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“Songwriter Kate Stables has been an essential fixture of British folk music for the past 10 years.” – The Line of Best Fit
This Is The Kit is the much beloved musical project of Kate Stables, born in England and based in Paris, though the heart of their musical community remains in Bristol, UK. Kate sings, plays guitar, banjo, trumpet and percussion, while a cast of carefully hand-plucked friends deliver guitar strums, banjo plucks, hushed horns and electronic textures that sit beneath Stables’ easy, earnest lilt. Her long time collaborator and regular live companion Jesse Vernon produced the album and contributes guitars, percussion, violin and percussion. While on tour, This is the Kit is a shape shifting entity ranging from a female duo with friend Rozi Plain to a psychedelia tinged five electric five-piece.
They’ll be touring the UK and Europe extensively over the rest of 2013. A particular focus will be Irish dates in celebration of their appearance on Ireland’s Other Voices television program, curated by Aaron Dessner of The National. Dessner is also working with the band to produce the follow-up album to Wriggle Out the Restless, now being reissued by Aaron’s label Brassland.
“The aim is to have fun playing with people whose work I really like,” says Kate in her simple and direct fashion. “The more you exchange and share with people the better things get and the more you learn.” This is the Kit has or will be opening for artists such as Jose Gonzales, Jeffrey Lewis, The National, Alexi Murdoch, Iron & Wine and Jolie Holland, and was recently selected by Sharon Van Etten as her “Favorite New Aritst” in an interview with Pitchfork.
Early Years: As a teenager started playing gigs around the south-east of England.
2003: Moved to Bristol and formed the band Whalebone Polly with Rachael Dadd. They made an album “recording with the windows open” with the violinist and animater virpi kettu
2004: They played the acoustic stage at Glastonbury festival and had a ball. Kate also started playing trumpet and banjo for the group Morningstar, who she’s been playing and touring with ever since.
2005: Sunday Best released a 7” single “Two Wooden Spoons”. Hampshire based label Tape Club Records released a cassette single of the songs White Ash Cut and Vitamins. The label Need No Water released Birchwood Beaker on a white 7″ vinyl split single with the Belgian band Soy Un Caballo. Kate’s version on one side and a french language version on the other.
2006: Sessions with Radio One (Rob Da Bank) and Resonance FM (You Are Hear, The Other Woman, Dexter Bently) along with plays plays on other shows on Radio One & 6music. The Japanese label Angel’s Egg released a collection of demo recordings “Where It Lives”.
2008: album ‘Krülle Bol‘, was produced by John Parish and was released in on the french label Microbe records .
2009: Whalebone Polly EP “Taproot And Sill”, released on Dreamboat records September.
2010: Released 2nd LP “Wriggle Out The Restless” on Dreamboat Records which promptly went out of business so the record goes out of print. Album features members of Francois and The Atlas Mountains and The Liftmen
2011: Band releases the “Wriggle Out The Restless Remixes” featuring covers and remixes by talented friends and relations – John Parish, Francois of the Atlas mountains, Andy Skellam, Shorebilly, Rachael Dadd and Ichi. And in December of 2011 they opened for The National at the Beacon Theatre.
2012: A busy year touring and recording. TITK played more than 100 shows this year all over Europe including many summer festivals in the UK notably ATP, Shamballa and the Insider festival.
2013: A short tour of Australia in Feb with plans to get to finish a new album with Aaron Dessner of The National. The band are also in the process of recording an EP of covers by pals (including some in French guys). Brassland does a proper reissue of Wriggle Out the Restless.
