BUDGIE - Next Stop, Cuckooland! Page 2
by Martin Popoff

That's very fast, because this looks like a real painting, with a lot of detail.

"It's done on about an A5 sheet, or, hang on, I always get this wrong, A3, about that size. But the cover is a bad print; it doesn't have the colours on there as they are in the painting. It was in a bit of a rush and I couldn't go jumping on people's head to get it right. So it ends up being a bit duller than the actual painting. But nevertheless it's a great painting. You see, she has got a long history of doing natural history. She used to work for the Welsh National Museum in Cardiff, at one time. I'll give you a bit of information about her. She recently did a degree in biochemistry and then she did a sideways move into illustration. Working for the museum; she was doing natural history. You know when you have a poster on your school wall, and it would be a small area of some piece of land, and on that land there might be just a tree trunk and a couple of rocks, but in that picture she puts everything that can possibly live there, that is indigenous to there, the flies, insects, all numbered and indexed. You know that sort of thing you have in schools? So all of those drawings have to be perfect, every creature, plant, whatever it is. So her approach, when she painted that, I've got a poster on my wall, in my girl's bedroom from her, these sorts of sea creatures, all exactly as they're supposed to look. And so you can't go wrong, really."

"I'm fed up with people painting budgies with huge hawk-like beaks. It riles me, because it's the opposite to what I wanted. I know it might be a bit of... Budgie was supposed to be irony in a way. It's not supposed to be hilariously funny. It's just this sort of, we're this hairy in-your-face rock band. And budgies... I mean, you might call it a parakeet over there, but in Britain they were traditionally little birdies perched on granny's fingernails, and they're like little parrots. They would copy your voice, 'Hello, pretty boy, pretty boy.' It's supposed to be irony. And then these people do posters and covers and they are determined to make this aggressive bird. Budgies don't have these big hawk-like beaks. And they don't curl around like that. I've given up, you know? But I knew that she would get the head right. I think budgies' got a great nose, you see? Like a boxer. Flat. And I just think of the budgie man as physically stocky, and we can give him loads of things to do. In the future I will give him a few other things to do (laughs). But in its own way, as you see, because it's CDs, I didn't want a load of detail. I want the budgie's head, the main part of him, the shoulders or whatever, and she took it away, and like I say, she had it done the next day. And then we piddled around a little bit with it, but it was basically all their already. So that's her - Dale Evans. I don't want to do a total interview on her behalf, but that's her. She's great, you know. And I was hoping that I might get her some airplay, which, she seems to have got. They look great on posters. He's got a cape. He's got that cloak over him. It's just got the top half of him and he lifts his arm. Like a judge. I think we ought to make those cloaks and flog them as merchandise (laughs)."

BUDGIE - Next Stop, Cuckooland! Page 3