There can be few bands who have transformed so much over the course of three albums as Kitty, Daisy & Lewis. Emerging as rock ‘n’ roll obsessives, the Durham siblings returned earlier this year with Kitty, Daisy & Lewis The Third, a gloriously eclectic collection produced by Mick Jones. As the band arrive in Ireland for a trio of shows this week, we asked Kitty how, after starting life playing other people’s songs, they were finding writing their own material…
“The songs came together over a period of three or four years as there’s been such a big gap between records. There wasn’t a panic to get loads of new songs together as they were just there. In a way it was a lot easier. In that time we’ve grown up a little bit, been through more experiences and dealt with more shit. They’re more songs than sitting down and having a jam”.
Having begun by playing music from the era that gave birth to rock ‘n’ roll, you always had scope to progress….
“We never really considered ourselves a band, that was an accident that happened naturally. Then we got together with Sunday Best and they asked for an album, so we just recorded the songs that we’d grown up with over the years. Eventually we got into songwriting. It’s good that we do different things. I think our music will develop as we get older. It will always sound like us, even if the music is completely different”.
Three albums in and you’re still staying true to the analogue recording process, even building your own studio. Is that hard to do these days?
“It’s a lot easier for us as it’s the way we’ve always done it. We’ve tried going into different top notch studios but because we’re working in our own space and environment we do tend to take out time. It takes a while because the gear breaks down a lot. There’s a good deal of trial and error, experimentation. For this album we knew what we were doing a bit more. You can’t capture what’s going on in a room on a computer”.
Was that something that appealed to Mick Jones?
“We recorded on 16 track, which is what The Clash would have done. He really enjoyed it. A lot of people might be surprised that we didn’t talk about punk much. When he did discuss music it was odd stuff that you wouldn’t expect him to like. In the early days when we were talking about him producing we went out for a pint and he started talking about this guy Bert Kaempfert and his album Swinging Safari, that we used to listen to when were kids. Not many people know about that so we knew it was going to work”.
You share a label with artists who are on a completely different musical path to yourselves, how does that work?
“There are so many different things going on there, it’s so diverse, weird and wonderful. You even have David Lynch now. Everyone on Sunday Best so lovely. We’ve been there for most of my adult life. It’s a big family vibe and they take a back seat when make an album, let us do we need to do in order to deliver the goods. They trust us. They give us a deadline they know that we’re never going to meet but they don’t mind”.
The final track on the album, ‘Developer’s Disease’, is a lament for a lost London. Is that a theme for the whole work?
“Hopefully people will hear that and become aware of what’s going on. It’s happening all over the world. Where we grew up in Camden it just horrible now, everything’s getting knocked down. It is a very London record, the city has so many different cultures that I hope people will hear reflected…”
Kitty, Daisy & Lewis play the Limelight, Belfast (Wednesday), Roisin Dubh, Galway (Thursday) and the Academy Green Room, Dublin (Friday).