Curtain Call: Kagoule: “This is a heavier experiment for us”

Kagoule: “This is a heavier experiment for us”

We go behind the curtain with the Nottingham band as they record new track ‘Pharmacy’ in the heart of Curtain Road.

You can be one of the best new bands around, but there are hundreds of hurdles to jump when it comes to taking a next step. Recording, making videos, playing gigs - the road to success is rarely an easy route. That’s where Curtain Call comes in.

Curtain Call takes the ‘road to success’ literally by basing itself on the iconic Curtain Road, a hub of creativity in London’s Shoreditch. Home to the some of the world’s best independent labels - Wichita, Bella Union, Secretly Canadian & many more - it crams together music, fashion and culture, making it the perfect location for a new band to take their next step.

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This month, DIY and Jågermeister have teamed up with Nottingham three-piece Kagoule. After releasing their debut album ‘Urth’ last year, the trio have begun their 2016 by recording a brand new track in the heart of Curtain Road, at Strongroom Music Studio. Tomorrow, they’ll be playing it live for good measure, when they hit the stage at The Old Blue Last, alongside Demob Happy and JOHN, and we’ve been keeping up with them every step of the way.

“I think the song’s harder then we thought it was…” begins the band’s Cai Burns, when he opens up about how the day in the studio’s been going, as his bandmate Lucy Hatter laughs in agreement.

“Yeah, there’s been a lot of creases that have needed ironing out,” adds in drummer Lawrence English, before Cai continues. “It’s been pretty sweet so far, but you forget how much stuff actually needs setting up before you start recording. Now that we’re started it’s going really well.”

Despite discovering some unexpected challenges along the way, there’s a certain sense of relief for the band knowing that they’ve got a day to work on the track as a whole. “It’s kind of nice going in knowing exactly what you’re doing and what you want to come out of it,” explains Cai, before thinking back to their debut. “When we recorded the album, we just had a basket of songs and we didn’t know which would even make the album. Some of the songs we didn’t actually record even though we planned to, and then some were recorded which we didn’t plan on at all. It’s quite nice to have one goal that you can get on with.”

“It makes you work a bit harder too, I think,” says Lawrence, “because you know there’s a bit of added pressure.” “We were pretty slack when we recorded the album!” laughs Cai in reply, before the drummer picks back up.“You always think you’ve got too much time.”

“It’s always really easy to get caught up in mixing and getting everything absolutely perfect,” confirms Lucy, “but when you’ve only got a day… It’s usually fine so you really don’t need to spend a week going mad trying to find the perfect snare sound or whatever.”

The track itself may well be familiar for a few fans out there: it’s already been featured in the trio’s live sets across the past few months. “It’s called ‘Pharmacy’ and it’s probably the first track we’ve put in the live set since the album,” explains Cai. “It’ll just be nice for people to have heard it when we play it live, so it’s like a surprise to everyone. It’s quite a different direction to our older stuff. It’s not necessarily the direction we’re going in - it’s just a track we’ve done and we like, so we put it in the set. It’ll be good for people to have heard it.

“This song’s maybe a different direction to what we’ve done with the other tracks,” he goes further, “and it stands out amongst some of the newer stuff that we’re writing, which is probably a bit more similar to our older stuff.

“It’s heavier than a lot of our songs,” adds Lawrence, “but like Cai was saying, a lot of the others aren’t so it’s not like we’re getting loads heavier. I think we’re just generally moving in quite a few different directions and this is a heavier experiment for us.”

Despite the fact it’s already a mainstay for the band’s performances, it does seem, however, that ‘Pharmacy’ will take on a lease of life when the band air it live at The Old Blue Last tomorrow night. “I think you learn a lot about the song when you’re recording it and just through the process of doing this, I’m sure it’ll change,” Cai reckons. “We’re playing to a click and the timing’s a little different so we’ll have to adjust to that in comparison to when we’ve played it before. Of course, it’ll be more exciting too.”

Kagoule play at The Old Blue Last with Demob Happy and JOHN on 23rd February. The final few tickets are available now. Check back tomorrow for the premiere of ‘Pharmacy’.