Released November 23, 2012
All tracks written & performed by Laura Lee, John Harvey and Johnny Somersett.
Recorded @ The Rooms Rehearsal Studios, North Camp
Engineering and recording by Paul, Guerrilla Studio, London
Mixing and Mastering by Johnny Somersett
Our first record. Probably best described as “scrappy energetic chaos”. With this release we set the template for what we might be. We were making it up as we went along. For us, listening to this record now brings up a mixture of feelings. Gosh weren’t we fast? These songs are better than I remember them being. Wow we fuck up a lot. Overall, it’s something that we’re proud of still and we love, for all its flaws and its glimpses of what we’d become and what we were. It’s about being in our 20s and all of us having more hair.
PFG was formed from the ashes of a previous project Occasional Kings (there may be videos floating around documenting it). That band had Johnny playing guitar and singing, much like his current band Moper who really are excellent and you must go check out. We had fairly conventional songs and we were very loud and aggressive. When that band dissolved and we started PFG there was a shift in the emphasis of what we were doing. Guitar was left in the very capable hands of Laura Lee, but it’s probably safe to say that Johnny was the punk influence in what we were making previously. With him smashing the ever loving hell out of the drums, our focus shifted not only into the instrumental but also away from Johnny’s signature, masculine sound and into something more ephemeral with Laura’s icy, spidery guitar taking centre stage.
This album, although it was our first, has some enduring “hits” on it. When I Was A Teenage Manta Ray and A Hog In the Trough remain live favourites and are still played out regularly. Manta Ray was the first song we wrote as PFG and still stands up against anything we write to this day and contains the essential formula for how we write songs no matter how much we try to avoid or reinvent it. The sample is of some real pilots talking about having seen a UFO. Atlanta Beaver Ruin is the reason we can’t have this album on Spotify because we’re cheeky sample thieves. Monkey Doo references the pilot John Derry who ended his career spectacularly at the Farnborough Air Show and has a building named after him in the school John would later work at. Lost Cat no longer gets played live out of respect for our dear departed Johnny (not dead, just in Moper).
8 Mins also represents our first foray into doing this DIY thing that came to (and still does) define what we’re about as a band. We hired a lovely chap called Paul from an outfit called Guerrilla Studios, doing what was in 2012 a novel concept – the portable studio. We set up at The Rooms in Farnborough and recorded the album front to back in around 2-3 hours which explains a lot about the frenzied, haphazard performance. It’s a remarkably accurate representation of what we’d sound like at any given gig or band practice. It’s us, in a room. No overdubs. No edits. Playing the songs as they came out. Beaver Ruin is, believe it or not, the best performance we could muster on the day. It has its plusses and its minues. It’s real though, that much is for certain.