Kitty Daisy & Lewis live @ The Zoo, 13.12.09
Say what you like about rockabilly. It’s always been fucking great live music.
Family outfit Kitty Daisy & Lewis absolutely rocked the joint the other night. I’ve been a fan since their debut single, 2005’s Moon Mullican cover, ‘Honolulu Rock And Roll’ – and they sure didn’t disappoint. My feet are still sore and cracked from dancing five days later. The three siblings took on the front roles, switching round on harmonies and lead vocals and all manner of vintage 40s and 50s instruments and stripped-back drums, while mum and dad play guitar and bass around the back. (Actually, one could argue I’ve been a fan since I first saw mum Ingrid play drums with The Raincoats in the early 80s… but that might be stretching a point. As it is, she slaps a fine double-bass.) There were a handful of ska numbers mid-set with a wildly enthusiastic Jamaican trumpeter that sounded gloriously a semitone off – something quickly rectified by a sharp Lewis – and much whooping and call-and-response and old-fashioned ‘billy drumming.
“Fuck, it’s hot up here,” stated Lewis at one point, resplendent in wide-shouldered Zoot Suit. “I’m sweating like a pedophile in a playground.” You should come back in a few months when it’s summer, mate.
The two girls were equally sensational: focused, steady-eyed and sharper than a well-sharpened switchblade. The opening number was a sweet a cappella harmony, the second number was the B-side of second single, the Louis Jordan cover ‘Ooo Wee’ and – man – the beat didn’t slacken for a second after that. I would’ve gone backstage and attempted to renew my acquaintance with Ingrid but… damn it, I was way too much in awe.
One of my former music blog class students summed it up well: Daisy took my breath away, I kid you not. This is one of the most dedicated, driven, music loving drummers I have ever witnessed. She uses the force and strength of her entire body to slap, hammer and pound absolute, amazing beats. I could not stop watching her; an English girl in indoor 30 degree Australian heat who didn’t falter once.