A true English gent

Wolf Gang, AkA Max Mcelligott, is a true english gent. The dapper fledgling popster has more refined taste than most, which Clash found out when we caught up with the man of the synth-pop moment to talk about his penchant for Riviera Jazz style, Cary Grant and, erm, retro Casio watches…

Which artists have influence your sound?
Fleetwood Mac, Bryan Ferry, Jeff Buckley, Kate Bush, Eurythmics and Bowie.

Who is your favourite live performer, and why?
David Byrne in Stop Making Sense is brilliant. I love his look in that.

Do you think it’s important for an artist to have a strong sense of style or identity?
I think the starting point has to be the music, but once there is enough identity wrapped up in that I don’t think it hurts to have a strong visual presence to go along with it. Musicians like Hendrix, Bowie and Prince all used a really strong sense of style that got their personality across, but nobody lost sight of the fact that their music was the real reason they were there.

What’s the most outrageous stage outfit you’ve ever worn?
I played at the Brown’s Halloween bash this year and dressed up as a dead Shakespearean actor. I wore a pretty incredible Tudor jacket with leggings and boots, had numerous rings and necklaces on, and had gone to the Brown’s shop beforehand to get made-up courtesy of Mac - they made me look like a real freak, in a good way, I think...

What inspires your style?
I think films always leave a lasting impression on me; I was pretty obsessed with trying to look like I belonged to the 1950’s Riviera jazz club scene after watching Cary Grant and films like The Talented Mr. Ripley. I do peruse the odd magazine and have many friends who dress in inspiring ways.

Where do your buy clothes from?
I buy clothes very sporadically, so it could be anything from Uniqlo to Kilgour to McQueen.

Tell me about this outfit.
The suit is from Farah, the shirt and scarf are both from a vintage shop in Portobello and the boots are from Jasper Conran. My watch is a vintage Swatch from 1987 - the year I was born - it's not the most expensive thing in the world but I love it.

Have you got a most treasured find or possession?
My 1978 vintage Telecaster, it makes all my troubles go away.

Do you carry out any special rituals before a performance?
The only thing that happens frequently enough to be called a ritual is some sort of technical fuck-up, so I guess that a fuck-up of some sort before we start play-ing is our ritual.

Words by April Welsh
Photography by Scott Kershaw

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