For our first ever Festive Feature on Mad Mackerel, we asked twelve of our favourite bands and artists of 2011 to answer twelve questions and we will publish them over the next twelve days taking us up to Christmas Eve.

Mad Mackerel's 12 Days of Christmas 8: Tom Williams & The Boat.

The visceral Get Older by Tom Williams & The Boat was the first new single of 2011 that really caught our ears and our imagination, dripping venom as it did over a heavy, single drumbeat, a vicious guitar strum, and firing lyrics like physical bullets. So when it was followed by their outstanding debut album Too Slow in February, we knew we had a new favourite band for the year.

The album contained too many stand out tracks to mention, but both the hypnotic and menacing See My Evil and the wonderfully understated and slightly surreal Wouldn’t Women Be Sweet, which perfectly blends ironic wit with heartbreak (and reminds us of Blitzen Trapper at their very best) have been on repeat throughout the year at MM. Next year sees a new album and hopefully even bigger and better things for them.

1) Three iconic clashes. Who would you vote for in each of these?

a) The Velvet Underground or The Doors?

Velvets every time for me, because The Doors don’t have Lou Reed. 

b) Bob Dylan or Neil Young?

I refuse to answer this question…it’s like saying cheese or pickle…both are all that matters. 

c) The Sex Pistols or the Clash?

The Clash because they dreamt bigger

2) What has been your personal highlight of 2011?

Releasing our record in february was a moment, and we’ve had only happy times since.

3) What was your low point of the year?

Getting flu on a disastrous snow filled tour, which we eventually had to mostly cancel…grim times.

4) You can give one single album from 2011 to just one person for Christmas. What would you buy and who for?

I’d give the Tyler The Creator album to my mum…see what she thought… 

5) Give us between two and five songs from 2011 that you’d recommend as the best of the year.

Ok in no order…

Holocene – Bon Iver

Streams – A Grave With No Name

Codex – Radiohead

The Bay – Metronomy

Sweetest Touch – Gross Magic

6) Do you have a favourite Christmas Carol?

Oh Come All Ye Faithful for sure.

7) Imagine you are snowed in and stuck in an isolated house in the woods for Christmas with no way out. Wolves and bears are prowling outside. You need to recommend the following:

A classic song to impress an ultra cool, know-it-all, teenager

Mr Soul by Buffalo Springfield

A song to terrify Grandma

Yonkers by Tyler 

A traditional song to help send Grandad to sleep

This Land Is Your Land – Bob Dylan (from No Direction Home Soundtrack)

A song for someone just waking from a five-year coma

Victoria – Swanton Bombs 

A book to frighten the children


An unforgettable film to watch

The Jungle Book

8) What is top of your Christmas list this year?

I’d love an iPad 2 but I aint getting one… 

9) What is the worst Christmas present you’ve ever given and/or ever received?

I got a water pistol from a godmother for my 22nd Christmas.

10) Will you be making a New Year Resolution? If so can you share it and will you keep it? What is the stupidest New Year resolution you’ve ever made?

I’ve never made one…apologies…

11) Imagine you’re headlining a Christmas Concert at your favourite venue. You can share the stage with three other artists or bands (past or present) for the final encore of the night. Who would they be and what would you play?

I’d share the stage at Brixton Academy with Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young and Bob Dylan (The Holy Trinity) and we’d sing The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down by The Band.

12) Can you write us a Christmas themed limerick?

There once was a blogger called John

Who let off an incredible pong

The Christmas tree died

His granny did cry

And his great niece did burst into song.

Buy Too Slow here. Pledge support for their second album here (and get lots of TW&TB goodies too).

Watch See My Evil.


Watch Get Older.


Listen to Concentrate.


Download Tom Williams & The Boat – See My Evil mp3 (from Too Slow)

Tomorrow: Henry’s Funeral Shoe

Previously: Lovely Eggs (here), Twilight Hotel (here), Grass House (here), Hurray For The Riff Raff (here), Lonesome Wyatt & The Holy Spooks (here), Ohioan (here), Wooden Wand (here).

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