5 Minutes With This Is The Kit

Following the release of latest LP, ''Off Off On'', back in 2020 - indie-folk favourites This Is The Kit head out on a run of shows that includes a huge headline performance at London's Royal Albert Hall, as well as intimate shows across the country.

We caught up with the genius behind the This Is The Kit alias, Kate Stables, to talk touring, pre-and-post-show rituals and more!

Firstly you’re heading out on tour across March – how does it feel to be preparing to be back on the road?

It feels great. I can't wait to do some gigs again and be in a room with people and get to play music with the band. It is pretty much the main the reason I do this job, so to be able to get back out and do it is so important to me.

Do you have any particular traditions when touring or things you like to do before/after shows?

Before shows I love it if I can get a swim in. Rozi and I are always on the look out for public pools in each town we play. Public pools and public libraries! So if there's time then that really makes a big difference before a gig, especially after being crumpled up in a car or van all day. After the show; winding cables! I find it so calming because I'm not really ready to socialise straight away, so I just love winding up cables and packing my stuff away ready for load out. By the time I've finished that I'm usually ready to hang out with people and socialise - just in time for security to shove everyone out of the venue.

As part of the tour you’re playing the prestigious Royal Albert Hall – that must be pretty surreal?

Highly surreal! Makes me feel a bit like John Otway! I think it's going to be really great and kind of a celebration after a year of our last album being out and all the time everyone has been through recently. It's going to feel great to be with everyone and just have a big Royal Albert hall party!

But then again you are also playing some intimate shows such as Nottingham Glee Club and The Fire Station in Sunderland – will you be preparing differently for these shows?

Yes a bit differently. There'll be a smaller band for the smaller venues, but we'll be just as chuffed to be with everyone and have a bit of a party and I'm mega excited as for four of the shows (Nottingham, Sunderland, Ipswich and Sandwich) we'll be joined by French celebrity chansonnier Mathieu Boogaerts. I love what he does so much and I can't believe he said yes to doing these shows! He's so brilliant live and very rarely plays in the UK. It's going to be amazing!

Your latest album, ‘Off Off On’, was released at the back end of 2020 – does it feel like a long time from your point of view or that the past couple of years have flown by?

Yes! That classic thing of it feeling like both I reckon. The elasticity and Mercurial nature of time! It feels very recent because we've not toured it as much as we normally would have, but it feels like a lot of life and change has happened since it came out. The world feels like quite a different place now.

I guess that fans have had time to digest the record since its release and be familiar with the tracks from it – will you be using this to your advantage and adding several of these songs to the setlist?

Oh yes we'll definitely be playing songs off of 'Off Off On' - that's what we made the album for! To do gigs and play the songs for people!

From catching you at various festivals over the years, your live set seems pretty free flowing – do you think that this is the best way to approach performing?

Yes the set can be pretty free flowing - especially at festivals. But there's so many band members involved in these March shows (the Royal Albert Hall one especially) that I need to make sure I stick to the plan a bit ha ha! It would not be fair on everyone else to change the set list mid gig!

What else can we expect from This Is The Kit across 2022?

Well, I'm in the middle of writing a new album at the moment, so at some point that will start poking it's nose over the parapet. And there's some nice projects and collaborations I've been getting involved with so they'll be appearing soon too. Keep your eyes and ears peeled pals.

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Hey - I'm Callum. Fan of The National, collector of vinyl, season ticket holder at Leeds United, owner of Dougal the cat.

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