Interview: This Is The Kit
This Is The Kit are a collaboative folk-rock band fronted by Kate Sables. Sometimes operating as a solo performer whilst at other times on stage as a full quintet – no show from This Is The Kit is ever the same. We caught up with Kate ahead of their Tramlines show to find out a little bit more.
Hello! How are you and where in the world are you today?
I’m very well thank you and right this minute I’m in Winchester. I just got back from a gig in a cave in Tipperary and have 48 hours with my family before I’m off to play some more shows.
A flying visit then! You split your time between Bristol and Paris a lot – how do the music scenes compare?
I used to live in Bristol, so when we have UK tours we often start off there as half the band are still based there. The two music scenes (that I’ve seen, I’m by now means and expert on either and lord knows each city has many scenes and versions of those scenes) are pretty different. My experience in Bristol was a wee bit more DIY than in Paris. But it’s not easy to compare, they’re in different cities, countries, organised by different people. Chances are it’ll differ a fair bit in a fair few ways.
But my life was different when I was living in Bristol, so I saw a different side of things. Since living in Paris I have acquired a daughter and so I go out a lot less, which obviously affects my view on the Paris scene.
Bashed Out is your third studio album; tell us a bit about it.
With the last album Wriggle Out The Restless, there was a lot more weather and water. More “sailing boats”. This new album for me is more “submarine” than sailing boat. Aaron who produced it used the word glacial and I think he was spot on. It’s got quite a glacial sound to it.
Your live shows range from a duo to a quintet, how do you decide what kind of show you’re going to put on?
Well, it’s not very romantic but it’s mainly to do with if I can afford to pay the musicians. I don’t feel okay about getting them to pay for free so if there’s not enough money to pay anyone, I’ll play the show on my own. And if there’s enough money to pay three people then we’ll do it as a trio etc..
It also depends on who is available, who wants to do it, what country we’re in, and if it’s logistically possible to get everyone to the show. Then the show just decides itself.
Which do you prefer – a small or a large group on stage?
For me it’s important to have the full range of different formations. It keeps me on my toes. Playing solo shows means I can be a lot freer regarding what and how I play the songs. But playing with the full band is a total honour and pleasure, and gives new life and bigger sound everything. And then playing a duo show is great because you get to focus in on the one other person who you’re performing with. You’ve got to keep it on the move or else you stop learning and growing.
This is the Kit is largely based around collaborations, if you could work with any artist from any time who would it be?
I’d love to work with Richard Dawson one day. To sing a song with him would be a dream come true.
Are you excited for Tramlines? What can we expect from your set?
Yes! But set-wise, I’m not sure yet. We’ll have to see what comes out on the day!
Will you be seeing any other bands/acts during the festival?
I hope so, although we have two other festivals to play that weekend so it may be a bit of a rush. Mainly I just like wandering around and seeing what I stumble on by chance.
And finally, what’s next? Do you have any particular plans for the future?
Ah yes, plenty! But one thing at a time. I’ve got a summer of festivals, then a few gigs in Ireland this Autumn, followed by a wee UK tour in November. But once the touring is mainly done for this album I’d love to get stuck into the next one. I’d also love to do some singing projects with people. We shall see how it all pans out!
Catch This Is The Kit at The Folk Forest at 4pm on Saturday at Tramlines.