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September 2019

Get a Hobby: Dutch Uncles on chips and podcasting

Chips, chips and more chips.
Published: 9:14 am, June 20, 2018
Get a Hobby: Dutch Uncles on chips and podcasting
Most bands, when contemplating a podcast, would probably do something pretty down the line. Talk about ‘the music’, whatever. Some may find a twist, sure. But how many go deep on the important subject of chips? One. One band does. Dutch Uncles. Obviously. Frontman Duncan Wallis and live guitarist Neil Wright fill us in.

Hey Dutch Uncles, how's it going?
You've caught us on a rough day. Our bodies are just catching up with us after a heavy weekend at Sounds from the Other city followed immediately by some ambitious podcast recording.

Where did the idea come from to make a podcast about chips, then?
Neil suggested the idea to us at our Xmas party/end of album night out. The idea back then was to do a podcast primarily on Indie music matters, where we can comment on current music news happenings, and industry trends, while being able to offer some advice for starting bands as well as highlighting the absurdities of the journey through our own Spinal Tapisms.
Neil: We've been struggling to find a place that does good chips recently. There are so many bars/restaurants and takeaways in Chorlton, and they are really resting on their chip laurels. So why not get it out in the open and talk about them.
Dunc: The name Chips of Chorlton is a phrase we've been bandying around for some time. There's a certain arrogance that goes into thinking that your dinner party patter is worthy of outside ears, so we like to quickly diminish and mock our actions/egos here by jokingly quipping that "we must think we're the Chips of Chorlton".

What do you think makes a good chip?
There are a lot of elements to consider within the parameters of our current chip review programme. Right now we're sticking to bar chips, but we anticipate moving on into actual Chip Shop chips once the bar scene runs out, and from there who knows, we might even take on the big boys, your McCains and your Aunt Bessie's and such, or maybe even make our own.
Right now it's a wrestle between price (financial and social), ambience (time of day, how many chip freeloaders are you sat with?) and of course potato (it probably matters). You'd be surprised just how mad some bars actually present their free match chip butties for example (something we've covered in the first episode) as well as the strategies that come with buying chips for the table in certain public houses, and what atmosphere it encourages in those situations at each different place. There's also the very modern reality of the need to time your visit to your local chicken/chip shop to make sure the oil levels in the fryer are just so to your liking. There's LOTS to consider, and criticise.
Neil: For me, it's basics…. Get a good spud and cook it well. Can't be that hard, can it? Don't serve it in a bucket or a small fryer, a bowl or plate will do. I always fume at an undercooked chip. Which is an all too frequent occurrence around these parts. We're not asking for a potato fondant.

"pull" text="When we review chips we like to keep them as basic bitch as possible

What's the best sauce to dip chips into? What are your thoughts on toppings?
When we review chips we like to keep them as basic bitch as possible, that way you can see the love that's gone into the process. Fads like Cheeseburger fries (which are a dominating force around these leafy parts) are for people making up for a lack of a soul. That being said, if we're having a celebratory chip (in Spoons usually), then we'll definitely push the (gravy) boat (full of curry sauce) out for the occasion.
Neil: With Chippy chips, I'd go with ketchup. If the gravy or curry sauce has a good rep, then that's also fine. Takeaway, I usually go with a Ketchup/mayo combo. In a restaurant, I'm back to Ketchup. I also expect the restaurant to have made their own.

Where's the most far-flung or exotic place you've eaten chips?
On my honeymoon in the Maldives. They were better quality than the majority of the places in Chorlton. That can't be right, can it? New York had some good ones. But they call them fries….

What else do you talk about on the show?
Dutch Uncles have been around for over a decade now, so they've got a lot to talk about. We mull over what's happening in the music world and relate it to the experience that Dutch Uncles have had. The ups and downs are funny and informative, so I thought it would make great listening.
Dunc: It's proved to be most therapeutic for us, so far, to relive the surprisingly comical moments where we took a wrong turn at this band thing, have really taken the sting out of those memories. Plus it's a way to open up, that songwriting isn't able to achieve, so that's something I'm looking forward to our guests (in the coming episodes) having the chance to do as well.

How did you first get into podcasting, have you dabbled before?
I did a podcast about eight or so years ago. Podcasts weren't really a thing then so nobody listened! Recently, I've got into Scroobius Pip, Adam Buxton, Athletico Mince amongst others and thought Dutch Uncles would be great on a podcast. I've also done a bit of local radio, and Dunc has his show on MCR: Live, so it was easy for us to get going.
Dunc: This is our first time doing any such thing, but thankfully we have a fair chunk of experience in opening our mouths in front of microphones, and we're not afraid to make our mistakes in public.

What set up do you have to record your shows?
One laptop, four mics and an audio interface is all we use. We've been recording in our living rooms/kitchens at the minute. Usually after a day at pub with a plate of…

What advice would you give fans looking to start their own podcast?
Know your niche. If you're not appealing to the people looking for the specifics, then it won't serve anyone.

Taken from the July issue of Dork, order a copy here. Find Dutch Uncles’ Chips of Chorlton podcast at AudioBoom and iTunes.

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