The Grubby Mitts

The Mitts' oddball indie electronics, madcap rants & harmonic guitars culminate in a sound partway between Super Furry Animals & GaBLé – with a splash of Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band.

Anita Awbi
  • By Anita Awbi
  • 4 Feb 2015
  • min read
There’s no easy way to put this… but Beford five-piece The Grubby Mitts are bonafide nutcases.

Their oddball indie electronics, madcap rants and harmonic guitars culminate in a sound partway between Super Furry Animals and GaBLé – with a splash of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band thrown in for good measure.

Live, everything is eased along by a lovely Hammond organ or vibes, which act as a lozenge to their acerbic vocal incantations and spiky drums.

The overall effect is a warm and chaotic mess of sound - so it comes as no surprise that they’ve performed with former Can frontman Damo Suzuki, with whom they obviously share a love of all things peculiar.

With such a diverse range of influences and instruments, we’re guaranteed a right weird mix of comedy and hearty rock ‘n’ roll on their new album, What the World Needs Now…

Released on 9 March through Lost Toy Records, it features such wondrous and intriguing song titles as Chewy Cosmos and Worm of Eternal World.

We caught up with the Mitts’ head honch Andy Holden to learn that they’re a brainy bunch of musicians with their fingers in all sorts of academic and cultural pies.

We also find out why Kermit the Frog is their main musical inspiration…

We first started writing music together because...
I can't imagine not doing it.

We have been making music as The Grubby Mitts since...
2007, sporadically; moments of intensity followed by periods of procrastination and unavoidable hiatus.

Our music is...
Probably more accessible than the way my description would make it seem.

You'll like us if you listen to...
In a Bar Under the Sea by dEUS.

Our favourite venue is...
The Catholic Club in Blackpool.

Music is important because...
It's perennial.

Our biggest inspiration is...
Rainbow Connection by Kermit the Frog

Our dream collaboration would be...
John Cage.

To try us out, listen to our song...
Worm of Eternal Return.

If we weren't making music we'd be...
In all honesty this is a hobby. Albeit a serious one. John is doing a post doctorate in researching carbon reduction, James just published his first book on the happy ending in Hollywood Cinema and teaches film studies, Johnny produces records and arranges songs and has released four solo albums, Roger teaches music and has released two solo albums and I spend most days in my studio making art work. We'd be ok without music, but a little less happy. Keeping it like a hobby means we, hopefully, will never tire of it.

In 10 years' time we want to be...
Ten years older, but hopefully similar.

www.thegrubbymitts.com