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Q&C, the biography

Apr. 14th, 2010 | 02:17 pm

Dear friends in ethical folk-pop-rock,

Has it really been almost three years since we last spoke? It seems it has. I can only issue sincere apologies from Quentin and myself, and simultaneously provide you with wonderful news.

So much has happened, that I cannot tell you it all at once. Suffice to say that Quentin and I are tragically torn apart for the moment, stuck in separate continents due to a quirk of fate. I am living in Nairobi, where I am trying to get my ethical SANSOCK factory off the ground in the slums of Kibera, and also looking for funding for my new product, REFUCHEESE (It's cheese. Made by refugees.)

If you are a donor, please send me your email address and I will give you my bank details. Minimum donation of 50 thousand euros please. Alternatively, you may send an attractive movie star or pop singer down for a fund-raising jamboree. If at all possible, send Kylie Minogue. She is welcome to stay in my humble abode. I do only have one bed, but I am sure we can make do somehow. I am open to other beautiful young ladies, but please don't send that Lady GaGa. She would snap me in two like a twig. I'm not even sure she is a lady and, despite the rumours, I emphatically do not worship in the Church of Man Love.

Anyway, I digress.

Poor old Quentin is still in the commune, where he has been in a full body cast ever since he tried to use his conflict resolution skills to prevent a few dozen young Hungarian men, who despite their lovely embroidered waistcoats were quite appallingly right wing, from attacking a Roma village in the east of Hungary in January. I will spare you the details, other than to say the hospital staff had to fish his left testicle out of a Magpie's nest before they could re-attach it.

But enough grumping. To the good news.

As you know, Q&C have led action-packed lives, full of highs and lows, peaks and troughs, ducks and dives. Now, at long last, our lives are to be chronicled in book format. In a few weeks time, I will sit down with Michael Logan, a journalist of my acquaintance and ghost writer of the renowned biographies Small Legs, Big Heart (the story of Peter Watwicky, who gave up his stable job as a circus midget to pursue his dream of winning Olympic Gold in the high jump) and Kiddy Fiddler (the tale of Jack McBart, who overcame a horrendous background of child abuse to become the youngest ever lead violin in the Dunstable Symphony Orchestra). With such illustrious titles to his name, I just know he can do our life story justice.

Keep your eyes open for updates on how we are progressing and please help keep the ethical folk-pop-rock alive until Quentin is recovered by encouraging your friends to download our hit singles, Socks and Sandals and What Ails You World? from our MySpace page.

Yours in ethical folk-pop-rock,

Tobias Crisp.

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Sziget concert cancelled due to excess lactation

Aug. 13th, 2007 | 03:34 pm
location: Gavin's bedside
mood: concerned

Dear Friends of Quentin and Crisp,

Today we must apologise profusely to our fans for the cancellation of the Sziget concert on Sunday. As you know, we were due to circle the island containing the music festival on a small raft piloted by Gavin, our mentor. Unfortunately, we had a serious medical issue that prevented our performance.

I don’t think I have mentioned this before, but Gavin is able to lactate copiously at will. I do not know where he picked up this ability – perhaps he was born with it – and so far he has not chosen to reveal the source of his power. With Gavin, you do not ask. You simply must wait for the mystery to unfold.

Anyway, Quentin was very grateful of this when Gavin found him in the Kalahari after his ordeal. He had been in the desert for almost two weeks and was at death’s door. Only Gavin’s nourishing man milk, delivered directly from hairy nipple to parched lip, saved Quentin.

That is neither here nor there, however. The problem began just as we were pulling the raft down to the side of the river. A splinter from the raft, which we made ourselves from old wood and twine we found abandoned by the road, pierced one of Gavin’s nipples and he began to lactate uncontrollably. The raft was soon soaked in man milk and no matter how much we drank it kept on coming.

