Miles Haughton of Theme Park: 'I wish I could savour each moment'

Theme Park chat festivals and memories

Miles Haughton of Theme Park: 'I wish I could savour each moment'

Photographer:Trevor Eales

Chris Swindells - 18 September 2013

Theme Park are recovering just minutes after their Main Stage set at Bingley Music Live 2013 when Virtual Festivals finds them in their dressing room, recounting the experience. Frontman Miles Haughton seems taken aback by the reaction of the crowd: "That was fun. I was tentative of how many people on a Sunday at 2pm would be willing to dance. I saw someone with a fake keyboard around their neck playing along."

"I saw pirates of all ages dancing." Theme Park guitarist Oscar Manthorpe adds, a nod to the swashbuckling theme on the final day of this three day festival.

As we speak a van load of Chic are pulling up, whilst their frontman and co-founder Nile Rodgers rests in a nearby hotel. "We were actually talking about him on the bus up." Haughton says. "I was watching the [Chic] Glastonbury set on Youtube the other day and it's very exciting when someone can play a whole set of hits and you not know them."

"It's only quite recently that I learnt he wrote 'Let's Dance' with Bowie." Manthorpe says, "That guitar just clicked and I got it."

Bingley Music Live features as just one of a string of dates for Theme Park, in a year that's been the antithesis of quiet. "It's been exciting, very exciting. It's gone very quickly, we've been touring quite a lot because when the album came out we did a UK tour and then a European tour, then straight into festival season." Marcus Haughton says. "It feels very much like it's going very quickly."

His brother Miles is a bit more wistful as he describes the time since they first formed in college, back in 2006: "It feels like time has gone very quickly since we formed the band but when I look back I suddenly remember how many little moments of fun there's been. I went to sit down and go through it all and there's so many bits that I've just forgotten now, that have just been washed over by what came straight after and I wish I could sit down and savour each moment."


One moment for the band, prior to the debut album, was their 'Two Hours' EP, which featured cover versions of Jessie Ware's 'Wildest Moments', The National's 'Bloodbuz Ohio' and Hot Chip's 'Ready For The Floor'.

"We went through quite a lot." Oscar Manthorpe is quick to recall, "We literally made a couple of them up as we went along. The Jessie Ware one we said why don't we get out some drums and cases and bang out a rhythm so it was all quite making it up as you go along."

But who would they cover if they were to do the same thing a year on? "The big group for me at the moment is Disclosure." Manthorpe says. "They'd be fun to pick apart their songs, they're so expertly crafted, to just take it back to basics with melodies but because they're so rhythmically clever you'd have to do something with it."

"I think they'd be a lot of scope with them. On the one hand they're really great pop songs but the production is so sophisticated  and there's not a lot of harmonies but actually I'd imagine they all came from places that would work for us." Miles adds.


Theme Park have proved the early Talking Heads comparisons rather simplistic and now sit comfortably in a soulful pop pigeonhole all their own. The eighties music scene however still remains a key influence on much of their music and videos, so would a time machine be the order of the day? "Personally I wish I could have lived through every decade, they all seem to be so fun, everyone going so fun." Marcus says, before admitting there's something in the eighties style the band admire.

"There's a video for Daft Punk's new song and it's footage taken from Soul Train and it's so funny." Manthorpe says, "I would love to be part of a decade where people literally didn't give a crap what they looked like when they were dancing. They weren't afraid to really express themselves."

You can see Theme Park at Manchester's Band On The Wall on October 4th and London's Scala on October 15th.


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