Sunday, 13 December 2009

Medway Mortal Musings- Phil Dillon

Phil Dillon....photographer/occasional musician/ex-Matador/stylish geezer (one of those is not true) has grasped the biro-baton and crystallized his thoughts on Medway for us.
Phil has been a regular on the local scene playing in bands and organising various events...particularly with the Medway Eyes group. Here..we crack open his mind with a crowbar from B&Q:

1) Please tell us a little about yourself and about how long you've been associated with the Medway Towns? I was born in All Saints Hospital in Chatham and I've lived in Medway all my life.

2) What's your favorite memory of Medway? Man and Boy, a model shop in Chatham High Street. Going to the cinema in Chatham and calling into Pat's for sweets first. Pat looked a bit like Peter Sellers. Haircuts in Long John's. My Nan's shop - Jaydee Newsagents on the corner of Wyles Road and Dale Street.

3) What's your favourite Medway building? Chatham Town Hall, now known as the Brook Theatre. The day the Council threatens that one is the day I raise a people's army.

4) Where's your parish? Rochester, Chatham, Gillingham? Elsewhere? Chatham.

5) Have you some favourite bands or solo acts from past and/or present? (Medway Acts)? Too many. From the past, The Claim, The Dentists, Swinging Time, Men From Memphis. In the present, Didi Bergman, Lupen Crook, The Lovedays and anything Chris Austin does. And the Singing Loins.

6) Any great memories of wild nights out to share? I fell in a ditch at one of Judith Mullarkey's parties once. And there was the night in 1987ish when The Drunken Popes played at the Blue Lagoon and some twats came in and started a fight. The bouncers were crap, but our bass player Sean wasn't. He threw all of them out in seconds flat. The police were called after they smashed the window, and Sean had to go with them to identify the aforementioned twats. The Dentists were there, minus Mick, and played an impromptu covers set until Sean got back and the popes could play. Bob broke most of my strings, but it was a great set.

7) What's your favorite pub? (clubs and bars do count)? The Barge, The Nag's Head and The Britannia. I used to love the Command House too, when it was a pub.

8) If you were to show a visitor around Medway for a day...where would you take them? Casa Lina in Rochester, circa 1997, and then a few architecturally or historically interesting pubs.

9) Is there a landmark that you instantly think of for the towns? Well, you see the castle and cathedral as the train pulls round the bend towards Rochester, so it's them I suppose.

10) If you could live in any building in Medway where would you choose? A renovated Spemco building on Desolation Row.

11) Any particular shops that you think are worth a mention? Sound and Vision (Sounds Perfect) in Chatham is a proper old fashioned record shop, and I enjoy a rummage in Baggins Book Bazaar from time to time. I quite like the Tulip shop in Chatham for pickled things and flatbreads too.

12) Which famous people...real or you immediately associate with Medway? Rod Hull.

13) What's your very earliest memory of being here in these towns? Being in my mum's pale green Austin 1100, being taken to play school. I used to sing Gary Glitter songs into a hairbrush there, and I once got into trouble for poking a cake. (Curator's Note: Haven't we all?)

14) Any sad memories of Medway? The day they took the snail thingy out of the Pentagon. The bulldozers destroying the Theatre Royal.

15) What's your favourite local music venue...past or present? The Barge and the Nag's Head. I thought the Underground was a cracking venue, but it didn't last for long.

16) Do you enjoy the current Medway Music Scene? I do, and I always have. Medway has always had more than its fair share of talent. It's the water.

17) Do you think the towns will change drastically...on the entertainment front...over the next 20 years? In terms of the areas I'm involved in, I hope not. Some of us have been doing our thing for over twenty years, and it's still as fulfilling now as it was when we started.

18) What would you change about Medway if you had the chance? It would be responsibly and democratically run by people who put the interests of the towns and their populace before their own, and PCSOs would receive adequate training.

19) If you were asked to design a snappy logo for the Medway Towns....perhaps for an ultra-modern coat of arms...what items or items would you have on it? A crack whore in Dickensian costume in a large brown envelope.

20) Lastly...on the tail of the last question...what would be a great SLOGAN for The Medway Towns? Local Towns For Local People.