We met, rather suspiciously, one at a time outside of a subway station on Byers Road on an overcast and wet Glasgow afternoon. One imposing looking ICW wrestler and three hungover music promoters arrived from seperate directions, exchanging hurried pleasantries before they scurried off along the road towards the nearest food-serving bar. They ordered drinks. They ordered food, and then they settled in for a series of brash chats and hangover curers. I was thankfull that the bar was empty, as we were going to be a loud, boorish table of day drinkers. Below is a small starter of the chat that quickly spiralled out of control and context, the names of the talkers doesn't matter...
We tried to ask a few pertinent questions. We tried to keep them brief.
We failed on both counts...
JAMIE: I'll ask my question the now then Fuck it. Do you sometimes feel the 'Renfrew' bit, the wrestling character 'Renfrew' bit, bleeding over in to real life...like when you're standing in the supermarket and cunts are annoying you and you're like 'I'm going to drop kick this fucker!'? Haha...
RENFREW: Nah, it used to be a bit harder...you'd get lost in your zone. I mean you have all known me, or been around me, long enough now to know, to see, that I don't even talk the same. Yeah, I mean I even talk walk and do everything differently as you have to differentiate or you'll lose your shit. That's why we're in a business with so many people that are so bat shit fuckin' crazy because they believe all their own character’s and hype. A lot of them believe they are what they portrait every day or...people start tellin' them they're really good at what they do so they start goin' 'I'm the fuckin' man!' Not forgetting the minute they switch their computer...or the minute they switch they're phone off that the real world kicks back in...and if you act the way you act in a wrestling ring in the real world!?!?
JAMIE: You're fucked.
RENFREW: Aye. I mean who the fuck's goin' to put up with that? Imagine me cuttin' about with scissors with writing all over me sayin' 'cards subject to change'...gie' me yer pint! I just want to have a fish supper in peace sometimes. You know what I’m sayin'?
JAMIE: Haha. Aye. Aye.
RENFREW: It's like sayin' is Robert De Niro his character in 'Taxi Driver'? Is Danny Dyer 'Moff' from 'Human Traffic'? or is he the guy from...'Football Factory'!? Don't get me wrong there's influences of myself in it...obviously, as I created the character so it's the worst parts of my personality that can be brought out but not on a daily basis man. In this business most of them, not most that's a bit unfair...but see if you want a good laugh lads go and check out Twitter and watch for what some of these characters are...I mean some of them are men in their thirties who technically play fight with each other in front of other people you know? Like a paying audience, and these guys they have families, goin' on and literally bitchin an moaning cause' they're so lost in their own characters so lost in the bubble. If you live this industry, actually live it, and you're not able to step out of it then it will literally drive you insane and you'll end up with nothing outside of the bubble because one day the spotlight dims, one day you're not in your thirties and good lookin'...
JAMIE: Fuck that. You're just that guy screaming in to the wind then.
RENFREW: A twenty-year-old has come in that can do twice as much as you so...where the fuck are you tomorrow then? Cause' if you sacrifice everythin' in your real life to be this mad wrestling character then when this game ends...you have nothing left in your real life.
SPENCE: I've heard of people losing the plot method acting and shit like that.
RENFREW: It killed Heath Ledger.
JAMIE: It could happen quite easily I would think.
CHRISSY: What about when you meet people in the street? Do they tend to get confused with you and 'Renfrew'?
RENFREW: Aye but that does me a lot of favours as people tend to keep their distance. Some people I see harass, like, Grado bless him...or fuck him. Haha. He gets people jumping on him scruffing his hair all 'It's yersel' but because I play the character I play they come at me a bit more...
SPENCE: Approach with caution?
JAMIE: Aye. Nobody's going to jump on your head!
RENFREW: See to be fair, the amount of times I hear like "You're actually really nice in real life"...Aye cause' you know I live in normal society, I’m not slitting peoples throat every fuckin' day!
JAMIE: I would like to stay out of prison...possibly?
RENFREW: I like wearing slippers and a dressing gown. I don't want to be like... eating porridge getting buggered.
JAMIE: Ah it looks like Chrissy has a wee question of his own to ask. Oh and he's written it down. Hehe.
CHRISSY: Aye it's got a bit of build up to it.
LAURA: Aye that's what she said. Haha.
CHRISSY: Right. Have you seen South Park?
CHRISSY: Have you seen the episode where Russell Crowe has his own TV show and he goes fighting...
