Interview: Gearing up for Leeds Fest with Theme Park

Theme Park.
Theme Park.

Interview by Gig Scene Editor Graham Chalmers

Summer is a busy period for fast rising indie band Theme Park - but in the context of their last six, ultra-hectic months it’s simply a breeze says their lead singer Marcus Haughton.

Their Leeds Festival appearance at the August Bank Holiday is only one of a string of top festival slots for this terrific live band over the next month and a half .

It turns out Marcus is actually heading off to play Latitude as I chat to him on the phone.

But at least this exhuberant London four-piece , who sound a bit like the Foals of Friendly Fires with added calypso, get a chance to chill in the relatively lengthy gap between shows.

“We’ve been touring the album since it came out in February. You don’t get to see your friends for months on end. This now is the fun part of the tour. And we’re even breaking even on festivals this year! I can’t speak for all bands but last year we made a loss.”

Theme Park even survived the rites of passage that is an appearance at T in the Park recently.

“They’re a wild crowd. I’d heard they were a bit intense - and drunk - but we had a really good time.”

The band’s dance-inflected, upbeat guitar pop was always likely to go to down well in that Scottish cauldron.

I venture to ask this most positive of bands if they’d heard of the recession or austerity?

“Tough times don’t mean you can’t go out and dance. Music is there to make people happy, They say that nightclubs always boom in a recession.”

Theme Park are fans, and friends, of bands like Bombay Bicycle Club, Foals and The Maccabees, indeed, it was Luke Smith, the producer behind the latter two bands, who took charge of their own debut album on Transgressive Records.

Despite their sunny outlook, Theme Park are a thoughtful band who take music seriously.Recent EP Two Hours saw them cover The National’s Bloodbuzz Ohio and Hot Chip’s Ready for The Floor in a surprisingly dignified and sombre fashion, looking to bring out hidden sides of these modern classics.

Marcus’s main co-songwriter is his twin brother Miles.

Arguments between the two of them are non-existent, he says. They’ve lived together since childhood, university aside, sharing a room, and only tend to disagree about music. Both are New Order fans, Marcus less so than Miles, but the band are no group of copycats. They go their own way.

After a string of acclaimed singles and EPs, their debut album has pushed them onto that proverbial ‘next level’.

At this year’s Leeds Festival they have graduated from the Festival Republic stage to the large r NME/Radio One tent.

Marcus said: “We had the choice of been higher up the bill on a smaller stage or first on the Sunday on a bigger stage. One o’clock in the afternoon is quite early to party but we’re confident we’ll give the Leeds crowd a great time.”