134. The Story of Salvo

The story of a hardcore punk band from London, told by the band members themselves. A transcript for the introduction to this episode is available below.


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This episode is all about the story of a hardcore punk rock band from London. Listen, and you’ll hear an interview with the band members as they talk about how the band started, their influences, and what caused the band to end.

The band is called Salvo. They started in London in 2002 and played gigs in London, Oxford and Manchester before breaking up 4 years later. This interview was done recently. For the first time in years, most of the members of the group were all in the same room at the same time, so I had to take the opportunity to interview them for Luke’s English Podcast.

The members of this band are all my friends. I know most of them from my days at Sixth Form College when I was a teenager. One of them is my brother James. I was also a member of the band for a year or two. The style of music is a little bit hard to categorise. It’s hard, fast guitar rock. It’s pretty hardcore, but quite catchy too. You can make up your own mind about the music as you’ll hear some of it during the interview. If you want to hear more of the music, you can check out the Soundcloud page for Salvo here. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO SONGS BY SALVO

This is an authentic recording. No-one is really grading their English. They’re speaking in the same way that they speak to their friends. The recording took place after a music session in a studio, and a short beer drinking session in the pub. What you’ll hear is natural British English as it really is spoken, in this case by a group of friends, who used to be in a band together, sharing some memories over a few beers.

Just before we start I’d like to just say a few things about learning English.

What’s the best way to learn English? Well, people always say that you learn most when you socialise with native speakers. It’s really hard to do it because you don’t understand everything and sometimes you get lost and feel confused and frustrated. But that confusing feeling is a normal part of the learning process. It means your brain is processing a lot of information. In this case, it’s struggling to deal with words, accents, phrases or pronunciation that you’re not familiar with. It’s a challenge to understand native speakers talking naturally in a social situation, especially if they are good friends who know each other well. But, challenges are an important part of learning English. What is challenging now becomes less challenging in time as you gradually learn more and work out what people are saying. Remember, it is in those challenging situations, like when you’re listening to native speakers, that you really learn the most. It feels difficult, but that is the feeling of your brain trying to work it out, and as a result, learning and improving. So, listen to native speakers talking naturally. It’s one of the best ways to improve.

You can do it with Luke’s English Podcast. I present things to you, like interviews or recordings because I personally believe in them, find them extraordinary or touching, and hope that you will too. Hopefully this personal connection makes the podcast more engaging and as a result, a more effective way to improve your English. Basically, I just want to keep you locked in to listening to natural English, even though it is difficult, because I know that ultimately, it’s beneficial for your English.

So what am I going to present to you this time? Well, how about the story of a real rock band from London? It’s also a genuine story of rock and roll and friendship, told by the people who actually experienced it. That’s what you can hear in this episode. The interview was recorded at a friend’s house on a Saturday evening in South London. Please be aware there are some rude swear words used, but that’s normal, after all, it is rock and roll isn’t it.

So just a few weeks ago when I realised that the members of Salvo were going to reunite in the studio for the first time in over 6 years well needless to say I jumped at the chance to record a podcast episode about it. In this documentary or, if you will, rockumentary that you’re about to hear, I wanted to capture the, the songs, the sounds, the smells, of a hard-working rock band sitting in a room together, talking crap. And I got that. But I got more, a lot more. But hey — enough of my yakkin’. Whaddaya say, let’s boogie!

I expect some of you won’t listen to all of it, but then again for some of you this is exactly what you want. Some of my listeners really like the opportunity to listen to real English like this. Maybe you’re one of those people. In fact recently I recently got an email from a listener called Rei Lung, saying how much he liked listening to recordings like this. This is what Rei said.

Hello Luke!I just wanted to thank you for all you’re doing. The podcast is absolutely brilliant. I particularly enjoy episodes in which you interview your friends or just people on the street (like in those videos on YouTube that you have) because I think that this is when you can hear ‘authentic’ English. Also, the noisier it is and the more people that take part in the discussion or whatever, the harder it is to understand and the more authentic the language used is. I’d love it if you could do more like these, perhaps in a pub or something where people don’t really bother speaking slowly and clearly. Also, I really enjoy it when you talk about British life and culture, very interesting and eye-opening so I’d like to see more of that as well.Cheers

Well Rei, that is exactly what you’re going to get in this episode.

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Transcript – A transcript is open on the Transcripts Collaboration page, and I’m slowly checking and correcting it, before adding it to this webpage. Here are the first few minutes of the transcript, which I’ve checked. This script starts at about 4mins into the episode after my introduction.

