Wednesday, December 19, 2007


I don't usually write about bands here, but I do sometimes make exceptions if there's some kind of art/performance angle, so my excuse for writing about KateGoes is that they have a different theme for each gig, dressing up and acting in keeping between songs. Of course I'm sure plenty of you are familiar with their output, as they're a perfect recipe for a MoseleyHeath band: seasoned with Misty's Big Adventure, a pinch of Pram, hints of Novak and L'Augmentation, but full of secret ingredients of their own.

Shockingly this is the first time I'd seen them live, although I'd heard some of their tracks online after entering into a correspondence with Kate, who charmingly wrote me a rap about a time we met. I was glad to finally be free to get to one of their gigs, and this one seemed to be themed as a family get-together - apt for Christmas (although in a throwaway line as they left it was revealed that it had actually been a funeral...)

Kate and her 'little sister' were dressed in frilly party dresses, and other members were meant to be her Gran, Grandad and Dad. Family photos were projected behind them, creating odd Tony Oursler effects when faces hit the balloons.

It took a while to get used to the 'overtired little girl' chatting between songs, but it perfectly suited the Slits/Dresden Dolls pitch of the songs - the kind of feminine tactic that can irritate some, but throws the 'crazy woman' stereotype back in people's faces if it's done well. The strength of the songs held the performance together, much tighter than on CD, childhood memories are filtered through knowing adult sensibilities, then freed up again in the sugary high of making such effortlessly catchy pop.

It's easy to get distracted by the whimsy and references to POGs, but go and listen to Heartbeat on their Myspace page: a sweetly harmonious nursery rhyme that disguises obsessively intense emotions. It takes me back to being a C86 loving teen, shivering with semi-requited lust, wanting to get so close we fused. Never has a squeaky toy sounded more ambiguous.

Hell, they even gave out party poppers and did the conga around the room, what's not to love?

KateGoes Myspace Page

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