Hung Like Hanratty supported Slaughter and the Dogs at Warehouse 23, Wakefield last month. I didn’t get chance to interview the bands on the day but here are some questions I put to them by email afterwards. Find out a bit more about them, the inspiration for their songs etc.
Whose idea was it to form the band?
It was Al Sation, Chris Charles and Adi Langdale, who formed the band originally. We all sat down and decided to do something different. Too many bands sang about politics, saving the world etc, and yet everyday things that get on your nerves like dogshit on the street, and not being able to find a parking space etc, never got addressed, and that was the direction, we decided to take.
How did you choose the name?
We thought of lots of names, The Spun Cups, Countryside Flytippers, etc. but none really grabbed us. Our good friend Pete Miles who passed away 4 years ago due to cancer (RIP), came up with the name HUNG LIKE HANRATTY, which we all thought was a great name and stuck with it. James Hanratty was one of the last men in England to be hung, and to this day, they still don’t know if he was guilty or not.
Who writes the lyrics/music?
Al Sation writes all the songs, lyrics and music, but the rest of the band add bits, take away bits, to create the final product.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Our inspiration is from early, tuneful, 1977 punk/new wave, bands such as The Pork Dukes, The Damned, The Stranglers, SLF (Stiff Little Fingers) etc. etc. All unique in their own ways.
Where was your first gig?
Our first gig was at Queens Park Hotel, in Chesterfield, which is now flat, sadly another pub closed down to government control. It was rammed, and a brilliant atmosphere. we decided to wear make up and uniforms, just to add a twist to our show. People did not know what to expect, so they waited around to see what we were all about, and it actually worked well, so we stuck to it. it was a great gig.
How has the band evolved since that first show?
We write songs, play them live, some go down great, others go down like lead balloons. We keep the ones people sing along to and seem to like and scrap the others. now we have a great powerful set, we have built up over the years. We have also established ourselves individually and musically have become a lot stronger.
What’s the best gig you have played?
We don’t have a best. We have played some cracking gigs over the years all over the UK. We always look forward to playing The Doll at Gateshead, its a great venue, and good people. But we also love playing in our home town of of Mansfield, in front of the Mansfield Mongs, that we class as family, and have much respect for.
If you could open for any act, past or present, who would it be and why?
That’s an easy one, The Stranglers. Al Sation idolises them. His home is a shrine to them, and his ultimate ambition is to support them. Chris is a huge Toy Dolls fan, Liam is a huge rage against the machine fan, and Kyle would like to play with Girls Aloud, but wouldn’t we all, lol.
Some may describe your songs as offensive. Can you tell us about a couple of the songs and the reason why you wrote them?
Our songs all have stories to them. Everything is offensive if you want to take it wrong. Some people go out of thier way to find faults (fuck em).
Danny is a Tranny is about one of our friends who did have a sex change, and became Danielle. At the end of the day its a laugh, if people don’t like it, don’t listen to it.
Nowhere to Park is about nowhere to park on your street.
Overdose and Die is about a smack-head who went on a shed robbing spree, nicking bikes, etc. and leaving needles lying about.
Gordon the Traffic Warden is about Gordon, a Derby traffic warden who has done us 4 times.
Scrap Metal is about it snowing really heavy, and the only vehicle on the road was a scrap metal truck with a washer on the back., its true, lol.
Human Pig is about people on disability scooters, but there is nothing wrong with them, it pisses me off.
The Ghost of Jimmy Saville, when I was a child I wrote to be on Jim’ll fix it, but I never got a reply, but my mate did. It was always a childhood dream to be on the show, then you find out he was a paedo, who to me was hero turned scum bag. I hope he rots in hell.
Clean up your dog shit is self explanatory.
Cardinal Kid Fucker, is a story Al Sation read in the paper, and we are trying with this song to make a point that even people in trust like vicars etc. are usually the abusers.
Mr Cabbage is about one of our friends called Neil, who comes to see us, and when he is drunk, shouts bollocks down the mike, plus you get a face full of spit, he also shouts chicken for no reason, lol.
