Interview: The Kabeedies

Rob GarrattThe Kabeedies have come a long way in the last few years, jumping quickly from bedroom daydreams to nationwide tours and festival gigs. As they prepare for their biggest home-town gig yet, ROB GARRATT heard about their new serious sound from drummer Fab Bell.Further listening: The Kabeedies

Rob Garratt

The Kabeedies have come a long way in the last few years, jumping quickly from bedroom daydreams to nationwide tours and festival gigs. As they prepare for their biggest home-town gig yet, ROB GARRATT heard about their new serious sound from drummer Fab Bell.

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The Kabeedies had a good 2008. After winning the Next Big Thing competition in late 2007, last year saw them do live sessions on Radio 1 and 6 Music, release three single through home-grown label NRONE records, and support indie heavyweights The Futureheads and The Metros

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They also played to festival crowds at Glastonbury and Latitude and toured with electro stars CSS.

Still in their teens, anyone would forgive the upstarts for cooling out and taking a break, but instead they're back on the road in a hurry to hit the big time.

They've just played their biggest homecoming gig yet, headlining the Waterfront.

In April, they will release their next single, Little Brains, a catchy indie pop ditty full of chiming guitars and punchy bass hooks.

With a debut album pencilled in for later this year, the pace is up and the pressure is on, but the band's relentless energy and chirpy offbeat style threatens to take them to the top.

t You're on tour right now?

'Yeah, we're in a Travelodge in Reading and I've just been down to the Co-op for a sandwich, which isn't very rock n' roll, it should be champagne and carrots really. Alex James said drinking champagne all the time gave him bad breath so he had to eat lots of carrots.'

t How's it going?

'It's going really well, we just had the first night and played with a couple of really good bands, we were a bit rusty but we had a really good time. We've got gigs in Birmingham, Nottingham, Manchester and Leeds before we get to Norwich.'

t Are you excited about coming back to Norwich?

'We're really looking forward to it, it'll be the first time we've headlined, we've got loads of new songs to play. It's a bit of a step up for us, we've always been playing the Arts Centre and this is the first real challenge in Norwich to see if people really like it. It's got a very big capacity of 750, and as long as we get enough people it will be great.'

t Headlining the Waterfront, you've come a long way since in the last year haven't you?

'We've been working for about three years, our album will be the culmination of all that hard work. We were very lucky to win the Next Big Thing and we've had some good friends and the media's been good to us, we've got a good manager and we've had a little bit of help.'

t Why do you think you've stood out from all the other bands to get where you are though?

'We like to think we're quite original, quite simplistic. Live we have a lot of fun but a lot of bands look very board on stage, it's really fun for us. A lot of people say our recorded stuff is energetic coming through even though it's on vinyl.'

t Do you think you'll stick with the upbeat stuff or is there darker material to come?

'Funnily enough we have been writing a few serious, slow songs - but that's just a laugh. But I wouldn't like to be so aware of what people like about us because then we would end up repeating ourselves, it's best we just keep trying to like our own songs and et other people liking it along the way.'

t How do you guys write?

'It's changed dramatically over the last couple of weeks. Normally we'd write a song over a month and a half and then change bits, but recently we've decided to get our writing socks on and done six in two weeks. We went to Norway for a week and a stayed a friend's house who happens to have a studio, so we sat in a house under the mountains sitting writing songs. Then we went to Plug Studios for a week for three hours a day and tried to bash through as many as possible and get things done and it's worked really well.'

t What's the new sound then?

'It's a little bit more mature, but something extra - a little bit more chilled out, a little bit less punky. We've tried to branch out a little bit but not lose much of the live thing. It's a bit jazzy, we've had things we haven't thought of before.'

t Where do you see yourself a year from now?

'It would be nice to have some big support tours. We lucky this year to do some dates with CSS and I would like to do a full tour. We're ambitious, it would be nice to make it and have a number one and be on TV. Having a good album out that was critically acclaimed would be good. We're pretty confident we've got the songs, we just need to find a producer, and a label to put it out.'

t Why should someone that's never heard of you come to see you?

'They'll see something different. We're probably like nothing any body else in the world, and definitely not in Norwich. We've very energetic, we'll scream on stage, we fall over and fart, I nearly always fall over. They'll be some kind of medical emergency. We sweat a lot - come for a sweaty hug, that's our selling point.'

t Sum up the band in five words.

'Jazzy, blues, funk, prog and electro.'

t The Kabeedies will be performing a live session on Future FM on March 8.

Further listening: The Kabeedies