Interview – Kid Canaveral

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When I go to meet Kid Canaveral, all we have agreed is a time and a place, a pub in Edinburgh’s Stockbridge district. They’re going to grab tea before heading off to a rehearsal and in the intervening time we’ve arranged a chat. I needn’t have worried, though; you couldn’t possible miss them: they are the only group of people in the pub who could possibly be in a band. Kid Canaveral do what the best bands do: the exude an air of being a gang. It always bodes well.

Kid Canaveral in 2010 are David MacGregor, Kate Lazda, Rose McConnachie and Scott McMaster. One of Scotland’s finest bands, they have steadily released a stream of excellent singles over the past few years, and July will see the release of their long-awaited debut release, entitled Shouting at Wildlife.

The first thing the band would like to clear up is that -despite popular conception – they aren’t actually from Fife. They formed at St. Andrew’s University in 2004 and in 2007 they got serious, with the release of their debut single ‘Smash Hits.’ Putting their releases out on their own, excellently titled label Straight To Video label, they are proudly independent, in the best sense of the word. They’re all quick to give thanks to Rose’s sister who they name as the ‘very talented and quite affordable Eve McConnachie.’ Amongst those bands they are matey with are Come On Gang!, Cancel the Astronauts and The Pictish Trail’s Johnny Lynch. Their connections have helped them to produce a record that’s shaped how they want with assistance from creative friends. Kenny Anderson AKA King Creosote has done an excellent remix of the ‘You Only Went Out To Get Drunk Last Night’ single.

Sessions for the album started in May 2009, and it was recorded over thirty days. Says David about the album. ‘It sounds how we want it.’ He clarifies that the money going into the record is their own and no label racking up debts. At the beginning of this year a track from the sessions entitled ‘Good Morning’ started circulating, and it was clear that things had stepped up a gear. I wrote a piece on the band and they were good enough to refer to me as their new best friend.

David’s the principal songwriter in the band. When asked about the forthcoming album he states that ‘most of the stuff on the album I wrotemost of the stuff on the album I wrote’ and adds ‘But Kate wrote 3 of the 12 songs outright and we’ve been collaborating more than ever before.’Kate says that they’re definitely part of the DIY ethic. Things have evolved and they are very much a band. Rose comments that ’What we start off with is often not what we end up with.’ ‘You Only Went Out To get Drunk Last Night’ started out as a vocal riff, for example.

The band are clear that they didn’t want the album to be largely made up of songs that had appeared across the earlier singles releases. ‘We’d be ripping off people who’d bought them before,’ says Dave, firmly. So although their excellent call to arms ‘SmasH hits’ does make an appearance, songs like ‘I Don’t have The Heart For This’ and ‘Second Time Around’ -the latter also appearing on the Limbo Live compilation, which compiled bands who’d appeared at the legendary Edinburgh Indie night -are not there. So while you’re waiting for the album -and I’ve heard it, and it’s awesome! -make sure you gets your hands on the singles which are still available digitally. One of the best songs of theirs that’s been relegated to a b-side is ‘Teenage Fanclub Song’ the b-side to the ‘Couldn’t Dance’ single. ’What You Do To Me’ from 1991’s Bandwagonesque had a big impact on Dave. They are also keen to state the importance of The Fire Engines.

Speaking of singles, the band would love to be involved in putting out singles on that most maligned of formats, the cassette single. ‘We like tactile releases,’ announces Rose. ‘The artwork doesn’t work in electronic formats.’

Having played the album several time since it arrived subsequent to our meeting, it deserves to be a breakthrough for them. They’ve been supported by the likes of Vic Galloway and this record deserves to break them through to a wider audience. They’re all still doing day jobs. They’re oddly shy about revealing their day jobs -until I point out that I’ve been a door to door salesman, an RE teacher and a call centre worker. David’s a Geologist, Rose works as an engineering scheduler, Kate runs a website and Scott is a trainee Solicitor. Hopefully it will be time for them to give up the day jobs soon.

‘You Only Went Out To Get Drunk Last Night’ is out now. Shouting At Wildlife will be released on July 5. Both releases on Straight To Video.

To celebrate the release of the album, there will be a special night in Edinburgh at the Roxy Art House on Saturday 3rd of July 2010. This will feature live performances from Kid Canaveral, fellow power pop, Come On Gang! and The Scottish Enlightenment with DJ sets from Cancel The Astronauts and Award Winning Blogger, Peenko.

Kid Canaveral -‘Good Morning.’ mp3

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