RENFREW: Around the world.
CHRISSY: Right. Fantastic. That makes it a lot easier. So, if you had a show like that based on yourself, something like 'Chris Renfrew Travels The World Looking For A Square Go'...what would the title be?
RENFREW: Mmmhhh...what would the title be!?
RENFREW: Basically, there's a South Park episode where Russell Crow goes fighting around the world...
CHRISSY: (In the words of Russell Crowe the South Park version of course!) "Yeah, the Chinese they love a bloody good fight!".
RENFREW: (Again in the words of a fictionalised Russell Crowe) "Oy' what you looking at you bloody tosser"...and then he just starts fighting folk.
CHRISSY: So, we want to recreate this for Renfrew. What would the title be?
JAMIE: Ah right…like his own programme.
SPENCE: ‘Around the world in eighty suplexes’?
SPENCE: ‘Around the World and Still the Champ’?
RENFREW: ‘Pluggin’ C****’s The Chris Renfrew Saga’???
SPENCE: That’s it! We’ve got it!
RENFREW: Call it ‘PC’ for short. ‘You watchin’ PC the night?’…’Whit?’…’Aye! Pluggin’ C***’s The Chris Renfrew Saga?’
(Some of the group are still unsure as to the episode of South Park in discussion)
CHRISSY: It’s the one that Russell Crow has a wee boat called ‘Chugger’ and it doesn’t talk to people but it’s like… (Chrissy attempts to make the sound of a fog horn yet fails miserably)
RENFREW: He kills himself in that one.
SPENCE: He has a robot called what?
RENFREW: It’s a tug boat man.
CHRISSY: Aye a tug boat called ‘Chugger’
RENFREW: (Again in the voice of a fictionalised Russell Crowe) “Alright Chugger”.
CHRISSY: Renfrew, what would be your preferred mode of transport then?
GROUP: Haha. Good!
JAMIE: You never said it had to be in the realms of…
CHRISSY: So, ‘Chris Renfrew Pluggin’ C***’s On a Dragon’. What about the soundtrack when you’re fighting folk?
RENFREW: Well it depends on who I’d be fighting really…
RENFREW: You can’t really determine that…
JAMIE: It might not be ‘Kung Fu Fighting’,, the Mitchell brothers have that covered already…
RENFREW: Well say I was fighting the Mitchell brothers it be like some street stomp like…’duh, duh, duh, oh it’s Renfrew stabbing the Mitchell’s’.
(The group bursts into laughter, we are a few drinks in at this point so we've had to cut out a lot of garbled shouting and obscenities. Most of the obscenities are ours...)
RENFREW: Or if it was someone like Drew Galloway I’d be fighting it need to be some horribly sounding discernible accent that you can’t tell where it’s from.
CHRISSY: We can tie that in with the next one then. So, if you were to pick three Cities or Countries to go and fight…a people…haha.
JAMIE: Fight a people!? Haha.
RENFREW: I know, right? Is this some veiled way of trying to decide whether I’m racist or not!?
RENFREW: ‘What races do you least like?’. Haha. The Dutch. They’re like Germans without a sense of humour I mean have you ever met someone from Amsterdam? ‘Yesh, yesh it’s true, I live in Amshterdam and I don’t enjoy any of it’…Why? Why? I live in Glasgow and we enjoy everything illegal!
JAMIE: Everything! Aye.
RENFREW: Right so, Holland…and America. All of it.
JAMIE: And they lose a lot of fights now let’s face it.
RENFREW: And finally, let’s go to Russia.
SPENCE: Oh! That’s a challenge.
RENFREW: Starting to sound like ‘Rocky 4’ now.
CHRISSY: I was going to ask if there would be anywhere you’d be wary of going into but I guess Russia…
RENFREW: Aye like Sudan!
RENFREW: The Gazza Strip! That place is mental.
CHRISSY: This must be made into a cartoon man!
RENFREW: It’s all a laugh but I’m a cartoon tough guy. There is no way in hell any of us here would survive out in any of these places. It’s crazy!
SPENCE: For someone who doesn’t know their ICW You’ve done alright with this set of questions Chrissy.
RENFREW: All joking aside, this chat could easily take a severe swing so…
SPENCE: Super Booze Man!
JAMIE: Super Booze Man.
TO BE CONTINUED... when we manage to transcribe the rest of the madness. I think we may have to get drunk to transcribe drunken chat.