Name: Thomas Sanders
Job: Company Director
The melody was written, but the lyrics were still missing. London-based indie-band Teleman was touring Germany, when the lights of the city that were passing by in front of the tour bus windows inspired singer and songwriter Thomas Sanders to write the song “Düsseldorf ”. It is now their most played song on Spotify – possibly thanks to a strong local fanbase? Who knows.
By singing the song “Düsseldorf” you’ve become honorary Düsseldorfers. How do you feel about that? Genuinely honoured. Being made to feel welcome and accepted is something that we need; humans are such social creatures and its always a great feeling to know you’re considered part of another clan so to speak. But coming from Reading, me, Jonny and Pete actually already have our places at the table in Düsseldorf; the two towns have been twinned for 70 years.
What is the song “Düsseldorf” about? What inspired you to write it? The song is a collection of snapshots from our brief and only time in Düsseldorf. I had already written the music to the song but had no words. We were on tour with Metronomy in Germany and we happened to be driving into Düsseldorf when I became inspired by the passing city. Some of it is imagined, some of it is things that I saw from the window.
Have you been to Düsseldorf and what did you remember? What was the funniest thing you remember? I don’t remember anything fun about Düsseldorf. It seemed like a serious city,with a fair amount of concrete, and it was quite grey. But perhaps that was just the area we were in, and as I recall the weather was quite poor. But the people we met that night were very fun and warm, very good people.
Your band name was inspired by the German composer Georg Philipp Telemann. Did you just like the funky name or are there other things you have in common with him? The name appealed because it felt good to say it out loud. And it didn’t have any specific meaning. Those were two things that we were looking for in a name.
What person, historical or contemporary, would you like to drink an Altbier with in Düsseldorf? And what would you talk about? It would be a complete stranger who I met in a brewery. And it wouldn’t be one Altbier but many Altbiers.
What would you talk about? We would talk to each other about our problems, hopes and desires; it would be a kind of therapy session. We would offer advice and help, and we would be very frank and open with one another because we knew we would never see each other again. I think the Germans and English have so much in common: a shared love of good beer, a very similar climate, a similar sense of humour … I always feel very at home in Germany.