PERSONAL

Neil and Chris were asked these questions around the time of the Nightlife Tour in 1999.

What Is Your Favourite Drink?

Neil: Red wine. Or Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee. Or Water.
Chris: Depends on the time of day, unfortunately. After a hard day's work a gin and tonic. In the morning, a glass of Evian water. In a pub, a pint of lager. In a nightclub, a vodka and tonic. On an aeroplane, a glass of champagne before take-off, followed by an expensive glass of red wine. My absolute favourite is maybe lager.

What Is Your Favourite Food?

Neil: Brown rice and vegetables.
Chris: Fish fingers.

What Is Your Favourite Colour?

Neil: Dark blue.
Chris: Blue.

What Was Your Favourite Toy As A Child?

Neil: A train set, my cousin's originally, on a green board. It had Potter's Bar station on it, and whenever I pass through Potter's Bar station on the way to Durham I always think of the train set.
Chris: It was like a Scalectrix but smaller and made by Hornby, and I could combine it with my brother's Hornby train set; we'd race the car and the train to the crossroads.

What Is Your Favourite Item Of Clothing?

Neil: I'm afraid I haven't really got one at the moment.
Chris: I've just bought this black coat in Durham which came with a free Sony digital memory thing. I was thrilled. I think it'll be appearing on a record. The coat's really good too.

What Is Your Favourite Word?

Neil: Umbilical.
Chris: Please.

What Is Your Favourite Journey?

Neil: When I lived in Rye I used to love the train journey from Ashford to Rye across the marshes on a winter's afternoon.
Chris: The favourite I've ever made was the first time I drove a car in America, driving from San Francisco to Los Angeles along the Pacific Coast Highway: it's such a dramatic coastline and you pass all these famous hippie communities.

What Is Your Favourite Animal?

Neil: My dog.
Chris: Dog.

What Is Your Favourite Smell?

Neil: Lavender.
Chris: There's a smell of a plant in Ibiza that I really love, but I don't know what it's called.

What Was Your Favourite Book As A Teenager?

Neil: 'The Gormenghast Trilogy' by Mervyn Peak. I haven't read them for thirty years. I liked the fact that it was its own world - this enormous castle that goes on forever, you discover unknown rooms with things happening in them.
Chris: Actually I didn't really read books then. I was too busy doing my homework.

What Are Your Favourite Turn-Ons?

Neil: New shoes - I love the way they smell. Beautiful eyes - they make me melt. I also find gentleness a turn-on.
Chris: Beauty - I get really excited by beauty. And I'm a bit of a hands man - hands are one of the first things I look at. And youthful exuberance.

What Are Your Favourite Turn-Offs?

Neil: Shrink-wrapping. Smelly hotel rooms. People who bend your ear. I'm a bit of an ear-benders magnet.
Chris: Stupidity. Particularly combined with arrogance. Thieves. And, the biggest turn-off of the lot, smoking.

What Are Your Best And Worst Characteristics?

Neil: I don't think one should ever discuss what you regard as your best characteristics. The worst are an endless list. So many, really. Tetchiness, tactlessness, bossiness, being too full-on all the time, being slightly obsessive. All these things, by the way have their positive side, I think.
Chris: I haven't got any good characteristics. I used to have more bad ones but I've got rid of them because I've learned to be a better person as I've got older. I'm now less moody, more tolerant. I still pick my nose. Still whinge. And I spend too much time thinking about being unhappy. Because, unfortunately, I didn't realise until a few weeks ago that happiness was an option.

What Was The First Single That You Bought?

Neil: 'Girl Don't Come' by Sandie Shaw. And what a great record it is.
Chris: I think it was Diana Ross and The Supremes, 'Baby Love'.

What Was The First Album That You Bought?

Neil: The Beatles' 'White Album'.
Chris: I didn't buy albums. I still don't buy albums. But it could have been a Wings album.

What Was The First Concert That You Went To?

Neil: Jon Hiseman's Colosseum in Newcastle City Hall, autumn 1968. I wouldn't like it now but it was great then. I particularly liked the lights.
Chris: Glen Campbell at the Blackpool Opera House. It was really good; all those Jimmy Webb songs.

When Was Your First Kiss?

Neil: With Frances MacDonald in the book cupboard at the back of our classroom in St Oswald's primary school in Newcastle when I was about nine. I quite enjoyed it.
Chris: I'm not a huge fan of kissing. Everything else, but not kissing. I think kissing's far too intimate.

What Is Your Most Impressive Scar?

Neil: I've only got one scar really, less than an inch long, below my chin. I imagine I got it as a kid, but I don't know how.
Chris: On my right wrist. I had ten stitches when an ice-skate went over it in Blackpool Ice Rink; we were doing the conga. You can't see it for the hairy arms now.

What Things Make You Cry?

Neil: Emotional music. For instance at Dusty's funeral when they played a tape of 'Goin' Back'. People I know dying makes me cry, particularly if they're young. And innocently hurt, in whatever situaiton. But, especially these days, I don't think crying is necessarily a sign of sincerity.
Chris: The bit in The Sound Of Music when Christopher Plummer starts to sing the theme song. For some reason I always well-up during that. And sometimes I cry over self-pity. I think that's the best kind of crying, actually, I put on my sad music tape that I've compiled containing tracks by Nina Simone - and get in a bath with aromatic oils. I love to wallow. You feel really good afterwards.

What Was Your Ambition As A Child?

Neil: To be a pop star.
Chris: I had no ambition. I'm not an ambitious person.