Print interviews of G.T. Thomas are rarer than hairdryers for lizards but here is a telephone chat with Adrian Arratoon, originally broadcast on Different Class Radio in late 2011. Herein, you will be filled in Gwendrously on her Seattle background, Fleet Foxes, The Free Design, and (naturally) ‘The Luckless Pedestrian Years’ album in between rampant musical insertions.
In late 2015, Gwen initiated an informal chat show on Soundcloud. Her guests being fellow musicians in non-product-plug manner, ‘Despite Musical Differences’ is a refreshingly soft-focus gem in a world of hard-sell fugazis.
The joint moguls of Smoking Ant Records stumbled over a film on YouTube of a band called The Luckless Pedestrian performing an obscure Godley & Creme song called ‘Group Life’. This was deemed to be a thing languishing atop of the list marked ‘Good’. And recognising the band name to be lifted from a song by the Crochets of Cryptic, Steely Dan, we were curious to learn more of this enterprising ensemble. We discovered their recording of ‘Brooke’s Mine’ which had us reeling, so resoundingly knocked flying we were by its invention and eccentric, cutie beauty. Who were they? Where were they? Well, they were Gwen Thomas and, just as Godley & Creme had a song about ‘An Englishman In New York’, Gwen is an American in Amsterdam.
Because most rock mag hacks can’t actually read music, their recourse is to concentrate almost solely on lyrics (and the Hidden Meanings encrypted within) or gibber about the ‘Rawk Mythological Lifestyle-Defining’ peripherals – the class A haircuts, the fashionable drugs. Well, sorry all you rock’n’roll casualty ambulance chasers out there, but Gwen doesn’t spend her days with a javelin-length syringe hanging out of her arm. There isn’t the tell-tale clank of cans as she shuffles, beery-eyed and bleary-breathed, from the off-licence to the bar. That stuff is on her Fuck It List. Instead, her high is in creating the most astonishingly creative melodic and harmonic Pop music you could ever wish for. And, more often than not, you won’t find her playing in yer typical spew-perfumed rock’n’roll hole. Instead, Gwen opts to play in windmills, launderettes, anywhere unexpected and different – qualities that encapsulate her creations.
We financed her debut album, ‘The Luckless Pedestrian Years’, and to do so was our proud privilege. It was a happy time when we realised we were not alone in recognising her – dare we say it? (Dare, blast your squinters! Dare!) – genius, when Danny Baker, no slouch in musical appreciation, played her songs on his BBC Radio show. If you swooned at those George Tipton arrangements on those early Harry Nilsson albums, if you were enraptured by how Burt Bacharach dressed those Hal David lyrics, if you were transported to a beautiful world by Henry Mancini, then Gwen is the pilot to your private plane. Buy the ticket, take the ride.