The Kabeedies talk coming to the Ipswich Swan and spill the secrets on their latest album
“It’s being filmed. Get your party outfits on and be prepared to dance. Plus Evan will buy everyone a drink,” says Roary Hill about The Kabeedies gig at the Swan this Thursday.
The gig follows the release of their second album Soap, their first release on fierce panda which he describes as the relative calm after the bubblegum storm of 2009’s debut album Rumpus.
Based in Norwich with childhood roots in Norfolk and Suffolk, the indie rockers consist of Evan Jones on guitar and vocals, Roary on bass guitar and vocals, singer Katie Allard and Francis “Fab” Bell on drums.
Evan was born in Ipswich, Katie in Norwich and Fab in Gorleston with Roary the odd one out being born in Watford.
“At a young age I moved to Mellis and had my first taste of the countryside. I live in Norwich now and love it but growing up in Suffolk was great. Although we’re based in Norwich now, none of us support Norwich,” he’s quick to add.
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Their influences range from Blondie and Bombay Bicycle Club to Black Flag and Chuck Berry. And that’s just those starting with B.
Despite everybody having quite conflicting opinions on music and differing influences; it all comes together surprisingly well he adds.
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“I’m into hardcore/punk, Evan’s loves are dance music and rock ‘n’ roll, Fab likes indie bangers and Katie’s a glam rock girl. Without consciously trying, they seem to work.”
Debut single Lovers Ought To in 2008 was backed by the tune Come On, which was subsequently picked up by Microsoft for its Xbox Kinect TV campaign.
Roary says it gave the band a platform and massive audience base they could never imagine, but it was terrifying seeing it on TV for the first time.
“It was amazing, absolutely surreal. It’s one of those moments you don’t expect to ever happen, one of those ‘oh it only ever happens to other people’ situations.”
Rumpus was voted number nine in Artrocker’s top albums of the year and kick-started a touring schedule which saw near riots at Latitude and Hamburg’s Dockville festivals and hectic live shows with Everything Everything, Darwin Deez, Hurts and CSS.
“Latitude was nerve-wracking but incredible, undoubtedly the best show I’ve ever played. The experience for us on that stage will be fairly difficult to match again.”
With the first album getting so much praise Roary says the pressure, in some ways, is definitely on for the second - more from themselves than anyone else.
“There wasn’t a label pressuring us so it was up to us to really deliver. We knew the flaws we felt in the first album and worked hard to make sure this album was 100 per cent the record we wanted. I’m fairly certain I speak for everyone when I say we’ve done that.”
The band are quoted as saying “We’re not writing songs as 15-year-olds anymore”.
How does Soap compare to Rumpus are there still those fun moments found on previous tracks?
“The first album was literally that, 15 and 16-year-olds writing scrappy pop songs. Don’t get me wrong, I loved writing and performing the songs off of that album, it will never go away; but I think all four of us were ready to move on,” says Roary.
“Our tastes in music have changed, the way we play has changed and overall we’ve grown up I guess. The new album is still fun, that’s a massive part of the Kabeedies. We would stop this band right now if it wasn’t fun.
“It’s just a more carefully considered album, we spent six-seven weeks last year locked up in the studio with violinists, pianists, saxophonists, all sorts. It’s the album we’ve wanted for a long time.”
What about this idea of Soap being based around the idea of being a catharsis for the band, effectively washing-off what they’d done with Rumpus and starting again; letting them express themselves properly and in a slightly more sophisticated way.
“There was a lot of hang ups for us with the first album and earlier material,” admits Roary.
“We’ve been playing those songs for almost five years and associate them with a different place from where we are now. Making a brand new record in a completely different way was a brilliant feeling as musicians.”