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Love Ends Disaster

July 2009

Jon Dix (left)

THEIR track Suzanne is one of the best four minutes of alt-rock created in this city in a decade. Because I said so. "The weird thing is, few people have even heard it," says Love Ends Disaster guitarist Jon Dix.
"Even though it's had airplay on Radio One and 6Music."
So, hundreds of thousands of people have heard it, courtesy of Colin Murray, Steve Lamacq and Huw Stephens. He means they aren't aware it's a song by a Nottingham-based quintet. That it's not been a hit. Yet.
It was released two years ago.
"We got a lot of good reviews." And airplay.
But they're taking their time with the debut album, City Of Glass.
"It is finished but there are the hurdles to jump, like mastering it and stuff," says Jon. "We've done it very DIY. I produced some of it and there's a guy at a studio in Leicester who did the rest. We wanted a mix of massive polished pop songs and the weird stuff.
"We have some independents who would be excited to release it but we want to get it out on a big label. We don't want it to disappear."
Joining us over a pint is manager Phil Long, a music industry veteran from Nottingham who has worked with everyone from Roxy Music to Spandau Ballet.
"You do need major clout behind it to make it work," says Phil, a former employee of EMI, Chrysalis and Island Records.
He picked up on Love Ends Disaster after listening to them on the Post's website
"I thought Suzanne was marvellous. I like the off-the-wall stuff as well. And the energy and tightness of the band."
They got together four years ago after finishing degrees at universities in Nottingham and Loughborough.
The singer is Bob Dylan obsessive Matt Oakes.
"He looks a bit like a young Bob Dylan," says Jon.
"Most of our songs are about death," he laughs.
"I'm slowly turning into the geek of the band. Equipment-wise. Oakes is a geek as well but in terms of his biographies of Bob Dylan and David Bowie. He knows everything about them."
Jon's twin brother Matt is the bassist, a teacher, second guitarist is Rob Sadler ("he does what I tell him") and the quintet are completed by Mark Thornley ("shy and an amazing drummer").
"I've just set up a company making music for TV and the web. I'm doing that part-time."
They've had a few notable support slots, including INXS at the Royal Concert Hall two years ago.
"I honestly don't know how that happened," admits Jon.
"I think they were looking for local support in each city and somehow they picked us. It was weird. Everyone was sitting down and they evidently didn't know who we were.
"We supported Scouting For Girls in Loughborough and we're totally not their kind of band but the audience were going mental."
They also opened for Babyshambles. So how was Pete Doherty?
"He was fine but they had crazy security who wouldn't let us backstage. Everyone was going crazy saying 'Kate Moss is coming!' Apparently she didn't turn up."
The name is meaningless, he insists.
"We started off being called LED for some rubbish reason. Then we thought 'let's make it mean something'. It's slightly science fiction. We're going for that B-movie feel. But really it means whatever you want it to mean."
And the check shirts? Jon laughs. "It was all the rage during grunge and we take a lot of our cues from that era. Like Nirvana."
Four years on and they've yet to get an album out but they're not in any rush, he says.
"Elbow are a classic example. They were around something like 10 years before they were even signed. Not that I want it to take that long."
As university graduates, isn't there a danger of career/family pressures pulling the band apart?
"Definitely but for the next few years at least there's that drive there. We still enjoy doing it."
They rate Nottingham bands Amusement Parks On Fire, Swimming, Fists and We Show Up On Radar.
"None of us grew up here so playing Splendour feels like we've finally been accepted."

Love Ends Disaster appear in The Big Top at Splendour, July 19 2009 at 3pm.

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