||HUNNY CLAIRE MOAT
TICKLING THE IVORIES
4th April 2011
I'm standing at the bar, when I get a tap on the shoulder. "When are you going to interview me?" demands Mick Ivory. I take a slurp of lemonade and laugh.
"I'm serious", he carries on "and I wear stripy socks when I play", he continues. He looks so earnest that my cold heart melts and I agree.
Mick is a powerhouse tub beater and it's clear that AC/DC's Phil Rudd is a key influence on his style. The pounding of his Pearl drum kit with much gusto earned him his place in the band that are Mothers Ruin. Thumping out the beat for 'Medusa', 'Hot Women', 'Janie's Home' and the bouncy 'Rockin' Man'.
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It's hard to take Mick seriously and even more so his drum roadie, Bob, who has a thing for chocolate Easter eggs and we won't go there. I made the mistake of listening to the Great Egg Story and spent a good part of an evening crying with laughter.
In fact on that particular night, when Mick told him where to set up his kit, Bob set it up somewhere else because it was 'better'. It did occur to me that Mick was lucky to have his kit set up at all. In these circumstances we'll be lucky if an interview transpires at all.
Watch this space Mick Ivory, Mothers Ruin coming next... if I can find him and he can find his socks.
I'll explain my concern. A past encounter: "Meet me at the Swan." OK, that's a plan. So to the Swan I go... he however is also sat in the Swan... in another part of town!
"Well", says Mick "here we are at last". I catch Mick Ivory after another energetic work out. His Muppet t-shirt is soaked through and stuck to him and he can barely breathe. "It's getting hot in here so take off all your clothes".
"Are you interviewing Mick?" chirps his wife. I'm guessing I'm gonna try. "With his clothes on?" she chimes. Well, er, yeah, and I was planning to keep mine on too.
So I ask him what he drinks on stage. It's a straightforward introductory question. "Lager, water and coke, not all in the same glass" he informs me. "Too much lager and I just can't play." Familiar story!
Mick always plays a good solid set and I ask him if it's his socks that help?
"Well yeah, I've heard of the new stripy sock craze amongst us drummers, especially the ones made famous in the 118 adverts." Who ya gonna call? That's easy, his wife. I'm thinking or the local secure unit. But one does what one can, and smile sweetly and carry on.
Mick loves to beat seven bells out of his 1985 Pearl GLX Super Pro black kit and smash his Paiste 2002's to pieces. I astound him with my knowledge of his set up but refrain from telling him that we have discussed his kit before!
He tells me one must batter one's kit with no mercy and no quarter. He lists his influences as John Bonham, Phil Rudd, Dave Grohl, Neil Peart and Roger Taylor. This is evident and Mick produces a solid beat for Mothers Ruin as if his life depends on it, which knowing the boys in that band: it probably does.
We talk about other influences and not just alcoholic ones. We arrive at female drummers. "Oh, now you're asking", Mick ponders. "Having experience in the ways of women..." Mick responds. "I better be careful with this one. I never look whether a band has a female drummer or not but I can think of two - Gina Schock of the Go Go's because I love her name and Karen Carpenter, I love her voice and that's bound to get me into trouble."
Trouble? Karen Carpenter? I want to ring 999 (talking of 'Emergency', download the charity single for Haiti by clicking here) and shout "medical emergency". I'm seeing Mick in a whole new light.
And hope Mothers Ruin don't do a beefed up version of Mr Postman? There's a joke in there for Mick - he knows all about the Royal Mail. I reach for the Valium and try to carry on but I've got 'Hey Mr Postman, knock and see oh yeah if there's a letter for me' spinning in the dark matter of my brain!
Favourite songs: "Oh I have hundreds," he says. I'm waiting for a list of the Carpenter's Greatest Hits, but he continues... "one that always floats my boat and gets me rocking is AC/DC's 'Hell Aint A Bad Place To Be'." At this point I couldn't agree more, and just for the record, forgive the pun, Mick is a staunch AC/DC fan.
We move on to films and I know this could be trouble but hey ho... "'Shawshank Redemption' closely followed by 'Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure', 'Party on Dude!'"
"'Twilight', 'Team Edward' or 'Team Jacob'?" I ask. He responds "I get really confused with the 'Twilight' thing. I know one is a vampire and one is a werewolf. My two girls love everything about it. I'll stick with 'Jedwood'."
Mick Ivory's mind works in mysterious ways, even more so since the arrival of the stripy socks. Luckily his hands and feet manage to play a mean beat. I'm away to talk to his wife and suggest names of local asylums for him. Or possibly myself.
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