The Chapman Family
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The Chapman Family

Band Alternative Rock


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"TCF in NME"

'Music that could change your life.' - NME

"NME Festival guide 2009"

'Be prepared to drop your Cornetto' - NME

"TCF in Kerrang!"

'Teesside's The Chapman Family have the unenviable task of being the first band on this monday night bill. Noisy and energetic, they are the battering ram that pushes at a wall of indifference. It is to their credit that they go some way to knocking down this wall.'

- Kerrang!

"TCF in NME"

'The Chapman Family are just about the only interesting new band outside of London at the moment. You should really be listening to their stuff because it's rare to find a band who enjoy destroying, like, everything onstage but who do it with such obvious, subversive pop caperbilities.'


"TCF in Artrocker"

'The Chapman Family are set to make Stadium Rock great again!' - Artrocker

"TCF in The Fly"

'Heads down snarling gonzo rock n roll...see them immediately' - The Fly

"TCF in NME"

'The sound of death itself'

"NME Offset Review"

'The Chapman Family's visceral post-punk raises the bar, but an act that almost inevitably ends in mic-lead asphyxiation will never be suited to a sunny mid-afternoon slot' - NME


26.04.09 'Kids'
19.10.09 'Virgins'



Meet Kingsley (vocals/guitar), Paul (guitar), Phil (drums) and Pop (bass). Together they cook up a firestorm of feedback drenched punk with the dynamics of The Sex Pistols, the intensity of The Fall and the discordance of Shellac.

Most of all they have a desire to do things differently. The Chapman Family are proud of their hometown of Middlesbrough in the same way that only a child is allowed to criticise its own parents. It's a strained kind of affection, one that has seen Pop shot at with air rifles for looking the way he does. When Kingsley talks of "next door neighbours sitting on the porch from 9am, drinking cans of Carling," his tongue is only halfway into his cheek. As he explains, "it's a forgotten part of the UK, the people are very insular. Ambition isn't always seen as a good thing. Everyone is fiercely proud to be working class or even below, so anyone who wants more than that is treated with suspicion."

And it's lost on none of them that the nearby industrial estates are what inspired local boy Ridley Scott for the dystophian vistas of Blade Runner. The tentative steps they've so far made into Europe have proved to them that country, not the town, may be the problem. "When we play in Germany the most amazing thing we see is that people actually put litter in the bins!" observes Kingsley. "I never feel intimidated walking through the streets of Berlin or Munich. People seem to have a bit more respect for themselves and each other"

Their story begins with Kingsley, a former fine art student, tiring of spending his twenties in dead end jobs, decided to give the band he'd been tinkering in for years a proper go. It was the end of the era ushered in by The Libertines, and they found themselves in a local scene flushed with pasty imitators. Kingsley and Paul's first attempt at a band saw them making stop-start angular music in thrall to The Futureheads, until they crossed the attentions of a flambouyant local promoter calling himself Pop. He vowed to join the band, and the fact that he had never picked up a bass in his life didn't much damage his application. "I still can't play now," admits Pop, "I know where certain chords are. I know the noise. I don't think a band or music should be restricted to people who play their instruments really well."

The point of the band was always passion over proficiency, of people with "ideas well beyond their capabilities." Their characters clicked, and Pop brought to the table the walls of noise and rushes of discordance that would come to define their sound.

They christened themselves The Chapman Family and all assumed the surname, in solidarity with bands ranging from The Ramones to The Partridge Family who held the bond between bandmates as unbreakable. Even if they don't always like each other, the love is there.

Drawn to the dark side, Kingsley admits that they named themselves after Mark Chapman, after a lifelong disdain for John Lennon. Following death threats over the internet, it's a decision he's close to regretting as much as the casual internet slogan they posted on their Myspace : 'THE CHAPMAN FAMILY IS NOT A CULT.'

It had the only effect possible. They won an early show at the Glastonbury Festival, which was met by swathes of fans in home-made Tshirts bearing that very slogan, which then made more people do the same. They became a cult in ways they could have never predicted, and if it speaks volumes about the dark fashion in which this band have captured young Britain's imagination, Kingsley's still worried about the connotations that the band may be perceived as a joke.

All of that changed with the fruits of their December 2008 sessions with producer Dan Swift (Futureheads / Art Brut / Untitled Musical Project). All of these roads led to 'Kids' - the band's signature tune - a feedback-splattered live favourite and anti-anthem for a generation, skewering those who would denounce the new generation, as much as it does the generation themselves.

As Kingsley explains: "It's one of those rants, probably from an indie kid moaning that nobody's got any fight any more, nobody has any get up and go, they just wanna sit around and play on Xboxes and chat online. It's someone moaning at the youth of today from an outside perspective. It's the musical equivalent of one of those grumpy Old Men shows."

"It's almost like our 'Anarchy In the UK'," says Pop, "an anthem to 'Apathy in the UK' really, from a sarcastic standpoint. Kingsley's poking fun at these apathetic people, these girls who just wanna marry footballers or people who just wanna get rich for nothing."

What's really at the heart of this band is not sheer belligerence, but for a desire to, as Pop says, "bring something more to the table."

The single succeeded in gaining the band regular airplay on BBC Radio One with Zane Lowe, Huw Stephens and Steve Lamacq, single of the week in NME and XFM, as well as the accompanying video getting rotation on MTV, stay