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Seven Quick Questions... GBH

Seven Quick Questions... GBH

Interviewed by
Tim Edwards
Monday 29th February, 2016 1:55PM

UK punk rock legends GBH are currently tearing their way through Australia as they make their way here for two shows this weekend. The performances will be their first return to New Zealand soil since their debut 2010 tour, and in anticipation we asked singer Colin Abrahall a few questions, and he spilt the beans on New Zealand connection to their 1988 song 'Tipuke Thunder'...

1. So it’s been six years since GBH toured New Zealand for the first time ever. What were your thoughts about that last tour? Anything that stood out to you?

We had a brilliant time, all three shows were great. I met up with my Auntie Pat, who I hadn’t seen for 20 years or something, and my cousin too. And I guess I don't need to tell you what a stunning country it is. I remember when we landed in Wellington, the way the plane banked going over the harbour, a bit scary, but very beautiful.

2. That said, is there anything you are particularly looking forward to seeing or doing on this tour? Bungy jumping? Jet boating? Or are you more of a sit in the pub kind of guy?

I would love to bungy jump or go jet boating, but we don’t have the time. I love motorcycle speedway so going to see a race meeting would be good. Although I don’t drink anymore I do seem to spend a lot of time in bars watching the rest of the band drink! If I have nothing to do then I like to do nothing, if that makes sense.

3. So what’s GBH been up to in the six years since the last NZ tour?

Touring, and writing a new album. We plan to record later in the year, there is never a dull moment being in a band and there is always something going on.

4. In 2013 your bass player Ross wrote a very successful autobiography called City Baby. I assume you read it, what did you think of it? And do you have any plans to write your own?

Yes of course I have read it, it's very good and he expressed himself very well. Not much point [writing my own] now.

5. I’ve heard GBH had a New Zealand connection many years ago with a certain leafy substance? Do you mind sharing that story?

Oh that… Well we were writing some songs for what became the Wot A Bargain EP. One of the songs, I had written the verse but hadn’t come up with a chorus yet, just as I was leaving home to go to the studio, an old friend called round. He had just got back from New Zealand, and had been working out there for a couple of years and he had bought some 'Tipuki Thunder' home with him so we smoked a bit. I loved the name of it so I used it in the chorus. And now we know it should have been spelt "Te Puke", I think. The verses in the song tell of a guy we knew in California, he was a bit of a rogue and was a big smoker, so it all made kind of sense.

6. You’ve been touring the world with GBH for over 30 years. Is there any particular part of touring that you never get used to?

It's a bit like being in the army!! Eat when you can, sleep when you can and be prepared for anything at any time. We still quite like flying but security checks are a pain in the arse, although I know that are needed these days.

7. What is the best part of being on the road?

Just travelling, seeing wondrous sites, going places you have only read about, meeting new people all the time and realising we are all not so different.

GBH are playing this Friday 4th March at Kings Arms Tavern in Auckland, and Saturday 5th March at Bodega in Wellington. Head over here for more information and to buy tickets.

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