GMT - Pub Rock From Gillan's Inn Page 2
by Martin Popoff
And you can tell these tracks would work well live. Asked which have proven to be crowd favourites, Bernie says, "I would have to call it in terms of three tracks - it's 'Cannonball' and 'Rocky Road' and 'Can't Beat Rock 'n' Roll'. They're all great audience tracks, in a rocking way. And 'Down To Here' has been a track that, whenever we play, everybody enjoys it. It's almost a kind of '60s track in that it's a jam, you know? Not a lot of people jam these days. It's an experience, I think (laughs), for the audience."
"I'm shit," laughs Bernie, asked about how he thinks he rates as a vocalist - the guy's most definitely got a punk sort of delivery, as well as an endearing take on, ahem, "accuracy." "Let's be honest. I'm a kind of... the best I could describe it is workmanlike. Having said that, in the context of the band, it works. I mean, it isn't operatic. Nobody comes up and says, 'Wow man, absolutely incredible vocals!' Because it's a three-piece, it has that vibe that it is an organic whole, and no one really expects guitarists to be amazing singers. Thank you God that they don't, because I ain't, you know? (laughs)."
Also in common with punks, he's a bit rustic on the ol' accent. Reacting to my comment that 80% of British bands seem to sing with an American accent, Torme exclaims, "Yeah! This is true too! To be honest, it's always pissed me off. That a lot of the time that I sing too, I have an American accent. Having said that, having an American accent is an awful lot closer to having an Irish accent - and I'm Irish - than having a British accent. So I guess I'm kind of a bit more transatlantic, in UK terms, than most people from the UK are. But on the album, I tried to do a couple of tracks that had a really... no accent at all in terms of me, this is how I speak. I'm thinking 'Rocky Road' or even 'Summerland' - they aren't done with an American accent."
Is that part of appreciating your pre-Gillan punk heritage?
"It definitely is. I've always been a great fan of punk things. Both John and I are, and Robin. You know, strangely enough, a lot of the stuff I'm listening to now, the Incredible String Band, or Bert Jansch, or American things too... when you look at that area, the accent isn't a problem, because people try to sing in their own accent. Definitely in terms of the punk thing, the essence was to sing in your own accent. I mean, having said that, every band was doing a Cockney accent, like the Pistols. Basically northern English punk bands and also Irish punk bands tended to do Cockney accents, which is crazy, really (laughs), crazier than the American accents, in fact."
GMT - Pub Rock From Gillan's Inn Page 3