They might be the most exciting British band since the Sex Pistols, but there’s very little that could’ve prepared The Horrors for what’s happened to them since they played their first gig in September 2005.
A mess of sharp elbows, big hair, feedback and monochrome clothes, since that gig at The Spread Eagle in Shoreditch, the band (who all met at Southend’s super-fashionable Junk Club, run in the basement of a decaying Victorian hotel by keyboardist Rhys ‘Spider’ Webb) have played gigs everywhere from LA to Hull and Tokyo, been tipped by Jarvis Cocker as the future of British rock and appeared on the cover of NME after only two singles. They’ve scraped knuckles and cut knees. They’ve made a video starring acclaimed actress Samantha Morton with legendary director Chris Cunningham and then had the same video swiftly banned by MTV for excessive strobe use and general gruesomeness. They’ve been chased down the street by teenage girls trying to tear out locks of their hair in Rome. They’ve seen UFOs at 3am on the way back to London from a gig in the grounds of a stately home in Derbyshire. They’ve caused $10,000 of damage during a near-riot at a gig in New York after signing to Island Def Jam (home to Kanye West and Jay-Z) in America. And they’ve released a four dark-hearted singles that have annoyed as many people as they’ve enthralled – as well as the New York show, they had to cut short a gig at the last-ever Junk club because of an over enthusiastic crowd.
“It’s weird, because when we do gigs we just set out to play our songs and not annoy or wind up anyone - but we often cause loads of trouble in the process”, explains keyboardist Rhys ‘Spider’ Webb evenly. “Still, we’re not interested in pleasing everybody. And we certainly don’t have a problem with pissing people off in the process. We don’t care what people think of us. If we upset people we’re not bothered in the slightest.”