Exposure: The Kabeedies
- Thomas Meek
- 29 September 2009
The Kabeedies - Palindromes
A cute girl and a carefree attitude can take a band a long way. The Kabeedies might just like to think they have a little more than that though. Even if the girl is very cute and the attitude is very carefree. For underneath such welcome attributes a passion and a talent for creating smart, danceable indie pop that is as much Alphabeat as it is The Rezillos, and all far from your usual Norfolk stereotype of incestuous farm hands. Though such types would probably be inclined to have a wee dance too. Here's what the band had to tell us.
So who are The Kabeedies?
Well we're a band of three dudes and a lady. The three dudes are as such: Fab (drums), Evan (vocals/guitar), and Roary (vocals/bass) and our lady is Katie (vocals). Evan and Katie met at special school and started a rock band that mainly covered 'Sweet Child 'o' Mine' and allowed Evan to take his shirt off to solo. But after meeting myself (Fab) and Roary in a retired naval serviceman's bar, over a pint of Nelsons Revenge, they decided to leave the solos behind and start a pop band.
You’re from Norfolk. How would you describe the county’s music scene?
Well Norfolk tends to get a lot of specific press about how well it's doing musically, which is always nice but I think it leads everyone to believe that Norfolk is a pariah culturally...and needs every bit of help it can get, which is essentially true. There are lots of brilliant bands, from Norwich especially, who rarely get much exposure outside of Norfolk. Local record companies and promoters work very hard, alongside venues and independent radio stations etc.. but a breakthrough to mainstream for a Norwich band still looks a fair way away. BBC Norfolk Introducing has gone some way to bridge the gap but it's still essentially an untapped well full of juicy juicy talent.
Where does that motivation for making music come from?
Probably from going to gigs for me, and the love of entertaining. Generally our goal is just to make people happy and enjoy their evening - and make them think a little. I remember watching Bloc Party on their tour for their first album and wanting to be performing with them more than anything. Listening to old rock'n'roll vinyl like Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly...and other bands like the Kinks and such and just thinking it was the most incredible sound - and to be part of that process would just be such a pleasure. Motivation for us comes from the hope that we can make a living out of just expressing ourselves in front of an audience.
Your debut album, Rumpus, is out in November. What can we expect from it?
It's the culmination of almost three years work, so a hell of a lot of pent up energy. We've evolved a lot as a band over the last few years, and although there's a couple of old songs on there - it's essentially a cross-section of how we've progressed together. There's some slightly more mature songs, a little more chilled-out and melodic, along with our earlier punk sound. Plus it's almost like a scrapbook of the last three years of our lives, not just the artwork but the music has all of our stories entwined in the lyrics. We wrote four of the songs in Norway with our good friend Bjorn, so it's got a bit of a Scandinavian feel to it. And we've wanted to include variety without ruining the core fun and exuberance in the songs. This is us...essentially, or was us, for the last 3 years. Like us it might take a while to get, but we hope it's worth it.
Who’s going to like it most?
I'd like to say us, and we do love it, but we're not really resting on our laurels and we're constantly writing new things. We've got quite a wide range of fans really it's difficult to predict... I think a lot of 30-50 year olds will like it because it reminds them of X-Ray Spex (we don't get the resemblance), The Rezillos and Altered Images. We've had a few Buddy Holly comparisons which was amazing and much more what we're looking to be, but we'll take anything.
Younger kids like it too, as it's happy and exciting and good party music. And we hope the groups in-between that will like it, as the lyrics work on a number of different levels.
What’s the best part of being in a band?
Being with your best friends most of the time is pretty rad, in an environment where everyone is either a bit drunk or really happy. Ending up in the weirdest of circumstances, on pirate ships or wandering around a Norwegian hotel amongst an accordion convention... The adventures we have are the best. And then in the evening we get to perform infront of people and go a bit nuts. It's generally lovely.
What’s been your favourite moment of The Kabeedies so far?
We played at Latitude Festival last year, to an amazing crowd who were from Norfolk, and they were all going completely crazy. We've never been so nervous before a gig but it was incredible. If anything could top that, it'd be Dockville Festival in Hamburg this year. Before we played we watched Black Lips who were amazing, and we then performed to a huge crowd who were unbelievable - looking out across the lit up Hamburg Docks just as the sun was going down. And as we finished, the stage crew wouldn't let us leave the stage - they asked us to play two encores, and the crowd wanted us to play the entire set again. We've never been treated so nicely or felt so exhilarated.
What’s the nicest thing anyone’s said about your work?
A lot of people really don't get our stuff, or just don't like it - which is fine. But often, we find people catch on to exactly what we're trying to do, and they let us know. People are always talking to us after gigs and it's so lovely to hear, but we've had a couple of reviews which just made us glow. This young lady called Ayesha, we met in Southampton and she wrote such a nice review we published it on our MySpace: "[Most bands] want to be rid of the child that lurks underneath them as abruptly as possible without glancing back to reminisce on, undoubtedly, the most interesting and inspirational time of their lives. However, innocence and naivety is what generates Norwich’s youthful and innovative outfit, The Kabeedies. Their refreshing indie pop has every listener’s inner child exposed; riffs that make you want to dance and relish life like you were 10 again, accompanied with lyrics that are bursting with simplicity yet consist of such purpose and symbolization."
The Kabeedies play King Tut's, Glasgow on 17 Oct.