Firm favourites with New Zealand audiences and regular visitors to these shores where they continue to play sold-out shows across the land Kitty Daisy & Lewis have built a well-earned reputation as one of the best live acts around thanks to years of solid gigging which has seen them headline major theatres and festivals around the world as well as opening up for the likes of Coldplay and Stereophonics.
Recorded through the summer of 2014 in a converted former Indian restaurant in north London their new album – produced by long-time fan and former Clash member Mick Jones – embraces a spread of influences – from blues to disco, but retains that unmistakable Kitty Daisy & Lewis sound – a heady mix of old-school rhythms and Ska-infused grooves and has been hailed by many as their best yet.
“With Mick on board, it was the first time we have worked with a producer,” says Lewis, “Just having someone else in the room meant we could start bouncing ideas off other people and that was great.”
“Our song writing has definitely changed over the three years,” adds sister Kitty, “Through life experience and expanding our musical influences, we have now incorporated more of our musical loves into our music”.
“And we had more gear to play with,” says Daisy,”16 tracks, rather than 8, gave us the chance to use different production techniques and expand on our ideas in the studio”.
Recently described by the Daily Telegraph as a ”hot, sweet pancake stack of danceable tracks, drizzled with drama and swung by a terrific horn section” this new album catches the band at the top of their game but can only hint at what they deliver onstage.
The horn action referred to by the Telegraph is primarily down to the legend that is Eddie ‘Tan Tan’ Thornton – a Jamaican-born octogenarian who during a long and illustrious career has played with everyone from the Beatles and Georgie Fame to Aswad and Ska Cubano. In recent years he’s been a stalwart of the KDL touring party that is further complimented by the inclusion of the siblings’ mother and ex-Raincoats member Ingrid and father ‘Daddy Graz’ Graham. They combine to offer and deliver one of the tightest and most thrilling live shows around – a live show that is all set to hit New Zealand in July.
Supporting the band will be Tom Rodwell & Storehouse. Tom Rodwell is a critically acclaimed guitarist and singer performing a hybrid of blues, calypso and spirituals, active as a songwriter, composer and session musician.
Described as “Sheffield’s answer to Lightnin’ Hopkins,” by the NME, the singer-guitarist has appeared widely in the UK, Switzerland, Holland, New Zealand and the US since 2003, both solo and with his ever-changing band Storehouse. He’s opened for artists including Trinity Roots, Leon Russell, John Butler Trio, Charles Bradley, Son of Dave, C.W. Stoneking, Otis Taylor and Derek Trucks – who remarked, “You don’t hear that anymore; beautiful tunes, beautiful groove!”
His uniquely primitivist yet dance-orientated take on rhythm and blues music takes influences from calypso, slave-era spirituals and West African juju music – making his playing thoughtful, hard to categorise, yet instantly accessible, and bursting with salacious and surreal lyrics.