Worst jobs? I think I've had quiet a few horrible jobs. I used to wash up in a pizza parlour and that was always grim on Wednesdays. For some reason, everybody ate pizzas on Wednesdays so I'd have tons of washing up – you sneak off and eat too much food as well. That was kind of a weird one.
I used to run a record stall and clothes shop. I got into a lot of trouble with the girlfriend that I was going out with at that time because I used to take the clothes she didn't wear very often and sell them. It was stuff that was lying around all the time, including my stuff as well, and I used to sell it. I reckon I still see people walking around today with certain coats or trousers that used to be mine or hers. It was this little place called Saint Nicholas Market in Bristol with these really crappy little lock-up stalls and I was running it with a mate when we were DJ-ing and stuff. We just ran out of clothes so we had to restock! Occasionally if I go to a gig, I swear I see a fake fur coat that used to belong to her. We did it for about a year. In the market, once it gets to winter, you vow you'll never do it again - you're really freezing and you just sit there and you play chess. When people brought in their stuff for us to sell, you go and take the best bit yourself. So you know when you go into any second hand shop, the people in the shop have taken all the best stuff. There were some good things on the rail – honest! I have to admit most of those were taken from my house. When you see someone else wearing what you used to wear, sometimes it looks better and you think 'I wish I hadn't sold that!'
One of the first jobs I had was as a chemistry technician. I didn't even do chemistry at school and how I could be a chemistry technician was beyond me. They were trying to train me but I was useless. I put all the acids in the alkaline bottles and all the experiments would go wrong, I'd drop the sodium and lithium in the sinks and it would explode. I wasn't in that job very long. As they say in football, it was a mutual parting. You know those volumetric flasks with the long tall necks and kind of bulbous ends? I was carrying one of those by the neck once and it was hydrochloric acid or nitric acid or something like that. Not really concentrated but strong enough to make a hole and, of course, I was swinging it and it flew out of my hand. Sort of humming a tune. You know when you're carrying a shopping bag and you're walking down a road and it knocks into a wall and it doesn't matter? Well this kind of broke. It didn’t do major damage, just this wooden floor from the sixteenth century got destroyed! It was a public school in Bristol.
I just tend to fall into jobs – if you're a musician you always kind of duck and dive and sometimes when things are going well with your band, you're just doing your band stuff for months or years. Then other times you’ve got the rent to pay, you have to do other things. I've done the usual things like working on building sites and all that and they're always dangerous places for anyone in a band to work. I've fallen off a scaffold but I didn't break anything – it's just not being experienced on a building site. You know you have all the planks of wood on a scaffold? If you're working for cowboy operators they never make them safe so you just got to remember never to stand on the edge of the plank because it comes up, like in these Laurel and Hardy films. Well, that happened to me and it came up and I slid off it - I shouldn't go on because it makes me sound like some accident-prone buffoon! I just daydream all the time. The chemistry thing was quite exciting. I have to admit, nowadays, I read anything involved with sciences in the paper. But building, no. Even watching those DIY programmes on TV fills me with horror, it really does.
Davey Woodward was in conversation with Caroline Hennessy.
'The Tracksuit Trilogy' is out now on City Slang.