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Xmas with... Utah Saints

Utah Saints / promo foto pro

“I threw a drink over my girlfriend's (at the time) ex boyfriend at a Christmas party. I happened to see him walking up a staircase and I was a flight above and had perfect missile lock on his head: it was to good an opportunity to pass up.”

19 years after they first burst into Britain’s club and pop charts, Utah Saints duo Jez Willis and Tim Garbutt remain as active as ever, producing new music and DJing at clubs worldwide. Poignantly once described as ‘the first true stadium house band’ (by KLF impresario Bill Drummond) they enjoyed worldwide crossover hits with heavily sampled club cuts What Can You Do For Me" and ‘Something Good’ ( ), going on to play Wembley Stadium supporting U2.

Tim chatted to Skrufff this week about his Christmas plans . . .

Skrufff: What will you be doing on Christmas Day: where will you be?

Utah Saints (Tim): “On Christmas day this year I will be in the middle of nowhere.  I moved out of Leeds about a year ago and over to the East coast and I now live in a small country village that has about 30 people in it. The nearest shop is 3 miles away.I spend half my time during an average week in the city and half in the countryside.  I love the open space and the contrast between the city and the country. It keeps me sane. It is the ideal place to spend Christmas. Big open fires, long walks and not much else to do. Perfect.”

I will stop working on about the 23rd December and then it will be no more work until New Years Eve when we have 2 gigs. One in Birmingham and one in Oxford. I normally attend church with the family as if the family doesn't go then the church is 30% less full as it is a very small church and right next door to where I live so there are no excuses really. It is more for my daughter really that we attend church as she is only 8 and after months of brainwashing on the television, I think it is important for her to know what Christmas is about and that it is not just about Wii's and Ipod's.

Skrufff: What's been the best Christmas you've ever had?

Utah Saints (Tim): “I think the best Christmas's have always been the ones when you were still young and believed in father Christmas. Once that myth has been shattered forever then it is never quite the same again. No one Christmas in particular stands out as they have all been great except . . .

Skrufff: And what's been the worst?

Utah Saints (Tim): “I guess when I had to fly to Australia on Christmas Eve and I arrived in Sydney at 8am on Christmas Day. I was absolutely shattered and everything was closed and I just checked into a hotel and went back to sleep until 3 in the afternoon. When I woke up, I couldn't find anywhere to get any food except McDonalds and that is always a very last resort for me.  If I have to go in that place then I know I must have been very hungry. The day got better though as it was very warm and I went to Bondi late afternoon and DJed at a party on the beach. It felt very strange seeing all these people in shorts with their tops off and Santa hats on.”

Skrufff: What's been the best Christmas present you ever got? and the worst?

Utah Saints (Tim): “The best Christmas presents are when people actually think about what I need.  The worst present I have ever received was a foot spa. That went in the bin within 12 months having never been used.”

Skrufff: What kind of Christmas shopper are you?

Utah Saints (Tim): “I am a last minute shopper. I try to work out exactly what I need to get everybody, make a list then go into town a few days before Christmas and go in very early and do it within two hours. The secret is to hit shops knowing what you are going to get everybody. It goes wrong when you start looking round for things. I also do a few bits now online as to be honest, I hate the mad rush towards the end and hate the crowds. This year I have set a maximum spend limit for everybody and will try and get things people actually need.”

Skrufff: What's been the most excessive Xmas party you've attended?

Utah Saints (Tim): “Back in the day when we were signed to London Records, the Christmas parties were always good fun as they would take over a hotel and these parties would always get way out of hand. A lot of other bands would be there as well and things got very messy indeed and it was always good to see people that you would have normally have just seen in marketing meetings being very formal and then fall to pieces after a couple of drinks.”

Jonty Skrufff:

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