THERE COMES A CLATTERING OF DISHES from the kitchen as I sit back on the sofa in Adele's living room. Only half an hour late, I look around the room, wondering why there is a giant map of Vietnam on the table.
Adele comes in with the tea, puts it on the coffee table and kneels down. My first impression seems to confirm the image of weird schizophrenia put out unavoidably by the release of two totally different singles, namely Naughty Miranda and I Wish I Had. An almost perfectly inscrutable smile plays across Adele's features, causing me to wonder just what is going on in the brain two inches behind those piecing green eyes, what dreams, what nightmares, what scenarios of exquisite strangeness are being acted out, are there majestically sweeping landscapes, whose horizons can be - (Get on with it -Ed.)
How did Adele come to be involved in such a business that seems to fit her like a pair of favourite trousers?
"Well, it happened when I was doing radio journalism for Radio Humberside. I did an interview with a band called The Vets, and Neil from The Vets (who happens to be our guitarist now) said to me 'Right, If we can do a gig at your school, you can do some backing vocals when we play the Hornsea Floral Hall'. I thought, 'Brilliant'. They invited us to the studio, I organised a gig at the school, 5Op a ticket, everybody came, and it made a profit, and its been a going concern ever since. Then I did some backing vocals with my friend Rachel England at the Hornsea Floral Hall."
Where did the Indians in Moscow come into all this?
"Pete Riches was forming a band a few months later, and wanted a girl singer. It was either going to be me or my friend. He contacted through mutual friends, and I gave him a ring when I got the message, and it went on from there."
"The original band was completely different, actually Indians in Moscow started about a year later after we'd just been mucking about for a while. That was in my last year I at school; at that time we had a drum-machine operator, Richard (Hornby) joined when we signed up to Kennick last February, and Neil..." Adele pauses, and chuckles to herself at the thought of Neil, "Neil, joined just before we went on tour, and it was all due to Neil that I was in the band in the first place, and now he's joined our band, its really funny."
What was being at a convent like?
"It was great really. It had its highs. I didn't like doing 'A' levels so much but I liked the school and everything. It was out in the wilds of Yorkshire; Stella Barker of the Bellestars used to go there. Some of the nuns were real bitches, but others were really nice.
"It didn't make me religious, it kind of gave me an interest in religion. It was confusing really, because I found an awful lot of hypocrisy amongst the nuns, or what appeared to be hypocrisy. It seemed to me as if they were nuns because they were escaping from the world, and they wouldn't admit it to themselves.
"It didn't make me religious, no, it gave me a spiritual bent ,if you like, I've always been interested in that sort of thing, but not necessarily Catholicism.
"The thing that really pisses me off is Night Thoughts, have you ever seen that?"
"Its on Yorkshire television, the very last thing that comes on, and there's this vicar sitting there talking in a very solemn voice about the problems of the world, and they're just full of shit, because all they're doing is trying to carve a career, or some sort of name for themselves, on the back of what they say is a belief, and its just a habit most of the time.
"I'm not saying that it's always the case, but I think that there's an awful lot of shit about, and that shit gets directed mainly into religion, politics, and the music business."
Well, what do you think of what you and the band have achieved so far?
"I- Shit, that's the milkman, excuse me!"
And Adele leaps up, and rushes out of the front door, to reappear moments later clutching a solitary milk bottle, Instead of taking it to the fridge She puts it upon the table, and we continue the interview.
Well, what do you think of what you and the band have achieved so far?
"I think Jack Pelter's brilliant, I think its easily the best thing we've done, I think Nigel Gray has done a superb production on that, he's a brilliant producer.
"I think we've made some progress, but it's got to become a lot faster, and that's up to all of us really. The tour taught us a lot about what we were doing wrong and what we were doing right, the most important thing is, not that you play brilliantly, or sing brilliantly, or dance about brilliantly, the thing is to put energy into it. If you put everything you've got into it, but bugger it up, people won't notice, because they'll be getting off on the energy of it.
"I should think that when Jack Pelter breaks, then maybe we'll start playing the Venue and the Lyceum. I hope so, I'm shit scared of doing it, but I'd like to."
What would the band's reaction to success be?
