“Seeing people not carry anything to gigs… I was just like ‘I want to not carry anything.’”
Interviewing people can be a nightmare, or the best fun. In my surprisingly long and anti-climactic journalism career, I’ve asked for interviews from a range of famous people. Wagner (X-Factor) declined on the basis that I wouldn’t pay him. Rebecca Black (“Friday”) was unbelievably genuine and nice. A far-right group from Australia who’d recruited a guy from a wee town in Aberdeenshire, not so much. I’ve had big ones fall through, I’ve been delighted by chats that went surprisingly off the rails and I’ve had amazing, long discourses about setting the elderly on fire with Limmy. But I can honestly say that buying Taylor Stewart (Romeo Taylor, Herbert Powell, Rapid Tan, Bin Men, ex-Savage Mansion and others) 20 wings and watching him tackle them while offering obtuse, hilarious answers has been amongst my favourite journalistic experiences.
Why wouldn’t it be? I have the advantage of having known Taylor for a few years (I got to meet his Mum, once), I’m one of many with a kind word to say. His tweets (@COOLJINZO) are Dadaist works of art, his YouTube content (particularly a Streets-esque effort tackling Carrots) and his general presence in and about Glasgow has marked him out as a funny, frighteningly inventive and welcoming personality. So, it makes sense that his solo musical venture, Romeo Taylor, is beyond entertaining.
“I love attention. I want it all. I love attention so much.”
Romeo Taylor’s music is a bizarre kaleidoscope; it’s the work of someone who takes all sorts of disparate influences and melds them into songs that bounce from genre to genre. While the nostalgic, mournful ‘Go Without’ and ‘Golden Lover’ veer into 80s synthpop territory, official Sound of the Summer ‘The Kingdom of Scotland’ is, officially speaking, Donk, while ‘The Waters Divided’ is music for an evil wrestler. Something for everyone, then.
“I totally copy Insane Clown Posse, and I try and copy… mad geezers, man. Liam Gallagher, Rob Pollard… I like Sleaford Mods. I saw them in the Barras, they were pure bold as brass, pressing play on a laptop and holding a pint.”
A drummer in many impressive Glasgow-based outfits, including the brilliant Rapid Tan, the jarring technical acrobatics of Herbert Powell and formerly Savage Mansion, Stewart has taken frontman roles before, in the Juggalo-indebted Bin Men and occasional collaborative project Hans Greene (whose song ‘Cash Cow’ still bangs). But with Romeo Taylor, Stewart has found his niche; his live performances showcase the man’s ability to whip up crowds, slotting incongruously into indier-than-thou line-ups and coming away the night’s victor:
“If you come to one of my gigs, just push each other about, it’s a pure laugh… just don’t push me. Come and enjoy yourself, maybe drink 5 pints before it. Don’t talk over my fucking quiet songs, you fucking idiots.”