It seems there has been a bit of an upset at the V Festival recently, with Groove Armada one side of the ring and American stadium rockers Kings of Leon in the other.
All has been revealed in a very funny blog by GA’s Andy Cato.
Basically it all comes down to the fact that KoL have turned into self obsessed pompous douchebags since they sold a gajillion records over the last couple of years.
It starts off talking about problems with the showering facilities backstage and continues as such:
Then I noticed the empty shower block just the other side of some temporary fencing.
A couple of us found a gap in the barrier. Out of nowhere came a very large man. “Reserved for the Kings of Leon” he said, “and so is this half of the artist toilets”. It’s hard to believe that someone actually phoned their agent and said “listen I know that Paul Weller, Kasabian, Florence, Stereophonics, Groove Armada + co are all sharing the artist village and facilities, but we require that you put a fence down the middle of the toilets and showers and put a large man there to keep them just for us.” But somebody did.
Eventually I got scolded all over for a couple of minutes, though I was pleased with the success of the decanted hand soap.
Andy continues to talk about the day in an endearing and informative way although I do feel a tad sorry for my countrymen The Temper Trap (“…Tinie is not to be confused with Temper Trap, who got off to a good start on the second stage, until it took their soundman 20 minutes to realise that the bass drum was twice the volume of anything else”.)
But then – DUN DUN DUN – Kings of Leon rear their ugly heads once more (actually let’s be honest, their heads are the opposite of ugly – at least they’ve got that going for them) and the vicous battle continues.
“Backstage again, we were outside the catering tent, about to cross the path back to the dressing rooms when loads of massive blokes in suits and shades came out of nowhere shouting “don’t move, don’t move, DO NOT move” whilst pushing people back to the sides of the track. Was it Obama?
Tom explained that he was just crossing over to the dressing room to start getting ready.
“No you’re not” said a big man.
“Yes I am” said tom.
Out came the enormous hand.
The conversation between tom and the big man got more heated. Then 4 blacked out range rovers came round the corner. One for each King of Leon. As it became clear what all this presidential fuss was about, tom gave the worldwide one fingered sign of dislike as the cars went past. The last one stopped. The drummer got out making “come on then” type gestures. “Come on then” tom gestured back. Instead, the drummer went back behind his bodyguards, and, pointing towards Tom, Paul Weller, and the various other musicians who were pinned by the side of the road, said “I want them removed.”
“You will be removed” said the big man.
“No we won’t”
The promoter came over, smoothed it over and apologised. Bearing in mind this was all happening backstage in the area shared by all the bands, it’s hard to see what the Kings thought they were protecting themselves from. Was Paul Weller going to hound them for autographs? Was Florence going to wrestle them to the ground? Or maybe Stereophonics were going to ask them to write “your sex is on fire” on an album sleeve?
Nevertheless, the Kings had 4 minutes before going onstage to enjoy all those showers and toilets they’d kept to themselves.
We had a great crowd for our gig. Hat off to Staffordshire. It was the gig of the weekend.
We came off stage into the van that would take us back round to the dressing room. As we weaved through thick woodland, a message came over the radio to the driver to pull off the road, repeat, “Pull Off The Road.” Guess who.
The Kings were on their way out.
So we waited, reluctantly, whilst getting pretty annoyed with our driver for stopping. A few of us got out, to give the Kings a fond farewell.
Eventually, a couple of buses for crew and entourage came round the corner, followed by the 4 individual range rovers. What a lonely existence.
Back in the artist area, there was a good vibe around the bar. 3 cases of champagne were sent over to GA HQ as a thanks for telling it straight to the Kings.”
Don’t bands like this ever step back from what they’ve become and go “oh shit, wow, we just became those guys, maybe we should stop being assholes and go back to nice, normal people who happen to be famous”?
Remember when Kings of Leon didn’t play in stadiums and were just adorably hirsute country boys content singing about tapered jean girls and presumably playing with hay bales or whatever they do in Tennessee??
Did Groove Armada suddenly amass a legion of fans based on this blog alone???
I don’t know Kings of Leon but I interviewed Andy and Tom from Groove Armada at this year’s Big Day Out in Melbourne and they were very nice chaps indeed. Team Groove Armada all the way.