THE MORE ASSURED

The More Assured
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THE MORE ASSURED



Written by David Cano
Photos and illustrations by Oli Longmore
17 Monday 17th December 2007

Number 3 John Street is a strange place. Walking past it you would never suspect that it has become the Halfway House, a place that is "neither here nor there," a "house for prisoners crossing from inside to outside."

A heavy black door opens onto a cold, grey hallway and eerie staircase. The walls are barren and cracked. It feels like some kind of Victorian asylum for the criminally insane. Making your way up the creepy stairs you became aware of a menacing, bass-heavy throb. Arrive at the first floor and the noise gets louder. You begin to hear the manic ticking of several clocks. A door stands slightly ajar; Lord knows what horrors lie beyond it. I approach nervously. I creak open the door and peer in, the noise now almost deafening.

Inside, in almost total darkness, are three black and white televisions stacked on top of each other. Each one is showing some demented scene. At the top, a ragged vagrant surrounded by mountains of knick-knacks, stuffs bits of useless crap into a cloth sack. Below him, a hideous looking hag with a hunchback shuffles to and from a table crowded with unidentifiably disgusting objects. At the bottom the artist responsible for this, Lucy Pawlak, wanders around naked as a jay bird. In front of this television, Alex and Slinky from The More Assured are crouched down, running their fingers along her arse-crack.

Strange coincidence – I had just seen the band live the week before at an all ages concert at the 229 in Great Portland Street. I suddenly had a full blown flashback to that night – the sweaty air, thick with hormones; the drunken 11-year-olds playing tag; Slinky (bass) writhing around the stage; he and Alex (vocals/guitar) crowd-surfing and signing autographs for screaming pubescent girls.

"I just don't understand why artists always get their bum out… always!" says Alex. "Every installation I see, they're getting naked. Not that it's a bad thing." Quite. The heavy throb and hysterical clocks are reaching a disturbing crescendo in my head. I'm interested to see if I'm the only one suffering; "It is quite frightening," agrees Alex. Slinky seems somewhat bemused; "I don't really know what's going on." I feel like I'm about to explode in a ball of anxious terror. I raise a finger to make an announcement, "Can we, err… get the fuck out of here please?"

Leaving the throbbing chamber of death behind us, we move on to the next room. There is a big projector screen showing some sort of black and white short film. Now it's my turn to not know what's going on. I try desperately to make sense of the seemingly random scenes. First someone's having sex, now a bearded man is running about, someone's looking in the mirror, bearded man sitting naked on a cupboard, someone's on the toilet, oh look, bearded man is naked again. I need a lie down. All this bearded nudity is getting to me. I'm sure it's hinting at something deep and pertinent but I'm too shaken by the previous trauma to take it in. A spectral voice from somewhere behind me whispers: "Let's go to the pub." Marvellous idea. Let us reconvene at the local tavern so that I may piece together the shattered remains of my soul.

Dans the public house, I nurture a soothing pint and talk to the band members. The More Assured make frantic, sugary music and film themselves pulling each other's pants down in Tesco's. But what did they think of the art? "I find it exciting," says front man Alex, somewhat surprisingly. "All your life you're surrounded by ordinary stuff, so to see anything that’s different is quite nice." Nice? Perhaps these fellows aren't as jovial as their tunes might suggest. "I'd like to get locked in a room and see lots of crazy shit start happening," fantasises Slinky. "Then a voice would scream ‘this is not part of the exhibition, open the doors, open the doors!’" Indeed…

The More Assured are releasing their second single You Do It Pretty Well on 25 February. Their debut single All In Your Head is out now! For all things Assured, go to www.myspace.com/themoreassured

You can download Song Of The Moors here, you lucky, lucky people.

Photography by Oli Longmore

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