bright light ! articles
title: our absinthe friends
written by: john mullen
published by: select
date: june 1999

Another brave band take on the 70 per cent proof viscous green spirit best known for making 19th Century artistic French types wittier and more attractive, while gradually pickling their brains.

This Month: Mogwai

Drinkers: Stuart Braithwaite (guitar), John Cummings (guitar), Martin Bulloch (drums), Barry Burns (keyboards/flute)

Stuart: "The main reason we're doing this is because Martin was really on for it. And now he's claiming his pacemaker's playing up. And you know what will happen? I'll just end up making an idiot out of myself. The last time I did something like this I got off with the drummer from Ash."

Barry: "I can't set anything on fire, I'm scared of it. Martin's good though - his brother's a pyro."

Martin: "He burned down a chicken farm once. He came back, totally black with ash. And then he claimed it was me who'd done it."

Stuart: [Drinking a large snifter] "Jesus Christ! I bet this is how that Denver massacre started. They were all just happy kids, celebrating the release of the new KMFDM album. So they thought they'd have a little drink of absinthe. Then [doomy voice] SATAN ENTERED THEIR IMMORTAL SOULS! Actually, when we were in Denver we gave a wedgie to this kid. They were crying, and I said 'What are you going to do? Massacre a school?' Obviously I feel a bit guilty now."

John: "This is all right. I wonder what it's like if you mix it with Buckfast?"

Stuart: "This is a moment that's akin to a time in my adolescence when we discovered the 'Thunderbuck'. We came up with the amazing idea of mixing Buckfast with Thunderbird. I feel like chucking just thinking about it."

Barry: "I prefer Buckie to absinthe. in Scotland it's just called 'the wine', cos you can't call it 'red wine' or 'white wine' - it's fucking brown."

Stuart: "Not a drop sold till it's two days old. Some people in Glasgow sent a petition to the monks pleading for them to put Buckie in plastic bottles. They refused on the grounds that it would affect the taste. I mean, how can you affect the taste of piss?"

John: "I'm glad it's in glass bottles. if it was in plastic, they'd just hit you for longer."

Stuart. [Looking decidedly unwell] "Plasmatron [Stuart's nickname] is going to chuck his ring! I don't mind being sick though - I think it's funny. I was throwing up last Saturday and I just couldn't stop laughing. And the noise I make when I'm being sick is just fantastic."

Barry: "John! Try snorting some!"

John. 'Okay. But I'm not snorting it neat.'

Stuart: "John, are you a man or a wee mouse? Come on, you've done it before. JOHN! JOHN! JOHN!" [The rest of the band join in the chant.]

John: [Snorts some from his hand. There's a long pause.] "I'd just like to say this isn't very good."

Barry: "This stuff is better than drinking water. I wouldn't wash my mouth out with the water you get in London. You know it goes through nine people before it reaches you? I bet the fucking Queen gets it first, straight from Scotland. 'Thank you for your water, Scotland. In return you can have the poll tax, you bastards.' Williarn Wallace is raging about it - he's getting a new crew together, him and Rob Roy. I'll stop talking now."

Stuart: "We were looking round London today. We got into a bit of trouble when John started screaming at the statue of Prince Albert that he died of syphilis. But it's really something people should know."

Absinthe Residue: Despite protestations that they were having an 'easy night', absolutely none. And two bottles of Buckie don't last much longer.

State of participants: Except for the amusingly sober Martin, not good. Soon afterwards they're forced out of their hotel room due to complaints about the noise, retreating to the bar to invent chucklesome insults about the nearby Tiny Woods. JOHN MULLEN.