It soon became apparent that Gavin was growing weaker, so we had to rush him to hospital, where it took doctors two hours to stop the lactation. Poor old Gavin lost four litres, which, while bad news for him, meant everyone else in the ward had plenty of milk for their tea and coffee. This cheered Gavin heartily, and he is in good spirits despite being as weak as a kitten. The doctors say he should recover in a day or two, so all is well in that regard.

So, dear friends, please accept our deepest apologies for the failure to perform. I only hope we can make it up to you once Gavin is fully healed.

Yours in ethical folk-pop-rock,
Quentin and Crisp.

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Reviews of our concert

Aug. 3rd, 2007 | 04:35 pm
location: A secret holiday location
mood: satisfiedsatisfied
music: Waves lapping against the shore

I have to say that we are feeling very pleased with ourselves today. As you know, Quentin and I appeared at Live Earth Hungary recently, basically thanking them for helping our fight to change climate change.

Our performance did not go unnoticed, and The Budapest Times wrote a full page article about us, which can be found here. We also found this comment about the video of our performance on a blog:

"The other day, I was reading the amusing tale about the 151st band at Live Earth, which just happened to be in Budapest, Hungary so it didn’t get a lot of coverage! (To be honest, it was probably all to the good that Quentin and Crisp did not get a lot of coverage, as I saw them on YouTube and that was enough for me.)"

How marvellous! Our message is so strong that this gentleman only had to watch our video on YouTube and "that was enough" for him to get our message. It is things like this that make us realise the fight is worth it.

Yours in ethical folk-pop-rock,
Quentin and Crisp.

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Boycott Space!

Jul. 24th, 2007 | 07:18 pm
location: Gavin's commune
mood: Outraged!!!
music: Quentin and Crisp's version of Starman

Dear Friends of Quentin and Crisp,
A fan has just told us that astronauts from the International Space Station have been wantonly and frivolously dumping rubbish into space without the slightest thought for the environmental consequences. You can read the full story here.
Obviously Quentin and I are outraged, scandalised, astonished, bemused and befuddled by the astronauts' behaviour. Astronaut is one of the top jobs that children aspire to (obviously behind ethical folk-pop-rocker), so this sets an appalling role model.
We can only hope a little homeless alien child does not climb into the fridge to play and shut itself in, thus suffocating. Although I suppose space is a vacuum. But you never know.
But that is neither here nor there. Quentin and I are calling on all of our fans to boycott space and all space-related products (such as Wham bars, Moon boots and space cakes) until the pollution stops. We haven't yet worked out the logistics of a space boycott, but until we do we ask that you all stand in your gardens and shake your fists angrily at the night sky at GMT 2200 each night. There is a small chance that one of the astronauts will look down his telescope and register our ire.
We shall also be performing an ironic protest version of David Bowie's Starman on the modified CB radio that Laszlo - our resident alien communication specialist - operates purely from pig dung.
I have already composed some of the modified chorus (There's a Starman, dumping stuff in the sky; If I could ever meet him, I'd poke him the eye) and shall finish it later after my evening Tai Chi practice.
Yours in ethical folk-pop-rock,
Quentin and Crisp

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Heat wave and SANSOCK setback

Jul. 20th, 2007 | 04:14 pm
location: Gavin's commune (recuperative wing)
mood: Wilting
music: The pant of Gavin's son

Dear Friends,

Please excuse the lapse in communications, which is due to the current blistering heat wave. It is so hot that I have even had to temporarily discard my beloved blue polo neck in favour of a cooler garment. This isn’t the reason for the lapse, but I felt it was worth mentioning, as I am sure you like to picture me when you read these mails. Currently, I am wearing a string vest woven from fair trade organic cotton. It is very cool. It is also pink, as I had to borrow it from Butterfly’s wardrobe.

Anyway, to the reason for the communication breakdown. In the heat, the whole commune has had to pedal flat out to make sure our bicycle-powered generator has enough power to operate the fans, thus keeping us cool and in a position to work on our new songs. With such an energy push, there was not enough power left over to turn on the computer.

