In a weird quirk of fate, our hometown, Billingham, has a rather bizarre link to our favorite band--despite being 300 plus miles from London.
Billingham , in the heart of industrial Teesside, played a massive part in Ridley Scotts vision of "Bladerunner"--during his time here in Teesside.
Back in Scotts day our town was completely surrounded (and dwarfed) by the enormous chemical plant I.C.I. (Imperial Chemicals Industry)
According to Scott much of the inspiration for the scenery in this came from being brought up on Teesside with the flares of ICI Billingham in the background.
It wasn't so much as a Chemical plant being built "IN" a Town, it was more the case of a Town being built "inside" a Chemical plant!
The opening scene of "Bladerunner", to this day still looks like Teesside at night....so technicallly, when we are commuting through the area after work, with Empathy Test playing in the Car --the bands music is very much at its ancestral home!
For any Sci Fi nerds here---another curious little fact, is that Aldous Huxley's classic 1932 novel "Brave New World" - a vision of a chemically controlled hell on earth, was inspired by his visit to the (then) NEW world of Billingham.
Huxley not only worked there for a short time as a young chemist before Brunner and Mond became ICI, but is said to have hailed Billingham as "an ordered universe in a world of planless incoherence".
A little more than coincidentally, the novel's "world controller" of Western Europe is a chap called Mustapha Mond!