Exposure: Kid Canaveral
Kid Canaveral - Smash Hits
Think of St. Andrew's and it's most likely that it will be golf, students and the worst weekend ever that spring to mind. Okay, that last one may just be my own personal experience (far too much gin) but Kid Canaveral are making their own attempts to usurp such features of a centuries old town with their vibrant four-piece Fife pop. Now relocated to Edinburgh, their roots in the imaginative folk of the celebrated Fence collective of their home county still sneak through as the indie rock of the central belt threatens to take hold. It's a worthy mix, and Kate Lazda (vocals and guitar) and David MacGregor (vocals and guitar) explain how it all came about.
What's the story behind you guys coming together and becoming Kid Canaveral?
Kate Lazda: I had given up trying to ensnare Prince William so I needed something else to fill my time.
David MacGregor: When I moved to St Andrews I immediately grabbed Dan (our original drummer), who lived next door and coerced him into starting a band with me as soon as I found out he could play. I met Kate, in a class that I rarely attended, in the first week too. We shared friendly nods for two years before getting the band started properly. I gave Rose (McConnachie, bass and vocals) my old bass guitar and told her she was in the band, I could see she was destined for greatness. When Dan parted company with us we found lovely Clarke (Geddes, drums) when he emailed us drunk and asked to be in the band. He can also play the drums really well. The criterion for admittance to the group isn’t an inebriated request. Although we’ll consider everyone that asks.
You began in St. Andrew's – a town that somewhat lags behind Glasgow and Edinburgh in the Scottish music scene. What was it like trying to be an indie pop band on the Fife coast?
Kate: How rude! On the plus side it was pretty easy to get a gig and get a least a few enthusiastic people to show up, watch and clap – there’s not much else to do... We also got to support some really good bands, one of our first ever gigs was supporting King Creosote and The Pictish Trail. On the other hand, it’s an insular place and music certainly isn’t top priority for your average St Andrews student.
David: We had a captive audience and we got to support Tiffany on my 21st birthday. Take that, Glasgow and Edinburgh!!! (saying that, we did all leave St Andrews as soon as we’d finished studying).
Fife is of course also the home of the great Fence Collective, whom you have strong links with. What's it like to work with such an inspired, creative group of individuals?
David: It’s great. All the events have a wonderful friendly atmosphere and everyone is welcomed the same whether you’re a Fence obsessive that has all the releases (and a rock that The Pictish Trail threw at you for being under his window at 2am) or someone completely new to it. There’s a real community spirit and lack of competitiveness which is great.
Kate: I love Fence because it showcases such a wide range of music – on any given bill there could be a acoustic-guitared singer-songwriter, a progressive noise band from half way round the world and a then pop band like ourselves. Fence audience’s have the same ethos and will appreciate and give a chance to anything that’s put in front of them. It’s a very unpressured environment to be a part of.
What's the best thing about Fife?
David: I’ll leave this one to Kate as I haven’t lived there for a few years. I love going back though – for the fish and chips from the Anstruther Fish Bar, Fisher and Donaldson’s Fudge Doughnuts. And to see everyone. Of course.
Kate: Church teas. What isn’t to love about unlimited tea and a massive plate of cakes for under £2.50? I live in the East Neuk which isn’t exactly the coolest place in the world so you kind of have to make your own fun. But it’s a really relaxed pace of life so there’s this feeling that you’re always on holiday.
What's the most interesting record that's influenced Kid Canaveral?
David: BBC Sound Effects Vol. 3
Kate: The Immaculate Collection by Madonna
What's the plan for the rest of 2009? Any festivals?
Kate: We’re trying to record an album right now. We are not playing too many gigs as we’re doing lots of writing and recording at the moment. We will be at the West End Festival in Glasgow on Thursday 16th June though, at Oran Mor.
David: We’ll be popping up here and there to do some support shows and whatnot to keep ourselves getting too rusty.
You've had several well-received singles out too. Is there an album on the way, and what can we expect?
David: We are in and out of the studio at the moment recording the album. Our time is split between writing and rehearsing in Edinburgh, Cellardyke and Glasgow and actually recording at 4th Street studios in Glasgow. One or two of the singles will make their way onto the record. It’s sounding quite poppy (not the bad kind, hopefully) at the moment which is good. And loud. So, more of the same but a bit more adventurous in places as we’re more comfortable using our instruments these days. We’ll have a single and UK tour in the autumn if all goes to plan, and then the album a wee bit later on. We’re also going to try and pigeon-hole ourselves. Post-Pop.
What's the nicest thing anyone's ever said about Kid Canaveral?
“At Collective events, like Homegame, Kid Canaveral are the gravediggers scene in Hamlet. The rest is all soul-searching and hand-wringing then they come on and metaphorically chuck a skull around. No more bodies in the river, it’s jumping in the puddles all the way. But not as twee.” - Alcoholic recluse and Fence Collectee HMS Ginafore, The Haven Public House, 2009
Why should people listen to Kid Canaveral in five words?
Life’s too short for shoegazing.
Kid Canaveral play Oran Mor, Glasgow on 16 Jun.