Robert and I started the duo Short Supply out of a shared desire to rant to anyone who would listen about how self-righteous and pompous we thought some of the students at college were. Particularly the ones who got involved in the Students’ Union. They were always starting campaigns to do things like free Chilean Fighters and we couldn’t really see the point. It’s not big or clever I know, but we just wanted to get our course work done quickly then go out drinking as often as possible! Every night. Without fail.
At the time I was collecting milk bottles and asked people to bring me one back if they went home for the weekend. In one (probably drunken) conversation Robert informed me that milk bottles were going to be in short supply soon. We’d written a few silly little songs and were thinking of performing them so needed a stage name. Short Supply and The Milk Bottlettes was the original idea, thinking we’d have Nikki and Mandy, two friends of ours, on backing vocals. They really didn’t want to so we went with the edited version of Short Supply and stuck with it – it seemed right. We had bright pink badges made (to match the pumps) declaring “I’m in Short Supply” and started wearing the “uniform” even when we weren’t performing. Fortunately we never took things too seriously, trying whenever possible to play the worst guitar I could borrow and singing what were, at first anyway, really quite rubbish songs about college life. We did develop over the years, broadening our song themes and playing better guitars including an electric, but we still never lost the sense of how ridiculous it was that people might want to actually listen to us!