Q&A with Raz Razzle

Basingstoke Gazette: Raz Razzle Raz Razzle

JOHN Revell, who is better known as Raz Razzle, is a stalwart of the local music and arts scene.

A songwriter and street musician, he has also produced more than 100 albums of sample-based psychedelia.

Raz was born in the Shrubbery in 1959 and grew up in Cumberland Avenue, attending Fairfields Infant and Junior schools and then Cranbourne.

He began making experimental home recordings and formed the Horizontal Bulgarians in 1978.

They became the Seven Ages of Man in 1981.

Raz graduated from Westminster as a mature student in 1998 with a 2:1 in French and Italian, and married Ann in 2006. His only son Samuel runs his own dance school in Antwerp and appeared as Tino in Streetdance 2.

Raz began writing a history of Basingstoke’s music scene last year, which he publishes in instalments on his blog razrazzle.wordpress.com.

He will appear at Basingstoke Live 2014 with Universal Cutlery Basket on Saturday, July 12, and with Natasha Watts on Sunday, July 13.

1. Who was your childhood hero and why? Bobby Charlton. He was one of football’s achievers but always played fairly and in a spirit distinctly absent from today’s game.

2. What is your most precious possession, and why is it important to you? My Sagadia guitar. I bought her at Swallowfield car boot sale in 2000 for £10. I play her every day.

3. What was the first record/CD you bought? 7in single, 1972 – America, A Horse With No Name. CD, August 1994 – Burning Spear, Marcus Garvey/Garvey’s Ghost.

4. What is the radio/television show you hate to miss? Match of the Day/Have I Got News For You.

5. What is your favourite film? Powell & Pressburger’s A Matter of Life and Death (turns me to jelly every time).

6. What is your pet hate? Church bells.

7. What are you reading at the moment? 1970s editions of The Gazette.

8. If you were choosing a last meal, what would it be? Authentic Italian pizza with Chianti and a cup of tea.

9. If you could meet anyone from history, who would it be? John Peel influenced the way I think about music and other things. (The story of how I failed to meet him is a sad one. I’ll save it for a rainy day).

10. If you had a time machine where would it take you? The 1960s. I’d like to have lived the decade as an adult rather than a rude, selfish kid.

11. If you were stranded on a desert island, what luxury would you choose to have with you? My wife.

12. What sports team do you support? England. I’m an armchair football fan because going to matches is an unaffordable luxury.

13. What was your first job? I worked weekends in the NSS Newsagent at Brighton Hill in 1976. I took the bus Saturday lunchtimes to New Market Square to buy records from Tony Bregaint’s stall.

14. If you could take over someone’s job for the day, whose job would you choose? I’d do my wife’s job so that she could have more time to do the things she likes.

15. What worries you the most? Getting old/consumerism/war.

16. What is your proudest moment? Marrying Ann or getting played on Tom Robinson’s show.

17. What would you like your epitaph to be? Found it brick, left it marble.

18. What’s your guilty pleasure? Jelly babies.

19. What one thing could change society for the better? Raz Razzle’s Universal Panacea – I’m still working on the formula.

20. What three words best describe you? Fortunate, happy, grateful.

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