Anti-folk duo Crywank are Manchester pairing James Clayton and percussionist Dan Watson, who made the project a double act when he joined in late 2012.
Their M.O. might be sad songs on an acoustic guitar, but the result is genuinely listenable music with a mocking self-irony at its heart. If you couldn’t already tell, Crywank have a way with words, mustering some of the best album and track names we’ve ever heard, like 2013’s Tomorrow Is Nearly Yesterday and Everyday Is Stupid with tracks including Crywank are Posers, and their most recent album Don’t Piss On Me, I’m Already Dead.
the result is genuinely listenable music with a mocking self-irony at its heart
They’ve just competed a major Australian tour and are stopping into Exchange this Wednesday, along with Bristol acoustic punk trio Toodles & the Hectic Pity, and melancholy ‘bedroom punk’ soloist, Dogeyed.
1. What have you learned today?
JAMES: We are currently on tour in Australia. Today we learned that Nelly Furtardo’s album Woah, Nelly! sounds just as good as when it first came out, maybe even better now. We’ve been driving around listening to it in the car.
2. Favourite track of all time?
JAMES: I don’t think I have a specific favourite track – it’d change every time you asked the question. Novelty songs are a big hit with me and Dan though. We really rate The Superman Song by Black Lace. I like songs with actions you have to follow.
3. It’s 3am and the party is winding down, what track do you play to get everyone going again?
JAMES: A similar answer to the one score, to be honest. Even if nobody else got up to dance, I doubt me and Dan could resist I am the Music Man by Black Lace again.
Even if nobody else got up to dance, I doubt me and Dan could resist I am the Music Man by Black Lace
4. Who are your top three acts right now?
JAMES: My top three acts at the moment are Joyce Delaney from Glasgow, who I am always dead excited to see live. They’re a band I’d happily travel for to see. I heard them described as Taco Cat covering the Minutemen, which I think is pretty accurate for their sound. I’ve been enjoying the new songs Ganglions just put out a lot, they do really smart and poppy songs that are techy but the focus is on songwriting and not showing off. Before this tour, I was listening a lot to Two Steps on the Water, they do super interesting and eclectic sounding folk music with a strong lyrical focus. We’re actually being supported by their singer June Jones on tour right now doing her solo set, which is a real blessing.
DAN: If you get the chance, I’d recommend watching the band Housewives or the band Tomaga. They play quite a lot around the British Isles; their music will take you to other places. They both play on the idea of monotony and subtly really well. There’s also a young chappy called Gerrard Bell-Fyfe from Bradford, he’s pretty much the resident bard of the 1 in12 club. He writes very tranquil contemplative music that I’ve not been able to leave alone like a juicy scab since hearing it.
5. If you couldn’t work in music, what would you be doing instead?
JAMES: Either unemployed and looking for a job, or making rich people richer and working for minimum wage. That’s all either of us have done other than music.
6. What was the last book you read?
JAMES: I am currently reading A Life Discarded by Alexander Masters, about someone finding a skip filled with diaries. The blurb said it has a twist, which I sort of wish it didn’t say as I think I’ve figured it out and I’m not that far through… I could be wrong though. The last book I finished (which is rare for me if it isn’t a comic book) was All My Friends are Superheroes by Andrew Kaufman. I enjoyed it, it’s cute.
DAN: Condensed Chaos: An Introduction to Chaos Magic by Philip Hine. It’s a very concise reimagining of the principles of chaos magic.
7. Favourite thing on TV?
JAMES: BoJack Horseman is my current favourite TV show. I can blab on about it for ages. I also really enjoy RuPaul’s Drag Race and re-watch it over and over and over. I can’t wait for All Stars Season 3.
DAN: Xavier: Renegade Angel. It’s an adult swim show from a few years ago. It’s really provocative and funny.
8. Are you afraid of anything?
JAMES: I have a big fear of moths and butterflies. If they come near me I run, which can be pretty embarrassing.
DAN: I fear that acknowledging my fears to someone else will make them ever more present.
We have two secret albums that we only trade. They can’t be bought for cash
9. Tell us something people don’t know about you…
JAMES: We have two secret albums that we only trade. They can’t be bought for cash.
10. What are you doing tomorrow?
JAMES: Tomorrow we are driving from Canberra to Melbourne to play another show. The Australian tour has been amazing and Melbourne is our biggest show. We are both super nervous and excited!
CRYWANK LIVE: 13 December – Crywank, Toodles & the Hectic Pity & Dogeyed, Exchange