Village Green 2015 & a chat with Nothing But Thieves

14:57 Leila Gunn 3 Comments

WARNING - marathon post to follow, so if you would not like to hear about my experience interviewing one of my favourite bands and other fantastic acts, feel free to stop reading now. 

Village Green! The arts and culture festival held by Metal (a charity arts organisation who put on local events in Southend), took place yesterday in Chalkwell Park. A few weeks ago, Metal's volunteer coordinator Poppy came into school to ask for volunteers to help at this years event. As I've mentioned in previous posts, I'm keen to get into journalism, so when I saw that Metal needed volunteers to help with organising interviews between journalists and the acts, how could I say no? What I didn't realise was that I'd actually be recording and doing the interviews with acts such as Nothing But Thieves, Kimberley Anne and Hollie Cook myself... Eeeek!

I've only ever been to Village Green once before, a few years ago, so I was a little curious about what to expect. However, after meeting my team of 4 other media volunteers (Poppy, Emma, Kristie and Pat) and our leader Syd (who is both the loveliest and craziest lady on the planet!) I knew it was going to be a brilliant event... And I wasn't wrong.

The group was split into two, with Poppy, Kristie and Pat taking base at the main Village Green stage, whilst myself, Emma and Syd were at the Riverside stage. Although 'our' stage was a little smaller, the press area was beautifully organized and centered around a beach theme. There were deck chairs, hay bales and even a beach hut, which eventually became a home for keeping our drinks cool out of the scorching sunshine!

As acts came off of the stage, our job was to make sure that we had a quick chat with them for Metal TV about their performance and how they were enjoying Village Green. I spoke to lots of really nice artists, but I have to say (and I might be biased, as I'm a big fan of their music), but my favourite interview had to be with the band 'Nothing But Thieves.' 

'Nothing But Thieves' are a band whose members all originate from Southend, and have recently hit the big time, performing gigs all around the country and being played regularly on BBC Radio 1. They're even supporting Muse at the Rock in Roma concert in Italy this year! As part of the media team, I was lucky enough to watch their performance from the Press pit, right in front of the stage, which was just phenomenal. And if that wasn't enough already, I also got to have a chat and a good laugh with Phil, Price and Dom after their performance, and here's what they had to say:

Dom: Hi Leila, how are you?

Me: I'm great thank you, how are you?

Dom: Are you enjoying Village Green?

Me: I'm loving Village Green!

Dom: Enough about us, what about you? Nah I'm joking.

Me: How do you think your performance went?

Dom: I think it went well, is that cocky of me to say? The crowd reacted.

Price: I had a good time.

Dom: That's what it's about isn't it, if Price has a good time!

Price: If I have a good time, everyone else seems to think they've had a good gig.

Dom: Everyone starts clapping when we finish playing, and that's a sign of elation and mutual respect and appreciation.

Me: I think that's a pretty good sign, have you even been to Village Green before?

Dom: I have.

Price: He hasn't.

Dom: I have, how could we avoid it?! Nah I'm joking.

Price: I came two years ago.... and I don't know why I'm still talking into this Sunflower. I came two years ago with a previous band. Marvelous festival, great vibe, real family vibe and they always luck it out on the weather. The weather is roasting every single year.

Me: That's very true.

Price: And it's grown so much, like, it's just a really good vibe, a really nice vibe.

Me: Can you tell me a little bit about how you met?

Price: Well, I met Dom... when did I meet you Dom? Where did we meet? We must have met at ...

Dom: House party. 2012.

Price: 2012, maybe before.... nah 2012. But that's not how I got in the band.

Me: How did you get in the band?

Price: My old band actually opened for this band, once upon a time, and they thought....

Dom: I thought, he was alright, I'll av' him.

Price: And he had me!

Dom: So we had the drummer, he joined our band.

Price: And then I joined, but yeah, Joe erm and Connor as well went to school together. Dom taught at that school, and Phil, the bass player, is Dom's cousin. And that's how we all know each other.

Dom: It's all fun.

Me: And where does your name [Nothing But Thieves] derive from?

Dom: You'll never, never know.

Price: You'll never know.

Dom: Dominic! My mum gave it to me!

Price: I believe it was my great grandfather... But yeah there's no answer to that honestly.

Dom: No, no, I had a good one the other day. We make it up each time, because it's really boring.. The actual story's really boring.

Me: So you just 'got it'? You just came up with it?

Price: Yeah we just got it, we *******, we just knew.

Dom: I'm trying to think of my favourite one.

Price: It's gotta be the Quiche.

Dom: Yeah so basically, Joe used to deliver Pizzas, for a little, er, company called Pizza Hut... Not bragging.

Price: It's no Dominos.

Dom: Our mate Ben who's got the nickname Quiche used to go on delivery with him, just because he was bored, and he would always pinch the toppings off of the Pizzas. And that's how we got the name 'Nothing But Thieves'.

Price: I know what an asshole. No offence Quiche, I love you.

Me: That's quite incredible...

Both: Yeah it's cool.

Me: And did you always want to be in a band?

Both: Yeah, yeah.

Price: Always, ever since...

