How culinary critic Jay Rayner influenced the creation of the new album, “Nothing But Thieves”

The term “concept album” is enough to make some listeners cringe.

There are great albums like “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust” by David Bowie and “Quadrophenia” by “The Who,” and then there’s “Drones” by Muse, with their groundbreaking argument that “war is, like, bad.”

Five-piece Nothing But Thieves from Essex knew the risks when they toyed with the notion of making a concept album last year.

“I thought it was incredibly basic to write an album that simply said, ‘Here’s a dystopian future and it’s all bad and evil,'” recalls guitarist and lead songwriter Joe Langridge-Brown.

Instead, he imagined Dead Club City, a gated megalopolis where he could talk about privilege and segregation in a society that is growing more and more polarized.

He describes it as “essentially a members-only club” at a time when “the whole idea of status” is shifting.

The wealthy and those in positions of control in the technological and social media spheres are accumulating more and more power. So, I was thinking what would happen if they, rather than a government, became the de facto heads of state.

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