Interview: Kunt and The Gang

NANCY NAPPER CANTER interviews KUNT off of KUNT AND THE GANG. Click here. You know you want to.

Chips Edinburgh Fringe Kunt and the Gang margaret thatcher Nick Clegg tits

Kunt and the Gang’s ‘award-winning comedy songs for the sick of mind’ have been banned from Youtube, featured on Rude Tube, and even reached number 66 in the 2010 Christmas singles chart. Hailed by Charlie Brooker and Stewart Lee, Basildon born frontman Kunt – not his real name – dares to sing what no man has sung before. 

After an Edinburgh Fringe gig that turns nasty, we chat to Kunt about chips, Clegg, and the crazy punk who tried to punch him. 

Hi Kunt, how are you?

I’m good, thank you. My show last night was very quiet and civilised, apart from the bit where I got everyone shouting ‘Fucksticks’ at me.

Just quickly – why are you called ‘Kunt’?

Because no one would come and see an act called ‘Ian and the Gang’.

At your gig, a heckler went too far and punched you onstage. You punched him back, in the head. How’s your hand?

It is a bit bruised but fine. I’m still not quite sure what happened there. He was a punk bloke who seemed to get really angry when I mentioned Margaret Thatcher. I know she was responsible for a lot of atrocities in the 80s but so were Spandau Ballet and no one has ever tried to punch me for referencing them. It was an attempted assault which was factually inaccurate on many levels – before he swung at me he shouted “I’ve got three words for you…TORY SCUM!”

Is that the worst thing that’s ever happened at a gig?

I don’t think so, earlier this year Radiohead’s stage collapsed in Canada killing a member of crew and at Latitude Festival in 2010 there were two rapes.

‘Use My Arsehole As A Cunt’, your most successful song, is about Nick Clegg. ‘Chips Or Tits’ is about whether you prefer chips, or tits. Do you prefer writing about politics or daily life?

The original version of Use My Arsehole As A Cunt tells the story of trying to get on in the music business, and is more generally about the compromises people make to achieve success. That’s why after the Lib Dems became part of the coalition government and started reneging on pre-election promises it seemed like the perfect song to re-work and tell the Nick Clegg story.
That occasion is probably the only time I’ve touched on politics in my songs. I prefer writing about everyday life because there are lots of people making political statements but not many singing songs about washing your knob before you go out in case you get lucky.

When you gave me your flier you apologised for the naked picture of Lorraine Kelly on it. But your songs are totally shameless. Why the discrepancy?

I wouldn’t say the songs are totally shameless, I think they are documenting a side of life that often doesn’t get spoken about outside groups of blokes down the pub. I also think I have managed to find a couple of topics that have never been set to music before, which in a day and age when it feels like everything has been done before I’m well proud of.
As regards the pamphlet with naked Lorraine on, I was apologising for the fact that I had to obscure her biff region because the printers refused to print it otherwise.

Do friends and family come to see you perform?

Some of my friends come along to the local shows and I have made some good friends gigging around the country. My mum still doesn’t know what I do. She thinks I’m out in the evenings delivering pizzas for Papa John’s.

Songs like ‘Let’s Send Nan To Dignitas’ and ‘Shaven Haven’ pooh-pooh taboo subjects. Is there anything you wouldn’t sing about?

A few years ago the answer to that question would have been ‘a missing child’, but that was before the case of Shannon Matthews whose mother Karen faked her disappearance to try and earn a few bob. It was such a bizarre story that it inspired me to write Shannon Matthews: The Musical, which I ended up recording with a self-assembled company of amateur actors from Yorkshire.

Last year at the Fringe, you got threats of legal action. This year someone tried to beat you up onstage. Are you coming back next year?

I never plan anything that far ahead! I’ll probably make a decision around the time of the Fringe guide deadline next year. If I do come back next year I would like to ask people who have a friend who is a drunk unpredictable sociopath, if they wouldn’t mind just leaving them at home.

And, finally, chips or tits?

It’s never as simple as that. There’s a whole host of viable parameters. I’d choose a nice pair of tits over a bad bag of chips, but then I’d much rather have a nice portion of chips than a wafty set of tits any day.

Thanks, Kunt. Hope your hand gets better.