Interview With Radie Peat / Quiet Lights Festival

tweety stuff @ronanfromcork

This was first published in The Evening Echo [Cork] on 2018-8-9,

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While all the acts playing the Quiet Lights Festival are established and have played Cork many times, the collaboration concert between Katie Kim and Radie Peat will only be the second time they have performed as a duo. Their debut concert was in April of this year as part of the Musictown Festival in Dublin.

The idea of the two playing together was first mooted by Jonathan Pearson, the organiser of the Quiet Lights festival, Radie Peat was delighted he got the ball rolling, “I’ve been a fan of Katie’s music for years, long before I met her and became friends, I’d found her music on the internet and got obsessed with it. It’s been really exciting for me to get to work with her, but I probably wouldn’t have thought of it myself. It was cool to hear that Jonathan thought it could work, then for Katie to think it could work and then I was thinking ‘jaysis, maybe it could work!’ We originally approached it as a one-off event, it was supposed to be a few songs together and then a few things on our own but we ended up getting very excited and put together a whole programme of new material together. It was so exhilarating that doing it just once seemed like a bad idea.”

Best known for her singing and concertina playing with the folk quartet Lankum, Radie has noticed some differences with working with Katie, primarily known for her ethereal composition and use of both acoustic and electric instrumentation, “Lankum is an equal part collaboration between the four of us, so it wasn’t a huge jump to work in equal collaboration with Katie, but what did stand out was that Katie and I are from two different musical worlds. There is crossover though but it’s hard to put your finger on, there was no obvious musical thing to do so the challenge was to thread two seemingly separate musical strands together.”

Another element that had to be dealt with was a more vocal one, as Radie continued, “working with another female artist was different for me, as when I’m working with the lads in Lankum I’d be using certain elements of my voice whereas with Katie I was using different areas. I was using much higher and much lower parts as we both were working in the same range. I was so surprised when we did get together, considering how different the music we make is, that when we sat down and started we had very similar ideas of what we wanted to sound like. We both really liked the songs the other person was bringing to the table, from the preliminary stages onwards I was excited about it. It was madly easy to do in a way to make it sound like we wanted to, and I think that’s a testament to Katie’s musicianship as that wouldn’t happen in every collaboration, sometimes it’s more of a struggle.”

In that spirit of trying new ideas, they have been revisiting material and using different instruments, “there’s a few things different with what we do, so if you’ve just seen me in Lankum, or Katie Kim play, it’s bit of a departure. Some of her songs are there but reimagined, there are some songs from other contemporary artists and some folk songs. Instrumentation wise, it’s different for me as I don’t play any concertina and I play a lot of guitar.”

Radie reckons this will remain a live project for the next while, “it’s a bit early stages to be talking about recording an album, I’d love to document the gig somehow, but if you think about it as a band we’ve only done one gig! We are full time musicians and have our separate careers, we’re at the part where we are really excited and we just want to play it for people. At that first gig by the time we were ready we were nervous about what people would make of it, as no-one had got to hear it before we performed it, we didn’t do any test audiences or anything. We are still like that, to be able to perform it for people in a live setting, it’s just good fun.”

Radie Peat & Katie Kim play The Chapel at Griffith College, Wellington Road on Sunday 9 September. More information and tickets details can be found at www.quietlights.net

 

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