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Lawnmower Deth Christmas Party at Rock City

14 December 15 words: Paul Klotschkow
"Christmas shows are fantastic. I remember in the mid 80s going to see Mud, The Sweet, and Gary Glitter at Nottingham Palais. Perhaps we should gloss over that"
Lawnmower Deth Christmas Party at Rock City

The line-up for this year's Lawnmower Deth Christmas Party

I was at the band’s Christmas show at Rescue Rooms in 2013 and it was good fun. Where did they idea of doing these Christmas shows come about?

Christmas shows are fantastic. I remember in the mid 80s going to see Mud, The Sweet, and Gary Glitter at Nottingham Palais. Perhaps we should gloss over that. In early 90s we used to do a Christmas tour each year so the idea has always been around. Four years ago we decided to resurrect it and did a show at London Garage. That was cool so we did Rescue Rooms the following year and sold out. Back to London last year and sold out. So this year back to Nottingham. Anton Lockwood went totally potty and put us back in the enormodome after 25 years away. It’s always good fun and who doesn’t want a jolly boys and girls knees up for Christmas?

Why should we go to your Christmas Rock City gig?
Why wouldn’t you want to come. Ittsssssssss Chrriiissssttttmas. Besides us - there’s always a down side - we have Acid Reign back on the bill for the first time together in 25 years. We have Beholder, Consumed and Reign of Fury. And to top it we even found ourselves a full on Slade tribute band - pretty good huh! Add to that we’re bringing our festival stage show, and Castle Rock are doing a real ale bar. What on earth could go wrong!?

What are your stand-out memories of playing Rock City and Nottingham in the past?
I’ve seen the same article everyone seems to be enjoying showing the 35 years of Rock City. That brought it all back. I think all told between 1989 and 1993 we headlined there three times as we were touring. They were great memories all of them as Rock City was our second home. I was a Thurs / Fri and Sat nighter! There were also some of the most bizarre support slots too. I remember supporting Suicidal Tendencies there, probably the biggest show we’d done at this point. Left the stage in a trashed state and got sent back on by Mike Muir with a broom in my hand to clear up before he’d go out! I remember a completely off the wall one playing with Dr & The Medics for New Year's eve. That was odd but delightful. My stand-out memory though was Andy Copping. Way prior to being Mr Download Festival, Andy used to spin records before we came on and warm the crowd up. He was pretty damn good at it too. Coppings Wheels of Steel.

The band reformed in 2008 after being invited to support Bullet For My Valentine. How did the invitation come about and did it take much persuading to get the band back together?
The band had been in hiatus for 15 years, we split in ’93. We were offered plenty of gigs across the years but there are only so many offers of ‘will you play my birthday party’ I could turn down. The BFMV one changed the rules. They were fans from back when, and Kev, one of our guitarists, was crewing for them. They were on him to get us on the bill so when they did Alley Palley, which was their biggest UK show at the time, they bullied him into asking us. We all turned 40 that year, it was a 10,000 seater, and it was a mid life crisis. It took surprisingly little persuasion.

It seems that there’s always been a lot of goodwill towards Lawnmower Deth. What do you put this down to?
We were talking about this last night. Honestly, I don’t know. We seem to be surrounded by nice people who care about us and we’re very thankful for that. We always work on the basis of just being us, don’t wind anyone up; crews, stage hands, promoters, security and whoever work hard, why piss them off? I think people just pick up on it, crowd and us. We’re essentially fans who just got lucky and there is no room for prima donnas in this band!

There have been sporadic shows ever since. Do you ever think about doing a tour or does holding down jobs, having family’s etc. make that kind of thing difficult now?
Do not mention the T word. It’s banned around here. We much prefer to event. It’s a strict 3-4 shows a year. Life, work, family all have to be worked around, so I think really answering your previous question at the same time, it’s not over exposed and people enjoy it when they can access it. Besides, who wouldn’t like doing a couple of major festivals a year and then putting your feet up.

Lawnmower Deth found themselves on Radio 2 recently. Can you tell me what that was all about?
It’s insane. Simon Mayo ran an article on us. Within 24 hours of media storm we’d been invited onto the show for a live interview. Probably the most terrifying thing I’ve ever had to do. Shows are easy by comparison. We honestly don’t know what’s happening. It’s just all happening on it’s own at the moment, organic to say the least, and everyday since Radio 2 last week has brought a new level of insanity. I’ve been talking with Kim Wilde today. I mean, WTactualF!

If you had one piece of advice for anyone in a band reading this, what would it be?
Don’t be jealous. Take one look at us, and think to yourself, if those fat bald talentless oldies can do this there is hope for everyone. Be nice to everyone, don’t believe the hype and enjoy everything that falls in your path.

What is next for the band after your show at Rock City?
Christmas. Time with my family and kids is top of the list. After that a few weeks off then it’s into the festival run. We start with Hammerfest in Wales (March) with Exodus and Cradle of Filth. Then Download in June with Black Sabbath. A rock and bike festival on the Notts / Derby border too in July then we’ll see what happens from there.

Any final words for the LeftLion readers?
Please come to the show, it’s going to be a blast. Dress up, sing loud, dance badly and mines a pint.

The Lawnmower Deth Xmas Party is at Rock City on Saturday 19 December 2015.

Lawnmower Deth website

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