“You can’t divorce family” was one of the last things said to me during the brief ten-minute chat I had with The Paddingtons. It has stuck with me since, even days after that night. Right now, writing this almost a week on I can still feel the energy and passion in which they spoke.
Let’s take a step back for a moment to explain what’s going on.
Let’s set the scene a little as I know a lot the people won’t have a clue to what I am talking about. The Paddingtons is an independent rock band from Hull, England and shot to fame in around 2005 to 2006. Floating in and out of the spotlight ever since. Their debut album, First Comes First, was produced by Owen Morris, producer of Oasis' Definitely Maybe. And now they are back on tour with The Libertines, an English rock band formed in London and one of the biggest acts in the said genre.
I have tried writing the end of this paragraph, this biography, several times but nothing felt right. Nothing felt natural; I don’t want to explain the past of these guys. You have to listen to their stories and what they have to say.
Teal Magazine: So this “Back in the Nova” tour started off as just a support slot for The Libertines last weekend, right? How did the tour come about?
Grant (drums): I think it was the fact that it was having the honor of taking a call from one of the members of the band. Getting us back together we obviously said yes and it just made sense. We were just going to do a warm up show, but that sold out in 24 hours. That’s when we realized there was a sort of need for this.
Lloyd (bass): We were rehearsing for The Libertines as support slot and Josh who lives in New York wasn’t at the rehearsal but we had him up on Facetime and he was like “Should we do fucking three more as well?”. We all had a few beers and we all just looked at each other and said, “Yes!”
TM: How did the Libertines show go? How did the crowd react?
Lloyd: The Libertines show was really good. It was one of the biggest things we've ever done. We have done bigger gigs and played Victoria Park and things like that, but we haven’t played a gig that big for a long time so it was a bit electric, you know? The adrenaline was running through us all, so it was almost like a flashback to what we did in the past.
There was a lot of people there to watch The Paddingtons but the first fifteen rows were all in a mosh and it was great. We know we have a core fan base in Hull and I guess our friends who will still remember us, but when we played that gig with The Libertines they were all excited as far as I can remember.
TM: What has it been like playing the other shows though, like, the smaller ones?
Grant: They have been great. We have been playing better than we ever did, I think. I suppose the last few gigs we ever did towards the end of The Paddingtons were a bit jaded, like we were a bit “Why are we doing this?” But now, we can finally play these songs and give them justice. Especially being back with all the boys. We are all close mates and every chord we are all there just smiling away.
TM: What has been the response you get playing these past shows?
Lloyd: We released the Hull gig as a warm up show and as an 'internet ticket thing'. When we started way back that wasn’t really a thing. You couldn’t quantify your crowd until you got to the gig. So after 24 hours and we went and sold the gig out we were like, “Okay. There’s something going on here.” But selling out a gig doesn’t mean that it is going to be a good gig, it just means that the place is going to be full. We were really apprehensive and we knew that there were going to be a lot of people there. But as soon as the first song kicked off and you saw the first crowd surfer get up, we knew that we were back on.
Grant: It was like an old Paddingtons gig. It was mental. People were flying around and crowd surfing. It’s a small venue like this one tonight and it was just like I remember it.
TM: What do you think has changed since you last went out on tour like this?
Lloyd: The songs still stand well but I think it is all the people that were really into us, still are. At the Adelphia and back in Hull there were a load of people that were too young to see us when we were about.
Grant: It is quite strange, I have had a conversation with two people tonight and they were talking about how old they were when we was knocking about and they weren’t old enough to come and watch us.
TM: Have you missed life like this out on tour?
Lloyd: We have all played music in other bands afterwards and we still continued to do it but at different levels. Josh did really well and he got another go at it. Good on him.
Grant: Like Josh went over to America and joined a band called Skaters and they have done really well and they are still continuing to do well. We didn’t just stop it knock it on the head and then its seven years later and we are playing again. We have kept our toes in the musical pond as it were.
Lloyd: It is great to be playing again with these boys. They are my brothers, all of them, and it is really great.
TM: So what’s next for you guys?
Grant: We never split up as a band, we never did. But we just never did anything for years and I think The Libertines asking us to support them was a big push for us to do more. Even if it is doing something like recording an album or we just do one gig at Christmas for our mums and dads, we will still be the same The Paddingtons. It’s not the end of the story. You can’t divorce your family.