T in the Park: The Horrors
With a second album that proves that they’re more than a one trick pony, The Horrors are glad to be out in the sunshine. Camilla Pia sees the light
Forget about the big barnets for a second, because The Horrors are back; having weathered the hype and the haters to come up with one of the best records of the year in the form of atmospheric second effort Primary Colours. As the Southend quintet gear up for a summer of gigging, frontman Faris Badwan stops to chat about the new songs and his penchant for raucous Scottish crowds.
‘We’re doing loads of festivals,’ he says,’ which is good, because I actually think the new songs are really good festival songs, they are totally right for that sort of environment. Primary Colours is a very uplifting record, so unlike our earlier material it really works in the blazing sunshine,’ he adds. ‘Of course when people talk about euphoric music they are usually referring to stuff that is throwaway, but when we were making this record we were trying to aim for that uplifting sound but make it really substantial, and I think we achieved that.’
And achieve that they have, and then some. The Horrors’ latest work (produced by Portishead’s Geoff Barrow together with Chris Silvey and Chris Cunningham) shocked many who had previously written them off as purely a fashion band. The killer style of course remains, but now they’ve got the substance to back it up too. Badwan, however, is still not entirely at ease with the way they are perceived. ‘People sort of get us a bit better this time around … but they sort of don’t at the same time. For example so many reviews have referenced Joy Division and that is weird to me because they are not a band I listen to. I can see that people have changed their perceptions of us after hearing Primary Colours,’ he adds, ‘but we are intent on challenging those new perceptions all over again with the next one.’
The Horrors have booked studio time to work on the third record at the end of the year, but until then they have a whole host of live appointments to keep. And if you thought their album was stunning, just wait until you catch the stage-show. Their powerful, theatrical spectacle left The List a gibbering mess of fan girl hysteria when we caught them at the start of June. ‘I didn’t think journalists had any sort of emotional capacity,’ laughs Badwan when I tell him. ‘We tend to enjoy the regional dates best because the crowds are more rowdy. We played Aberdeen on a Sunday night once and we thought no-one would come but The View turned up with all their friends and it was a really fun show, probably due to all the Buckfast’ Are you a fan? ‘Hmm, I’d say I’m still at the first taste, wincing stage when it comes to that drink.’ Badwan chortles.
The Horrors play the NME/Radio 1 Stage, Sat 11 Jul.