All About Alumni / Summer 2012
60 Seconds with Murray Foster

A Cocksure Lad


Courtesy of Murray Foster

While studying English at U of T, Murray Foster (BA 1990 UC) also played bass in the folk-pop group Moxy Früvous. Post-Früvous, Foster is now in two bands, one that’s real – he’s the bass player in Great Big Sea – and one that’s fake…well, sort of. Lisa Bryn Rundle uncovers the story of his British ’60s band, the Cocksure Lads – which is becoming more authentic every day, with a “best of” album out, regular live performances and a film in the works.

How did the Cocksure Lads come to be?
The “band” started about 20 years ago when myself and Mike Ford of Moxy Früvous started writing early ’60s twitty Britpop songs just to make each other laugh. Fast forward to 2010, we had 25 Cocksure Lads songs just sitting around, so we recorded The Greatest Hits of the Cocksure Lads, 1963-1968, naturally.

The Lads have a whole back story – can you give me some of the highlights?
They met in 1961 in Newcastle when the guitar player, Reg Topping, was doing an open-mic blues jam. Dusty Fosterboard was in the crowd insulting the band so Reg jumped off stage and started to beat the crap out of him. Then they decided to form a band.

You’re Dusty. But you’re not going to give this interview in character…
No, but if his spirit enters my body, he’ll speak.

I guess it’s hard to capture a fake British accent in print, though.
And for me in person, as well.

You’ve written a movie that’s about to start shooting. Why a movie?
We had the characters, we had the back story, we had the songs. We started talking about shooting a video for the CD, and that morphed into let’s do a short film like A Hard Day’s Night. And that turned into let’s do a long film like A Hard Day’s Night.

A Hard Day’s Night – not This is Spinal Tap?
It’s not a mockumentary. I feel like that genre is a bit used up. Partly because Spinal Tap did it so well. They covered 85 percent of the possible jokes. There is nothing else to do. This movie is more like That Thing You Do! combined with Mamma Mia! – because they keep breaking into song.

What’s been your truly coolest rock ‘n’ roll moment?
Opening for They Might Be Giants. As well as Dylan. Playing Live 8 with Great Big Sea. But for me it’s less about the big rock-and-roll moment and more about the small creative moments.

You’re coming off so…humble.
You know as I was saying that, I was like: That sounds so saccharin.

It sounds heartfelt!
But literally as I was saying that I was thinking if I read that, I would put the magazine down.

Visit Cocksure Lads’ Facebook page.

Listen to “You Gotta Stay Cocksure,” from the album The Greatest Hits of the Cocksure Lads, 1963-1968



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