It's not often you see a lady playing the mouth organ, but if you were out looking, a KDL gig would be a good bet.
On Wednesday night, as fellow Sunday Best signees Skinny Lister whip up the atmosphere with some hearty heel-clicking, the crowd adjust to the oddly stifling heat and settle in for some serious folk.
Throaty twelve-bar blues number I'm Going Back (‚Äúto the land of make-believe‚ÄĚ) starts us off with pure rock 'n' roll ‚Äď a la Jerry Lee Lewis and Bobby Darin, but with a raven-haired lass at the helm. The band exude raw energy, which flows through the stomping feet of the audience and back to the stage.
Lewis Durham, straight out of a vintage Burberry shoot with Brylcreemed hair and a sharp brown suit, gets an enthusiastic reaction to his turns on lead. I personally prefer his vocals to his sisters', the sound conjuring fuchsia Diner booths and Key lime pie. Some nearby sweethearts attempt the Jitterbug.
Backbeat turns to skank as the band welcome their guest of honour, ska trumpet legend Eddie ‚ÄúTan Tan‚ÄĚ Thornton (so nicknamed because of his surname's Jamaican pronunciation), and they air Tomorrow and I'm So Sorry from the new LP, on which he features. There's an echo of Winehouse's Our Day Will Come, of its misty-eyed reggae and Doo-wop fusion.
A walking bass (from former Raincoats member Ingrid Weiss) heralds a nod to the jazz standards of 1930s Armstrong, complete with rasping trumpet solos and xylophone improv. At one point Kitty even has a crack at beat boxing; her style, appropriate for a strictly analogue-only band, more empty-beer-keg than drum machine.
It's strange to think that in 1950, you might well have found a band like KDL in every town. That it's essentially their revivalism (and guns-blazing energy) that draws devotion. However, there ain't no doubt that these three rockabilly musketeers have style and talent to spare.
Smoking In Heaven is out now on Sunday Best.
Images courtesy of @spacedentist (http://spacedentist.net/blog/)
It's Friday afternoon, and among the cobbled back streets of Clerkenwell, a roomful of creative types are doing exactly what roomfuls of creative types like to do on a Friday afternoon: watching an acoustic gig with a cold beer in hand.
After fifteen minutes, during which time I nose around the office - clocking the bubblegum-pink Atom Heart 12" on display, the band and their live backing trio are introduced. We learn that FRUKT met Brooklyn duo Savoir Adore while doing some brand work in NY, liked them, and invited them to come play at their London office.
Dressed in pea-green, singer Deidre Muro concentrates on the delicate extraction of woooms and waaas from a microKORG (balanced atop a tower of books on a red conga drum), casually revealing, at intervals, her honey-smooth vocals. Paul Hammer, in contrast, is a bouncing bundle of energy, driving the songs forward in grinning conspiracy with his drummer. It might be this contradiction that gives them stage presence.
The folkish melancholia of The Garden (from 2010's In The Wooded Forest) is cannily reproduced without the aid of the LP's echoic effects; Sarah's Secret and its safe, wide bassline takes me back to Billie Myers' Kiss The Rain; while the memorable intro to new single Dreamers has the spiky, mismatched harmonies of Message In A Bottle. Achieving a kind of timbral dialogue, Hammer takes the verse, Muro the chorus.
With a template of 90s guitar worship and on-trend 'fantasy pop', Savoir Adore create a tapestry of rock and pop's lightbulb moments, from The Smith's third-interval melodies to the comedic wobble of Smash Mouth's Walkin' On The Sun.
After their last song, someone shouts enthusiastically 'Savoir Encore', to which the answer is a big smile and sheepish shaking of heads. Kind of made me like them more.
Their new album Our Nature is due this Autumn. Meanwhile, check out the impressive remix roster of the Dreamers EP.
All images courtesy of Lauren Keogh at www.laurenkeogh.com
via London - New York - New Orleans