While the heat has not abated, a slight technical problem with the fans means I have a chance to write. The fans are about four-foot long and made entirely from the feathers collected from birds we found dead in the forest. This way, they have zero environmental impact. While operating at normal speed, the fans work very well and keep us nice and cool.

In the current 41 deg centigrade temperatures, however, we have had to pedal a lot faster. Too fast, it would seem, for this morning the feathers rediscovered their aerodynamic potential and the fans tore loose from their moorings. They flew out through the front door, carrying Rector with them, and became lodged in the branches of a nearby tree. As I look out of the window, I can see Quentin standing on Gavin’s shoulders poking at the fans with a long stick while Butterfly attempts to coax Rector out of the tree with a biscuit bone. The plus side of these shenanigans is that I can plug in the computer.

Anyway, that is neither here nor there. I should not stay on for too long as Gavin’s son is looking rather red and sweaty from pedaling away with no breeze to cool him.

I simply wanted to wish you all a very ethical weekend and to report that filming on the SANSOCK TM video has been held up due to the fact that the first two prototype SANSOCKS – the all-in-one sock-and-sandal combo invented by Crisp – melted in the sun. We are now trying to figure out which materials in the SANSOCK are responsible for the heat response. We have so far ruled out the body hair and think the tyre rubber is most likely responsible.

Filming on the first episode of The Way of the Crisp is due to take place tomorrow, provided of course we are not still trying to get the fan out of the tree. We shall soon present you with the fruits of our labours.

Yours in ethical folk-pop-rock,
Quentin and Crisp.

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Exorcist wanted: must speak Hungarian

Jul. 16th, 2007 | 10:35 pm
location: Gavin's commune
mood: Suicidal
music: Word Up - Cameo (done by Hungarian ghost)

Dear Friends of Quentin and Crisp,

After this weekend’s abortive attempt to contact the spirit of Woody Guthrie, we find ourselves in need of an exorcist with good Hungarian language skills and a high tolerance for bad cover versions played on a ghostly Casio organ.

As you know, we wished to contact Mr. Guthrie and ask him to endorse our restorative brand of ethical folk-pop-rock. Butterfly said she could get us in touch if we sat around the computer and all focused on his My Space page.

At first, all seemed to be going well, despite the fact that we were deprived of Gavin’s calming presence due to his popping out into the woods for a vision. We linked hands (fortunately Gabor was several people away and I didn’t have to touch his filthy dog-fondling palms) and reached out to the spirit world.

Butterfly said she felt Woody’s spirit and far away in the distance we could hear the twang of an acoustic guitar. Then it all went horribly wrong. Suddenly the whole room boomed with the clashing chords of MC Hammer thumped out on an organ. DOO-DOO-DOO-DOO. DOO-DOO-DOOOO!!! Then the voice began singing. In a Hungarian accent. “You caant tuhtsh diz.”

The circle broke as we dove to the ground, our hands clapped to our ears. The monitor on the computer blinked into blackness. In the screen, I saw a man with a bushy moustache, dressed in a scarlet shirt that hung open to expose his hairy belly. He sat behind a Casio organ and played maniacally, one gold tooth glinting in his gaping mouth. Then he was gone and the music with him.

Well, we were all shaken, but we thought that was the end of it. When Gavin returned, he told us that it was most likely the spirit of Laszlo Kovacs – a local wedding singer who died in a freak accident involving two bottles of palinka, a power surge and an inappropriately-long power chord. Many claimed to have seen him wandering through the woods since, organ under his arm, eternally looking for a venue to play his repertoire of hits from the eighties.

Alas, he has now found that venue. Three hours after the séance ended, we were woken by the ghostly refrain of “Under Pressure”. He followed it up with Tiffany’s “I think we’re alone now” and then moved on to “Last Christmas”. Since then, he has been at it non-stop, cycling from Wham to Yazoo to Kajagoogoo with no regard for our sanity.

