There's usually an unwritten rue between celebrities that what goes on the road, stays on the road - don't s*** on your own doorstep - don't be a grass - don't s*** on the tourbus - that kind of thing. It's rare to get a warts-and-all tale of a huge worldwide band acting like complete and utter t**ts told by a moderately successful musician. Kings of Leon get Pwned by Groove Armada...
You always got the sense that Kings of Leon were about a hair's breadth away from being tossbags, but Andy from Groove Armada's account of sharing a bill with them at this year's V Festival is just brilliant. You have to bear in mind that Andy was with Paul Weller, Kasabian, Kelly Jones et al.
It all begins when Andy needed a shower in the morning:
"Over in the artist area there was already a queue for the washrooms. 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."
He carries on...
Backstage again, we were 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.
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"
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?
Nevertheless, the Kings had 4 minutes before going onstage to enjoy all those showers and toilets they'd kept to themselves."
You want more? Oh OK then...
"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."
What a lonely existence indeed - and deservedly so for such a quartet of hairy arse trumpets.
(obviously for the full spiel you should head over to the original blog post here.)
EDIT: Since we originally put this up we've actually had someone from Absolute Radio get in touch with us about a similar experience with KOL:
"Absolute Radio Hometime DJ Geoff Lloyd interviewed the band at the festival, he and his production team watched one of the band's entourage had a very specific job... after any of the band shook hands with anyone, the dogs-body would come round with a bottle of hand sanitizer squirting antibacterial gel into the Caleb and co's hands! Maybe they're scared of catching something from the rest of us?!"
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