TEN CITY NATION - ALBUM LAUNCH PARTY & INTERVIEW WITH SEYMOUR 18/07/09 BY LORRAINE.
Until the invitation filtered through Mudkiss HQ I had not heard of Ten City Nation, a three piece rock band formed only two years ago in their hometown of Bury St. Edmunds. Now based in Lewisham the band’s invitation was to attend an album launch party on board the Tamesis Dock, Albert Embankment near Vauxhall. Officially due for release on August 3rd ‘At The Still Point’ is the band’s second album and, after a brief listen, they certainly had my attention.
Another grey, July evening threatening deluge wasn’t going to deter my party bow! Walking along the river in the RIGHT direction did, however, prove helpful. Whoa, the ramp down into that boat, to be negotiated in wooden, wedge mules, was no mean feat, but inside was a great little venue on two levels. Large comfy chairs, bar-b-que sizzling on the stern, smiley faces, band performing on the lower deck, clearly visible from above, all set to a slight tilt on the outgoing tide. We were early so decided to go for a riverside amble after a drink but returned in time to have the pleasure of catching support band, Dallas, giving their all. I thought the sound on the boat was pretty good, but a little more volume on the vocals would have been appreciated. We had prime position in comfy chairs in front of the ‘stage’ awaiting the host band. Ten City Nation are Seymour Patrick on lead guitar and vocals, Neil Baldwin on drums and vocals, Mike Smith on bass guitar and vocals. From the very first second Seymour Patrick was effervescing with more volcanicity than diet coke and mentos while Mike Smith maintained an intellectual, Ray Manzarek type stance. Neil Baldwin thrashed his way through songs with, at times, the ecstatic look of a chocoholic kid in Willy Wonka’s. A glance through the lower deck window and the tide was in, level with us, as the boat met The Kinks meet Led Zepplin meet Black Rebel Motorcycle Club! Comparisons and influences aside, when you listen to a song like ‘Flashing Lights’ this band is flying its own unique recipe of British rock, ‘Snakebite Blues’ a classic. For me, personally, the band’s strength lay in their faster more up tempo-tunes, but, nonetheless, TCN is a honed insect with a sting in its tail that cannot be ignored, nonetheless, 'Ten Years Older' undeniably moving on every level. Time and tide really do wait for no man and their set just flew by way too quickly for me. Seymour’s endless energy had me transfixed and the glances and counts between him and Neil clearly illustrated this band’s sheer unity and love of what they are doing musically. I can honestly say, I haven’t enjoyed a band’s set that much for quite some time and Ten City Nation proved their ability to rule the ‘high seas’, or river in this case, with wide appeal and ease. This band positively shine live and I look forward to seeing them in a much larger venue befitting their talent!
I was hoping to catch Seymour following the party and ask him a few questions.
Lorraine- Well Seymour, how was it for you? Did you enjoy the Party?
Seymour - We did, very much! I was proper stressed out earlier, we had to drive all over London picking stuff up, then drove to Suffolk to pick up Neil and Mike and the PA, then drove back to London again… But I’d say it was worth it. Apparently quite a few people were sick because of the boat quite literally rocking, which I’m taking as a seal of quality.
Lorraine - I understand you have quite a bit to say about this album, I take it you are all pretty proud ?
Seymour - We’re amazingly proud of this album, it looks and sounds exactly how we wanted. We said from the beginning that we didn’t want that homogenised, one-sound-fits-all kind of thing you get with “proper” studios, so instead of going to a studio our friend Sam Marsh came round with his home recording gear and recorded us pretty much live in our practice room. We just drank and rocked out like we would in practice, and at the end of the 3 days we had an album ready to play our Mums. Sam, incidentally, used to be in Jacob’s Mouse, who were favourites of John Peel and Kurt Cobain – they’ve been overlooked by history, but they were one of our big influences when we started and he’s also a genius. So we knew we were in good hands. The sleeve was taken by another friend, Emerson – I mentioned to him at 5 in the afternoon that we needed artwork and by 11 he’d emailed it over. I couldn’t believe it, I hadn’t told him that I was obsessing over Fugazi album covers but he sent me this thing that looks like ‘Steady Diet Of Nothing’ or ‘End Hits’. It made me love everyone in the World, for about 5 minutes. And then I got a La Roux song stuck in my head and wanted to kill everyone again.
Lorraine - Where can people get hold of the album? I forgot to collect one by the way …sweet smile!
Seymour - Ah, I’ll make sure you get one! The album can be purloined from our website - www.tencitynation.com – but it’ll also be available in all good record shops and online stores.
Lorraine - I know that the band were recently involved with the ‘Love Music Hate Racism’ tour and have a message regarding the rise of the BNP?
Seymour - “Don’t vote BNP” – it’s not much of a message, but it’s a good one, and with so many people falling for their schtick it’s obviously a message that needs spreading. One of the many reasons I personally find them such an affront to humanity is that their entire notion of racial purity and ‘Britishness’ is so flimsy it just doesn’t hold up to any kind of scrutiny. I’m half Irish on one side and of dark-skinned European stock on the other, but I was born in Yorkshire – am I acceptable, can I stay? What about my housemate, his parents are Polish, are we allowed to like them or are they dirty Eastern European beggars? Mankind originated in Africa, so we are ALL immigrants in this country. Nick Griffin, their Fuhrer, recently and in all seriousness suggested that a way to deal with illegal immigrants sailing over from sub-Saharan Africa would be to simply sink the boats. "Throw them a life raft and they can go back to Libya" were his exact words. Do you know, I had a really lucid response to this question all planned out and now all that’s pouring out is rage. But yes – they’re not a legitimate protest vote and they’re not on your side. They’re a fascist party with a Nazi past and they have no interest in our hard-won democracy or equality or looking after anyone’s best interests except those they consider “pure” enough based on entirely arbitrary factors. I don’t care where you were born or who your parents are – each person should be judged on their own merits and ethnicity, sexuality and all the rest of it don’t get a look in. If you want to be the best you can be, start by not being a cunt to other people. And don’t vote for this shocking shower of wankers.
Lorraine - So what are you looking forward to next?
Seymour - Some festivals and nice gigs in August and September and then a spot of time off before we start recording the next album in October. And at some point I want to see the new Transformers film. Having no money sucks ass.
Lorraine - Many thanks and lots of luck with the album, they are some really great tracks on there! x