Towers of London are a punk rock band from London, England who formed in 2004. Their music mixes elements of Rock and heavy metal music with '77-style British punk. The band have divided the opinions of the British music press since their emergence in early 2004, gaining favourable reviews from some music news media and extremely negative from others, to which they have occasionally been quick to respond.
In 1994 a band was formed named The Tourettes, featuring Dirk and Donny Tourette (real names Francis and Patrick Brannan) the brothers had been playing together in garage bands since secondary school. The Tourettes played in a glam punk style, which has been described as "a post Manic Street Preachers rock 'n' roll rush".
The band later acquired bassist Tommy Brunette and a drummer named Snell. But in 2003 the Tourettes were disbanded. They formed a new band in 2004 named the Towers of London, adding a guitarist from Morecambe nicknamed The Rev.
Blood, Sweat and Towers
The band signed to New York independent record label TVT Records in early 2005 as a result of relentless touring in the United Kingdom. On the label they have released a string of singles, prior to their debut album being released, "On A Noose", "Fuck It Up", "How Rude She Was", "Air Guitar" & most recently, "I'm A Rat".
The music video for the song "How Rude She Was" was filmed in New York City and featured women from Gotham Girls Roller Derby, an all-girl roller derby league. Modelling themselves on Pop group Busted, they have achieved moderate sucess, despite being labelled as manufactured and false. Their small but loyal fanbase regard them as forerunners in the punk/light pop scene.
In mid-2005, Towers of London performed at two festivals in the United Kingdom: Reading and Leeds Festivals and Download Festival. The band's performance was received well, but due to fighting backstage after another group allegedly stole their property, they are now banned from returning to the Download Festival. Lead singer Donny Tourette was brought before Cambridge Magistrates Court in June 2005 for criminal damage during a show at Cambridge Anglia Ruskin University in February 2005. Donny was said to have been swinging from an overhead cable which happened to pull down a canopy and broke scaffolding. He was ordered to pay £775 of compensation, court costs and fines.
During June 2006, Towers of London released their debut album Blood, Sweat and Towers. It was produced by Stacy Jones and Bill Lefler. The album features thirteen tracks, including the five singles they have released to date.
TV series and Major support dates
Towers of London opened for Guns N' Roses on two of their 2006 summer UK tour dates, Dirk commented; "Guns N' Roses? What more can you say? We're going to have it this weekend!". During the summer of 2006 the band played on the main stage at the Reading and Leeds Festivals. Bravo TV are currently airing a ten part TV series about the band, after camera crews followed them for around for a year. The show, named simply The Towers of London, features footage of various performances including the 2005 Download Festival which saw them banned from the event. Various clips have already been released on the Internet, one which shows members of the band assaulting a member of the public after being provoked. The show launched on Thursday, October 19 at 10.30 on Bravo.
Dirk Tourette had an altercation with American band My Chemical Romance in which he allegedly threw a lit cigarette at the band's drummer Bob Bryar at their instore performance. Members of the band, who attended because of "free booze", got into a scuffle with My Chemical Romance's tour managers.
In October 2006, Towers of London supported another of their musical heroes, this time in the form of the New York Dolls, on three of their UK tour dates in London, Liverpool and Glasgow. The band have just released their 5th Single, I'm A Rat. It was originally planned to be released late November 2006 but was finally released on 12 February 2007.
Frontman Donny Tourette joined Celebrity Big Brother 5 on January 3, 2007, at the start of the series. He made his entrance by swearing at the crowd and making rude gestures until he was ushered along the red carpet by security guards. He then left the show after just 48 hours in equally dramatic fashion, by scaling a wall to escape. Tourette refused to serve fellow housemate Jade Goody (who in interviews he refers to as "The Pig") and family after the house was divided into two sections. As he climbed over the garden wall, Tourette said to another contestant "I'm not waiting hand on foot, on some fucking moron and her family".
Following this, the frontman also appeared on comedy panel game show Never Mind the Buzzcocks. The episode, during which Donny Tourette was the (sometimes oblivious) butt of repeated jibes from host Simon Amstell, was aired a couple of days before the Towers of London's 5th single from their debut "I'm a Rat" was released; the band proceeded with a full tour of the United Kingdom in support of its release. Towers of London had a lucky escape on February 14 2007 after a group of teenagers targeted the band with breeze blocks. The five-piece were chatting to a group of fans after a gig outside York Fibbers when the incident happened. According to guitarist The Rev, Towers drummer Snell was a whisker away from ending up in hospital. One of the teenagers was caught and handed over to the police.
Rev and Snell leave - New album
On July 13, it was revealed by NME that The Rev and Snell had left the band because they believed 'their future is not with the band'. However, Towers of London would continue their tour throughout July, drafting in friends Kristian Marr and Aaron Attwood to fill the positions.
The band then retreated to prepare their second album, putting up four songs called "The Bible", "The Towers Waltz", "Naked On The Dancefloor" and "Start the Rupt" on their MySpace in the meantime. Towers of London auditioned for a drummer and lead guitar player, meeting such musicians as Ben Taylor, (who went on to drum for the Towers at their comeback gig in Harlow), and guitarist Tom Earl (formerly of the hard rock groups Rope & Widow and Swallow This).
Former members Rev and Snell played with the Prodigy as part of the live band throughout 2007. More recently they formed a new punk outfit, DAY 21, with frontman Jimmy Pursey and bassist Mat Sargent from Sham 69.
On June 6, 2008, the band played a comeback gig at Club Quattroz (Harlow, Essex). They used school friend James Phillips (guitar) and auditionee Ben Taylor (drums) for the gig. The set consisted of 4 songs from their debut album and a variety of brand new songs. A few months later the band updated their myspace with a selection of dates for mid-October 2008 where a mini-tour would occur to coincide with their new album, Fizzy Pop (released September 29). For this the band dropped Ben Taylor on drums and took on another school friend.
The band announced in November 2008 that the second single would be "Go Sister, Go" and will be released in early 2009.
|UK Singles Chart||UK Rock Chart||UK Indie Chart|
|2005||"On a Noose"||32||-||-||Blood, Sweat and Towers|
|2005||"Fuck It Up"||46||26 *||-||Blood, Sweat and Towers|
|2005||"How Rude She Was"||30||14 *||-||Blood, Sweat and Towers|
|2006||"Air Guitar"||32||-||-||Blood, Sweat and Towers|
|2007||"I'm a Rat"||46**||-||1||Blood, Sweat and Towers|
|2008||"Free Bird"||-||-||-||iTunes Exclusive|
|2008||"Naked on the Dancefloor"||-||-||5||Fizzy Pop|
|2009||"Go Sister, Go"||-||-||-||Fizzy Pop|
(*) position in the Rock Charts for week ending 7 January 2007 and 12 February 2007. May have been higher when released originally
(**) #10 on the UK Physical Chart and #4 on the HMV Chart
- The name "Towers of London", was created by Dirk Tourette, because the band do not consider themselves a part of the current London music scene, but the band "want to tower above everyone else from the city"
- The Rev acquired his nickname in a highschool band he had prior to Towers of London. He got it because when he was with younger he basically "got on stage and did his best Nikki Sixx impression". His original nickname was "Reverend Sixx" from a friend of his, but it soon got shortened to simply The Rev when he joined the Towers.
- Stephen King chose The Towers of London track "I'm a Rat" as his 7th best song of 2006.
- The Rev and Snell quit the band a few days before they were meant to be playing a gig in Newcastle, leaving the remaining members with a limited amount of time to replace them with "drinking buddies" Kristian Marr and Aaron Attwood.
Biography from Wikipedia