Monday, 30 January 2012

I'd Like You To Meet... Mike Von Woodfine

Photo by Lewis Shaw

It is gone midnight, and I am walking around the streets of suburban Fleet with a couple of drinks in me, and a man dressed as a 1920’s bombardier pilot. If this small fact doesn’t seem strange enough, then you ought to know that this isn’t the first time that this has happened. The man dressed as a bombardier is Mike Woodfine - musician, writer, and accidental fame magnet. He also happens to be a good friend, and the first victim of my venture into interviews.

So Mike. How did you and I manage to cross paths?
Our stars were in the right place at the right time – Venus was orbiting Neptune and we just seemed to collide. You commented on a status about pot plants on Facebook, got into a conversation with [cough] Tegan On Toast, [cough] my girlfriend, and we met up, at which point I stole you a glass plaque that read Very Sexy.

It actually just said Sexy. I’ve still got it.
Just Sexy? That’s simply not good enough…

I know right. So how did we get to the point of walking around at four in the morning, drunk off our faces talking about Franz Kafka?
I think it had something to do with us both being semi-insomniacs at the time – we’d find ourselves on Facebook at four in the morning and think ‘Well, I’m awake… you’re awake… why don’t we do something?’ It wasn’t just walking around – if I delve deep into my pockets I can find two bullets, which I recall finding on one of our strangest adventures – we walked about two hours into a forest, came across an army base, where we slept in a shipping container for the night with Tegan, Erin, Ed and Brownbear.

And what provisions did we take with us on this fateful journey?
I don’t think I took anything, we just did it on a whim really… I slept on a roll matt. What did you take?

This is gonna sound bad… just a four pack of Strongbow… and Brownbear took a four pack of Carlsberg…
I might of taken some drinks yeah… we’re such good campers. Going out for a night in the wilderness with no provisions, just alcoholic beverages for bedding and food…

How the f*ck are we still alive?
I really don’t know!

You are also in a band – a band called The Strange Rains – it’s very strange. How would you describe The Strange Rains?
This is very difficult. We’re sort of an infusion of 1960’s pop, The Beatles, July, those sorts of bands – with a mixture of blues as well, anything by BB King-

Pretty much everything a Beatnik might listen to…
Pretty much… There’s also a lot of contemporary influence as well, The Arctic Monkeys are a huge influence on the way we do our lyrics, things like that.

You have, as we so subtly mentioned, been going out with Tegan Marlow, infamous fashion blogger for – how long?
Well a year and a half now – it seems longer, everyone seems to think that we’ve had this eternal relationship, the people we meet now seem to think that it has just transcended years…

It seems like a strange sort of deceivably short marriage, filled with toast and vintage clothing – but how do you think that your relationship has changed you from a year 8 who wore Quicksilver hoodies and hung around in skate parks to looking like a confused Jarvis Cocker?
Haha… I think it’s been partly Tegan but to do with myself growing up – everybody goes through that typical year 8 stage of thinking that you’re a lot harder than you actually are, but she’s influenced me in so many different ways and we’ve experienced so many different things together – and I think musical influences have a lot to do with the way I dress –

Do you actually know where this goes?
I don’t know… there’s an awful lot of barbed wire… and a sign that says… ‘Do not pick up suspicious… mines’. I have a feeling we shouldn’t really go in there…

Yeah let’s turn around… So where did you get the first influences of your distinctively vintage dress sense?
I know it sounds really clich├ęd and obvious but I’ve got to say The Beatles and the whole swinging 60’s ideal. They’re the first band that I really got into, and it influenced me a lot. I’ve got a lot of sixties shirts, the kinds of things that were worn in a more colourful time. I don’t really know how I found all these things, it was just sort of chance and random shops.
So as well as your quirky dress sense, you’ve also acquired a bit of a literary and artistic collection as it were. How would you describe your bookshelf – and I’m talking about the magical one here.
It’s a mixture of all the great works, Kafka’s The Castle, things like that, all the way up to David Shrigley’s What the hell are you doing? – which is a brilliant book. A mix of everything that is a classic and the things that you think are going to be classics.

I’d also throw in the word deceiving, because when you pull the first book away…
There’s about forty behind that, and another fifty behind those… I just found them lying in a shop somewhere… Unattended so to speak… But I won’t go into that…

What do you think are the borderlines of finding books unattended with nobody stood there to take your money, what’s acceptable and what’s wrong?
Well a lot of the books that I’ve found were written by authors who are now deceased, so the money wouldn’t be going to them at all, just one of their ancestors or a publisher. There are several books that I found that I’ve bought another copy of because the work is of such a high standard…

When we talk to people, I think the most interesting thing for others is our backstories and the origins of who we are – you’ve got quite a colourful family – how many countries can you list straight off that immediate relatives have either been born in or lived in?
Immediate relatives – there’s about three different countries, but as soon as you step out of that there’s five or six more. My family’s been forever moving, and it’s kind of affected us financially – we never sold our last house in South Africa due to it being constantly burgled and vandalised, but I think we’ve settled down in Fleet.

Unwittingly over time – wait are there people down there?
Looks like a crowd… an angry mob… with torches and pitchfo- oh, no it’s just lampposts. What were you saying?

Over time we have unwittingly surrounded ourselves with people who have quite a large internet presence…
Yeah, there’s Tegan, Panda, our friend Louis, several others…

You don’t really put yourself out there that much – so how does it feel to be on the first page of Google Images for ‘Tegan Marlow’?
I don’t really mind it, I just feel like it’s going to grow over time, without any effort whatsoever. I’m really all for it.

Fred Durst dropped his digestive in a cup of tea, and he got a Limp Bizkit. Just to finish off, tell me a joke!
Why did the French man only use one egg? Because one egg is an oeuf!



  1. love it! he seems interesting :p

  2. that tegan girl is well lucky.

  3. Fun! Seems like a decently quirky fellow!

  4. Great interview.sounds like a top lad.the beatles rock!

  5. Well Done LEWIS! :() :D

  6. Year 8 <3 with personal knowledge of the quirky fellow in the tweed jacket, I would have to say LAD. Yea im not as '60's' as one michael woodfine but we have had some good times together, and awkwardly mike favours my ex-es ;) but its all banter because him and tegan are going strong and are good together and (voice starts to go high and whimpering) im okay im okay. Haha na im good its all JOKES but yea this guy. Ledgend. Alsoilovehismum.
    That is all.

  7. a witty fellow love his glasses!

  8. Why isn't this this guy famous? :P

  9. Great jokes at the end. had me laughing A lot! how can I Hear the Srange Rains then? thanks to finding this gem on facebook ive been able to check out other stuff on this blog as well. top quility stuff Lewis! found him on facebook should I add him?