Vomit - Edinburgh, Scotland
Samba Punk From Scotland
By Rosemary Edmond - Scotland Calling
Bloco Vomit is one of the first bands registered to our site, and they
have recently returned from Brazil, where they entertained by playing their own brand of
UK eZine Scotland Calling did a great review that we
reprinted. You can find out more about them, hear their MP3's and streams, and see
the diary of their Brazil trip by visiting their website at http://www.tardis.ed.ac.uk/~ian/bv/
Rosemary :- Where did you get the name Bloco Vomit?
Rob:- A Bloco is a small Brazilian band, mostly preceded by an equally large dance troupe,
lined up in a tight square in order to make their way when they process through the
overcrowded carnival streets. Vomit is the punk element!
Ian:- The name has been misspelled in more ways than I could have thought possible. In
Ireland we were Bloc O'Vomit.
Rosemary :- As we can see Sambapunk is doing well for yourselves are there any other bands
that have followed in your foot steps?
Ian:- Not as far as I know, but there is a band in Glasgow called Roaring Silence that
mixes rock/thrash and Brazilian music. We played a number of gigs together last year which
was great fun. Our approaches are quite different though : we take a traditional Brazilian
percussion line up and add guitar, vocals and trumpet; they take a rock setup of drumkit,
bass and guitar and add Brazilian drums. We might do a split single together, though it's
not been decided. As far as I know, we independently had the idea of mixing the two styles
- like us, they were previously playing samba percussion.
Rosemary :- Is your album based around some of the bands favourite punk tracks ?
Ian:- Yes! X Ray Spex and Alternative TV were mine or Gary's suggestions. For sure, we
wanted to bring alive again some of the unique music that came out of the punk era. Jilted
John was suggested by Jasper. Often we jammed something we liked at a rehearsal until a
rhythm structure emerged. In a few notorious cases Gary has been known to play a song at a
gig that we've never done! He played 'No Fun' at the CD launch to the great surprise of
the rest of the band. We are working on our own numbers now...it has to be done.
Rosemary :- What other classic punk tracks do you play when you're playing live?
Ian:- We do "California Uber Alles" by the Dead Kennedys, and a Wild Thing/Louie
Louie medley plus "Something Else" in the Pistols treatment. "Not Fade
Away", the Sonics "Have Love Will Travel" which is more of a garage rock
number, and "Sweet Transvestite" from the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Hmm, looks
like we've branched out a bit...there are plenty of other classic punk songs I want do do,
such as the Slits, the Cramps ("Surfing Bird"), and the Rezillos.
Rosemary :- Your gig in Poco Loco, Brazil how did it go?
Rob:- It was a pretty surreal event, on the day after the Olinda Carnival. We were crammed
into this wee pub surrounded with brazilian percussionists who joined in when they felt
like it whereas the PA joined out in a similar way... it couldn't cope with vocals and
guitar at the same time. It was then that we got the decisive push towards our current
Neil:- It was quite a strange gig to do really. We played with a few "guest
players" both from Edinburgh and Olinda. The PA was really awful with the vocals
having to be put through the bass amp....a typically punk kind of gig I suppose.
Rosemary :- What sort of a reaction did you get from the locals?
Rob:- We had met most of the locals the days before when we played with the Edinburgh
Samba School. They loved it...but they loved everything that came from Scotland those
weeks: they couldn't stop pointing to the kilts, shouting and laughing 'Saja, saja', the
bagpiper who joined in with us could only proceed when he played..the people otherwise
didn't make way...they saw us on television or in the paper...it was amazing. We were
participating in their event, bringing Scottish things, our Bonecos (huge puppets that are
carried with blocos -mostly in front- indicate their origin and help to clear the
way for the band and the dancers..) were depicting a whisky drinking Scotsman where the
other came from Loch Ness....
Rosemary :- We notice from your tour dates history things seem to be taking off for
yourselves now, are you planning any sort of tour before the year is out?
Ian:- Well, that's kind of you to say so. I'm pleased with things since our CD launch,
we've gone from unknown to acquiring a certain kind of notoriety! Since most of us work, a
long tour is tricky but we're hoping to do some weekend tours...a return visit to London,
where we packed out the Samuel Pepys in Hackney on the worst weekend of the year for
audiences (Glastonbury, the World Cup, and pissing with rain!), also Newcastle, Belfast,
Manchester and Liverpool. Playing more often in Glasgow and central Scotland would be
good. Also we want to play more outdoor festivals.
Rosemary :- What sort of people come and see yourselves at the gigs?
Ian:- All sorts...our first gig was at the 1996 Edinburgh punk festival and since then
both punks and samba aficionados have been at the gigs. We played to Goths in Dundee,
hippies in Edinburgh and pretty mixed crowds in London and Glasgow. Last weekend we played
in front of 150,000 people in the Edinburgh Festival Cavalcade...the Dead Kennedys
resounded throughout Princes St. I don't think we've had an audience that didn't like the
live act yet, though if we do support slots for really popular bands that will probably
come! We'll just do a 55 minute version of Louie Louie like Iggy did.
Rosemary :- Have you pick up a traveling support that seem to be at every gig you do?
Ian:- No, though we have got to know a number of bands to play with. Edinburgh is a pig of
a place to get venues to play, so we're happy to help other bands where we can.
Rosemary :- We know the music press take yourselves as a joke how does this make you feel
and why do you think fanzine seem to come to your selves and give you support? Ian:- I
don't mind at all! The mainstream reviews were so bad they positively drew attention to
the band. They seemed rather short on critical comment, it is true. I think the fanzine
reviewers are more open to new ideas and take more care in listening to stuff they're
sent. The mainstream
critics probably are more concerned about our age, the fact that anything punk is a target
for taking the piss, and also that we are sending up the whole music industry. On the
other hand they might acutally want to do us some good - a
mediocre review is far worse than a bad review. Being slagged off in the music press and
getting great reviews in the zines is really encouraging to me.....definitely the right
way round. We like to have fun, we like to mess
around with the musical styles, we don't take ourselves seriously - and I'm happy with the
energy that comes out of our live gigs. We can play for two hours if we're on good form
and people want us to (with a break at the bar!).
I think the punters and the fanzines appreciate all these things.
Rosemary :- How do your work mates act at yourselfs about cross dressing?
Ian:- They thought I was a bit weird even before the crossdressing! I think they've given
up on me.
Claire:- I'm just so glad we've got such a great manager.
Esther:- And he's so good looking too.