Live Interview on Radio 2  

Alisha's Attic's Karen and Shellie appear on
Richard Allinson's show on
BBC Radio 2, 1 March 2001, at 11pm

  Another dedicated fan, Sharon Edwards, also transcribed this interview, independently of me!
You can read her version on her website, Alisha's World Wide Attic
[She's also got the whole interview + live performances in RealAudio too!]
Key: R = Richard Allinson, K = Karen Poole, S = Shellie Poole, J&M = Jimmy and Marcus
R: Alisha's Attic are here in the studio with us tonight! Hi girls! ...
K&S: Hello!
R: ...and boys
J&M: [after a pause, a less enthusiastic:] Hello
  [they all burst out laughing]
S: [imitatingly in a deep voice:]'ullooo
R: there's something about blokes - they don't like talking on the radio, I don't know what it is
S: I know, but they smile on the radio as if people are gonna see 'em
R: [sarcastically]That works...
S: I know
R: Karen and Shellie, and er - Jimmy and Marcus are with us tonight - [to the girls:] You're looking well...
K&S: Aww - Thank you!
K: Considering...
R: considering you just spent - what, 4 months in California?
K&S: yeah...
S: yeah we have actually - well actually no, two months we spent there didn't we?
K: yeah we could've been out there for about two -  yeah about - it was two months we spent actually making it in America 
R: Yeah
K: And that was amazing - but we wrote it in Battersea, so not as glamourous
S: I wasn't quite as glamourous to start off with -
K: Not that Battersea's not lovely -
S: No...
R: Started correcting yourself again!
K: [giggles:] No...
R: So you worked with the mighty Bill Bottrell or, Bottrell? [different pronunciation emphasis]
K: Bottrell
R: Bottrell
K&S: Yeah
R: Who's responsible for um, Michael Jackson, Sheryl Crow - and Shelby Lynne...
K: Yeah! A lot of people
R: ...and that sort of things.
K: And apparently like Thomas Dolby in the eighties... he's done like Tom Waits and Tom Petty -  
S: Yeah
K: All the Toms actually... Done all the Toms.
R: And he says - [suddenly changes subject] - I've just thrown your lyrics in the bin, [the girls all gasp] I wondered where they'd gone! I thought, "I've got some notes here!" - oh they're in the bin
K: Shame on you
S: Now you're digging yourself out, aint ya?
R: [carrying on from where he left off...] And he says, "The best record, he's ever worked on", this new album
K&S: Ahhh
K: Well... we paid him for that - only joking!
R: (Get out of here!)
Er.. Medicino in California where you recorded it, he lives there doesn't he?
K: Yeah he does
R: It's in the middle of nowhere
S: Yeah
K: It is - it's basically in the middle of all the redwoods it's a long drive on windy roads up to it, and then once you get there there's nothing there apart from like a stall that sells...
S: And lots of hippies...
K: Yeah, and sort of - and there's nothing to do is there?
S: No
K: but it was good cos we watched the whales every morning and just went into the studio and just made the record really easily and y'know, we just sat around in rooms and recorded it
R: So is - is location important?
K: I think so yeah
S: Yeah - well now we've done it, I don't think we'd go back and y'know, do it again in an attic
R: Well you've just got the idea - you've got the taste of it?
S: We like travelling, we're thinking hmm where next, oh the Bahamas we need that vibe [she says jokingly]
R: Now "Alisha's Attic" - cos we've had some emails from some fans...
erm attic is presumably where you wrote the first album
K&S: Yeah
K: It's our studio - attic studios in Dagenham
R: Right
K: We say attic studios which makes it sound really exotic but it's just it's just a little attic [they giggle] with a little eight track recorder! Actually no we've got...
S: 32 channel now, darling!
R: Hello? ... Big time? (!)
K: Yeah, I know...
R: Alisha is what, some she-devil or angel or what?
K: Alisha - when we - when we bought out the first album Alisha was the character that we created for the song Alisha Rules The World, who was like half angel, half devil to cut a really long story short we used to call her the dangel 
S: She's still around, y'know, but we kind of, er... 
