Pheromoans bandmates go head to head in new concept novella about boxers


Russell Walker and Christian Butler-Zanetti met as “the two weirdest people on campus, both wearing flares and running around drunk on cider, trying to freak people out.” That’s how Walker remembers it, and at Coventry University in the early 2000s the two outcasts also wrote short stories, sometimes purely for the other’s amusement. Since then, Walker has gone on to form and front Sussex deadpan DIY band The Pheromoans, who Butler-Zanetti joined in between “doing a lot of weird performance type things, often unannounced: beat poetry, dancing, the whole lot.”

The Pheromoans released new album ‘Does This Guy Stack Up?’ on London underdog label Upset The Rhythm earlier this year, following a slew of limited releases on Savoury Days, Walker’s and guitarist James Tranmer’s own imprint. Even if your life’s not half as mundane as theirs (and let’s face it, it probably is), it’s a dropout punk record you should hear, full of boredom and its great medicine – surreal reportage and odd humour.

Walker and Butler-Zanetti have also collaborated on a new book (published by Savoury Days), with each author writing half from the perspective of two different boxers before they batter each other in the ring. Plenty of that Pheromoans humour is in there, and here’s a little taster from Butler-Zanetti’s side – a magician goth kid turned punching comedian. Tepid Business Zulu/Bruises and Pixie Boot is available from now.

I let my old man know before anybody else. I owed him that much. We had a gig at TGI Fridays and I chose my moment well. There was a trick that required me to shove these knives through a box he was in, and he’d lie there huffing and puffing, building the tension. Truth be told, it was my only chance to get a word in edgeways. “Son, thrust the blades through the entirety of my torso!” he declared in his crappy old light-entertainer way.

“Father,” I replied, slipping the blades into their slots, “I’m leaving you to become a magician/alternative comedian, and a boxer.”

In went the knives! As usual there were gasps and cries and all that crap, but I just yelled out that there was a flipping mirror in the box and stormed to the exit. I minced up the carpeted stairs and into the car park. This was it! The future was my own! I was free! Free!

“Excuse me, officer.” I sang, passing a police car at the lights. “There’s a dickhead in TGI trapped in a box.” “Couldn’t you have helped him out?”

“Officer, it was him or me.” I sighed, and skipped away.


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