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late of the pier interview
Indie schmindie.Back in their lifelong Midlands home base of Castle Donington, the pop quartet Late Of The Pier still live with their parents and “communicate at night via torchlight signals”, according to wiry electronics visionary and freaky dancer, Sam Potter.
Potter, Sam Eastgate, Ross Dawson and Andrew Faley, who are all aged 20 or 21, have been making hay at under-18s shows nationwide, sending teenage audiences delirious with their animated, often topless, ideas-packed funk. Late Of The Pier “want to take people past their own limits”, according to chiselled frontman Eastgate. He adds, “We’re vigorous in what we’re doing. We’re fast with our hands.”
As well as the hoards of “under-age” scenesters massing stage-front, LOTP have pricked older ears with their raw pop stomp. London DJ and producer dynamo Erol Alkan, for one, who has helped the band channel their sonic attack into something more focused yet still undeniably different. Their current single, Bathroom Gurgle, is a most individual pop record, where an insistent, gritty bassline, glam drums and dark synths morph into huge, prog-rock operatics, bonkers tempo changes and Rocky Horror choreography. It’s more Bobby Conn than Klaxons.
We ask if hailing from a village in the provinces has its benefits? “Yes. We’ve been able to stand outside the box,” explains Eastgate. Adds Potter: “You get touched and tainted in the big city; switched on to everything else. We plan to rent a house together in the middle of nowhere in the Midlands. Somewhere untouched.”
Potter views Late Of The Pier as a reaction to “mediocre, complacent indie-schmindie bands who find a sound and stick to it; whose songs sound exactly the same. I’ve always thought that modern-day musicians should take the role of scientists – taking things apart and doing something different with it. But people can’t be arsed to sift anymore.”
Between gigs and radio sessions in the capital, they’ve managed to sneak in visits to the British Library to feast on Chaucer manuscripts and Da Vinci notebooks. Talk turns to history. “Queen Boudicca always did it for me,” trills Potter. “I like that period when not everything was kept on record. You’ve got reference points, but have to use your imagination to fill in the gaps.”
Maybe Late Of The Pier have filled a gap. Certainly, Donington has never thrown anything quite like this out of its historical gloop, even when the village played host to the infamous Monsters of Rock festivals. Whatever, Late Of The Pier cause a fine quandary. “I heard a fact today – that our single has been compared to 64 different bands,” laughs Potter. “Mad!”
Late Of The Pier - Bathroom Gurgle is out now. The debut album is due early 08 on Parlophone.
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