Kate Stables alias This is the Kit, n’a pas arrêté d’attirer à elle les regards les plus
bienveillants : un premier album (Krülle Bol) produit par John Parish, un single (Two Wooden Spoons) publié par Sunday Best, le label de Rob da Bank (figure culte de la BBC,
héritier de la case horaire de John Peel) et enfin un second album très attendu sur Dreamboat Records. Wriggle out the Restless a vu la jour après une gestation patiente ce qui nouveau chez la musicienne. Affiné dans la durée, l’album a permis à This is the Kit de collaborer avec son cercle d’amis pour étoffer les morceaux d’un son plein et solide : Rozi Plan & François Marry (Fence), Jim Barr (Portishead) et The Lift Men (Twisted Nerve). « Le but était de s’amuser en jouant avec des personnes dont j’apprécie vraiment le travail » raconte Kate. « Plus on échange et plus on partage les uns les autres, plus les choses aboutissent et sont riches d’enseignements. »
Entouré dernièrement par Animal Collective, Tunng et Vashti Bunyan sur la compilation Folk off (Sunday Best), This is the Kit s’approche de plus en plus de la reconnaissance. Drowned in Sound affirmait que sa participation était « la cerise (anglaise) sur le gâteau » de cette compilation et il est évident que Wriggle out the Restless est un autre pas dans la même direction.
En concert, This is the Kit impressionne. Les sessions de rue se sont muées en concerts captivants sur les mêmes scènes que Vetiver, The National, Elysian Fiealds, Jeffrey Lewis et José Gonzales. Seule en scène ou souvent accompagnée de Jesse « Morning Star » Vernon, Kate a joué sur les petites scènes de villages comme au festival de Glastonbury et capte toujours l’attention de l’auditoire.
Kate chante, joue de la guitare, du banjo, de la trompette et des percussions. Son collaborateur et musicien de toujours, Jesse Vernon, a produit l’album sur lequel il tient aussi la guitare, les parties de violon et la rythmique. Jim Barr à la basse, François Marry à l’orgue, à la trompette, au piano et Rozi Plain aux guitares, banjo et clarinette, complètent l’équipe.
“Renversant, un bain musical qui vous enveloppe de sa chaleur.” Cerys Matthews BBC6 music
« Sans artifices de production, cette voix féminine et éraillée raconte des histoire d’âmes sœurs, d’amitié et de dépendance, mises en valeur par cet art du flottement et du vibrato. » 9/10 Drowned in Sound
« Il faudrait adouber This is the Kit pour avoir créé des atmosphère magiques avec uniquement un chant, une guitare et quelques percussions. » Altsounds
Blurbs & freestyle bits
“You thought you didn’t like the banjo but you were wrong pal. Kate Stables rips forward with a hypnotic twang pattern and a voice of rare unaffected beauty.Accompanied by a backing-band of minimal psychedelia, This is the Kit will transport you to a warm bath in the middle of a forest.” – Neil Smith from The Liftmen.
If This Is The Kit were a cake: it would be a fully wholemeal and organic savoury affair which nonetheless satisfy’s all craving for trashy treats.
If This Is The Kit were a car: it would be a pre-WW2 amphibious vehical with the engine taken out and replaced by pedals, oars and a sail.
The many guises of This Is The Kit: solo, duo, psychedelic rock-formation, 4-4-2, unplugged acoustic gigs, choir workshops, homeshows, busking etc.
“Just one of the best things I’ve heard all year, the rest of the LP’s pretty good too….wonderful wonderful stuff” – Guy Garvey, BBC 6 Music
“Kate Stables has been recording music as This Is The Kit for years now, but this is probably one of the first times you’re reading about her. Bashed Out will be her third full-length album, and since Aaron Dessner and the National stumbled into one of her shows by happenstance and immediately fell for her sound, it will also likely be her breakout… Stables sings and plays guitar, trumpet, percussion and banjo throughout the record, but you’ll especially notice the way she handles a banjo, turning an often hackneyed sound into a thing of delicacy. In some ways, it seems like successful artists have morphed into the only useful A&R forces, and if I could, I’d personally thank the Dessners for unearthing Stables…. Listen to the track below as an introduction, and get ready to hear a lot more from her.” - Stereogum
“Absolutely gorgeous, like an aural bath with the warm water lapping over you” — Cerys Matthews, BBC 6music
“This Is The Kit should be knighted for the fact that they create a wonderful atmosphere with one singer an acoustic guitar and percussion only” – altsounds