SELF SATISFACTION
Adapted from an interview with Nick Fitzpatrick

The Raucous Please Y'Self rock skiffle band have strode the wide boundaries of cabaret, underground, grunge, pub-rock and late night Radio 2. After 30 years of playing alongside such names as Dire Straights, Lonnie Donegan and Jools Holland (actually joining in on stage!) - the chameleon group can fit into any genre and are something of a cult band.

They started as the Rag Bag Spasm Band, stomping the streets of Matlock, pounding countless pubs with their improvised chaos. When other members had floated away (or perhaps disassociated themselves) from the band, a small nucleus was left which evolved into renowned skiffle based band Please Y'Self.

Thirty years on, the manic 3-piece still reside in the Wirksworth, Matlock Bath and Starkholmes area of Derbyshire and still create a cocktail of mayhem, madness, rhythm and noise only this time with wash-board, tea-chest bass and grinding guitar.

However, Please Y'Self are more than friends; the Gills are family - brothers and sister who have been performing solidly together since 1972.
At their busiest moments Please Y'Self nearly caused a riot at an American air force base by howling out a Vietnam War protest song while the war still raged, and Chris was wearing out washboards every few months.

They have a string of national and local television and radio appearances behind them, and in the past thirty years have begged, borrowed and stolen virtually every musical style to emerge, bashing it into an unmistakable Please Y'Self raw.
Please Y'Self have concocted their own musical potions, mixing influences and not caring if the whole roof blew off.

In their library of musical references are self invented titles such as "Sludge-abilly" and "Skiffabilly Cow Punk"

"Our biggest change," said John, "came when we were booked into a venue on a heavy rock night. We didn't realise until we had set up our equipment and went outside and saw the posters."
Later: "the set was dying. I knew plenty heavy metal numbers so I said to Rob and Chris: 'Follow me' and started playing 'Smoke On The Water'."
The storm of plastic beer glasses halted and a row of headbangers emerged, as too did a brand of skiffle-tinged heavy metal.

They say their family bond and curiosity with different musical chemistry has kept them coming anywhere near splitting up - though a founder member and banjo player, Will Dunlop left after seven years when the group were heading off down the punk highroad.

In 1976 the band's originality helped them come second in the UK finals of the Melody Maker rock competition.

Please Y'Self put out their first single in 1984 called 'Skiffle Party', and their second single 'Surfin UK' in 1985. These got to numbers 2 & 3 in the ILA airplay charts with the help of enthusiastic Radio One Dj's.

An eclectic band, Please Y'Self have played on the same bill as The Clash and Shakin Stevens; have worked with Jasper Carrot and Phil Cool, and toured with Jools Holland; they're not just a remarkably original Dales cottage industry.
Tours have covered the Falkland Islands, Holland, Germany and they stopped off in Ascension Islands where runway lights were used to light the stage.
More recently, Please Y'Self have played local festivals including 'Stainsby' and 'Off The Tracks' at Castle Donnington, and nationally, the internationally famous 'Glastonbury Festival'.

To celebrate the band's 30th anniversary year, the band has two new albums in the pipeline for release. One will be a compilation of all their singles, and another containing new & original material written by the band.
As their publicity reads, "The only way to describe Please Y'Self is 'indescribable'. See them soon, then tell your analyst . . . . . . . .if you can find the words!"

 

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