Having heard of Kitty, Daisy & Lewis last summer when they released their third LP, I was keen as mustard to learn more about this Camden based band. Made up of siblings from the Durham family, Kitty, Daisy & Lewis are all talented multi instrumentalists and when playing live, they are backed up by Ingrid Weiss (mum) on bass and Graeme Durham (dad) on rhythm guitar. If you get the feeling that the trio come from a musical background, you’d be spot on, Graeme is a founding member of The Exchange recording studios in London and Ingrid is the former drummer in a band called The Raincoats, a post punk act that formed back in the late 70’s and attracted the interest of one Kurt Cobain who invited them along on their 1994 April tour that sadly never took place owing to the inevitable…..
The Cavern in Exeter are in the middle of celebrating their 25th anniversary and have an amazing lineup of bands over the next few weeks, just check out the list on their website , you’ll be amazed!
So, back to the show….
The weather was rather shocking, gale force icy winds and biblical amounts of rain made me question WHY I was leaving the house to trek up to Exeter to catch a band that I had been looking forward to for months, one look on YouTube and I was soon in the car and hot footing it up the A38 (at a sensible speed I hasten to add). Upon reaching The Cavern, I was instantly warmed by the amazingly cool 50’s themed oldies that DJ Louie Louie was spinning, setting the scene for the evening of entertainment that was to unfold.
Opening for KD&L was a singer songwriter called Barns Courtney, now this is where it gets interesting, he was born in the UK, moved to America (Seattle) when he was 3 years old and is now based back in the UK in Ipswich, confused? as was I! He's just finished supporting fellow Brit Ed Sheeran in the USA and he was recently spotted by The Libertines' Carl Barat and since then has been supporting them at some Libertines shows across the UK!
Taking to the stage dressed in a black leather biker jacket, his husky toned voice, coupled with his bluesy music immediately reminded me of Jack Savoretti, I’m sure he won’t take offence at this! It soon became apparent what Carl Barat saw in him, the eager audience quickly warmed to his American accent and it wasn’t long until the room had filled to near capacity.
He sung about having no money and he sung of ‘Glitter and Gold’ which also featured on a recording he did for Channel 4’s ‘Future Sounds’ at the world famous Abbey Road Studios in London.
His set went down a storm and I am eager to check him out again, whether it be another show or a festival, if you get the chance, I’d follow suit and check him out, you’ll kick yourself otherwise….
There was a short break with Louie Louie spinning up more retro goodness for the masses to feast their ears upon, bladders were relieved, drinks were refreshed and it wasn’t long until the plinky-plonky vibes of ‘Popcorn’ by Gershon Kingsley filled the room and raised excitement levels. After a minute or so, Kitty, Daisy, Lewis, Ingrid and Graeme took to the stage to a huge cheer and settled down ready to kick off the remainder of the night.
Kitty looked stunning in a blue lycra catsuit, Daisy in a short white dress with knee high boots and Lewis in a stylish jacket and roll neck combo. They launched straight into the super cool ‘Bitchin in the Kitchen’ which turned up the heat in the Cavern to gas mark 6 in no time at all, people shaking along to the super cool rhythms that Lewis, Graeme and Ingrid were kicking out from the back of the stage.
I mentioned earlier that KD&L are multi-instrumentalists, this raised a few laughs as they clambered over each other after each track to take up different positions on the small stage that The Cavern has, Daisy from the keys to the drums, Lewis from drums to the guitar, Kitty from guitar to harmonica, all whilst Mum and Dad sat back and watched.
The tempo increased with ‘It Ain’t Your Business’ and really showcased Kitty’s skills on the harmonica, amazing stuff.
‘Don’t Make a Fool out of Me’ was a surefire hit with the audience, an older track which sounded superb live, I’ll admit that this is one of my favourites and I was stood at the back of the room, dancing along to the super cool and catchy guitar riff that breezed over me from the stage. For a special treat, check out the video
For the next trio of tracks, they were joined by the one and only Edward Thornton who goes by his nickname ’Tan Tan’, Thornton, of Spanish Town Jamaica is a renowned jazz and reggae trumpet player and his addition to ’Turkish Delight’, ‘Whenever You See Me’ and ‘Good Looking Woman’ really injected some summery vibes, lifting the spirits of the audience on this cold, wet and gloomy Sunday evening.
Their set came to a close after ‘Developer’s Disease’ and the crowd pleasing ‘Going up the Country’, all members leaving the stage to rapturous applause.
The one issue with The Cavern is that when the band exit the stage, there isn’t really anywhere to hide whilst the audience chant, cheer and clap until they reappear, regardless of this, when they took to the stage again, the room erupted.
They launched into their final two tracks, ‘Say You’ll Be Mine’ with it’s heavy bass riff and harmonica played over Lewis’s vocals and simple beat sounded brilliant, this led into an extended breakdown with Kitty really going for it on the harmonica. Graeme, Ingrid and Daisy left the stage, leaving just Kitty and Lewis on stage, Lewis wowing the room with his guitar skills for a good few minutes before they all re grouped to play ‘Mean Son of a Gun’ which was by no means ‘an old slow number’ as advertised before they launched into it.
Had the audience got their way, they would have still been playing at 2am the next morning, as it was, they exited the stage and converged at the merch table, signed autographs, chatted to fans and happily posed for photographs. I chatted to Lewis on his way out for a cigarette and asked him about their plans for 2016, amongst a few more dates in the UK including a homecoming show at Camden’s KOKO, he said that they were keen to get back into their analogue studio and start working on tracks for the new album, I asked if Mick Jones was going to be involved as he was for their ‘Third’ album, his poker face gave nothing away so I’m sad to say that I don’t have any exclusive news to tell you all!
Despite being really popular all over the UK, they tend to spend more time overseas, gracing the stages of many European festivals during the warmer, summer months. I asked Lewis why they don’t play more in the capital (preferring only to hit it once a year), his response was that they don’t want to become a band that play so often, nobody would want to go and see them, they want their shows to be an event that people look forward to attending and boy, do they put on a good show!
They’ve been fortunate enough to play alongside the likes of Jools Holland, Coldplay, Billy Bragg and Mark Ronson, they need no bigging up as to me, they’ve made it already. If you want a great night out filled with some amazing music, played by one of the hardest working families on the scene, get yourself down to the next Kitty, Daisy & Lewis show, you can thank me later….
Words and pictures by Steve Muscutt