BACK STAGE AT PEPPERMINT IGUANA HQ: Gigs, Festivals, Parties, CDs, Books, Protests, travels, photography and Cardiff City FC

Friday, September 30, 2005

MARK THOMAS AGREES TO PEPPERMINT IGUANA INTERVIEW: What's a Peppermint Iguana when it is at home then?

Mark Thomas has just agreed to partake in an interview for my fanzine PEPPERMINT IGUANA. Better get me self organised then, now where is that Dictaphone?

I have been running this blog for a month now, and have not really mentioned PEPPERMINT IGUANA, which is a bit odd given that it is where the name of the blog came from! It would probably be easiest if I cut and paste something direct from the forthcoming website to explain….

PEPPERMINT IGUANA first sprung into life in 1995 as a 'collective', a gang of mates from the Blackwood area of the South Wales valleys, putting on gigs, publishing a fanzine and running a website. We were motivated by the fact we were fed up with having to travel miles to see most of the bands we liked and there was virtually nowhere to read about the scene that we loved.

Over the next few years the gang put on 20 or so gigs with a mixture of local bands and big names from the 'underground' music scene, from New Model Army and Astralaisa, to the Tofu Love Frogs, Flannel and P.A.I.N. We published 4 fanzines and went through several versions of the website. Not exactly prolific, but we had a laugh and brought a little bit of fun to the valleys.

Life took its toll though, births, deaths, marriages, divorces, new jobs, redundancies, moving houses, going back to college... we had it all within the crew. So here we are, 2005 and Peppermint Iguana is not quite a collective anymore, just a very small band of radical groovers still trying to let the world know that there is a revolution going on and it's got a cracking soundtrack.

At one time, we had a cracking little website on the go, run by our resident cyber punk Alan Iguana, but for various reasons (not least of which was the birth of Al's little girl, the wonderful Jazzmyn Iguana) the site fell into disrepair. I have now taught myself the basics of web design and have started putting together a new site myself that will not be quite as ‘flashy’ and 'clever' as the last one; I cannot dream of competing with Al, who happens to live in cyberspace, but hopefully it will be updated more frequently.

I have always had an interest in radical politics, but over the last couple of years (at the time of life when most people grow out of it) I have become more and more serious about it, so the new website will reflect that and will be a little bit more radical than previous incarnations. For a taster of what I mean you can check out another website I have built from scratch over the last year (one of the reasons this new Iguana site is taking so long).

An interview with activist/comedian Mark Thomas will sit quite nicely with this new radical incarnation of the Iguana. I think I might have to bite the bullet and put a half finished version of the website on line, otherwise the interview will be out of date by the time it is up loaded. At the end of the day, the website will never be finished…. Any website that is ‘finished’ is not worth going back to, the whole point is to have new stuff going on line at regular intervals.

Best I stop blogging for now then and get on with the Iguana site.

The above photograph has been shamelessly lifted from the site of photographer Chris Saunders No doubt after the interview I will have some photos of me own to post.


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