The Tuts

Middlesex

Friday 29th March 2019

Photo: Saad Aziz

Name, where are you from?
We're Nadia, Beverley and Harriet and together we make The Tuts. We're from Hayes, Middlesex. Nadia is Indian/Pakistani, Beverley is Caribbean and Harriet is white British. We’re bringing it together to send a strong message!

Describe your style in three words?
Nadia: Punk, bantz and cusses under a three-tone gazebo.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to?
 

Nadia: The best gig was The Libertines ‘Love Music Hate Racism’ show at the London Astoria. I begged my mum to buy us tickets because we were too young to have debit cards; they were only about £12.50 each. We were only 14 and we got there super early before the show and waited outside so we could be at the front. We could hear The Libertines sound check from outside, it was surreal. We smoked weed down a side alley and thought we were bad! We were pressed up against the barrier for the whole show through about four bands until The Libertines finally came on but the crowd was so wild and it being my first ever standing gig I wasn’t prepared and I got crushed and dehydrated so I had to be pulled out the crowd, I fainted on some stairs and some people found me and helped me. I drank some water and heard the opening lines of ‘Time for Heroes’ and stumbled back into the main room to Mick Jones guest appearing on stage, there are videos on YouTube.


If you could be on the line up with any two bands in history? 


Harriet: Right now we’re all really connecting with Lily Allen and would love to be on the same line up as her. Her new album is so raw and honest but we also love what she stands for, how she keeps a dialogue going about Grenfell and how she’s not scared of confronting right-wing journalists and politicians. Someone else we’d pick is Charli XCX, her album Sucker was our tour soundtrack for a while. But everything new she does is great too. A Tuts and Charli XCX show would be out of control.
Bev: I love Lilly Allen she’s like a left-wing superhero if there was ever one. Her Twitter is fire. Her new album is so pure and inspiring which is lacking at the minute. Charli XCX has this, she could be your sister vibe, who you’d get into loads of trouble with. Her album sucker is just banger after banger. Before we’d go on stage we put that track on and pump ourselves up. It works.

Which Subcultures have influenced you?
Nadia: This applies to all three of us, but we never quite fit into any subcultures because at school you were either a ‘grunger’ or a ‘townie’ and we were neither, we were all misfits. I think the flux of indie bands in the early 2000s and the movement it caused definitely influenced us. But also the rise of female artists like Kate Nash.
Harriet: Yeah Kate Nash’s third album ‘Girl Talk’ I feel created a kinda subculture that resonated with us and not enough people talk about it. It encouraged a generation of young teens to identify with feminism and take pride in being in a ‘girl gang’. But it also marked an important part in her career, having been on a major label to become more independent so she could create the music she wanted to on her own terms. Her music transitioned from pop to slightly more grunge and atmospheric guitar-driven anthems. For us, being around all that unravelling and witnessing people’s reactions to it has definitely impacted on us.
Bev: Girl Talk was its own movement; she was reclaiming her independence again and moved forward as a DIY artist.

If you could spend an hour with anyone from history? 

Nadia: My uncle Bashir Shaikh - he used to be in this cool Desi band called Kala Preet, he played guitar in his band but unfortunately he died in his 40s and I was only about seven and didn’t start playing guitar till I was 15 so I never got to jam with him or talk about music. He died in Malawi, Africa, on a family holiday there. I accidentally inherited his guitar and bought it back with me, a Gibson SG Custom, which is the guitar I now play at every show
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Harriet: Another choice would be Amy Winehouse…still saddens us that we never got a chance to see her live.
Bev: Nina Simone. Her song ‘Don’t let me be misunderstood’ resonates with me as I feel like we’re often misunderstood as a band.

Of all the venues you’ve played, which is your favourite?


Nadia: I have a soft spot for The Lexington in London because it’s where we had our first ever album launch party. We sold out the place and although it was only 300 tickets it was a big deal for us. Plus its good sound and the venue's a good layout. 


Harriet: We often play this incredible festival called Indietracks. In 2017 we played the indoor barn stage, it was packed out and we wore wedding dresses on stage. We performed this kinda ‘self-love’ ceremony and we got everyone in the audience to marry themselves. We even had our friend dress as a priest and read vows that the audience repeated back to us. 


Nadia: We also did an acoustic cover of Linkin Park - 'In The End', as it was shortly after Chester had died. We got loads of other bands up on stage, it was emotional.

Your greatest unsung hero or heroine in music?


Nadia: Pauline black, she was the first women in 2-Tone music, a subculture and a living legend. We had loadsa fun on tour with The Selecter, we jumped on stage every night and their fans love being cussed to their face. Loads of white, middle-aged men, with disposable cash - they loved it!


Harriet: We love how Pauline runs things, she’s an inspiration. 


Beverley: She’s boss lady

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Nadia: She’s like the Nicki Minaj of 2-Tone.


The Tuts describe themselves as "avatars in the ongoing debate over inclusivity in the music scene". The "three-tone" band's have won over fans that include Billy Bragg, Pauline Black and Kate Nash, as well as getting airtime from the like of Gary Crowley and Steve Lamacq.

The Tuts have also just been announced as the support on The Specials' highly anticipated 40th-anniversary tour, following the release of their number 1 album 'Encore' earlier this year.

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