Quentin has been very stoical, I must admit, but I am on the verge stabbing myself in the ears with a pipe just for some respite. Not even my special brand of Tai Chi – some to be serialised on You Tube as “The Way of the Crisp” – can calm me. 

So, dear readers, please email us as soon as possible on quentinandcrisp@gmail.com if you know of a suitable exorcist. He or so must be prepared to accept a firm handshake and a handwoven basket in payment.

Yours in ethical folk-pop-rock,
Quentin and Crisp.

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Contacting Woody Guthrie's spirit

Jul. 13th, 2007 | 11:08 am
location: Gavin's commune
mood: chipperchipper
music: Jeff Buckley

Dear Friends of Quentin and Crisp,

This weekend Quentin and I are going to take part in a paranormal experiment that will hopefully help us contact the spirit of Woody Guthrie.

Butterfly - the resident "psychic" in Gavin's commune - believes she can contact Mr. Guthrie, who as you know is one of our great heroes. She said she needed some kind of focal point, so we decided to attempt to use Mr. Guthrie's MySpace page (thank you to the people on the Woody Guthrie forum for their help here). Mr. Guthrie has yet to accept out friend request, but Butterfly believes that shouldn't matter. The plan is to all sit around the computer while Butterfly focuses our psychic energies into the netherworld.

I must admit I doubt this will succeed, but Quentin is a bit more credulous and believes it might. For example, someone once told him that using deodorant could cause third-nipple growth and he believed it. He smelled rather bad for the next month until we finally persuaded him otherwise.

Regardless of the success of the venture or not, we have to keep Butterfly sweet, as she has a beautiful singing voice and we are planning on using her on our next song. I do not wish to reveal too much about the new song, other than it is a love story between a reformed lumberjack (deceased) and tree (also deceased) that will tug on the heartstrings and make people understand that trees are people too.

Anyway, should we manage to contact Mr. Guthrie, we intend to ask his opinion on Socks and Sandals and to potentially endorse it. We fully expect to receive his approval from the other side.

We wish you all a wonderful weekend, be you attempting to contact the spirits of the dead or simply picking through your wasteful neighbour's rubbish bin with the intention of dumping re-usable items on his/her doorstep with a chiding note pinned to the aforementioned items.

Yours in ethical folk-pop-rock,
Quentin and Crisp.

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The Michael Bolton Incident

Jul. 11th, 2007 | 01:05 pm
location: Gavin's commune (recuperative wing)
mood: soresore

Dear Friends of Quentin and Crisp,

It is with some sadness that I have to report a Michael Bolton incident. As I have already mentioned, Quentin and I are very big fans of Mr. Bolton. We could not afford to go to his Budapest show on Monday night (the ticket office rejected our offer of swapping tickets for a pair of SANSOCKS TM - the all in one sock-and-sandal combo that is a treat for your feet) so we decided instead to pay a musical tribute to him at his hotel.

As Mr. Bolton emerged, we began to sing his hit ballad "Lady in Red". He was clearly so touched by our tribute that he turned away, overcome by emotion, and rushed off. It was then that the incident occurred.

One of the burly security men accompanying Mr. Bolton shouted out: "Flump off, you pair of flumpwitted blotterwees!"*** and then pushed Quentin in the chest. Now, Quentin's balance has been off since the Kalahari Incident and the slightest contact is often enough to tip him over.

Poor old Quentin staggered back, tripped over a kerb and fell to the ground, suffering a scraped elbow in the process. The trauma then brought on an episode, and suddenly he was running willy-nilly through traffic, brushing off invisible spiders. Fortunately, I managed to set off in pursuit and rugby-tackled him out of the way of a speeding lorry. Unfortunately, I lost my favourite sandal beneath the wheels of the truck and had to limp home in my less-favoured sandal with a semi-conscious and drooling Quentin draped over my back.

