Photography by Elmore©
Third Outing Meet Kagoule: Punk Drive
By Steffen Armstrong
Nottingham's Kagoule. A band of the 90's, they say. A trio who recently released their highly acclaimed 2015 record Urth produced by Ross Orton of AM production fame. But what you just read can be found anwhere on the internet. Third Outing got in touch with Kagoule to find out a few things about the band not generally found in print.
But first, a note on who Kagoule actually are, or what they at least mean to us. The comparisons to the greats of the 90's are clear. Is this some kinda UK Nirvana Pixies Pavement type revival band? Could well be. I mean, check out the driving off beat bass lines in Damp Sand or Gush, and of course the line up grants certain Kim Deal comparisons too. Such comparisons are clear and there to be made. But that's too easy. Kagoule are 90's kids from Nottingham who have taken the best of the decade, best of a place, and made their own thing. Woah, nothing too outrageous in that observation, you say? No, but then if you look at the varying styles on Urth alone, from the classic 90's rhythm and riffs mentioned above, to the rather more thoughtful and electric lingering Made Of Concrete, and the frightfully thrash fast and heavy drops found in Glue, you kinda can't define the band by a certain genre or style.
So here's my best shot based on Urth alone. Forget fuzz. Kagoule should be defined as "Punk Drive". It's a genre I've just made up, but fitting and appropriate for a band not afraid of a heavy riff, a little guitar shred, a Shoegazers moment and indeed a fighting driving bass line. It's a kind of rebellious two fingers with an additional sense of sweetness and cool; simply because most bands who attempt this kind of thing fuck up when it comes to melody. Kagoule have got it in abundance, and so the heads keep nodding and nodding and nodding and...
This brings us very nicely to the latest from Kagoule. Not ones to begrudge other music mags and share a bit of publicity their way, Kagoule have just taken part in the DIY x Jägermeister 'Curtain Call', where along with old Third Outing friends Birdskulls and Johnny Foreigner, they have recorded a fresh new track called Pharmacy for the occasion; that being an intimate gig at the Old Blue Last, London, on February 23rd. By the looks of it, Kagoule are adopting another string to the bow of their sound, and hopefully taking it to an even higher level. Here's where the teaser can be found, with the Third Outing meets singer guitarist Cai from Kagoule interview following below...
Before we get into it. For those away from Notts or the British Indie scene. Best explain who Kagoule are?
We are 3 gnomes who go door to door singing sea shanties around Nottinghamshire. Occasionally we take a rowing boat out and paddle our way to other Kingdoms where we spread the sweet butter of melody onto the toast of unsuspecting peoples.
Sweet butter of melody! You told Rolling Stone Magazine you "try to write simple catchy songs but they always seem to end up a bit wonky and wrong". That's how you describe the 2015 release Urth? No!
It's really easy to over complicate songs by adding and changing bits over time, so I tend to keep song writing quite fast paced. Often my favourite tracks are the ones I’ve spent the least time writing. If a riff isn’t happening for me then I usually ditch it or recycle it for later down the line. That was the approach to song writing throughout Urth being written.
"Notts is a darn good place to be a new band. It's not just us though, there's a bunch of cities that I can say the same for".
Ross Orton producer of AM caught you supporting Wytches in Sheffield. What was the first thing he said when he came over after that gig?
He pinned us down with a pint so we didn't run off and it only took us about 10 minutes until we decided we wanted him to help produce the album. He played a big role in the sound of Urth. The producer is a member of the band during that process and he helped make a lot of big decisions about the album. He is a darn great dude and we can’t thank him enough.
Born in '95 in Nottingham. Our Nottingham based writer says the city is bouncing. There's the Sleaford Mods, for example. Is Nottingham having a music revolution? And if so, who else is in the gang?
Yeah it’s pretty good here. We’ve still got a bunch of independent venues which seem to be constantly disappearing elsewhere. There’s an awesome space called Jt Soar who put on ace small BYOB shows. Notts is a darn good place to be a new band. It's not just us though, there's a bunch of cities that I can say the same for...Edinburgh being one of em! Brighton has something magical happening too.