The rise of Lostprophets - part two

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Lostprophets

Louis Pattison traces the rise of the 'Prophets in the early 2000s.

Last updated: 21 November 2008

Speaking to Kerrang! at the beginning of 2002, Lostprophets denied these charges: "This band developed in a little Welsh village where everyone thought we were freaks, so we kept ourselves to ourselves, and that's been ingrained in us," explained Watkins. "People interpret that as us being arrogant. But we're not the kind of guys who'll walk into a room and go 'Hey, how the f**k is everyone doing?"

With their profile continuing to soar, Lostprophets were booked to play on NME's nationwide Brats tour in February 2002. "They're representing a credible British alternative to a sound which is dominated by American bands at the moment," explained James Oldham of NME. "But to be honest, there's the commercial aspect, as well," he adds. "They're increasingly popular, and they're all good-looking lads. Not going to scare the horses, are they?"

During the tour, lead singer Ian Watkins claimed the band were shifting £5,000 of merchandise every night. Hot on their heels, headlining soft-rock titan Andrew WK frequently played to a half-empty hall. The Lostprophets mania that was already seen on a local level here in Wales was kicking off nationwide.

"I think we began to realise it was really happening for Lostprophets when we put on a gig in Blackwood for them, and there were 150 people outside that couldn't get in," recalls Jo Hunt of Community Music Wales, who worked with the band as part of a New Deal project back in 2000. "People were crawling in through the toilet windows. The last time I'd seen anything on that scale was with Stereophonics. Not even Terris or Catatonia had that kind of buzz."

"Lostprophets have that absolute star quality," reckons Ed Richmond, producer of Radio 1's Bethan & Huw show. "We put on a gig in Treforest just before Christmas 2001. We gave away 300 tickets, but we could have given away 1,500. People came from Scotland and the Home Counties to see the gig. They've capitalised on that real passionate, devoted fanbase."


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