Dom: You started playing drums I guess.

Price: No not even that, I genuinely wanted to be in a band when I was so little. I've never thought about doing anything else with myself to tell you the truth. It's all I've ever really wanted to do... And here I am! With this muppet, and we're having a great time, doing it.

Dom: I started playing guitar just for the fun of it, and then when you go to secondary school, and everyone else plays instruments, you realise that it's fun to play with other people. Play instruments with other people! And actually Phil, this lunatic here with the glasses, my cousin, is the one who was like "look, pick up an electric guitar and start playing."

Price: Hey Phil, come get in here you little mug. Join in mate. Everyone, people of the world, this is Phil Blake. Phil what do you have to say about yourself?

Phil: Hello, my name's Phil, I'm 26, I play Bass.

Dom: How do you think it [the performance] went?

Phil: Yeah it went alright yeah, I was really nervous.

Dom: Have you been to Village Green before?

Phil: Yes.

Dom: Where did the name come from? Not Village Green.

Phil: The name of what?

Dom: Your name.

Phil: *Calls over to his mum* Mum? I'm actually named after Phillip Schofield, it's really embarassing.

Price: You heard it here first!

Dom: That's not a joke.

Me: That's an exclusive.

Phil: I've said it now I'm stuffed.

Price: Yeah you've ****** that [up]

Me: But getting away from Phil's name, How would you describe the sound of your music?

Dom: We spent so long trying to make our band unlike anything else, it's quite hard to pigeon hole it. I think that's one of the blueprint's of the band, it was meant to be original and not sound like anything else. So it's difficult for us to try to describe it in a couple of words. If you wanted three words I'd say, a bit different. Or, that will do.

Price: Pretty ******* cool!

Me: We have our Youth stage here at Village Green, what advice could you give to young people looking to get into the industry?

Dom: Without sounding too preachy, I'd recommend writing before you start performing, because nobody wants to hear rubbish songs. Erm, and, we spent a few years doing that, and I think it was the right decision to make, because we became better song writers.

Sadly, we were then asked to wrap things up by the bands' manager as the next act was coming off stage for interview soon.

Me: Right, two last questions.

Dom: That's fine.

Price: That's alright, I'm enjoying this!

Me: If you had to choose an artist or band, dead or alive to perform with, who would it be?

Dom: Let's do a row, Phil!

Price: *points sunflower at Phil*

Phil: Probably, Johnny Marr.

Dom: The Smiths!

Price: It's funny because I've got a sunflower, I feel like Morrissey.

Dom: Er, I would say Fleetwood Mac or Foo Fighters.

Phil: That's two.

Price: Yeah, choose one.

Dom: Just because our music's more suited to Foo Fighters, then the Foo Fighters.

Price: Our music's nothing like it - Michael Jackson all day! Maybe, I'd say, 'Off the Wall' Michael Jackson.

Dom: Not any of the other stuff?

Price: The other stuff's good, but I mean...

Dom: Not Never Neverland.

Price: No I don't want to go there.

Phil: What's a Never Neverland? Oh it's not an album, it's just a place?

Price: It's a place!

*All laugh*

Dom: I love this album!

Price: What were the singles on that?!

Phil: You said 'Off the Wall' I thought we were in keeping with the album theme!

Me: Last last question.

Price: Fire away.

Me: Is it true...

Price: Oh God...

Me: Is it true, that the fight at the Elm's Pub which you refer to in 'Last Orders', did that ever really happen?

All: Noooo...

Dom: No, never happened.

Price: It's all a load of ****!

Dom: It would've been great if it did happen!

Me: Would've been an even better exclusive than Phil's name!

Dom: Let's be honest though, if you go now there's probably a fight happening at the Elm's.

Price: I'm sorry we're massive liars.

Me: That's OK because you performed amazingly well.

Dom: Thanks a lot Leilaaaa

Me: Thank you!

So as you can probably tell, 'Nothing But Thieves' aren't only fantastic performers, but are also charmingly funny too! We'd barely even sat down before Price started interviewing me instead (using a sunflower thrown at the band during their performance.) He was even kind enough to complement me after the interview on my croaky voice (I haven't been very well this week) though admittedly, I think he might have been taking the ****. But they weren't the only lovely acts I got to speak to today. I also interviewed Kimberley Anne, followed by a chat with Hollie Cook, daughter of Paul Cook, the drummer from the Sex Pistols (interviews to follow in later posts.)

The day was completely hectic, as expected, but I had a brilliant time. I loved every single second of 'playing journalist' and it really reassured me about pursuing journalism and seeing where it takes me. Credit to Metal for putting on such an amazing and successful event, and making the day so much fun, not only for the festival-goers but for the volunteers too. I'll definitely be back next year!


  1. That's cool they met at a house party. Haha. That's where all the cool people are at. :]

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  2. Great pictures!
    Mademoiselle Coconath

  3. Leila one of your Waitrose work colleagues fancies the pants of you and often watches you beeping customers items from the wine and beers section! He also admires your mini and loves Nothing but Thieves and plays there 3rd album on a loop from his granddads BMW. Say hello to Alex next time you see him as he's very shy