Archive for March, 2011

A couple of weeks ago we asked for your questions for Cat’s Eyes on our Facebook page and you duly obliged sending us some great stuff. The past week or two has seen a lot of praise for the new EP from the likes of Vice, Q, Mojo, ID and many more.

Faris and Rachel have kindly taken time out from being one of the critical successes of the year so far to answer some of your questions:

1.      If you could play a gig with a musician (dead or alive) who would it be? (Question submitted by Paula Salces)

 Faris: Rowland S Howard 

 Rachel:  Miles Davis

 2.      How did the idea to form Cat’s Eyes come about? (Val Banks)

Faris: “I made Rachel a compilation CD of my favourite songs, then I went away on tour with The Horrors. When we were talking about the classical stuff Rachel had been involved with, I hadn’t really thought about it translating. But while I was away in Sweden , she sent me this demo she’d done, which ended up being the song, ‘The Lull’. In its original form, it had more of a Shangri Las feel.”

Rachel: “I really got into his mix CD and that’s when I sent him the track I made, just for fun. Then it just took on a life of its own. We started sending things back and forth, then whenever Faris was back from tour, we’d write a song together.”

3.      You both have very different, but equally eclectic musical tastes. How did you bring all of these influences together? (Chloe Gynne)

Rachel: “Our working process was pretty straightforward as we combined different things from our different worlds. I’d play English horn, and Faris would put it through pedals, and make it sound completely different. Every acoustic element he was able to distort and manipulate. So an oboe part would become less corny. You’d never know it was an oboe, it’s more like an interesting synth sound, maybe. Even some of the opera stuff I was singing for backing vocals, you wouldn’t know it, because he would run it through his chorus echo, or some pedal or other into an amp, and play around with the sound until it wasn’t recognisable.

4.      Are the Shangri-Las and other 60s pop bands an inspiration to your music? (Valentina Westwood Guerrini)

Faris: “Yes. What I’ve always liked about girl groups is how naïve the lyrics are. They’re distilling the things kids go through into a few sentences. I love all the imagery – biker gangs, fairgrounds and drive-in cinemas.”

5.      Who wrote the lyrics of the song ‘Not a Friend’ (I really like them!) (Valentina Westwood Guerrini)

Faris: “Thanks. For ‘Not A Friend’ Rachel had an idea for a song while she was crossing the road somewhere. She sang the beginning line and the first verse into her phone while she was walking along, and on her recording you can hear birds in the background, and then the beep of a car as it swerves to avoid hitting her.”

6.      Is there any meaning behind having no/minimal stage lights at your shows? (Emma Price)

 Faris: Cat’s eyes work better in the dark.

7.      How/When did you become Cat’s Eyes? (Danny Herman)

Faris: “Please see question 2.”

8.      What music inspires you the most? (Honora King)

Faris: “Honey & The Bees - One Girl, One Boy; The Sharades - Dumbhead; The Bittersweets - Summertime; Donna Loren - So, Do the Zonk; Dani Sheridan - Guess I’m Dumb”

Rachel:  Stevie Wonder - Superstition,  Chet Baker - The Thrill is Gone; The Carpenters - Superstar;  Saint-Saens:  The Dying Swan; Durufle’:  Prelude and Fugue on the name A.L.A.I.N

10.  Besides musical influences are there any films, books or just art in general that have inspired the band? (Kailey Williams)

Faris: Rachel and I bonded over films first - we exchanged Haneke films - she gave me “The Piano Teacher” and I gave her “Hidden”.

11.  How many instruments does Rachel play? (Jamie Sutton)

Faris:  oboe, cor anglais, cathedral organ, piano, violin, viola, vibraphone….and quite a few others, but those are the main ones.

12.  What are your favourite places? (Amber Romanowski)

 Faris: Touring the States has always been good… finding record shops in every city.

Rachel:  I’m always pretty happy in Italy.

Cat’s Eyes play for Eat Your Own Ears on the 27th of April at London’s Scala and two days prior to that in Glasgow at St. Andrews in the Square.

