PoetiCat

    We were introduced to the words of PoetiCat, a 4-piece band comprising a poet, vocalist, guitarist and percussionist via Myspace, yes it still exist and houses a lot of talents.

     

    Poetry is where it all began for PoetiCat and they are taking it back to the roots with Catherine Martindale letting her words do the talking and the music follow.

     

    Intrigued? Check out ‘Tea and Toast’ if you really want to hear someone with lyrics rawer than Kanye West on ‘808 and Heartbreaks’. On ‘Neighbourhood’ PoetiCat’s ‘Folk and Word’ explores the crazy world that is London,

    ‘London city is full of scrutiny, you shouldn’t suck your thumb cos it will shrink’, Catherine follows with the line, ‘You should take a pint of your own piss and drink it’. Still want to hear more?

     

    Visit their Myspace page http://www.myspace.com/poeticat but before that, check out the interview below.

     

    How would you describe your sound?

     

    All instruments are acoustic and so far include acoustic guitar, cajon and djembe drums, harmonium, berimbau and a wide range of hand held percussion.

     

    PoetiCat aims to merge music and poetry without resorting to the obvious devices of ‘singing’ or ‘rapping’ the poems. While Catherine does sometimes demonstrate her lyrical dexterity by keeping pace with the rhythm of the music, she is just as likely to speak the words of her poems and allow the music to create a mood or subtext to her honest and often emotional stories. Keen observations of a fragmented society more than her West London twang mark her out as a poet with her roots in London. The music consists of repetitive patterns, drawing influences from rock and hip hop, folk and various world and electronic musics, broken up by energetic solos and clap-driven percussive sections. Many audiences are as surprised by Blake Kenrick’s inventive guitar style as they are by the pulsing rhythm emerging from the small square box (or cajon) played by Victor Meadowcroft. Isabel Meadowcroft’s experimental vocals act as a bridge between the guitar and percussion, one minute providing soulful melody, the next bursting into rhythmic panting or a series of screeches inspired by her interest in the potential of voice. The result is that this blend of spoken poetry and music has been described as ‘earthy’, ‘raw’ and ‘powerful’, but almost always as ‘fresh’ and ‘original’ by audiences.

     

    How did you all meet?

     

    PoetiCat was formed in July 2009 but Catherine Martindale performed spoken word/ poetry two years prior to that and Victor Meadowcroft was in a folk/world band playing Cajon. Isabel Meadowcroft was exploring vocal practice as an actress and Blake Kenrick was playing heavy metal music.

     

    Catherine started playing some gigs with Blake backing on acoustic guitar, they then invited Victor and Isabel to jam. Catherine was asked to perform some of her poems at the E4 Udderbelly commissioned by The Southbank Centre it was there we decided to try out some of music we had been creating.

     

    As a poetic group what are the struggles you’ve been through?

     

    Sound is a massive issue for us. Often sound guys are not used to having words are the forefront of music and so getting the levels right is tricky. Poetry nights sometimes think we’re too mainstream and music nights sometimes think we’re too weird. It does leave us with very dedicated fans though as the people who like us are open minded and interested in original stuff.

     

    What do you think the poetic industry lacks?

     

    Its difficult because the poetic industry is so vast. Sometimes promoters don’t leave enough breaks and variety in the acts they book and audiences get tired of hearing words for long periods of time. Exposure is a big issue. People have stereotypes of what poetry events will be like and often they are pleasantly surprised when they actually attend one. I guess the media and promoters making the nights sound more fun and making efforts to break those stereotypes would be a positive thing.

     

    What success have you achieved?

     

    PoetiCat recorded a demo at Sphere Studios, had art work designed and organised a release gig. 8 bands played , over 200 people attended, and we made enough money to cover all our expenses. This created a good relationship with the venue, The Windmill Pub, Brixton, and we play regular paid gigs there. We were selected to play 8 summer festivals, including Glastonbury festival. At Beat-Herder Festival we secured a slot on the main stage. We have played in Plymouth, Barnstaple, London, Southampton and Herefordshire at Apples and Snakes events. On the 10th of December we are organising another event called ‘PoetiCat Presents’ at The White Lion in Streatham. http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=103598676380467. This is the first of what we hope will be a series of nights of poetry and music at the White Lion over the next year. We’ve put together a line-up of some of the best acts we’ve seen over the past six months to try and get things started with a bang.

     

    Who are you poetic influences?

     

    Musa Okwonga, Joshua Idehen, Inua Ellams, Bob Dylan, Augusto Boal, Brendan Mcleod, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, MC Dockers, Luke Wright, T.S. Eliot, Aristole, Bob Marley, Shakespeare, The Fugees, Scroobious pip, Imortal Technique, Polarbear, David J, Tanya stevens, Eminem, J Dilla, Kat Fancios, Klashnekoff, Hardy Amis, MC Grima.

     

    What are you currently listening to?

     

    A massive array as we are all into really different stuff, we are all going to see Femi Kuti at the Barbican supported by another brilliant spoken word and music infusion call Sound of Rum. Issy and Vic go to see a lot of world stuff, they went to see Jardares por Fuera last night at The Global Local Festival. Blake and Cat are going to see Motorhead at Brixton Academy. On our Ipod’s currently: Afrocubism. The Distillers, Ballake Sissoco and Vincient Segal and Pink Floyd.

     

    Do you think shows like xfactor shows true talent?

     

    No. Some of the performers are talented but the show doesn’t showcase talent.

     

    What do you think of a service like ours that helps protect people creations?

     

    We think they are great as artists are often exploited! In today’s industry when so much has changed in terms of making money from music anything that helps protect creation is a brilliant and worthy thing! Creativity keeps people sane and is often repressed so more creativity all round will help make the world a better place.

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