Tales of the City // Lanterns on the Lake


It’s easy, living here, to pass through the streets of London, blasé as hell,  barely noticing the people and places around us. The solution, it seems, is to start a band, come to London and spend some time in traffic, gazing out of car windows. Even if what you see is just a seemingly infinite variety of fried chicken. Lanterns On The Lake’s Hazel Wilde tells the tale…

We are on our way to a gig in the van and at a snail’s pace we crawl through the city traffic. As a child, I’d always imagined London to be a fast moving, buzzing city but today it feels sluggish and it takes forever to move a few yards forward. We’ve been here a handful of times before but we are still always childishly impressed when one of us spots a famous landmark that we’ve seen on TV. Silhouettes of imposing towers tickle the grey clouds above them. It’s impressive. We usually like to play a London game of counting fried chicken shops that we pass but we always lose count or lose interest; today it was the latter. Fascinatingly, everyone always seems to be travelling with purpose in London; I don’t see anyone just ‘out for a stroll’ and people anxiously beep their horns, hopeful that it will make the traffic suddenly kick into gear and move forward. People on foot pass us with their heads bowed down, talking on their phones; presumably they are making important calls about stock markets or some such alien concept. The lights ahead change to green but we’re still hardly moving, like the traffic is stuck in some invisible mud. We’ll probably be late for soundcheck and this always makes me restless. In the passenger seat, I wind my window down and hear a car nearby blasting the radio; the presenter is talking about being on holiday and his co-presenter laughs with intensity at everything he says. It isn’t helping my gig nerves one bit. I rest my head on my arm on the window frame and in the back of the van the fried chicken shop game has re-started “Euro Chicken, Sam’s Chicken, Perfect Chicken, Chicken Cottages”.

‘Until The Colours Run’ is released 9th September on Bella Union. Preorder Here.

The band play Islington Assembly Hall 22nd October. Buy Tickets Here.