Before her packed out show at Brighton’s The Haunt, I caught up with Kate Stables, front-woman of This Is The Kit, to talk about philosophy, influences and wooden spoons.
Hi Kate! I can see that you’ve got a busy schedule lined up, playing shows across the UK and Europe before Christmas. How do you think that gigs in the UK and Europe differ?
I think that it’s more that countries than the views that changes. European shows sometimes have more of a theatre vibe, compared to the club vibe that UK shows often have. Wherever we play we try to be warm and welcoming. When you’re opening for other bands you’re never sure if people are thinking “this isn’t what we came to see!” or that it’s a nice surprise.
This is the third time that I’ve seen you perform in 2015, the first time at Brighton’s Green Door Store in March and the second at the End Of The Road Festival in September. How do you prepare for different shows of such different sizes.
Part of it comes down to a show being a show and making sure that the audience have the best time possible. Festivals are a bit mad. You have more control over the sound of your music at a smaller gig, so at a festival you just have to go with it, and that can be more fun some times. We just try to have a nice time wherever we play.
Do you have a live performance highlight of 2015?
EOTR Festival! The show was just unexpectedly rammed and everybody seemed to be having a great time. (Editors note: I arrived about 5 minutes into the set at EOTR and couldn’t even get into the tent, it was that packed!)
If you could go back to when you were first playing and tell yourself something, what would it be?
(after some thought) Take your time. Don’t apologise to the audience so much. Maybe I still do that a bit now but not as much. I used to be quite apologetic and twitchy. I’d say just to have a nice time and that you’ve got nothing to prove to yourself.
It must be a big boost to have high profile fans of your music such as Guy Garvey (Elbow) advocating for your music. If you had a Radio 6 show, who would you be championing?
Ooh, so many people. Apart from the music of my bandmates, Richard Dawson – I have his music on repeat almost every day. There’s lots of great French bands – Moodoid, Kids Are Dead, Hyperclean – and some Belgian ones – Castus and VO.
Having supported the likes of Lisa Hannigan and with an upcoming show with Jose Gonzalez, is there anybody in particular that you’d like to play a gig with?
All of the above! But aside from that somebody that I’d love to play a gig with is a Belgian electronic/dance artist called Stromae. Our music is so different that I don’t think his audience would get it, but I’d just love to collaborate with him on a track.
I’m currently reading a book by Japanese Author Murakami, who once ran the original marathon course to accompany an interview feature for a magazine. If you could do something to show off another talent as part of an interview what would it be?
I know it’s not very cool but I quite like knitting! Aside from that thought I think that doing a swimming interview would be fun!
Speaking of running, when is the last time than you ran and was it for pleasure or necessity?
The last time I can remember running is sadly to avoid missing an aeroplane. We had a mad dash to the airport on Amsterdam with all of our equipment and somehow made it for our flight to Cork. I should really look to do some fun runs…
Can you put the following in order of least to most influence to your music?
8. Social Media
5. Other popular music
4. Love interests
3. Real-life events
1. Personal Stories
Do you have any songwriting rituals?
I like to be on my own for as long as possible. A nice little shack away from people. I usually need solitude and time to write songs. I also like to write when I’m travelling – sat on a train or in the back of a car, but that’s just for lyrics.
Do you believe in anything after life and how does this affect your daily life?
Compost. I spend a lot of time thinking about where everything goes – all in the ground. I don’t buy many new things from shops as I just think about all of the waste. I much prefer to shop in 2nd-hand shops.
Finally, when you performed in Brighton last, a fan had kindly created some wooden spoons for you to sell at your gigs. Did you manage to sell them all?
The fan had spent a lot of time on the spoons, and so they were priced quite highly. We sold some of them, 1 was stolen and I gave 2 away as a wedding present.
This Is The Kit have a new EP coming out mid January so keep your eyes peeled. In the meanwhile, here is a video directed by Sam Wisternoff for their song Magic Spell. Enjoy!