Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Kitty, Daisy and Lewis - Smoking In Heaven

This is an outfit almost as far removed from the 'major label music industry' as it is possible to get. Three siblings, in their early twenties at most, on a mission to subvert the perceived digital obsession of their peers. Not just in a superficial way but from start to finish - one that not inappropriately has an almost religious fervour.
Their first true album, the eponymous 'Kitty, Daisy and Lewis', was released on the label 'Sunday Best' in 2008 and consisted mostly of covers that would have seemed quite straightforward in 1958, if not before. Therein lies the catch, and the total deceit, for not only was the music old-fashioned it was entirely performed, recorded and mastered on collected and restored valve-driven analogue equipment of that era. Lewis is the retro-electronic wizard behind most of that part of the endeavour. The result did not meet with critical approval all round; sometimes because it was mostly covers, also because the equipment produces a sound that is to most now rather unfamiliar and because not many artists sing this way any more.
I bought it (on CD, which was a misjudgement of a criminal nature) and yet it was certainly interesting and, once I got used to the sound and styling, really quite appealing. The issue came to a head at Latitude 2010, late on Thursday evening or perhaps early Friday morning, in the Music & Film Tent when, as part of a 'Blues Brothers'-themed film-dance-music performance they were doing some of the live music part. This is, unfortunately, the only half-worthwhile picture I have.  The poor photo is entirely my fault. For some reason I always get off to a bad start.

  Kitty and Daisy a capella at Latitude 2010.

While 'Smoking In Heaven' will do nothing to spoil the bliss in analogue heaven it certainly does address the other critical point; this is all their own new material, new in a relativistic sense. 
Released on May 30 by 'Sunday Best' it will be available on two vinyl formats: 2 x 12" 33 rpm LP, a collectors' edition of 6 x 10" 78 rpm and also on CD. I have no way of playing 78 rpm, and in any case it is a very costly package, but given my earlier comment I shall be certainly be taking the 12" micro-groove option on this one!
Rarely, if ever, has Kentish Town seemed this far south!

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