The Devil went down to Wetherspoons is about someone who tells his wife he’s not going to be long at the pub, but is gone for hours, and when he gets home tells her the biggest pile of shit, rather than the truth.
Very Quick Song is self explanatory.
Chemical Waste Truck – we were in Skegness and saw a truck dumping waste into the sea that our kids swim in, which we think is wrong.
Ned the Horse is just silly, to make the album a 14 track, and not 13, superstitious, lol
I couldn’t see anyone who was obviously a Tranny at the gig (Warehouse 23). Was Danny there? If not does he attend many shows and does he like the song Danny is a Tranny?
No he wasnt there, but we have played the track to him in his pub, and he thought it was funny.
Is Danny a Conchita Wurst (with stubble or a beard), a Lily Savage – very over the top and uber glam or an Agnes Brown old and fat with a twinset and pearls?
He was a very ugly man, and he is an even uglier woman, lol. He is exactly as the song goes, he doesn’t have a beard tho, but I think it would make him look much better, lol.
Do you spend a lot of time sourcing your stage props?
No we just come across props when we are shopping, or we get given props as gifts.
Is the comedy element/stage show as important to you as the music?
People want to be entertained. everyone goes away from our gigs with a smile on their face, that’s what it’s all about. life is too short to be serious, stress is the biggest killer, so we laugh at everything, so yes comedy is important.
To someone who has never heard of Hung Like Hanratty how would you describe the band?
We sing about everyday life people can relate too, with added comedy humour. They can expect an insane, over the top, fun-filled childish performance, that will be guaranteed to put a smile on your face. It will take you back to being a kid. Let you hair down, jump up and down, shout and be silly, and enjoy.
Which other bands would you say you are similar to?
To be honest we have tried to create our own style, but the nearest bands to us on the circuit at the moment are The Toy Dolls, The Dickies, Anti-Nowhere League, Peter and the Test Tube Babies.
Which up and coming bands would you recommend fans of Hung Like Hanratty to listen to/go and see?
First Wave, Hospital Food, Krayons, Cretin 77, Dead Beats, Apocalypse Babys, Septic Psychos, Dun 2 Deff, Prisoners of War, ESO, Imposters, Sour Blisters, and Bruce Tallity etc etc. We must admit there are some outstanding bands out there, we could fill sheets of paper with bands we like. Punk is certainly alive and kicking in a big way.
Is music a career or something you do for pleasure?
Music is life, we eat sleep and drink it. We play firstly for the love of it, but its nice to cover fuel, breakages etc. Obviously it would be great to make a career out of something you love doing.
What would you say are the perks of being in a band?
Getting to play with new and old bands, meeting people, making new friends.
What, if any, are the disadvantages?
The disadvantages are jealous bands and people who want to destroy us by spreading lies about us. Its unfair, as we support every band, and do everything in our power to push them. If a band makes it big, we love it, and are very happy for them. I (Al Sation) am very proud of dirt box disco, who I was the original lead singer, they have done really well, they are my friends, we love em all.
What have the band got planned in the near future in terms of gigs/festivals/new material?
We have loads of gigs coming in, we would love to play the rebellion festival, and yes we have lots of new material that we are very pleased with. we do have plans, but nothing in concrete at the moment.
Any final message?
We are punk rock through and through. We are genuine people and love playing and spending time with our friends, thank you Steve Punksnotdead, Phil, and Sandra, for all your help.
We are NOT racist in any way
We are NOT homophobic
We are NOT sexists
Come and see us, have a drink with us and join the HLH family.
Thankyou to everyone for your much valued support. Cheers Louise, you’re a star.
PUNKS NOT DEAD. XXXXXXXX
Thank you to all the guys in HLH for taking the time to answer my questions.
Hung Like Hanratty are:
Al Sation – Vocals
Liam Smith – Guitar
Chris Charles – Bass
Kyle Ellis – Drums
PlanetMosh Review including Hung Like Hanratty: https://planetmosh.com/slaughter-and-the-dogs-warehouse-23-wakefield-3rd-august-2014-sound-control-manchester-acoustic-5th-august-2014/