"Neil will probably buy lots of fast cars and loose women - or loose cars and fast women, or whatever they are. I would imagine that Richard would have one of those big round marble baths, and spend his whole time in it with a bevy of beauties and lots of Matey in the bath. I think that Stuart will become a serious artist and go away and write a book. I would imagine that Pete would have a tantalizing affair with Alcoholics Anonymous, he'll probably also buy his De Thomason Panthera car, and have a yacht on the Mediterranean. I would imagine that..." Adele suddenly stops joking and becomes serious, " I think that I'd probably... success... I don't know... its difficult... what's success... I don't know... I don't know, because success is what you make it. I'd love to have lots of money, but if I wasn't satisfied with what I was doing then all the money in the world wouldn't help. I'd like to move on to all sorts of different things. Originally when I was at School 1 was either going to Leeds and become a fabric designer, or I was going to go into drama. I went to Drama College for a little while and I really liked that, it's something I'd like to get into a bit more, but I don't know if I'm good enough yet. Its something I'm putting off to a certain extent because I'm frightened of it."
How will the band react to success, musically?
"What do you mean?" Adele looks confused.
"There's no such thing as selling out!" states Adele assertively, "I think this is completely wrong what I'm going to say now, but 1 believe that a lot of the time young bands have a lot of product, a lot of energy, then they get signed up to a record company, release a couple of singles, and then they aren't given the chance to progress naturally and they start thinking 'Oh Shit, what shall we do?' and they start thinking about what they're doing, and once they start thinking about it and analysing it they find that they can't do it any more. They bring any old crap out, like, who can I cite as examples...?" Adele stares at the ceiling for inspiration. "I don't think it's happened to Simple Minds as yet, I don't know, maybe it has..."
Is it partly this thing of having to release a single every couple of months?
"I don't know. That can be good in one way, if they think, 'Great! We've got to release a single!', but a lot of the time they think, 'Oh shit, we've got to release a single', whereas previously they were probably writing a single every day, but didn't know it. I think the thing is to keep your priorities in check, and if it means not releasing your single every two months then don't.
"I quite respect New Order, because they seem to have tried to do things their own way. Whether it's all a hype or not, like this 'We must go live on Top of the Pops' I don't know, but they seem to me as if they have anyway. Robert Smith I admire an awful lot, because he's been consistently good in whatever he's done, he's the sort of person that'll be still coming up with great stuff in ten years time.
"The Banshees, the Glove, the Cure, I think he's great. The thing is, about talent is I don't know... once you realize that you can't actually do anything, and stop trying to do it, the only thing left after talent is genius, that sounds arrogant, but I find that the times when I think that I can't do anything at all, are the times when I can do it best."
I must have looked slightly confused.
"You don't understand that, but if I... like in Dingwalls on Thursday night (7 June 1984)! There was one song, Howards at Lunch, that I found myself really emotionally involved with for the first time since I wrote it, and I thought, 'Shit'. At that point, everyone seemed to be drawn towards me, and I looked around, and I heard somebody say, 'God, she's crying'. I thought, 'God, this must look really good,' and as soon as I thought that, the whole gig went downhill. Do you understand a little bit what I mean?"
As soon as you were consciously trying to act...
"That's it, yes. It wasn't acting at first, but as soon as I thought about it, it transformed into something else and I was acting it." Adele glances at the milk bottle. "I prefer those milk bottles with the adverts on actually," she says, and laughs.
What has it been like suddenly seeing yourself on television, and your name in the music papers?
Adele picks up a blue felt-tip pen and starts drawing on the milk bottle. "The first time we ever had any press, was in The Hot Press, ages ago, when we first started, and I was so thrilled that I ran down to the newsagents and bought six copies. I then ran to my mother where she was working in the family shop, and said 'Look, look, look, look at this!'. It was, like, a tiny little photo, and it said 'This is a photo of Indians in Moscow' or some such shit, and I was really thrilled with it. My mother said 'Oh, is that all?', and I was really knocked for six about that because I thought she'd be really pleased, but she wasn't.
"I've learnt that it's nice to see as little bit of you in the press, but the more it happens the more you can see it as just being anybody else, really. Do you know what I mean? I like it happening a lot, but until we have really massive features or anything like that, its very much neither here nor there because it's in there, but is it good? I don't know.
"The thing about journalists is that they all give their own opinions. I know its really interesting to see people slagging things off, but there should be an alternative music paper, in which the journalists should be anonymous, because then they could be objective, instead of which they're stating so-and-so's little clevernesses, and so-and-so's little quirks, because at the moment they're full of self-promotional shit, and a lot of them are failed musicians. I know, because I used to do radio journalism, and it was for the same reason. It was because I wanted to be in a band really, well... I didn't think about being in a band when I was there, but it was something like that vaguely nagging at the back of my mind, that's why I got interested in bands, because it just seemed to all come together. It's not about being a musician or anything really, it really isn't, that's the least important thing of all."
As I wind up the interview, Adele again looks at the milk bottle.
"That's much better" she says.
There, written in large friendly letters is the inscription 'Happy'.
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