Double-bassist and beat-boxer John Parker and guitarist and singer Luke Concannon have been playing together since they were at school, in Warwickshire. After forming the band Nizlopi, they released their 2005 single, The JCB Song, which became a surprise number one over the Christmas period. After some away and working with Ed Sheeran, the duo are re-uniting for a rare live appearance at Towersey Festival this bank holiday, where John will also be joining Kate Rusby and Luke will perform solo.

John reveals which song they never get sick of performing and why Towersey may be their last gig…

It'll be a real mix of songs including one or two new songs, as well as the songs people know. We've written a couple of new songs recently and were asked to play a wedding. The bride asked us to write a song and sent us details about the groom and some stories. We've had that a couple of times, where people have asked "I don't know if you do this, but…". It's a nice way to work as you have all the material. That's something really sweet.

Have you performed at the festival before?

No, this'll be our first time. I'm playing twice as I'm playing with Kate Rusby on Friday night, and then with Nizlopi on Sunday. Luke's also playing on Friday. Playing with Kate has been great and has been a lot to learn. Kate's songs are not as simple as Nizlopi songs, as there are a lot of intricate harmonies and touches.

Can you describe your sound?

We're folky hip hop. We're loud for two people, basically.

What is your favourite song to perform?

I actually weirdly think it's JCB, which a lot of people think we'd be sick of. It's the one song that everyone knows, and we often throw in a medley at the end. Hearing the whole audience sing that song back to you is great.

What music influenced you when you were growing up?

Me and Luke started playing together when we were aged 11 or 12-years-old. We were playing heavy metal, basically, and Luke's dad played the Irish pipes so we were playing folk sessions too. But it wasn't until we heard singer-songwriter John Martyn and bassist Danny Thompson that we really found our way. Hearing them was a massive influence on us, but we have quite eclectic music tastes now, and you can hear that in the music.

What was your breakthrough?

We're very similar to a lot of artists in that we gigged, gigged and played more gigs and built up an audience of ardent fans who'd come to five shows in a row. Then JCB became an internet hit. We did the video in three instalments because we couldn't afford to finish it. That had a life of its own and got us on the radio. We couldn't afford a record label or proper PR, but the song became a hit and we began to play sell-out shows, got offered bigger gigs, went to nice festivals and toured the world…

Nizlopi haven't been performing for a few years, what's the status of the band now?

We actually split up in 2008. At the end of three-and-a-half years of solid touring, we were a bit burnt out. It had got to the point where we had to stop, for our own good. Luke went off and walked around the world, and I stayed at home and practised. A couple of years ago, Luke had his solo thing and I was playing with other people and a friend who was getting married asked us to play their wedding. We thought we'd better to a gig beforehand to make sure it was all OK, that we could still do it and we've been doing odd things ever since. Luke is emigrating to America in October, so that will put a stop to Nizlopi for a while. So I think, for us, we won't gig in 2017, but we'll sort of keep it open and see how things work out. We're older now. I think we'll always play together, but that the performances will just become rarer. So Towersey will be one of the last chances to see us, absolutely.

What will you be doing afterwards?

I'm on tour with Maz O'Connor in the autumn and then doing sessions work and random recordings. I've worked with quite a few people: Kate Rusby, Newton Faulkner and Ed Sheeran – I did one of his EPs before he became so famous.

Is there anyone on the Towersey bill you're especially looking forward to seeing?

I'm really Iooking forward to Billy Bragg. Me and Luke played with Billy once, we got up on stage with him and all played together, but we didn't know his songs. Damien O'Kane is on too, and Josienne and Ben. I'm on their new album, which is out in the autumn and includes string quartets.

Towersey Festival, Thame Showground, OX9 3JL, Friday August 26 to Monday August 29. Details: