Prior perception is often so wrong, especially when it comes to The Galileo 7. This Kentish quartet have now been kicking out keen psych-pop nuggets since 2010, over the course of 5 albums and several 45s, but vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Allan Crockford’s illustrious past and parallel present, as bassist with a roll call of the greatest British bands of the past 30+ years – The Prisoners, The James Taylor Quartet, The Prime Movers, The Solarflares, Graham Day & The Forefathers – seems to have, weirdly, done ’em no favours. Their latest LP, ‘There is Only Now’ is their best yet and out now!
We caught up with Drummer & Vocalist Mole – to chat about his musical life…
01. At what age did you first take up your chosen Instrument and why?
Around 12/13 I seriously started to pursue drums, having been at least peripherally interested from around 10. Not sure why drums. A friend of mine at school was a kick-ass drummer, he had like double bass drums and was into the Who and Zeppelin. He allowed me access to his kit and showed me some rudiments.
02. What are your earliest memories and influences for you that got you started?
The 2nd wave of punk rock in the early 80s was probably the first time I was really excited about music. I guess it all started there…
03. What was your first Instrument, where did you get it and how have you faired since in upgrades?
Had what turned out to be a Broadway kit at first; we painted it in black & white checks, it took forever! Kit I use now is a 1965 Premier 58 in black diamond pearl; by no means the most desirable kit going around, but I like it.
04. What is your current set up for live shows and how does that differ from work in the studio?
The aforementioned Premier 58. Exactly the same recording as for live, other than, occasionally, there might be my girlfriend’s ‘67 Ludwig Downbeat set up in the studio—certainly not opposed to tracking on that beauty!
05. Can you tell us how you technically shape your sound, what add-ons, bits of kit and tweaks do you make?
The sound I’m trying to achieve is really rooted in the mid-late 60s, so every part of the kit is from that period. Tried to get comparable skins, too—found some Remo smooth white pre-international heads that were very close.
06. Can you play more than one instrument and if so how well? Can you sing too?
Yes, I know my way around a bass guitar quite well. And yes, I can sing. Can bluff basic guitar.
07. You are currently working on the new G7 LP, can you tell us about the process and an average day in the studio?
The process this time around has been slightly different, due in part to my having a (relatively recently built) recording studio in my back garden. We were able to track drums, bass and a little guitar onto 8-track tape, and personally, I think it makes quite a difference.
So an average day in MY studio with the G7 would really only consist of getting a tight backing track, then adding a little EQ and compression, then transferring to another machine.
08. How do you go about developing the songs, the sound and ideas that end up being used? What about out-takes?
Allan writes all the songs, and usually produces a layered demo with most parts already written, but sometimes we have a slightly freer rein on the material. Not sure there ARE any true outtakes… Allan would know!
09. If money was no object, what would be your dream Instrument, set up and kit list?
If I had more money, I’d spend it on records, not equipment, ha ha! Totally happy with the set-up I have, for drums and bass. I can’t imagine really being that excited about changing any of it, although I do like the idea of getting ANOTHER Premier for the old double bass drum/many toms set-up!
10. How do you feel about Vintage Kit? Do you ever include more Modern bits of Equipment in your work?
See my previous answers, think that pretty much gives the game away. I ONLY really like vintage drums; those are the kits that produced the sound on the records I love. I’ve used a modern drum key, does that count?
11. What advice would you give to new players and bands to save them years of pain?
Why should they be spared?! Seriously, I think a LITTLE pain (not actual physical pain) is a good thing for a new band or player, cos you either have to toughen yourself to accommodate set backs, or you get kinda lost in the ether. I don’t think it’s good for people to have things handed to them on a plate, there’s obviously more perceived value in something if you’ve had to work for it. My advice would be to be careful, more than anything else. Proceed with caution.
12. Can you end by talking about some of your own highs and lows and the journey to where you are now with the Band and new LP and tell us all why and how we should actually go and get a copy?
I’m high all the time (figuratively), and never low! The journey starts with me seeing The Prisoners on The Tube in ‘84—that was my first introduction to Allan Crockford. 35 years later, here we are; I think the current Galileo 7 is the best it’s ever been, there’ve been some comings and goings over the years, but primarily centred around the same three people. Bass players left, drummers left, bass players became drummers…
You can get the new LP now I think, go to the Galileo 7 website (thegalileo7.co.uk), pretty sure it’s up for pre-order, out 21st June on Damaged Goods Records. You should buy it because it’s their best record to date. The songs are killer, the performance is killer, the sound is killer. It’s just KILLER all round.
‘There Is Only Now’ LP
The G7 New Album: There Is Only Now is Out Now!
Brand new album from Medway’s finest psych-beat combo!
Date: 2019 Release Format: Vinyl, CD, Download.
CD Album 12 tracks £9.99 Available 21 June 2019
The current band line up is:
Allan Crockford – vocals, guitar
Viv Bonsels – organ, vocals
Mole – drums, vocals
Paul Moss – bass, vocals