The four members which make up The Counterfeit Clash are pinned down just moments after their ball breaking set of 45 sweat filled minutes. Barely dressed in their casuals, the stuffy portacabin dressing room has two chairs and three tables.
This group has been together since the school days of long ago. Although the band did not get together as their present incarnation until a benefit gig for the cause Cash for Kids all the way back in 1996.
This group has been together since the school days of long ago. George Coventry and Rab went busking together in Paris. Their friendship is life long since they met each other in class along with other the other band members Johnny Leslie and John Coventry. However, the life was never this sweet long before they formed they were on different tracks as the years and bands passed. “Aye me and George went busking in Paris and we were all in separate bands bands”. There are no signs of there being Clashesque fallings out as they gently tease and poke fun at each other “you're always out of tune on that one” talking about Johnny's performance in Guns of Brixton as they take apart their set and how to improve it for the next gig. Of course he just laughs it off and congratulates Paul Simonon, “its a song with one of the best bass lines in”.
George and John leave in something a little more heavy or something which will cool them down. It is hard to say what they want, they just go, silently and you only notice because they are going back and forth outside their dressing room. Through the window they go in the direction of the stage and disappear for about five minutes. On the return it is George and Rab who are now talking, they are exchanging stories of days gone by and private jokes with little or no illumination as to what they are reminiscing about.
They consider themselves the guardians of the Clash's legacy, but they do not let this turn themselves in to an egotistical nightmare as they remember who are just as important to their success “it is so nice to see the familiar faces, the old school punks, ska people. Its really good that we are see new faces too”. Here they are referring to “the people who have been introduced to The Clash through television, movie soundtracks and new bands doing the covers… It has lost its shock value”.
They are a band who are not afraid to do some of the legwork. Take the previous time they played the previous Wickerman Festival. “Having been given about 24 hours notice we were not on the bill. So what we had to do was to hand a load of fliers out. We figured we would have to stick the leaflets where everyone goes. So we stuck them on the port-a-loos.
Even so they are no “new Clash”. When asked about whether they would release any originals as The Counterfeit Clash they simply answered “we've tried that before and it was not well received. We do not mind being in a glass bottle, we are about The Clash… This is not our full time job after all”. It is remarkable to realize, the Clash's top covers band has been going almost as long as the first band and now have a tribute act of their own, named Combat Rock.