Published: 11/12/2015 15:09 - Updated: 14/12/2015 10:16

Kagoule are prepared for their winter Highland visit


YOU might detect a bit of a ’90s vie when Nottingham three-piece Kagoule come to Inverness this weekend.

"It’s quite loud guitar rock. I guess alt.rock is the best description. We’re trying to be The Pixies!" principal songwriter Cai Burns explained.

However, such comparisons were lost on them when they started their musical life.

Having founded the band with school friends Lucy Potter and Lawrence English while they were still teenagers, they lacked many of the musical references their audiences were already well aware of.

"We did shows and people would say we’d sound like these bands like The Smashing Pumpkins, but we didn’t really know who they were, so we’d go and check them out and go: ‘Oh, yeah! That’s what they’re on about!’" Burns laughed.

"We were going backwards with our musical history. I didn’t really know about The Beatles or Jimi Hendrix and there’s still a lot more for us to discover. We started the band because we wanted to be in a band. We didn’t know very much about the history of music."

For a band frequently compared to the alt.rock stars of 20 years ago, Burns congratulates himself managing not to completely ignore the biggest of them all, godfathers of grunge Nirvana.

"I discovered Nirvana in my bedroom like some ’90s kid would," he laughed

"But personally speaking we all have our own influences in the band. I’m heavily into folk. That probably has bigger influence on my writing than the ’90s thing.

"If you play an instrument, you should be able to write songs and from the moment I picked up the guitar, I always wanted to write my own stuff. Over all the genres, folk has always been there and when I’ve got an acoustic guitar, I try and play Bert Jansch and lyrically I try and make them more about imagery and story rather than how much you miss your girlfriend."

Kagoule have already appeared in the Highlands, supporting Murray Macleod of Aberdeen band The Xcerts in his side project Cold Crows Dead.

So Kagoule, who released debut album Urth this summer, already have an idea of what to expect.

"It was nice to do Scottish shows with a Scottish band because a lot of people like them, but we’re really looking forward to doing our first headline tour up there," he said.

"All the gigs we have had in Scotland have been really fun. People there really like to dance. And drink. And sing."

As for Kagoule’s home city, Burns reckons Nottingham is a pretty good place to make music.

"It’s a nice scene here. It’s more of a family, I guess," he said.

"All the bands know each other and know what each other are doing. It’s really rare that you find a band in Nottingham that you haven’t heard of.

"I wouldn’t say it’s growing – I haven’t heard of a new band here for quite a while – but if it wasn’t for this place, we wouldn’t be doing this now. Nottigham seems to be really good for taking new bands seriously. It seems a good city to be a new band in. The senior bands will help you out, any way they can."

Kagoule play Mad Hatters, Church Street, Inverness, this evenining, Friday December 11.

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