Kagoule

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TGA are catching up with Kagoule on the basic functionality of mobile phones and how the speaker option is a Godsend. Not because we’ve somehow been transported back to 1995 and this is the height of technology, but because while on the road mobile phone signal has a tendency to cut out. Often.

Yet, in a funny way, as conversation turns to ‘the good ol days’ in the mid-90s where you would have to meet up with friends without the aid of technology – something the band laugh off as incomprehensible – these rose tinted golden days fit with Kagoule’s kind of cool: one that is a bit anachronistic. The band may be seen as a hip 2015 band that are touted as the next big thing, but their sound is straight out of the early nineties. On debut album Urth, their sludgy guitars, thunderous drums and softer moments of psych-swooning intensity are the perfect grunge-soundtracked Saturday night of both today and twenty years ago.

“The album encapsulates young adolescent life, we wrote the songs between the ages of 14 and 19 years old. That is the main theme of the album and each song is its own entity, each track tells its own story,” explains bassist Lucy.

This teen spirit is what gives debut album Urth a steady flow of raw talent akin to psych rockers The Wytches one moment and Gish era Pumpkins the next and is evidence of the band’s – made up of Lawrence (drums) and Cai (vocals, guitar) – eclectic taste in music – despite their young age. Lucy citing Gangs, The Big Moon and The Haxan Cloak as some of the music they listened to while recording the album at First Love Studios in Wales.

“We recorded with a guy called Peter Fletcher in the middle of nowhere. It was totally isolated for the two weeks we were there,” she recounts.

“We all went insane, which probably helped with the recording. I arrived with blonde hair and then left with black hair. We arrived in the middle of the night, and we were driving down this winding road and we had The Haxan Cloak on – which would be fine, but not when driving down a really scary deserted road.”

Despite the sinister comings and goings, the album is a triumph in positive back-to-basics, guitar led music that is as popular with teenagers and 30 somethings alike – a crossover appeal duly noted by the band as they play shows up and down the UK. Still, as with all coming of age stories, being out on the road and hitting the toilet circuit venue means developing a thick skin.

“I definitely have a pair of balls,” says Lucy. “Girls in bands get a lot more shit than guys do, so you have to be vicious. It can go one of two ways when someone shouts “Get your tits out.” I always think “You get your fucking tits out”, and it’s always some fat guy,” she laughs. Other rules of the road are of course maintaining what the band describe as “harmonious relationships”. In short, trying not to piss each other off over extended periods of time together.

“We haven’t had any momentous strops or fallings out, yet. But we certainly have tiffs every so often. We fight like brothers and sisters sometimes.” She laughs.

Other learning’s extend to early nights, or at least every intention of having a quiet night after a set – something Lucy and co are hoping to achieve tonight after a gig in Birmingham.

“It’s terrible, we always want to take it easy, but after a few drinks it is just game over.”

From Kagoule’s humble beginnings – meeting at school five years ago – in their relatively short time together as a band, they have already inked a deal with Earache Records. While Lucy is quick to state it is because they were “helped along” by a friend who works there, it is more likely the songs, that will impress fans of Felt Tip, Spring King and King Wave will take delight in.

If their debut album is anything to go by, in its extremes of psych rock and adolescent snarls that oscillate between Milk Teeth boy/girl vocal dynamics and refrained cool – the band will be around for a long time to come. So what happens next?

“Well, I love Brighton and really want to move down. There are so many musicians there,” she pauses. “Everyone is famous in Brighton!”

If fame and notoriety is what they seek, whatever city the band reside in they’re sure to attract it. Catch them as they plug away at the live circuit because their teenage angst pays off well.

Faye Lewis

Follow Faye on Twitter – @fayelewis85

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