red kite – take care of your own (Blood Records)
red kite (use no capitals, they are bourgeois…) are possibly the saviours of indie rock from lowest-common-denominator tedium says one of the Guardians foremost arts critics. Ged Babey is intrigued…
I never saw or got into the Cooper Temple Clause: they were first around in the years when I was getting my head around being a new parent… I missed out on a cool band.
Daniel Fisher was their guitarist. PR…
Since Fisher’s departure precipitated the collapse of the Cooper Temple Clause in April 2007, one wouldn’t exactly say he had pursued the rock’n’roll dream. For four years he didn’t play a note. He returned to music only when he felt he had something to say, and said it on his own terms. There was a red kite album, ‘Songs for Crow’, in November 2013, but most of his time over the last 10 years has been devoted to working in a library, then fixing computers. Making a new record was dependent on finding the money to go into the studio, finding the time the other band members might be available, and Fisher resolving with his own conflicts about whether he should be putting himself through it all once again.
red kite were a Louder Than War ‘New Band of the Day’ back in 2014 – they were a difficult one to pigeon-hole….
When the promotional material arrived in my in-box I recognized one of the names…
“The line-up has changed, though it always does,” Dan continues. “Jim Dare’s still there (he used to be in Minuteman and plays for Brett Anderson), as is Nick Willes, who used to play with An Escape Plan and now plays with Editors and Minor Victories live. Two new recruits are Jo Collis and Nicholas Stevenson, both from Lucky Shivers. Nicholas is also one half of Oro Swimming Hour with Oliver Wilde, as well as being an illustrator, and as such he does all of the artwork for the band now.”
Twenty-two years ago I interviewed a very young Jim Dare, together with then band-mate Jamie Reynolds ( later of Klaxons fame) when they were a bunch of 16 year old hopefuls in a band called Thermal. They were half my age… full of teen enthusiasm and Britpop inspired ambition. They referred to my generation as “pissed-up, old, 30-somethings” who clogged-up the local music scene. You’ll be estate agents by the time you’re my age I thought.
So it’s great to hear than Jim is still making music, now part of red kite, “a six-piece pushing their idiosyncratic art-rock to expansive sonic territories anew, with four guitars and two drummers at the core….” and a band who can do contemplative, delicate tunes and sonic overload. ‘hymn and squall’ is a perfect description. From Elbow to My Bloody Valentine – but far more wide-ranging than that sounds.
Here is the video, filmed on an iPhone over one afternoon in North London, using 1600 different shots…. for ‘take care of your own’, a taster for the forthcoming album ‘racquet’ which comes out in November 2017.
And this is Daniel talking about the song;
“There’s a theme running through a lot of the ﬁrst part of the new album, and that’s the strange nature of my relationships with my friends, people I’ve known since I was ﬁfteen, and the state of arrested development we live in as adults who have spent their lives trying and failing to make it as musicians.
This song is about that dynamic, and how we weren’t able to look after one of those friends when they were in a really difﬁcult period of their life. We tried, but we were too close and there was too much history there. We had our own lives, our own problems, and there was just too much time and distance between us all, no matter how close we once were. We all felt that guilt and that uselessness and couldn’t ﬁgure out how to make it right.
Is there a little touch of ‘Cloudbusting’ in the violin there or did I imagine it? It is a real ‘grower’ and an indication that the album is going to be something a bit special, with a bit of depth and emotional gristle, and proof that it’s not just Americans who can come up with some progressive indie-rock which has actually progressed and does, err… rock.
red kite only Live Date at the moment:
September 26th The Islington, London
Words Ged Babey ( except indented extracts from Press Release)