Clonk! began as an offshoot of Flicker. For several years they had no name until they were about to appear on a poster to advertise a show, and so it was decided that Clonk! might be the most appropriate name for the ensemble. This was after the name Protuberance was discarded because Emma couldn’t say it, although she pulled some good faces during the attempt. Emma (voices, flute, keys) and George (guitars, bass) quickly developed a reputation for their fun acoustic sets around various open mic venues.
Their performances were often top quality despite all the crazies and beer that went on. Shows were frequently typified by unplanned events, such as falling off the stage, bashing guitar strings to cause pick-ups to plop uselessly through the hole into the body of the instrument, an unreliable boinger, gymnastic contortions caused by too few mics, and so on.
The band started in 2001 when Emma suddenly wrote a couple of songs after confessing to George that she’d love to have a go at singing in some kind of live capacity. Their first songs included such titles as The Good Guys, Gun Comedy, Wearing the Resin and Chasing Rainbows, the latter of which was based around George’s Flicker tune, The Sentinels. It was one of those glorious moments of serendipity where the music and the lyrics somehow fitted together beautifully right from the first attempt, as if by some curious quirk of fate.
Parallel to their acoustic performances were an assortment of attempts to find other musicians to form a full electric band. Other songs began to appear, such as Don’t Even Try, The Paranoia Song and The End of the Q, all of which can be heard here. Unfortunately The Good Guys proved to be too much of a confufulation for most of the other musicians to handle, and despite coming close to being a full band, Clonk! never managed it.
There were a few successful collaborations with musicians such as Jules on fiddle, Lucy on cello, Adam on bass, Graham on drums, Amy on bass and Joe on guitar and desk, although none of these were particularly long-lasting.
These days motherhood has overtaken Emma’s life and their music is now on the back burner. There is still an occasional performance and further recordings are planned.