K: She's on the back burner
S: Yeah
R: - she's been demoted!
K&S: Yeah
R: "Sorry we just use you in the artwork now!"
K: But she's there, y'know, in spirit
R: OK, you gonna do a song?
S: Yeah we thought we might start with our single called Push It All Aside
R: Thank you very much
-------- ------ Push It All Aside acoustic and live ------
(don't forget Sharon's site has got the whole interview + music in RealAudio)
S: [giggles after she's finished singing]
R: Push It All Aside - you do giggle at the end of it!
S: I know...
R: Cos on the single it just sort of stops and it sounds like you're giggling away in the studio and you've said that's enough
S: It's because I actually did make a big mistake on it and it was one track - it was a one-take vocal, and he said - it was one morning and he said, "Please, please - get it all right in one go", so we went in straight in the morning and then at the end I went out of time and started laughing...
R: And you left it all in?
K: She does it every time! She always goes out of time, when we're rehearsing! [they giggle]
R: At least you're frank! Iis this the first new stuff in two years?
K&S: Yeah
R: What happens in that time? Do you make a lot of money from an album and then you go and, sort of go, "oh I never need to work again" and then you spend it all and go back and start working again?
S: Well that would be lovely but...
K: Didn't really happen like that at first anyway. Well we just spent a lot of time - end of the last album, you know, we were quite frazzled after making it or promoting the last album so we sort of went out of the limelight and we just wrote at home and did a lot of writing and just oh - other things, you know, other projects and bits and pieces - we didn't even think about writing a 3rd record, then the record company came to us and said we'd really like you to make another record if you can and you know, whenever you're ready so we just took time and listening to lots of old stuff and we didn't really inspired by what was happening in the charts so we just listened to some Dusty Springfield records and stuff...
S: and Radio 2...
R: Well that's a good job
K: and Radio 2...
R: A very good job...
S: Yeah
R: ... listening - my job is to listen to Dusty Springfield and Radio 2 
S: How fantastic is that? It was was, it just brought the joy back to music again it was good fun
R: Cos Alisha Rules The World, Alisha's Attic's first single - er album went double platinum and 4 hit singles, which I suppose - now that generates a lot of pressure cos everybody talks about in inverted commas the 'difficult second album'...
K&S: Mmmm...
R: How much - cos Illumina was the 2nd album 
K&S: Mmmm
R: - how much pressure did that put you under, did you think oh no you've gotta do better than the last one
S: Yeah, it was difficult actually, it was difficult because we always sort of, [sighs] y'know, we thought we'd done the best that we could at the time but y'know, we tried to move on in a different way to probably what we should've done really
K: Yeah at the same time we wrote some lovely songs, you know, The Incidentals
R&S: Yeah
K: on Illumina, was one of the best record we've ever made, I think, so erm, we did make some real gems, but you know, again, we were going through a sort of phase, and we kind of, I guess that carried on, but we love the record, you know we listen back to it and we love it, 
S: Every thing we've done though, has been a real moment in our lives to look back on y'know we know exactly how we were feeling at the time you've written every song
R: Yeah - cos this is gonna be your 3rd album that you're about to release realised
S: I know!
R: I think you said - it's 1999 and you were in an interview and you said "We didn't really want to make a 3rd record" - you were fed up with it all
K&S: yeah...
S: Well fed up of doing Alisha's Attic for the while actually, we were fed up for trying to sort of compete with what was happening in the pop world y'know because we consider ourselves as making pop music which we think we do but in the way that you know, Simon and Garfunkel make pop music - or - it doesn't quite fit in with the - cos we don't dance- you know
R: good
S: we couldn't fit in or compete with what was happening so we were quite fed up, we were like "Where are we gonna fit in?", y'know, and a lot of people always said there's this big sort of - y'know - middle bit of music in a circle and we were always dancing round the edges trying to find out where we fit in
K: Like penny in the slot, but never quite fitting...
R: so you went to California for ostensibly a meeting, with Bill Bottrell, and you stayed how many months?
