The Keep Cats
Describe your music in 3 words
My own therapy.
Since the March lockdown how has band life changed in terms of the creative process?
At the start of the first lockdown I (Jo) started writing and recording an album. At that point my creative process was pretty much the same as it was before lockdown, so just sort of a messy release of emotion through vocalising (just sort of singing random words from intuition) and playing guitar. I then repeat the mess again and again until it seems to refine itself into something i can call a song. But recently with this second lockdown came a lot of free time and I’ve been dealing with a lot of personal issues especially surrounding my transition so i had a fresh boost of creativity and did a week where I set myself a challenge to write and record one song everyday. What came out of that is definitely a body of work that I’m more proud of than anything I’ve done in the past as it feels I’ve stopped trying to be me and started being me.
Has lockdown varied the music you’re choosing to listen to or create?
Its definitely given me a lot of time to reflect musically and personally and through that I think my music has grown far more authentic. Also with space from gigging really came space from an audience, not just literal but mental space. Space from thoughts like you’ve got to give the audience what they want as opposed to giving myself what I want. That being said I really do miss the Reading crowds that would come along to the gigs because they are so supportive and a huge part of why the Reading music scene is such a brilliant place for new artists to grow.
What do you most miss about gigging?
Probably just being on stage (surprise surprise) but I also miss the connections. When playing a show I feel connected to the band in a way that is just indescribable so it almost feels like I’m missing out on this amazing aspect of out friendship that I can't find anywhere else other than on stage with them.
What’s your favourite music venue locally & why?
It has to be the the Rising Sun Arts Centre. When I had just turned thirteen, Steve Siddle put us on supporting Draw The Shades for our first ever Reading show and it was such a wonderful night and he’s been putting us on for the five years that have followed since then. I've been to this venue countless times, not just playing there but watching it display this beautiful music scene that I’m so lucky to be a part of.
Name another local act or two that we should check out
Well first and foremost it goes without saying that anyone reading this needs to check out Ocean Ruins!! They have a song called Jenny’s Ghost which is just marvellous. Another band we’ve played with at the Rising Sun that are definitely worth checking out are Wolfs. There are so many more that we love (you know who you are) but its just too many to list!!
What’s been the most memorable gig you’ve ever played?
I think the most memorable gig I’ve ever played will have to be Readipop festival last year. I love the festival, I think its fabulous and i was so happy they invited us back to play the second stage. Just being on that stage and seeing all those people enjoying themselves and enjoying our performance was so special.
If you could support any band past or present who would it be?
It would have to be Talking Heads, just to see David Byrne godly dancing up close in person.
What are you working on at present?
As i mentioned earlier i recently wrote and recorded a new bunch of songs and I'm working to try and get the first one released before the new year.
New release 'I Hate You' out now! Catch The Keep Cats live in 2021 at The Boiler Room 22nd January, 12th March at South Street Arts Centre and Are You Listening? Festival ( date tbc ).