AS The Humdrum Express, Ian Passey is a bespectacled observationist from Kidderminster, casting a cynical eye over exasperating times through unnervingly astute lyrics.

He also wrote Worcester Woman (Foregate Me Not) for WMF 2009 as a homage to the city. One man, a few instruments and a thousand things to worry about…

How would you describe yourself?

Insensitive singer songwriter. Under-achieving underdog. Bespectacled.

How would you describe your music?

My music’s mainly a platform for the lyrics. Styles vary on recordings, but live performance is stripped to the acoustic bare bones. I’m not too comfortable with having to put myself in a particular genre. ‘Acoustic smart arse’ is, possibly, what to expect, while gigs tend to feature short, poetic interludes.

Which song would you dump in Room 101?

Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen pretty much sums up all that’s wrong with the world.

Who is your inspiration?

People who’ve continued to write new, relevant material over several decades – Billy Childish, Mark E Smith, John Cooper Clarke, Nigel Blackwell. Long term inspirations have never strayed too far from Joe Strummer and Ronnie Barker.

What annoys you most?

People that ask you a question, then talk over your answer. They seem to be breeding at an alarming rate.

What’s your favourite pudding?

If Death By Angel Delight had been invented, it would top my list.

Are you in love?

Yes. Beneath the hat, glasses and cynicism, you’ll find a lucky man who appreciates how fortunate he is. Don’t tell anyone, though. Can we return to the Smash Hits questions, please?

Do you have a reccurring dream? If so, what is it?

That’s better! I often used to dream of scoring a cup winning goal for The Baggies. These dreams have become far less frequent as I’ve a) become older than the players, b) realised I’d never be allowed to wear specs on the pitch, and c) owned up to the fact that I was never good enough in the first place.

Where did you play at Worcester Music Festival?

Last year, I performed at The Cricketers and Worcester’s finest independent record store, Rise.

What was the experience like?

The festival seems to be getting better every year. There was a proper feel-good factor around the city. Highly infectious. The Cricketers has a heady mix of fine ale and oddball characters. Always makes for a great night. We’re very fortunate to have a shop like Rise. Let’s not take it for granted.



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