Made from the talent of Supergrass, Babyshambles and beyond, Danny Goffey returns
Andrew Trendell
12:59 23rd October 2015

If you were aching because music was missing the sheer abandon with the intellectual edge of Supergrass, then rejoice - as drummer and songwriter Danny Goffey is back under the guise of Vangoffey, and he's brought a few friends along for the ride.

To celebrate the release of his staggering new solo album, Take Off Your Jacket Off & Get Into It, we sat down with Goffey and two of his band - who were no less than Drew McConnell of Babyshambles and Helsinki fame, and Louis Eliot of Rialto (who now also finds time to tour with Grace Jones and run Port Eliot Festival). 

Come with us as we discuss friendship, collaboration, the past, present, future and what happens when you wander into a pro-Musolini bar with Babyshambles...

At what point after the split of Supergrass did you realise that you wanted to do something on your own?
Danny: About four years - I was just mucking about with the kids and doing my thing. I was constantly writing, though.

So did you all work on this album together when the time came?
Drew:
We played a bit of bass and guitar, yeah. 
Louis: We haven't done much really touring yet, but we're looking forward to it. We've done some festival and club shows. 
Danny: A little library in Soho too, and a shop.

How long have you guys known each other and when did a working relationship develop?
Louis: Well, I've known Danny for a very long time - since the pre-Supergrass days. Drew, I think we've crossed paths but not really met or hung out properly until recently. 
Drew: Danny and I, y'know I tried to figure it out the other day - the first time I met you? I think it was around Camden. 
Danny: I carried your bass years and years ago, without a bass in it. Just the bass case. 
Drew: Ah, yeah. That was pretty typical of what we'd get up to. I had a gig in Soho with loads of things to carry and Danny met me out. 
Danny: Then we got to the gig, about to go on, drew open the case and there was no bass in it. I'd never been a roadie before...
Louis: I think I remember the first time I met you too, actually. I was playing a gig in Oxford at the Jericho Tavern, and this very strange child person came in with a guy from a band called Five Thirty - and I was a big fan of their band.
Danny: I think that the was the first time we met. When we got this band going, we basically thought about who would be the coolest and best to hang out with, the best musicians, but we couldn't find them. I ended up with this lot. It just fell together really nicely. The only person that it took a while to get hold of was our drummer Jamie. It's not like a put together band - we're all just friends. 

How do you feel about the term 'supergroup'?
Danny
: It's alright - a bit too much like 'Supergrass'. 

So if these songs had been in your head for quite a while, what do you feel that these guys brought to them?
Danny
: A bit more structure! On some of the early rehearsals, when Louis came in to play guitar, he made us have a look at what we were supposed to be doing. There are a lot of hard-strumming guitars on the album and I've got my acoustic which goes through all of the songs. Louis helped to change things and put them in the right place. 

And what was it about these songs that attracted you guys to them?
Drew: They're brilliant and just really honest - they're from Danny's singular and idiosyncratic perspective of the world around him. If you know Danny well, then the songs make you dance but they also make you laugh. 
Louis: I agree - they're just great little pop songs. You get them really quickly. There's nothing better than a great pop song with a lyric that means something. I agree with Drew, they're Danny's perspective and they've got a universal thing about them that a lot of people get. 

And how would you describe Danny's perspective?
Louis: It depends how much he's paying me... It's quite skewed. No, wait - that's not right. Drew, help me. 
Drew: I would say that I love being around Danny because he sees the humour in every situation - even if he's stressed or if someone has been mean to him. He'll look at you and say the one thing that could be funny about that situation. It's been a joy to be in a band with him. 
Danny: I played with Babyshambles a few years ago, and me and Drew got very tight and bonded. 



Drew: There was a diffuser and deflector situation.
Danny: And a 'steerer' - I was a steerer into situations. 
Drew: Danny would get us into all kinds of trouble.
Danny: We nearly got our heads kicked in at a pro-Musolini pub in Italy. I was pretending to be Jewish. There were some very muscular men with Musolini tattoos. 
Drew: One of the skills that I've developed from over 12 years in Babyshambles is a sense of social diplomacy - I had to deploy that many times over the years with Danny. 

Are you guys working on anything else at the moment?
Drew
: Yes, I've got another project called Helsinki, the second record is out now and I'm going to do another one soon. 
Louis: I play guitar with Grace Jones, so I've been doing a fair bit with her. 

How does Danny compare with Grace Jones?
Louis
: They are like peas in a pod. 
Drew: What a question that is. 
Louis: They're both brilliant in their own ways. They're quite different projects but I feel really blessed to be doing both those things. I can't think of two things I'd like to be doing more. 
Drew: Can we just assert in front of Danny that Vangoffey is our priority though, categorically
Louis: I do have another little side-project called Louis Eliot & The Embers, I've got the tunes together to do a new record with them. 
Danny: He also does a great job running Port Eliot Festival - putting great bands on and making it as bizarre as possible. It's one of the best festivals of the year. 

'Trials Of A Modern Man' is out on 6 November, taken from Vangoffey's debut solo album, Take Your Jacket Off & Get Into It - scheduled for release on 23 October. 

For more information on Vangoffey, find him on:
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