The Display Team interview

The Display Team are a high-energy, high-concept, high-pitched band from London. We’ve been big fans ever since seeing them at the Alphabet Business Convention back in 2019 and have been trying desperately to get them up to Sheffield ever since! They’ll be joining us on our Season Finale live stream show on Thurs 27th May 2021 and we had a chat with Chuckles, Stanley and Josh from the band to find out more.

So can we have a little potted history? The Display Team have been through a number of different incarnations over the years, tell us your highlights.

Everyone loved us. Then they didn’t. Now they sort of do again. However, not all of that is true.

Some highlights:

  1. Made a child cry (w/trombone).
  2. Lost a trombone player (as a result of 1).
  3. At the end of 2019, we released an EP, ‘Spinner’ – we’ll be premiering music videos for two of the songs from the recording on the Buds & Spawn livestream. At the end of the ‘Spinner’ tour our trombone player left – see 1) and 2) – and we haven’t been able to replace him due to the pandemic.
  4. Now seeking trombone or saxophone player less averse to crying children, regardless of cause.

Chuckles added “I regret that I’m typically of a rather pessimistic mindset and tend not to remember good things that may have happened. However, one positive event I can recall is when we played at the Alphabet Business Convention, a fundraiser for Cardiacs main man Tim Smith, in 2019. It was an honour to play for my musical hero. Tim died the following year, so it’s a bittersweet memory, knowing that it is never to be repeated.”

Who’s in the current line up of The Team? Tell us what they play and give us one little fact about them so we can assess the cut of their jib…

  • Jimb plays the guitar and sings. (Josh says “He has no body beneath his clothes, and is in fact a mass of sticks held together by string. He doesn’t like me talking about it.”)
  • Josh Perl does the opposite to Jimb, and currently plays the sax too. (Stanley: “He loves geometric shapes – they make him feel non-linear”)
  • Stanley Elvis MacDonald is the bassist/vocalist. (“Shat himself in Paris” claims Josh….)
  • Chuckles the Clown sings and plays the drums. (Stanley says “A different person turned up at rehearsal every week, pre-COVID, claiming to be Chuckles the Clown and refusing to acknowledge the change. Sometimes they didn’t even wear proper clown makeup. It was very disconcerting.”)
  • Sam Wise trumpets around and sings a bit. (According to Josh: “Sam likes to ride his bike. He also holds the record for tallest mud tower in his county.”)

If you had to choose just one track / video to introduce someone to the very best of The Display Team, what would you play them / show them? 

Josh: “Our new music videos are the first and best we’ve ever made. They are also good, full stop – they cover a lot of ground. ”

Chuckles: “I think the song ‘Epitaph’ from the album ‘Shifts’ covers a lot of ground.” 

Stanley: “In order to understand The Display Team, experience recent EP ‘Spinner’, which is a real thing and represents our current and possibly ongoing direction. Musically, it covers a lot of ground.”

Josh: “‘This Is The News’, from the album ‘Shifts’, is a good example of a song by TDT that covers a lot of ground. As for our videos, you have seen or will see them, so you’ll know what you think of them very soon. You’ll like them.”

We’ve been trying to sort out a The Display Team gig in Sheffield for almost 2 years now, and it’s been hard not to take this whole pandemic development a little personally! What have the last 12 months been like for TDT?

Chuckles: “The last twelve months have been dismal for TDT. We’ve discovered that it’s almost impossible for us to function remotely as a band. Other bands and recording artists seem to find ways of being productive or at least reflective under these conditions, but it’s not a hiatus that we were well-prepared for.”

Josh: “Taking a break from our usual activity has at least allowed me to work on new music for TDT for the first time in a while, but yes, overall it hasn’t been a productive period for us.”

Stanley: “We are unaware that the last twelve months have happened at all and require evidence. Thank you.”

If you had to pick the artist / band that is mostly highly rated by all members of the band, who would it be? 

Chuckles: “There’s probably no one artist that everyone in the band is wild about. I’m a big Prince fan, for example, but I think I’m on my own there… Hang on – Josh says he’s also in my corner. We’re alone in the purple corner…. Oh – Stan’s on board as well. Perhaps we can finally do our version of ‘Darling Nikki’, then!”

Stanley: “I had other guesses (Magma, Oingo Boingo, Cardiacs, etc), but never knew you all liked Prince so much – wow!”

Any recent musical discoveries or new obsessions that you’re evangelical about? 

Josh: “I’ve been listening to ‘The Clairvoyant’, the portentous new album by techno musician Jeff Mills. It’s a long album, but I think any of its 15 tracks would be a good way in. Next, experience Jeff Mills – live!”

Chuckles: “I’ve been on a bit of a Rammstein bender lately. I find the song ‘Bück Dich’ pops into my head quite often, so I suppose I would recommend that, if you want to be tormented by it as I am.”

Stanley: “I’ve once again resumed my habit of listening to Lemon Demon’s ‘Spirit Phone’ from beginning to end on a regular basis, preventing new discoveries and obsessions temporarily. In order to make others see the light, I would encourage them to do the same – now!”

It’s been a very testing year for all of us, but there have also been some surprising benefits and wonderful creativity that have appeared during these strange times. What has kept you going through the tough times? 

Stanley: “Josh and I have thrived on the singing and dancing of prominent YouTube covers artist BuffCorrell (collaboration TBC). For me personally, Japanese punk band Otoboke Beaver and some high-quality (Mutti brand) tinned tomatoes have also helped.”

Chuckles: “Without wishing to sound like a toadying toad, I have genuinely enjoyed the output from Buds & Spawn. If I have people at all, those are ‘my people’ and I have no means of seeing them otherwise, so the B&S livestreams have been very welcome.”

Josh: “Nothing keeps me going like Ian Je.”

Finally, though we all know we’re not out of the woods yet, what are The Display Team’s best hopes for the year ahead?

Stanley: “We are hoping to resume regular gigging. Excitingly, our first post-lockdown gig will take place at 19:30 on the 3rd of July at The Prince Albert in Brighton. Also appearing will be ELLiS·D and Skinny Milk. For more information, go here – now!”

Chuckles: “I’m just looking forward to seeing the rest of the band again. It’s been a long time and I’ve missed playing music with them a lot. Even if there were still no gigs on the horizon it would be good for my morale to be amongst them.”

Josh: “I hope to finish the aforementioned new music I’ve been writing for the band, and I feel the same as Chuckles: it would be great to see everybody in TDT again and make some noise together.”

 

The Display Team join us on our live stream show on Thursday 27th May 2021 along with Perhaps Contraption and ROSH. We’ll be premiering the exclusive live session they recorded with us along with live chat and opportunity to ask your burning questions!

You will need to register for a ticket in order to receive the live stream URL. This link will also let you watch it back after the show has finished.

Tickets range from FREE (for low/no-waged) to £10 (50% of these Scene Champion tickets to be donated to The Theatre Deli in Sheffield, the original hosts of this gig).