Exposure: Pearl and the Puppets
- John Johnston
- 4 March 2009
Pearl and the Puppets: Because I Do (demo)
Friendly, warm and with a voice as elegantly beautiful as herself, Katie Sutherland, aka Pearl from Pearl and the Puppets, is a breath of fresh air. The twenty one year old from Kirkintilloch may be one of many solo female artists on the radar right now but the innocent charm that she brings to her music sets her apart from the tightly-managed personas being thrown about right now. I caught up with her as she found a quiet moment to relax on a busy day in Glasgow.
When did you start writing songs?
I used to play the oboe and piano but I couldn’t play the guitar until two years ago and that’s when I started writing. When I started playing the guitar I got more into music and think this is cool.
What do you write about?
I write about experiences I’ve had, things I’ve seen happen. 'Mango Tree' was a dream about some guy proposing and me saying no. There were bunnies too, but I left them out of the song.
And in that short length of time you’ve already managed to get a lot of praise. Is that daunting?
A bit, I don’t actually believe things are happening until they happen. When I supported the Sugababes and McFly last year people asked me about it, and I talked about it but didn’t believe it and then at soundcheck I was like, 'Shit, this is really happening'. I had only played to 100 people at that point, and this was to 7000. I prefer that now though. I get so nervous in front of small crowds. I think it’s because you can’t see their faces with big crowds. Like when you play a festival during the day and you’re thinking 'Crap, why can I see your faces?'
Is it true that you’ve been working with producer Stephen Street?
I’ve worked with him on three tracks and I’d love to work with him again, which might happen. It was a gesture from Elton and I think I have to pay him back for it at some point. I don’t know how. When he let Lily Allen use his place in Paris she bought him a painting worth £8000 to say thanks, so I’m kind of lost with what to offer him. A cup of tea?
When will the album be with us?
I have about 80 songs now. Maybe I should bring out eight albums at once! See, we always need new ideas in the music industry. We’ve got a rough idea of what we want and I’m really excited because each song is sounding different.
What do you think 2009 holds for you?
It’s definitely exciting, I’m starting to feel things happen. I’ve been signed to 21st Artists for a year now and developing. I feel a lot is happening, like MySpace is really busy at the moment and I can’t keep up with it anymore.
Pearl and the Puppets play King Tut's 6 Mar; Ironworks, Inverness 24 Mar; Moshulu, Aberdeen 25 Mar and supports Elton John SECC, Glasgow 10 Jun