S: Two and a half months... it was a long meeting...
R: Did you have enough clothes with you then?!
K: we came back - well we actually bought loads of clothes out there!
R: How was that for a good excuse to go shopping!
K: [talks at the same time as Richard:] America's a good place to buy clothes!
K: we actually did the hippy ting for a while though didn't we? We just sort of wore he same sarong every day and...
S: dreaded the hair, with long dreads...
K: [unclear what she said cos they're talking over each other] ... armpits - was quite nasty actually...
R: but Shellie, were you always in to Neil Diamond before...
S: Of course
K: Oh did you have to bring that up? I'm embarrassed for my sister..
S: Shush now, shush. For years and years I've been into Neil Diamond
R: cos Shellie's into Neil Diamond ... she did a dance version of Cracklin' Rosie
S: Oh I can - we used to - I tried to make Karen do a cover of Cherry, Cherry actually for years actually
R: Love On The Rocks...
S: Oh... [she gushes]
K: Oh dear... oh dear...
R: cos Karen, [he pauses, Karen continues 'oh dear'-ing about Shellie] - what is it about you and Wonder Woman?
K: Oh dear - where did you read that?
R: In all your biogs frankly
K: Oh no! Is it?
R: Yeah
K: We forgot to take that bit out... I did used to -
R: (she's very well behaved, "oh dear")
K: - I was obsessed with Wonder Woman for a long time and my P.E. knickers used to have like gold stars sewn on, that I sewed on myself, so I used to pretend - put my hair, when it was really long in a pony tail and wear my little sunglasses, turn around three times and quickly take off my sunglasses, put my hair down and whip off me clothes, and there I'd be in me little pants
S: and you're worried about me and Neil Diamond, oh my...
R: Jimmy and Marcus - are thinking they joined Aa rather too late - you missed out on some good stuff there guys! [girls giggle] Can we have another song please?
S: Yeah we're gonna do - what shall we do now?
K: Shall we do our second single for you - it's called Pretender Got My Heart
R: OK..
K: OK..
-------- ------Pretender Got My Heart acoustic and live -----
(don't forget Sharon's site has got the whole interview + music in RealAudio)
R: Pretender Got My Heart, second of two from the new album, The House We Built. It's the album according to one of you - it's the album you always wanted to make - who said that?
S: Yeah both of us
K: We both did it...
S: In unison [they giggle]
R: Got some emails in and they're all great, they're all great!
K&S: Awww....
R: A lot of fans are listening tonight - Sharon Edwards says erm, "say hi, I love the new single"
S: Sharon Edwards I know that name!
R: and Ben Goldsmith's in Hampshire - "Having fallen in love with their music the first time they appeared on Top Of The Pops I've eagerly awaited each new release and the two or three year gap between albums has been well worth it" - I think he's saying hurry up and make another one!
S: Ahh... [Karen giggles hysterically] we're sorry to keep you waiting!
R: OK... when's the new album out, May?
S: I think it's out May yeah
R: Yep, and er...
S: Oh the single's out really soon
R: and the single's out Monday [they actually made a mistake, it wasn't out until a week later than they said! (Monday 12th March not the 5th)]
K&S: Yeah
R: In a chart return shop near you. Are you touring?
K: yeah we're hoping - we've actually been discussing but not yet told the record company - we've been discussing doing like a lounge tour -
R: Mmm hmm
K: - maybe around the album time just setting a red carpet down and doing - bringing back a bit of cabaret like
S: Betty Davis and Jane Crawford kind of red velvet and curtain vibe
K: and we'll probably end up in Dingwalls like we always do, in Camden , but it's a good idea anyway!
S: We like to break it down and do it semi-acoustic
R: Yeah
S: Like the album was made, hopefully
R: Alisha's Attic have been with us tonight, that's Jimmy and Marcus on guitars, good work guys
J&M: Yup
R: and Karen and Shellie, congratulations on the new album, thanks for joining us
S: Thank you, thanks

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This interview is copyright Alisha's Attic, BBC Radio and Mercury Records.