Kings of Scotland; Kings of Leon Headliners, Main Stage, Tonight

Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland), July 10, 2009 | Go to article overview
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Kings of Scotland; Kings of Leon Headliners, Main Stage, Tonight

Byline: Rick Fulton

America's new rock royalty love playing over here and drummer Nathan Followill is aiming to get Closer to fans at Balado by promising a hot, sweaty set and says he might even go topless as a special treat for the girls

KINGS Of Leon headline the first night of T in the Park tonight and can't wait because they say Scots fans "don't mind getting sweaty and getting pints thrown on their heads".

The American band, made up of Followill brothers Nathan, Caleb and Jared and their cousin Matthew, are going to be one of the biggest draws at the Balado festival.

Their fourth album, Only By The Night, was last year's third top selling album and is still in the top 20. The album includes No.1 hit Sex on Fire and anthems like Use Somebody, Crawl and Closer.

While they are up there with The Killers, who headline tomorrow, and Coldplay as the band most likely to take U2's biggest global rock band title, they didn't crack the big time in their homeland until Only By The Night.

Drummer Nathan knows why. He said: "Most music gets ignored in the States unless it's hip hop or Hannah Montana or Disney music like the Jonas Brothers. Kiddy pop or hip hop, that's pretty much what America is. You turn on the radio and you hear maybe one out of 10 songs that you'd consider decent.

"The UK is more open to all kinds of music. In America, there are so many bands, 100 records coming out every week - the level of competition is so high, whereas in the UK you have time to sit back and digest the music and grow with the band and give them a chance to grow on you.

"The fans are just insane in the UK - they're music lovers.

"You have kids going to shows to see bands and hear the music, not going to a show to be seen there. And they don't mind getting sweaty and getting pints thrown on their heads."

And while it's more about the music than the style for Kings Of Leon, at this weekend's massive Scottish music festival, you'll spot plenty of would-be princes trying to look like their rock heroes.

The band favour tight jeans and waistcoats and Nathan reckons looking good is important for men or women but "definitely more for girls than guys".

He added: "If you're a guy in a band and you've got a big ol' beer belly, that's cool because you could probably drink anyone under the table.

"Obviously you want to have some style, you want to look good - but to what extreme? I guess that's up to the band.We're comfortable in our own skin and stylish enough to just pull it off without jeopardising our integrity."

But the drummer admits he's had his own personal fashion disasters.

Laughing, he said: "I'd say any picture of me from the first two years of the band's existence was pretty much a fashion disaster. I had the Grizzly Adams beard.

"I had a small family of birds living in there for about three months.

"When we first came out, we looked like we'd just walked off the set of Almost Famous with our bell-bottoms and vintage tees.

"I'm getting back into the vintage tees, they're so comfortable. I'm the drummer, so I can get by a lot more with just wearing jeans and T-shirts so I can be mobile, but the other guys can be a bit more stylish and stand up there and strut their stuff.

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