Daily Record

Reformed Dragons are still breathing fire

Back with a short tour and new songs, original line-up are ready to take on the Whole Wide World once more


ON Thursday, Scottish musical history will be made – the return of the Soup Dragons.

Forged like Teenage Fanclub and BMX Bandits in Bellshill, the group went from an 80s C86 jangly sound to 90s indie-dance pioneers with Mother Universe and then, of course, I’m Free.

The original line-up – Sean Dickson, Sushil K Dade, Jim McCulloch and Ross Sinclair, who quit the band after their first album in 1988 – have reformed and will end a short Autumn tour at Glasgow SWG3 Galvanizer­s next week.

Sean, more recently known as DJ and producer Hifi Sean, gives us the Whole Wide World:

How does it feel going from Hifi Sean to Sean Dickson?

It was only when I was travelling from London back to Glasgow to make the video for the single I realised I was a frontman again. I hadn’t done it for a long time. The singing is easy but performing is something else. But I really enjoyed it. It was like being 19 again.

It’s been 33 years since the four of you played – what was the first song you tried out?

Whole Wide World. The four of us stood in a circle looking at each other with slight trepidatio­n and played Whole Wide World. I think we all had tears in our eyes afterwards. It was like a musical hug.

So it didn’t feel strange to be a band again?

We hadn’t played for decades. But we’d kept in touch. It’s not like we were thinking: “I’m in a room with three strangers.” They are still the same people they were when we were teenagers. Just older.

Why did you decide to reform the Soup Dragons?

It was the fans. It was on the back of releasing Raw TV Products (Singles & Rarities 1985-88) and seeing the love. If anybody has any control over our legacy, it’s us. I was the one in the past who’d always said no to reforming because I believe in the present not the past. So for me to do it again, we had to make new music which is why we wrote the two new songs for double A-side, Love is Love and No Music On a Dead Planet.

You’re now a married gay man – did you feel any strangenes­s returning to those old songs and to the band?

None. Love is Love is a song about me as an 18-year-old talking to me now as a gay man and what I think about me now. It’s a congratula­tory pat on the back. I think it’s slightly brave as I wasn’t sure how the reaction would be but it’s been great. And it was important the new song sounded like the Soup Dragons from the past but was about where we all are now.

Not only does No Music On a Dead Planet have Fred Schneider of the B-52’s on it but also your children. That must have been fun.

There are eight children among the four of us. My daughter is 22 and didn’t want to sing on the record. I told her the back cover of the vinyl would have all the children’s names and if she didn’t do it, I’d put in brackets (and not Tabitha). She was like: “You can’t do that,” and I was like: “Watch me.” Within 24 hours she was on board.

How does it feel to be going out and playing your old songs again?

It felt like this was an excuse for us to be immature. We feel there’s an untold story of the band we want to get out there.

How easy was it to remember those old songs?

Daunting. I started doing Couch to 5k and made a playlist of the set. Everytime I went running, I would sing along to it. There’s no way I’m going to go on stage with an auto-cue.

Huge hit I’m Free will

be a moment – have the Rolling Stones ever got in touch?

They didn’t start playing it live until 1990 after our version had been released. Now, when people do cover versions like Duo Lipa or Pitbull, it’s my arrangemen­t of the song. I think it reinvented their song.

You’re a busy man, releasing Happy Ending album with David McAlmont, DJing, remixing the likes of Soft Cell but what about a Soup Dragons album?

I wouldn’t say no because we are enjoying being back as a band but we are all busy with our own lives. As a teenager you can devote all your life to the band but now we have to balance many other things. But I’d love to do some festivals next year. ●Soup Dragons play Glasgow SWG3 Galvanizer­s on Thursday. Tickets: livenation.co.uk/ artist-the-soup-dragons141­1078?omq=the%20 soup%20dr

 ?? ?? SOUPED UP Sean Dickson, Sushil K Dade, Ross Sinclair and Jim McCulloch, left. Above right, band in their heyday
SOUPED UP Sean Dickson, Sushil K Dade, Ross Sinclair and Jim McCulloch, left. Above right, band in their heyday
 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom