MegaFolk misfits, The Destroyers have made a name for themselves as a band who break through the walls of musical genres.
However, this will be the first time that they have been invited to a venue which will become little more than a demolition site shortly after their performance. But before the Adrian Boult Hall is blown to smithereens, The Destroyers will be joined by the incredible 49-piece Conservatoire Folk Ensemble for a double-headed Destruction party on Sun 19 June.
We spoke to the band to get an idea of what we should expect and whether we should fear the intriguingly/worryingly named ‘Vortex Cannon’…
As this concert is named ‘Destruction Party’ will you be handing out hard hats for the audience?
We were hoping that we could stretch to some mild destruction of the Adrian Boult Hall during the show – maybe removing a couple of breeze-blocks from a non-supporting wall or two. But we’ve been told that this would be frowned on.
You’ve made a name for yourselves on the live music scene – for anyone who’s been living under a pile of rubble, what can they expect from your show?
They would probably just be relieved to be out from under the pile of rubble for an hour or so. Anyway we’d describe it as sort of balkan/klezmer influenced party music, featuring instrumental virtuosity, audience participation and a bit of stage theatrics. Our aim is to make the audience go a bit wild, even in a conventional concert venue like the ABH we expect to get them off their seats and dancing in the aisles.
Will there be anything left of the ABH once you’ve finished playing? We kind of need it for the rest of City of Sounds…
It is our policy to always adhere to the laws of physics, including local sub-regulations. We actively monitor our compliance with the above, and any discrepancies are subject to a prompt and rigorous internal investigation so that lessons can be learned moving forwards.
Erm, what’s a ‘vortex cannon’? And should we be worried about you using it on stage?
The vortex cannon has the charming ability to make adults behave like children as they leap up to try and catch the vortices. It is a weapon of love, not war. It fires smoke rings which drift out over the audience representing the fragile patterns that emerge heroically from the beauty of the earth.
We didn’t invent it, however ours is the most beautiful because it has been expertly decorated with shiny things.
This gig coincides with the release of your ‘License to Sing’ EP. Sounds like a good idea, have you heard my next door neighbour? She’s awful. I’ve had to call the police on several occasions -frankly I’d like to ban her from ever opening her mouth again. What can we expect to hear on the record?
The title track ‘Licence to Sing’ a playful exploration of the paradox that any intangible thing – including recorded music – is infinitely reproducible for free, and yet impossible to sell without artificially restricting access to it. The epitome of this being the way that it is illegal to sing or play anything in public if it was written by someone else, unless the place you’re in has the appropriate licence. Their motivation is honourable but some of the consequences are perverse or stiflingly bureaucratic. So next time you call the police on your neighbour, if she is not singing all her own material and doesn’t have a PRS licence then maybe they can lock her up for that, rather than just her lack of vocal talent.
Apart from that, the EP contains a couple of storming instrumentals, one of which ‘One more tune!’ we’ve used as our encore for years, and fans always ask us which CD its on, but we never recorded it before so hopefully this’ll make them happy. It also includes the song ‘Sorrows Tears and Woes’ which somehow constructs a louisiana-style singalong knees-up from the iniquities and menace of late-era capitalism. The Licence to Sing EP is phase two of a three-year writing and recording project which started last year with The Vortex EP and culminates in our much awaited third album next year. Meanwhile Licence to Sing will be officially released on Fri 17th Jun and the Adrian Boult Hall gig on Jun 19th will be the first chance to get a signed copy!
Destruction Party takes place at Adrian Boult Hall on Sun 19 June with The Destroyers and The Conservatoire Folk Ensemble. Book now via THSH.co.uk