Including dates in Portsmouth & Southampton


Nottingham trio Kagoule are pleased to reveal their forthcoming second LP, Strange Entertainment, which is set for release this October on Alcopop! Records.

With some time away from the spotlight to consolidate their early achievements and think about the direction they were heading after parting ways with their previous label, Strange Entertainment sees the band finally spinning together their disparate influences into a record that attempts to capture the sum of their parts, and is very much a statement of where Kagoule are pleased to find themselves artistically now theyíre at the helm of their own destiny.

ìWe always felt this pressure early on to decide what type of band we were going to be and this record is an exercise in our self-confidence as a band by being all of them at once,î comments front man Cai Burns. ìWe think weíve written an album that doesnít have a direct comparison in guitar music. Lyrically, I think this album is much more mature. Iíve found myself writing songs as a healing process for certain events or to capture moments that I donít want to forget. I still mask them in fantasy for the fun of it but the topics of each song are more personal and the lyrics far more direct.î


Completed by bassist Lucy Hatter and drummer Lawrence English, the band are disarmingly relaxed about their success to date. Previously sequestered in Nottingham and for the most part unaware of the growing buzz around the band, following the critical plaudits and acclaim heaped on their 2015 debut Urth, Kagoule were wholeheartedly adopted by the flourishing Brighton rock scene. However, the trio found themselves wary of being consumed by it entirely, keeping their distance and taking from it what they felt the band needed to grow.

“We were all very young and I think we allowed ourselves to be mollycoddled a bit too much. It took a few years for us to realise we had to take control of it for ourselves,î continues Burns. ìUrth was very much an ode to grunge I think. Although I maybe didnít realise at the time, when I listen back the early 90ís influences are plastered all over it. Since then weíve branched out on what we listen to and a huge amount of different influences have crept in. With the guitar playing, I wanted to take it more into the post-punk world. The bass lines are groovier and the drumming is just straight up weird.”

New album Strange Entertainment was produced by MJ Hookworms and mixed by Tarek Musa from Spring King in two separate sessions ìbecause we ran out of moneyî, admits Burns in typically honest fashion. “Working with MJ was great. He understood where we were coming from and instantly knew we didnít want to be balls-out rock music – he put forward some great ideas for the songs and his input made a big difference to the record.”

It took the band another year or so to scrape together funds for Musaís mixing sessions, but Burns insists the results were worth the wait, “Tarek did an amazing job working with something he hadn’t recorded himself. We’d recently been on tour with Spring King so I think that really helped him know what to do with it sonically.”

In a time where Burns himself admits that heís unsure as to whether the political climate has been good for music or not, the album is indicative of a pervading sense of lack of direction and unease among the younger generation. “Great creativity is part of trying to make change,” he says, “but I can’t see anyone trying that hard to change anything. I think a lot of people are feeling lost and the youth especially are struggling to see a future for themselves.”

Taking musical cues from the likes of American composer and polymath Arthur Russell, and drawing influence from science-fiction and fantasy storytelling for his lyrics, Burns says that the new album is a celebration of trying to achieve something fully realised and artistically ambitious on a shoestring budget. Written on a single acoustic guitar, demoed on GarageBand, and worked up by the band to the finished studio product, Strange Entertainment is a very modern record with a thoroughly classic mindset.

“I wanted to write songs that stood up for themselves in the most simple of forms,” Burns expands on the process. “I think thereís something beautiful about restrictions in music, and I’ll always prefer a lo-fi attempt at a big idea. When I’m not playing with Kagoule I tend to play folk music; Bert Jansch, John Fahey, that kind of thing. Strangely enough a lot of that folk guitar seeps into Kagoule riffs but I don’t think it’s too noticeable.”

As with the faltering first steps of any new band, the last few years have been a whirlwind of strange new experiences for Kagoule, but with the advent of Strange Entertainment we find a band who are finally feeling as though theyíve come into their own with a new sense of purpose, and a sharpened focus on exactly what makes them tick.

Whether it was playing after The Dandy Warhols at a festival on a tiny island by the sea in Norway; appearing at Glastonbury; being attacked by a gang of quad bikers on the motorway; sharing stages with Johnny Marr, The Wytches, Iceage, METZ, Sebadoh and Drenge; or achieving acclaim from Rolling Stone, NME, Guardian, BBC 6Music, and BBC Radio 1, itís all been a steep learning curve, but a thoroughly enjoyably wild ride.

“Being in a band is full of those crazy moments,” reflects Burns on their journey so far. “The band is all we know! We’ve done it for so long now, I couldnít imagine not being in it. Itís like a second family and I think nothing can break that.” The band head out on a 10 date UK tour starting on 31st October.

Strange Entertainment 2018 Tour Dates
Oct 31st – Leeds – Wharf Chambers
Nov 01st – Manchester – The Eagle Inn
Nov 02nd – Liverpool – EBGB’s
Nov 03rd – Nottingham – Rescue Rooms
Nov 07th – Margate – Tom Thumb Theatre
Nov 08th – Brighton – Prince Albert
Nov 09th – Portsmouth – The Loft
Nov 10th – Southampton – Heartbreakers
Nov 11th – Bristol – Rough Trade
Nov 19th – London – Moth Club

Tickets on sale now from here.

Kagoule are
Cai Burns ñ guitar/vocals
Lucy Hatter ñ bass/vocals
Lawrence English – drums


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