In May 2014, Peace appeared on E4’s Made In Chelsea, the ‘structured reality’ show charting the lives of a group of rich, tanned and morally reprehensible young people from west London, to perform their song ‘Money’. It was an odd collision of two separate corners of culture, like when Preston from The Ordinary Boys entered the Big Brother house in 2006. Whatever you think of the Birmingham band or the programme – which, while being an undeniably vacuous example of modern entertainment takes care to playlist emerging music from Wolf Alice to Young Fathers, their union made it seem slightly more interesting. It was funny too. In front of a perfectly crimped cast lit in the show’s trademark luxurious pastel colours, turtlenecked frontman Harry Koisser sang “Money, do you need it?“.
Sitting with three of the cast almost two years later and hearing them talk about the “free holidays” E4 pays for them to have (and then ruin with explosive arguments) you get the feeling the answer is probably, “Yeah!”. Jamie Laing, a confectionary entrepreneur and DJ/producer Alex Mytton have been vilified among fans for their adulterous antics and designer/model Lucy Watson is known for sharp-tongued sniping. But watching their stories unfold can be funny, awkward and brilliant. Listening to the trio discuss them is similar. If you want enrichment, watch Newsnight, if you’d rather flagrant wealth and public slanging matches in front of tiny dogs called things like Digby or Scrumble, Made In Chelsea is for you.
We asked these three characters about some of this year’s biggest pop stories, rock ‘n’ roll and their lives. The answers were open, honest and slightly ridiculous.
Who’s the biggest music fan on the show?
Alex: “I’ve been DJing for about four years and producing for two and a bit.”
Lucy: “Music fans? Like fans of music? Binky [Felstead] is quite into music. I like either old classics or full on house. I’m really into R&B and old school hip-hop, Snoop Dogg, Nelly and ’90s tunes.”
Alex: “I prefer older hip-hop to new.”
Lucy: “I like Tupac, but then I do like new stuff, like Rihanna. She’s become a bit more edgy, I just downloaded her new album the other day. A lot of it sounds very samey, I think she’s gone a bit more dark?”
Do you like Kanye West?
Lucy: “His old stuff more.”
He’d probably like that fur-lined coat you’re wearing…
Lucy: “It’s not real so I don’t know if he’d be ok with it. I just think recently… I’m just not sure about him. His personality overpowers his music. He’s too much. It’s dangerous, when people think of him they don’t think, ‘Oh wasn’t that song amazing’ they think ‘do you remember when he said that?’”
Alex: “Sometimes you think you get him, but then he’ll go off on a rant. I remember seeing him play in 2009 and midway through he stopped and went ‘Im the fucking best’ or whatever.”
Lucy: “He’s in danger of overshadowing his talent.”
How about Adele?
Lucy: “She’s truly talented and has an amazing voice. I sometimes find radio can kill songs, but her new song is so cool.”
Alex: “I fucking love Adele.”
Lucy: “People make jokes about ‘Hello’, like me and my boyfriend James will call each other and go ‘hello?’ ‘hello from the other side.’”
Alex: “That sounds fucking great…”
Are you fans of Justin Bieber?
Alex: “I play house remixes of his songs, everyone will dance to Bieber.”
Lucy: “He’s a really good singer and he’s good live which I really admire, but again it’s a case of the personality overshadowing music. Maybe he’s reigning it in a bit now. People say you love him or hate him but I don’t feel that strongly either way.”
Were you into music at school?
Jamie: “I sang in a band called HKL Squared. It was a mixture between blues and rock, really shit rock. I was about 12.”
Lucy: “I was in the choir”.
Alex: “I went through every phase, death metal, ska, heavy metal, grunge, I sang in a grunge band for about a month.”
Lucy: “What’s the music you hear on The OC? What’s that genre? Random bands with guitar and acoustic stuff…?”
Erm, indie? Emo, maybe?
Lucy: “Indie, yes. I used to love indie stuff. I used to wear all black with chains.”
Alex: “I dyed my hair black and had a blonde streak.”
Are you fans of the music on the show?
Lucy: “It’s so good. It’s good when bands come on and play live too.”
Alex: “Kodaline played and they were really nice. And Secret Company. I think they think it’s cool as well because obviously it does give them a huge platform for their music.”
Jamie: “Peace played one a while ago, they’re smashing it now aren’t they?”
There always seem to be huge arguments when the bands play. Is that awkward?
Lucy: “It’s because we have an event in every episode and everything builds to that and that’s when when things explode. Do you get pissed off cos you’re like, ‘I just wanna watch the fucking gig?’”
No, I’d rather watch you all argue
Lucy: “Oh right, ok.”
Do you read NME?
Alex: “I used to when I was younger. Wasn’t it the awards recently, didn’t someone jump on a table or something?”
Yes. Speaking of rock ‘n’ roll, what do you think of Johnny Rotten, for example?
Alex: “I used to love the Sex Pistols. I met the Rolling Stones once, that was pretty cool. My ex-ex-ex-girlfriend’s dad was really good friends with Charlie Watts. Who else did I idolise? Dave Grohl.”
Lucy: “It’s weird to reminisce. I think because my mum loved them [rock stars] so much it made me pull away. I’m not a rock ‘n’ roller really.”
What about the choir? Were you good in that?
Lucy: “I was actually. I wanted to be a singer really badly at one point. But there are so many people who wanna do singing so it wasn’t my thing.”
Jamie: “Who’s your favourite rock star Luce?”
Lucy: “I said I didn’t like rock music.”
Jamie: “You don’t have to like rock music to like rock stars. I just think they’re inspiring.”
Lucy: “What, you like them because they’re a nice person or what?”
Jamie: “Mick Jagger is epic. ‘Wild Horses’ is my favourite. It’d be epic to see them live. What about Paul McCartney not being allowed into Tyga’s Grammys afterparty? That’s so funny. So awkward. He just wasn’t on the list.”
What would you say to Mick Jagger if you met him?
Jamie: “How big did you go? That’s what I’d like to ask. Apparently Ronnie Wood doesn’t remember a whole decade or something ridiculous cos he went too enormous. I’m in the 27 club at the moment actually. It’s scary. I’ve got until November.”
What about The Beatles?
Jamie: “She doesn’t know who they are.”
Lucy: “I do.”
Jamie: “Who was in The Beatles? Name one person.”
Lucy: “I don’t know, I’m bad with names.”
Jamie: “What band was Paul McCartney in?”
Lucy: “I don’t know.”
Finally, what do people say when they recognise you in public?
Jamie: “People are nice and friendly. It’s funny, at Secret Garden Party this group of girls went ‘Jamie, come over here,’ so I went over and they said, ‘You’re a cock!’.”
Made In Chelsea returns to E4 on Monday (April 11)