TNS is 10: Interview - Towers of London
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The Towers of London have a reputation; so when they appeared on the bill for Thursday’s regular live music night in The Delph Bar, Lincoln Keith Jeff went to see what all the fuss is about. It was with a hefty amount of trepidation that I made my way to ‘The Delph Bar Presents…’ but I reminded myself as I approached the building; that my blood flows with mindless journalistic bravery; that thought would get me through the frightening night ahead. I had already decided that if getting punched in the face would be the story then that is how it would be, I could take a black eye for a few column inches. I was armed with nothing but a reasonably sturdy Dictaphone and was about to meet one of the most notorious bands on the UK circuit today, notorious but punctual. Things get broken when the Towers of London are around - furniture, speakers, guitars, drum-kits, photographers legs - I had decided to challenge them on the subject. Beside the Delph Bar stage a few hours into the night I am waiting by the entrance to the green room. My reserves of Dutch courage are in good supply and I am poised with my Dictaphone outstretched, ready to ask some serious questions. The Towers of London have been skulking in their bus all night but with a flurry of activity from their scruffy entourage I am sure they are due to appear very soon. I am right. The first of the band, I have no idea which, stalks past me. Me : “What are you going to break tonight?” ToL: “We’re not gonna break anything.” He hurries on and slumps himself on a sofa a short distance away eyeing me with suspicion. I continue. Me: “So you’re not going to break anything tonight then?” ToL: “Yeah we are; we’re gonna break you.” I’m doing well; I’m off to a strong start, threats have been made and I’m feeling confident. I glance around to see if the other band members will be passing soon and something small and pointy bounces off the side of my head. Observing the crown cap off a beer bottle from the rider hitting the floor, I look up to see the first band member grinning and pointing at me; his missile’s recipient. There is little more opportunity left as another rush of activity envelopes me and the rest of the band are whisked by. My hurried please for damage prediction are virtually lost in the confusion but for a few bewildered glances. I must get another drink and wait until after the gig. Following much shouting, monitor balancing, speaker climbing and bouncer bothering (them not me) I catch up with the band as they leave the stage denying the crowd an encore. I get lucky and catch the attention of the lead shouter. Me: “Why aren’t you going back on?” ToL: “We’re drunk” Me: “You’re drunk?” ToL: “Let’s get drunk” Me: “Guys, Why aren’t you going back on?” ToL: “‘Cos we can’t be arsed.” Me: “So what’s the band all about then?” ToL: “What do you mean what are we all about? What are you all about?” Me: “I just saw the set; I want to know what you’re all about. Where’s the next gig then?” ToL: “Tomorrow night, Huddersfield.” Me: “What are you going to do in Huddersfield?” ToL: “What do you mean what are we gonna do, we gonna do the same shit we do every night and that’s fuckin’ play rock n roll music.” Me: “You play rock and roll? “ ToL: “Yeah.” Me: “What is rock n roll?” ToL: “Eh, mate, fucking hell man, you stood in the crowd there, you was watching us for forty five fuckin’ minutes, you tell me what’s rock n roll.” Me: “I know what I felt – what did you feel?” ToL: “I felt fuckin’ great apart from falling off some big fuckin’ shit on the side of the stage.” Me: “So what’s your mission in life?” ToL: “To keep playing great gigs like we did tonight, fuck as many birds as possible, and drink every brewery out of house and home.” Me: “Ok” ToL: “How’s that for ya?” I don’t know how to tell him I’m disappointed, so I suddenly look incredibly interested in something else. He too has his concentration averted and relief is clear on both our faces. I can’t help thinking his off stage self is somewhat dull compared to his stage persona, I find another blonde Towers chap with big hair and ask him politely for his time. Me: “What’s going on with Towers of London then?” ToL: “I suppose you can see the scene as art-rock, you know like Franz Ferdinand, Bloc Party.” Me: “Art-rock, so it’s rock and art?”
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