Errors have a new vinyl release coming soon. Check out the brilliant artwork below. You can listen to the song on Drowned in Sound here:—errors-magna-encarta

Very interesting idea from Kate Nash, wishing her luck with it. Taken from The Guardian:

Kate Nash – tall, smiley, charismatic – talks in a rush when she’s excited. Her words tumble over themselves, in fits and starts; she throws her hands around.

“OK, so this is it,” says Nash, whose debut album, Made of Bricks, went to No 1 in 2007 and led to her winning best female artist at 2008’s Brit awards. “All last year when my second album [My Best Friend is You] came out, I kept being asked about how there were so many young women pop stars, but there was always an assumption that they didn’t write their stuff, even though I always have done. The fact is, only 14% of songwriters who receive money from the PRS [Performing Rights Society] are women. And that makes me feel really sad, and really angry and really insecure; that there are so few women being creative in a way that has made me so happy. So I thought I’d do something about it.”

That something is called the Kate Nash Rock ‘N Roll for Girls After School Music Club. Loosely inspired by Kathleen Hanna, of riot grrl group Bikini Kill, and her summer rock schools in Portland and New York, Nash plans to encourage kids and teachers to start after-school music clubs here. So, on her days off during her UK tour, which starts today, she’ll be visiting five different girls’ schools, to play a song, show a film “of cool girls playing live”, and do a Q&A. She’ll talk about “Joan Jett, Björk, Patti Smith: real artists. A Joan Jett worksheet would be great!” She’s got sponsorship from the Co-operative, support from Music Unites and is looking into guitars to give away. Lined up in the wings as future speakers are artists such as Emmy the Great, Brigitte Aphrodite and Samantha Valentine of Ipso Facto and Romance.

Nash knows that her idea will take time, money and people, so after this tour is finished, she’ll be devoting herself to the project. “I’ve met so many young women who are interested in being involved in music and I think, ‘Why are you not actually doing it?’” she says. “And I hope that if I tell my story, about the setbacks I had, they might not be afraid. I was turned down by every university, I didn’t feel like I was allowed to be a songwriter. I thought I had to be a really intelligent lyricist, like a poet.”

It was punk music – the Buzzcocks, specifically – that made Nash realise that she could create music, and it’s that confidence to have a go that she wants to kickstart in young women. It looks like she’s already inspired one: Megan Sear, 13, who is hanging on her idol’s every word. Sear goes to a school which takes boys and girls, ”but I’m definitely going to ask if we could have one of Kate’s after-school clubs”, she says. “It would be really cool.”

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We love La Blogoteque, as regular readers well know. So we were pleased to stumble upon this video fo Hawk and a Hacksaw earlier today. Brilliant stuff as ever.

We have the brilliant WILDER playing for us at XOYO this week as part of the Lyle and Scott Curated series. Check out this storming song above!

We are huge fans of the brilliant Bill Callahan and we are very much enjoying this new song of his. Couldn’t be more excited to see him live for us soon. Check out the artwork for his new album above too.

Our favourite chanteause has a new video. Lounge in the sun and watch it at the same time, on a phone or something. It’s great! Perfect for Spring.

Check out this amazing - and deserved - press for our new faves Cat’s Eyes!

One of the best live music moments of our year so far. Not a lot more we can say about this.

We’re big fans of Micachu and excited to see her DJ in support of DELS next week, which is shaping up to be a really great show. Micachu just dropped a new beatmatched mix and it looks well-worth a listen:


Micachu - Melting Patio’s
Kwake Bass - Hands & Knees
Micachu - My More Bile
Kwake Bass - Got Shot Wiv A Snare Gun
Roots Manuva - Dub Style (M.A.T.H.E.S Remix)
Kwake Bass - Ahmen Beatheart
Michachu - Dips
Kwake Bass - Mad Fonk
Micachi (feat. TiRZAH) - Beat 12
Kwake Bass - He Lied
Micachu (feat. Brother May) - Black & Decker
Kwake Bass (off the wall by Confucius MC) - So Hard
Micachu - Could Complain
Kwake Bass - Soundcheck (Speakers Corner Quartet Remix)
Micachu - Go
Kwake Bass (feat. Daisy Kelly-Granger) - Lady Daisy