bass amp in our back room too and it isn’t fucking small! They’ve done a tune called ’Sign On’ which is lovely, it makes me smile because it reminds me of when I was younger trying to avoid factory jobs and staying on the dole for as long as possible. Me and my mate would smoke weed all day watching films and listening to music. We got that stoned once we had to phone in sick to sign on, all we had to do was jib down the Job Centre in the afternoon and put pen to paper but we just couldn’t face it, we were just a pair of useless paranoid stoned monkeys from outa space. Bad that init?! But yeah, that song reminds me of those hazy days. There’s an up and coming Manchester band called the Claremonts @TheClaremonts that are pretty good too. They’ve done a tune called ’The Only One’ which I like. I’ve been listening to a lot of older stuff too lately. Bands like The The and Cabaret Voltaire. Can’t get enough of ’The Giant’ by The The it puts a spring in me step.
FB – Thanks Nath some top tips as always for my radio shows …….
FB 6/ Are there any new projects in the wings for ’Low Flying Geese’ waiting to emerge?
I’ve always got loads of ideas running around my mind but I really want to return back to ’Rum Bastards’ I ain’t giving up on that one just yet, I’m hoping we can afford to do it off the back of this Piccadilly rats film but let’s see.
FB 7/ What’s your favourite piece of technical equipment?
My apple mac, it’s much needed. Although to be honest I think it needs a service cos it’s been playing up a bit lately, pissing me right off. Even though it’s an essential piece of equipment for what I do, I have nearly launched it across the room on several occasions.
FB 8/ Do you have any views on the film industry in general at the moment?
Yeah, let us lot in, you bunch of play it safe bastards. If us lot were given a chance against all those Eaton posh boys who seem to be running the show at the moment we would blow them out the fucking water. There’s so much talent in Manchester who are biting their nails to the bone, trying to find a way to break through but there’s a great big wall that ain’t shifting at the moment. They just won’t let us in not by the hairs on their chinny chin chin.
FB 9/ What couldn’t you live without and why?
Music, cos it makes me happy. Sky digital, cos I’m a TV junkie and I’d rather kill myself than not be able to pause the TV when I go for a piss. Wife and daughter, cos they keep me in check. And alcohol because it’s simply marvellous medicine.
FB 10/ Are there any actors or artists you would really like to work with on a project?
Gutted about the death of Caroline Aherne, I Would have loved to write something with her. I think she would have got my humour I certainly loved her’s. Nobody else springs to mind to be honest, I’m quite spontaneous like that, if I write something and someone DOES spring to mind I’ll then set about trying to blag them on board…so to speak.
FB 11/ If you could live by a mantra what would it be?
Be nice, kind and respectful to all you meet but don’t suffer bell ends.
FB 12/ Do you have a nickname that everyone knows you by? If so how did it come about?
Everyone just calls me Nath although the Piccadilly Rats tend to call me Nat but that’s cool, is it because it rhymes with ’rat’? hmmmm I don’t know.
FB 13/ What or who has made you really mad recently?
Eddie Redmayne! Over rated, absolute bag of shite. He’s a film wrecker. He has pulled the wool over people’s eyes with his little book of acting faces. He’s actually a terrible actor, fucking awful. He acts acting if that makes sense and to me it stands out a mile. I find him excruciating to watch AND he won a fucking Oscar WOW!! Aren’t those yanks gullible?!! They always fall for that stereotypical English gent bullshit! What a bag of wank! Oh Yeah and Ben Affleck playing Batman, what the fucking hell is all that about? I’d rather pay money to watch Steve McDonald play Mighty Mouse in a Russian musical.
FB 14/ I like to incorporate poetry in some form in my interviews as you already know… write a poem including the words ’new trainers’?
I’m on the bones of me arse but I got ’new trainers’,
squeaky white kicks, cool as fuck, who can blame us.
But don’t tell the Mrs cos she’ll go off her head
with me on the town spending all the bread.
Got to keep it quiet put em on up the street,
dodging dirty puddles, side step, keep em looking sweet.
Got to stash em right when I get back home
cos all she’ll do is moan and groan.
They’ll be far too much for her to say
but I’ll buy her summit nice come giro day.
FB 15/ How do you get your peace during the week?
I’ve just joined a gym so I have a nice little swim, a steam and a Japanese spa. The only thing is there’s a bar there too and I get a 25% discount for being a member so I’ve found myself having a cheeky pint or two. Eventually I hope to work my way into the main gym but there’s quite a lot of big hairy snarling bastards in there, all snotting at the nose and foaming at the mouth. Might just go on the running machine or something, ease my way into these foreign lands.
FB 16/ What’s your favourite tipple?
Rioja! Although I’m quite a seasonal drinker. When it’s winter I like my ales like Marstons Old Empire for example, or Owd Roger, that’s a gooden. I love my stouts too, Guinness and Guinness foreign extra. In the summer I’ll always go for me ice cold 660ml bottles of Bierre Morretti, Heinaken, or a nice bottle of polish Tyskie. I don’t waste my time with those little farty 330ml bottles of beer they’re like fucking test tubes. But no matter what the time of year, as fruity as it may sound, I do love a nice bottle of Rioja…nuff said.
FB – Yea nothing like a fruity red….
FB 17/ Tell us what the end of this year has in store for Low Flying Geese and the future?
It’s all about getting ’The Piccadilly Rats’ Live, in moderation film to a very high standard. We need to shoot a few pickups through Aug and Sept but after that it’s all in the can, ready to edit in full. It’s all very exciting cos I know we’re sat on something very special here so this film is AND has to be our main focus at the moment.
What’s in store for TheLowFlyingGeese’s future? Well that’s uncertain, nobody ever knows what’s around the corner but I suppose that’s what keeps us all on our toes. At the end of the day if Eddie Redmayne can win a fucking Oscar we’re all in for a chance. Keep the faith.
FB – Thanks again Nath for being part of ForgottenBeeBlog, always a lot of fun, giggles and full of exciting news…looking forward to everything taking shape…