The sounds of Christmas

Posted on: 31st December, 2013

Category: Music

Contributor: Kate Brennan Harding

Kate is a DJ and Music Promotor. Please email themeltedlady@gmail.com for any music related topics or band reviews etc.

I am cold and highly caffeinated while writing this column. You don’t need to know this but it’s as good an opening line as any! Let’s avoid all the jingly things and red festivities, instead concentrating on the music you can discover this December. It has been a while since I spoke about emerging talent or what is on our West Cork doorstep.

One new emerging talent is Miss Kate (Kate Stanley Brennan) — I can’t think why I love her name so much! Miss Kate recently played in The Crane Lane and The Everyman ahead of her enormously well received EP launch in Dublin. Some of you may recognize Miss Kate from Carmel Winter’s plays ‘Best Man’ and ‘Witness’, which was part of the West Cork Fit – Up festival.

Speaking with Kate, I congratulated her on her new EP ‘Miss Kate and the Higher State’. It is currently number two in the itunes soul chart, sandwiched neatly between Stevie Wonder and Prince.

Kate didn’t begin her career as a musician; she is from a large acting family and music is another string to her immensely talented bow. I asked her how she got involved with music? She speaks candidly and explains that after dropping out of Trinity, where she was studying drama; she went to New York and became immersed in the gay clubbing scene. Working as a club host she began singing a few tunes, which lead to recording for fun. She knew then that music was her soul food.

Returning to Dublin, after getting offered a part in a play, she says, “acting took over”. All the while she was writing songs in her bedroom. Kate feared making the leap to music, adding it was “terrifying” but she had to do it and it was like “ripping a plaster off”.

I went to see Miss Kate play in The Crane Lane — she is unique in her styling and vocal ability. Attributing her style to New York — she loved the freedom of expression in what people wore there — saying they were like “walking pieces of art”.  It is obvious that Miss Kate is the whole package, voice, and rhythm and highly styled with larger than life colours. A live show which brings you to your feet.

In describing her, I would draw comparison with The Brand New Heavies, Erykah Badu, and Amy Winehouse. Miss Kate describes herself as “funk and soul with catchy pop riffs”. Miss Kate is one major rising star — check her out on www.misskateofficial.com.

I have been shouting from the rooftops about various talents over the past year. So it is with great excitement I can now shout about a very delightful local band — ‘One Horse Pony’. They play infectious acoustic blues and on November 29 they will release a debut album ‘Blue when I go’ in the Crane Lane. Go and support them if you are heading to the city. I will be featuring them in my next article.

December in West Cork is always lovely, the community spirit gets in full swing and people re-emerge from hibernation for some much needed fun. De Barra’s hosts three gigs I feel are unmissable — Jake Clemons of E street band fame brings his solo tour to Clonakilty on December 8. Fred play their last ever gig down West on December 13 and Christine Deady brings her fairy like voice there on December 15.

If you are a Woman who likes Women I am running a costume ball called Dangerous Liaisons in The Maritime in Bantry on December 7. Email me for all information.

 

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