3 Daft Monkeys play this year’s Southdowns Folk Festival in Bognor Regis as they start to contemplate their 20th anniversary next year. A live best-of is looking very likely.
Tim Ashton, vocals, 12-string guitar, penny whistle, said: “We have got eight studio albums out at the moment, and we are thinking of doing a shout-out to the fanbase to get them to pick their own favourite tracks. We haven’t got a new album coming out so we were thinking we would do a fans’ choice.
“We are going to do a live show early in the New Year in Falmouth, and we will do the tracks and bring it out as a live recording. We are all very comfortable with each other. We are all in a good place, and we just think it would be a nice idea to do a live best-of to sell in time for the summer festivals while we are also trying out new material.”
3 Daft Monkeys emerged nearly 20 years ago when previous band Lordryk split up: “We had a festival booked near Madrid in Spain, and three of us turned up to do the show and we thought that we had better rename ourselves and we called ourselves 3 Daft Monkeys. It was actually from a song I had written which was about how the previous band was falling apart. We had all seen too much. We had all heard too much. It was a bit of a parody on the old three wise monkeys thing.”
The collapse of the old band had been a gradual thing: “You try to fulfil contracts but it gets to the point where you realise that it isn’t much fun anymore. When it isn’t much fun, you realise that it is time to move on. It is time to go in a different direction, and I am very glad we did because this has been good. Musically I think we got a little bit more dancy, a little bit more upbeat, a more positive message if we have got a message at all! But it is quite life-affirming and upbeat music that we try to give out. We were just all a bit more open to everything. We took on all different influences from around us.
“Me and the fiddler player went off in a van and gathered tunes and music and different experiences and came back and started in earnest with the band again. We were touring around Europe doing street entertaining after the band split up. We absorbed a lot more European styles and merged them with English folk and Cornish folk.”
The band developed in pubs and then moved into venues and now works extensively during the festival season: “A few years ago we had an agency and we did spring and autumn tours, but we have got children now and things are different, so we tend to pick the dates a bit more outside the summer. We are trying to rein it in a bit now in the spring and the autumn. We are self-managed now.”
Music at the Alexandra Theatre for this year’s festival includes: Thursday, September 19, 7.30pm: The Young Un’s - The Ballad of Johnny Longstaff show; Friday, September 20, 7.30pm: 3 Daft Monkeys plus 9pm: Blair Dunlop; Saturday, September 21, 7.30pm: Alistair Goodwin Band plus 8.40pm: Oysterband.
Sunday, September 22, 7.30pm: The Jigantics plus 8.40pm: Lindisfarne.