Somewhere, off in a strange parallel universe, the Arctic Monkeys went to college, Pete Doherty is an outreach worker and Bruce Carter and Danny Saville are hugely famous already. In that realm, Nylon Pylon, the turn-of-the-century Manc electro-rock four-piece that were tipped as messiahs by anyone who went near them, didnât get chewed up and spat out of the record label machine, they werenât about two years ahead of their time, their album didnât get shelved and they didnât disband quietly, a few months later.
But then, certain DJs in cooler circles in this realm still play their teutonic club anthem âFoot In Mouthâ to this day, and in that realm we wouldnât have The Whip.
So instead, our story begins a few years before that, at college in Oldham, where our two heroes were studying xxxxxx. The first thing that Bruce Carter said to Danny âKing Booshâ Saville was âI LOVE YOU,â having seen him out and about looking cool, and because he was drunk. Danny turned out to love him back, realising that they both shared an appreciation of âmusic that makes you want to move your feet but start, look and listen at the same time.â They decided, there and then, to make beautiful music together.
The music they would make, they decided, would be informed by their love of past and future artists like Felix Da Housecat, Ficherspooner, Interpol, New Order, Justice, Erol Alkan, David Bowie, Talking Heads, ESG, Kraftwerk, The Beach Boys, Devo and Vitalic. As well as films like Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks.
When Nylon Pylon disbanded, they kept the dream alive with two splinter groups. There was never any question of Bruce and Danny not continuing to work together. âIt felt really fresh and we're not bitter in any way, just totally determined to make it work somehow, someday and this time it feels good. It's good having learnt from mistakes or just experiences we've had.â So they set up camp in the basement of a haunted pub in Salford. âThe barmaids wouldn't go down there, it was lit only by a red flashing tube light (immortalised on the cover of single âFrustrationâ) and was cold and damp, the walls crumbled all over our gear, you can hear cabaret singers on the tracks of our songs from the pub upstairs. It was damp and dirty and the perfect boot camp we needed to prepare. We needed the isolation to work out what we wanted to do musically, it was just sleazy enough too which was nice!â
It was in these red-lit surroundings that they rewired their half of the Pylon essence â Bruceâs tunes and Dannyâs beats, into the sleek, sexy and svelte tones of The Whip, the same artificial buzz rooted this time in a new, organic soul. âThe name seemed right because itâs a positive word to us with a twist of dirt,â says Bruce. Indeed, if Nylon Pylon were day-glo beat pioneers, The Whip work best under cover of night.
âThe first gig was such a release,â says Bruce. âI was so pumped up having not done a gig for 18 months, longest time since I started at 15. Weâd waited so long because we wanted the songs to be good enough to come out ready to go, it was so frustrating that it took so long but I'm glad we waited; the response has been good because we developed in the shadows. It was so good to actually play the songs live and actually exist again, we don't want to stop things now we feel so strong.â
Live, Bruce and Danny are bolstered by drummer Fee and bass player Nathan, and their live shows have already seduced all who have come in their wake; their set at the Blowout warehouse party being the talking point of last yearâs In The City, and earning them their first record deal. The single âFrustrationâ was named Track Of The Week by Steve Lamacq on 6Music and playlisted on the NME Stereo.
For their next trick, The Whip are putting roots back in the clubs, with their second single âTrashâ â remixed by their hero Felix Da Housecat â throug the LaVolta label. Theyâre going to play more gigs. Theyâre going to play more house parties. Theyâre going to put out more records. Theyâre going to try out some even more ridiculous haircuts. And sooner or later, theyâre going to be hugely famous in this dimension. âWe aspire to show people how to have a good time while doing something that makes their ears pick up to something new. Pop music can be much more than it is at the moment, we want to help make pop music as creative, exciting and original as it used to be and have a party doing it..
âWe want,â concludes Bruce, âto make people dance with their eyes open.â