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Big Green Blister

It's tough being gay - especially when you live in Derby. Just talk to Brooks about it.
TN
Κείμενο Thandie Neutron
1.12.04

Photo by Helen Woods

It's tough being gay—especially when you live in Derby. Just talk to Brooks about it. He's this insanely talented DJ and producer guy with long tousled hair and an excellent jawline whose amazing new album, Red Tape, is an hallucinogenic glitch-funk soul odyssey into the stickiest, blackest recesses of the homo psyche. Even though he gets featured in Attitude and Boyz and things like that, he's not exactly Jimmy Somerville or Jamelia. Maybe his sexuality shouldn't come into it. But it's more interesting than reading about music, wouldn't you say? VICE: Is it tricky expressing yourself in public in somewhere like Derby? Is even holding hands a DON'T?
Brooks: You can't be too ambitious in Derby. I think I was being a bit too "carefree" with my boyfriend in the street recently and then later on this guy came up to me in a bar and said that I shouldn't be doing that, holding hands, around here, and then his girlfriend came and punched me in the face. It was horrible. And then the other week I was round at a friend's barbecue and they were all getting coked up and they wanted some more cocaine so someone made a phone call and this dealer came round and it was this guy with his girlfriend. I was sat in the kitchen seething with anger but I don't think they recognised me. My friend didn't even ask them to leave. I think cocaine was much more important than my welfare. What about Berlin? Isn't that place basically the biggest Do ever if you bat for the other side?
My favourite memory—and I've got wounds to prove it—is from the Panorama Bar in Berlin. I played live upstairs there a couple of years ago. But the downstairs is quite crazy, pretty full-on. The promoter took me on a tour of the club and showed me all the bars, then took me to the skins bar, a bar full of skinheads, which was very cool, kind of. One time I'd played there and had stayed up for so long and taken so many drugs that I ended up doing something rather disgraceful. Oh dear, it was quite hardcore. My vague memory is of this Muscle Mary sitting next to me singing Hebrew hymns and then I blacked out and when I woke up I was in the dressing room area on these black PVC sheets with a random bloke who was getting up to no good. I think in any other circumstances I'd have been really horrified but I was like, yeah, Berlin! That's the kind of thing I want to happen here! The next day I had this big green blister on my back from all the friction. But it was good fun. I think I'd been in there about 60 hours or something. Red Tape is out next month on Soundslike Music. But the Do The Math EP is out now.