Jim -You’re listening to Luke’s English podcast. Live on luke.podteacher.luke.podteacher.com
Chris – Have you got a jingle? If you haven’t you’ve got one now.
Matt – Just a way I walk. (?)
Luke – Okay. Sh! Sh!
Chris – Nice jingle.
Luke – That amazing piece of music which you’ve just heard was a demo of an incredible band called Salvo and I’m here with some of not all of the members but some of the principal members of that band. And I’m now going to interview them and find out the details and the history of this really earth shattering, epoch making moment in culture.
I’ve got the members of the band with me. I’m going basically to introduce you them at first.
We’re going to find out who they are. We’re going to find out about the history of this group and I’m sure you’re going to find it fascinating and rewarding to listen to.
So I’ve got four people in front of me. On my left I have Aaron. Then I’ve got…
Aaron – Hi.
Luke – Hello Aaron.
Aaron – Hi. Hello.
Luke – Chris.
Chris – Hi.
Luke – Matt.
Matt – Hello.
Luke – Jim.
Jim – Hello.
Luke – And me who you know already after…
Aaron – And who was also in the band.
Luke – I was in the band too, yeah. So, let’s start with Aaron on my left. Alright?
Aaron – Hello. Hi. My name is Aaron.
Luke – How are you?
Aaron – Very well, thank you. Doing very well.
Luke – Good.
Aaron – Good.
Luke – So … Let’s see. What did you do in the group?
Aaron – Uh… I played bass and sang, did vocals in the group.
Luke – Okay.
Aaron – Bass and sang.
Luke – Okay. And…
Aaron – I wouldn’t call it singing really. But, you know, the vocal bits, yeah.
Luke – Okay. Alright. So, were you one of the original members?
Aaron – Yes. Yeah. Back in, I believe, it was two thousand and…
Chris – Two.
Aaron – 2002… 2002 was when Salvo started, yeah.
Luke – Yeah. Okay. Right. So, you were the bass-player and one of the vocalists.
Aaron – That’s right, yeah.
Luke – That’s right, okay. So let’s… Shall we move on …
Aaron – You can call me a principal songwriter.
Luke – Yes.
Aaron – If you really want to go with a label.
Luke – How many songwriters were there in this band?
Aaron – There were two. There were two dedicated songwriters.
Luke – Okay. Uh… So, you were one of them?
Aaron – Yes. Yeah.
Luke – And who is the other one?
Aaron – Chris King, who is on my left.
Luke – Okay. So let’s … Shall we move over to Chris?
Aaron – Yeah!
Luke – Hi Chris.
Chris – Hi.
Luke – So Chris, what did you do in the group?
Chris – Uh… I … I … I um … I played guitar and I sang… And… uh…, as Aaron said, I wrote some of the songs as well, so.
Luke – Okay. Right.
Chris – Uh… I wasn’t there from the very beginning.
Luke – Really?
Chris – I was almost there from the beginning, very beginning.
Luke – When did you arrive?
Chris – Uh… About a month or so after the band began. Basically I started uh… working… I was working at the same place as Aaron. And uh… and he started… he started the band. And… uh… and after, I think, he had a couple of practices with an old friend of his Dave who was the drummer. And… uh… So… they had a couple of practices and then I came along to one and after that I was in the band. So… yeah…
Luke – How did you… How did you join? Because Aaron and Dave were already in this…
Chris – Yes, you know, you know, basically I think what happened is Aaron and… , Aaron… Actually we’d been talking about it for a while at work. Aaron had a practice with Dave and another guy who he what was…
Aaron – Well it was me, Dave and this guy called Olly who just getting back to that when Chris joined. Chris came down for a practice and Olly had been sort of, you know, taking his top off like when it’s still quite… not even like warm in the room, just taking his top off and playing with his top off. And he’s a little skinny tosser on his guitar. And we were playing really badly and then Chris came down and Olly actually uh… proposed himself, you know, he offered himself for to leave the band because once he heard, you know, Chris play and realised that it was a little bit act of his depth, and went off to read poetry in pubs and that’s where he ended it up.
Luke – So Olly decided… Wait a minute. Just going back to this fact you said that he used to play with no top on. So did you not like that? Did you … Didn’t you … You didn’t like the fact that he’d played without his top on.
Jim – Why such a homophobe Aaron?
Luke – I don’t. I’m just curious to find out about that.
Aaron – It wasn’t somewhat that, you know, playing with you taking top off…
Jim – Some mates are so…, isn’t it?
Aaron – …it’s not about it, it’s like if you just go into a practice room, and it’s not that hot. Why would be… Why would taking your T-shirt off be the first thing you do.
Luke – Chris?
Chris – I … I never … I have sort of never sold that but it doesn’t surprise me. But I’m …
Luke – Okay.
Chris – Yes. So then I came along and things, you know,
< ? > – It’s a recent thing.
Chris – …things went, you know,
James – …From bad to worse.
Chris – …no, no, not into, you know.
Matt – …From bad to punk.

  • Peter

    ‘A million watts’ could pass for a NoMeansNo song.

  • Comments from Podomatic.com
    i’d love to see a photo of you all on that particular evening … Sabine (374 days ago)

    Hi Luke, I think this episode is great because it is really natural English. I’m living know in London, and I think the hardest situations for an English learner are in the pub, because people speak very fast and there is background noise. I think this podcast seems like a conversation in a pub. I really liked it a lot. Thank you. Diana (379 days ago)

    Hi luke! your friends are very funny and light-hearted ;) I like how you remained together even after the break up of the band.I really enjoyed the story and picked up new words and expressions.Thanks a lot! (379 days ago)

    Well Luke in Italy Salvo is a name , and as a word it means safe (390 days ago)
    Flag

    Luke, brilliant, thank you. Can I just ask a question? What kind of recording device are you using in those episodes? I would like to try something like that too – to interview some of my students and maybe use it in the classroom. Something independent of the PC or notebook. Thank you. Zdenek Lukas (390 days ago)

    Hi Zdeněk. These days I’m using a Zoom H4N as my portable recording device (just getting used to using it properly at the moment) and I used to use an Olympus handheld recorder which is a very good cheap alternative. (390 days ago)

    I did a lot of previous episodes, like The Pink Gorilla Story using the Olympus and it’s really simple and clear. It should be good enough for use in class. The Zoom, in theory, is a better mic but is more cumbersome and expensive. It does sound amazing in the right conditions though. (390 days ago)

    Hello, I”m from Algeria . It was a pleasure to listen to you and your companions , Very good episode. Thank you. muamar (391 days ago)

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