Kagoule are a trio of just-turned-twenty year olds, hailing from Nottingham, who started making music together at fifteen. Five years later, they’ve got a debut album under their belts and are about to embark on a headline tour. If you haven’t heard of them, their sound emits a fuzzy rock with nostalgic 90s influences that has seen them tipped as one of the best new bands in Britain. We caught up with drummer Lawrence to chat touring, making your band’s name up in a P.E. lesson, and Busted.
Answering the phone, Lawrence first admitted he was pretty sleepy, after the band’s European tour. At the moment he’s got “a bit of downtime” and hasn’t actually seen the band since the tour. “We need a small break from each other I suppose. We’ve got two gigs on the weekend so yeah, we’re getting ready for that tomorrow.” Kagoule’s headline tour kicks off next month, and he commented, “we’ve never done a headline tour so it’ll be good to see if people actually do give a shit and aren’t just finding us at support shows then never coming back.” The band are headed to the University of Southampton for Independence Festival, too: “Yeah, that’s actually one of the ones I think we’re all looking forward to the most because the line-up is loads of friends of ours. The Whytches and Tiger Cub are really good pals so it should be fun.” On the difference between playing festivals over gigs, he added: “I don’t think there’s less pressure, but less waiting around and less twiddling your thumbs. There are pros and cons to both.” If you stumble upon Kagoule at Independence Festival, Lawrence described their sound as lots of “loud guitars.”
Kagoule’s debut album, Urth, was released at the end of August but the band “had the album for like a year before we released it, so it’s quite weird people sort of telling us what it’s like rather than it going round in our minds like ‘is it any good or is it…really bad?'” Lawrence seemed to have a welcoming humility with regards to the band’s work. They’ve been tipped as one of the best new bands in Britain, but does that add pressure?: “I think we work quite good under pressure. I think it’s quite a good thing, we just worked a little bit harder to try and keep people saying nice things about it.”
Often likened to Smashing Pumpkins and others of that era, I spoke to Lawrence about the band’s influences: “I suppose there’s all the 90s stuff but it’s pretty indirect because most of that stuff we sort of never really started listening to until after people started telling us certain songs reminded them of Smashing Pumpkins and stuff, so we sort of listened to them then and worked in a backwards way.” On influences growing up, he said he was embarrassed to have started off as a big Iron Maiden fan, but when I mentioned my more embarrassing love of S Club 7, he admitted “I was a big Busted fan actually. Our taste has changed a lot over time.”
The band got together when they were 14, “playing some music in the crappy music corridor” before vocalist Lucy said she wanted in. The name Kagoule found its origins in a P.E. lesson: “it was kind of a joke and we didn’t really know what it meant and then other people were like ‘that doesn’t sound too bad’ so we were like alright. We thought it was a bit of a joke and a label to stick on it for the meantime but we never got round to changing it.”
It seems that age is often a massive focus for younger artists in the music industry, but Lawrence didn’t seem phased by it. “I don’t really think about it a lot, especially not anymore because we started gigging when we were 16, so it feels like we’ve been doing it for a certain amount of time so it’s kind of equal now. Age has just kind of merged now, I don’t even know how old most of the people I know now are.”
Kagoule are playing at Independence Festival at the University of Southampton on Saturday 14th November.