Now, while we do not blame Mr. Bolton for this incident, we think it would show good faith on his part if he were to issue us with the following items in recompense:

1. A tube of antiseptic ointment (to replace the one used on Quentin's elbow)
2. A replacement sandal (Jesus model with low slung back and ergonomic toe strap)
3. One white sock (to replace the one ruined while walking home)
4. One corn plaster

We have written to Mr. Bolton asking if he could deliver these items to us (preferably via a low-impact transport device, such as a sail boat) along with an apologetic note and a signed picture. As Mr. Bolton is a wonderful artist who exudes integrity, we fully expect to see these items in our mailbox within the next few weeks.

Incidentally, in case any of you are worried about our health, do not fret. Quentin's elbow is healing nicely and my foot stopped bleeding yesterday.

Yours in ethical folk-pop-rock,
Quentin and Crisp.

*** Please note that the actual words used by the security guard have been replaced by words from the Q&C approved list of safe curse words.

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Live Earth Budapest performance

Jul. 8th, 2007 | 11:36 am
location: Gavin's commune
mood: Folk-pop-rocked out
music: Silence

Dear Friends of Quentin and Crisp 

It is a common belief that only 150 bands played at Live Earth 2007. In reality, there were actually 151. That all-important one came in the form of us, Quentin and Crisp.

We took to the stage in Budapest to thank the Live Earth movement for joining our quest to change climate change. Our rendition of “What ails you, world?” – a hard-hitting protest song with a toe-tapping melody – sparked a spontaneous reappraisal of recycling practices in at least ten members of the crowd.

Here is the video of our barnstorming show:


More behind the scenes footage showing us discussing environmental issues with young people, signing an autograph and letting our hair down after the show will be added to our YouTube channel as soon as Gavin’s son wakes up and gets back to the computer. 

We will also soon tell you the story of how it came to pass.

Yours in ethical folk-pop-rock,
Quentin and Crisp

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Socks and Sandals - Song and petition

Jul. 5th, 2007 | 11:26 am
location: Gavin's commune
mood: Crusading
music: Socks and Sandals - Quentin and Crisp

Dear Friends of Quentin and Crisp,

There comes a time in everybody’s life when they have to stand up for what they believe in. For Rosa Parks, it came in 1955 when she decided not to give up her seat on a bus to a white man. For Ghandi, it was the day he refused to remove his turban in a court in South Africa. For Michael Bolton it was the day he refused to allow his penchant for mullets and syrupy crooning prevent him from becoming one of the most talented musicians of all time.

For Quentin and Crisp, that time is today - the day that their song protesting the vilification of those who dare to wear socks and sandals at the same time is released. For too long have such people been ostracised, mocked and debased. For too many years has this simple and practical solution to foot hygiene and comfort been dismissed as unfashionable. For the last time are we, the people who believe otherwise, going to allow “The Man” to get away with such behaviour.

Today, Quentin and Crisp, ably assisted by their backing singer and ethical consultant Tree Hugger Dan - who boasts the most impeccable ethical credentials and a wonderful ability to chant “sock-a-sock-a-sock-sock-sock” - have drawn a line in the sand with the release of their new hit single Socks and Sandals.

Quentin and Crisp believe that fashion should not dictate the future of footwear, particularly giving consideration to the many fungal infections and problems with fallen arches that come with wearing high heels and unethically produced training shoes.

Support Quentin and Crisp’s crusade against those fashion snobs who would dismiss the simple joy of combining the freedom of movement given to your toes by sandals with the snug warmth provided by socks. Visit their MySpace page to listen to the catchy Socks and Sandals and sign the petition demanding equal rights for sock and sandal wearers.

Once they have one million signatures, Quentin and Crisp will forward the petition to “The Man”, thus forcing him to recognise the benefits of sock-and-sandalry and make the world a better place.

Socks and sandal lovers, Stand Up!

Yours in ethical folk-pop-rock (and sock and sandal appreciation),
Quentin and Crisp.


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