When you find Frank Sidebottom and Eddie Tenpole Tudor in the corner of a pub cutting fingers on cheese wire guitar strings...
By Steffen Armstrong
...playing the fruit machine and shouting out single sentence punk anthems "I'm in love with the girl on the Manchester Virgin megastore checkout desk". That's the feeling listening to Manchester Punk Garage threesome Proto Idiot! We spoke to long time member Andrew Idiot...
Proto Idiot is the dim-witted, ill-advised and irrelevant brainchild of Andrew Anderson. Andrew plays in a band called The Hipshakes and back in 2007, had some songs that were too terrible even for them, so Proto Idiot was born. Since that fateful day Andrew has received remedial help from members of bands like Cococoma, Negative Scanner and the Psychics. In 2014 Andrew met Mike and Callum, two musicians who actually knew how to play their instruments while also being a suitably lacking in mental acuity. Now they have an LP coming out early next year on Bad Paintings.
For Dummies is coming out next year. Since we started playing as a three it has actually felt like a real band for the first time. Also playing with them means I no longer need to rely on my crappy ideas alone, which has made a massive difference. It is coming out on an LP. We’ve got some tour dates booked. We’ll be making more of everything we do…because it is fun to do.
I'm a massive fan of Proto Idiot and here's why. It's simple, fun, punky music with heart. It's not offensive, in fact rather quite innocent. When you hear it you get the impression it's just a guy on a guitar with his band mates who is writing songs the only way he knows how. And that's great. Enough of this pretentious music making. I hate that. Even better is how cool Proto Idiot's music sounds. The ringing of the guitar and strained vocals make for great punk, even if it isn't meant. But it's catchy. Rockabilly almost. I've already mentioned the punk heroes in the opening line, but it's the same attitude and innocence which for example took The Beatles to the Star Club in Hamburg, or The Clash to a Black Swan in Sheffield. "Let's go out there and make a great record anyway we can, that's the idea, and if it works...bonus"!
For a brief mention, though, Proto Idiot have already released too many bits and bobs, EP's and others over the past few years. So we can concentrate on two things. Firstly the video to the release Real Boy. What a time they must've had making the video to a song which just breathes youthful fun, oh, and cigarettes, and pubs (same thing, right)? It's a strong tongue in cheek reference to growing up and we like that.
The other shout must go out to the latest release to date, entitled Idiot Blues. It's another rocking song which flies off 100 miles an hour and let's up very little. The thrashing riff supports "what I don't know, I don't care, life isn't real, life isn't fair" attitude. It's a simple formula which has worked for many bands before and will do again, but Proto Idiot have approached it with the right mentality, youthfulness and sense of fun. It's good punk, man...