Following on from my feature(s) of Naymedici over this month issue and lasts, another band bridging the gap between Ireland and Manchester is King Kartel. The roots of this band are founded in a group I was familiar with a saw a number of times several years ago: The Genuine Articles. However, according to singer Hugh, King Kartel are the testosterone-fuelled adolescence to TGA's prepubescent tween years and coming off as the bastard spawn of The Libertines and The View, it's easy to see why. These tracks are sharper, more mature yet still bubble with the same youthful optimisitc romance that endeared me to The Genuine Articles so much.
the most interesting thing about King Kartel, is that that there
sound isn't inherently Manchester, in fact, without Hugh's accent, it
wouldn't be possible to pin them down to any location, such is the
universality of the band's music. Guitar's jangle as much as they
crunch, sometimes within the same song, blending together elements of
garage rock and indie-pop in to irresistible and energetic harmonies
that are impossible to ignore.
the band might not be inherently Manchester, they're certainly
inherently indie. Track's with name's such as 'How'd He Ever Pull
That?' couldn't be from any other genre, meeting and exceeding
expectations with reckless abandon. There's a frantic and almost
discordant tenacity at play within the band's more up-tempo songs and
it certainly seems to be where they excel themselves. That shouldn't
detract from their slower tracks; 'Artillery' is an indie club anthem
in the making, though more akin to the likes of Two Door Cinema Club
than earlier comparisons.
already seen airtime on the likes of BBC ATL, it's clear that band
are starting to get noticed, and well they should. It's music without
frills, music the way it should be played. Destined for the fields
and stages of the festival circuit, it's perfect for a cider and a
summer evening and while it isn't specifically doing anything to
break any boundaries, it doesn't need to; records of this calibre are
a testament to themselves and a testament to the work that the band's
that release them put in. Seeing King Kartel progress and mature from
the youthful and rough Genuine Articles in to the fully realised
entity they are today has been an absolute joy and hopefully soon
they'll find themselves playing the stages they fully deserve to.
What do you think it is about Manchester that makes it such the
hot bed for young talent that it is?
Its history probably. Music and Manchester go hand in hand.
There's a kind of guttural romance to Manchester that lends
itself so well to the bands that it produces but what do you think it
is about the city that has such an established cultural appeal
outside of its music scene?
Apart from the weather? If not I think it
must be the beach in Castlefield.
I was familiar with your previous band
The Genuine Articles, how do you think King Kartel differ from them?
TGA would have been like the early stages of
puberty for us as a band. King Kartel would be when your balls drop,
so yeah there’s a pretty big difference.
Obviously you're a band with roots in
both Newry and Manchester, how does that impact on your fan-base? Do
you think it gives you more of a universal appeal rather than just
falling in to the category of “Just another Manc indie band”?
It could do. As only one of us is from
Manchester, we had to work hard to build a following as we couldn’t
get all our friends, aunties, uncles and cousins down to tell us
we’re good. Some of our accents aren’t very manc sounding also.
You've just finished recording an EP,
what can we expect from that and when is it out?
Yeah we’ve been sitting on it over a month
now. It’s not out until October 14th.
One of the tracks got played and featured on BBC ATL within two days
of being uploaded. We normally get the ‘your track has been
listened to’ email, then fuck all else. So we’ll take that as a
A question I ask all bands now. You've
obviously played your fair share of gigs and presumably drank more
than your fair share of free beer. What would be in your ideal rider,
Unlimited supplies of beer, whisky and
vodka, and Jessica Alba or Michelle Keegan to do all the pouring for
us, in as little clothes as possible.
You've also obviously shared stages with
some of Manchester's most up-and-coming bands/artists. Care to plug
some of your favourites?
There’s quite a few good bands about but
the ones we go to see again and again are Naymedici and Sam Haine &
Following on from that, Manchester is a
city full of venues, which has been your favourite, both to play and
to see a band at?
The Ruby Lounge is probably our favourite
venue. The setup is class, the sound systems class the guys who run
it are 110%! Scott, Jay and the staff are brilliant and up for a
laugh. We’ve played some great gigs in there.
There's clearly a wide variety of
influences at play within your music, both old and new, care to list
some of your biggest influences?
The Beatles, The Stone Roses, Oasis, Arctic
Monkeys & The Fratellis. We’re also big fans of The Vaccines,
The Courteeners & Jake Bugg too.
Finally, any live dates or single
releases you want to take the time to let us know about?
EP is out 14th
October. Then the tour kicks off in Manchester, we play the Kraak
Gallery on Saturday 26th
of October. All other dates will be put up on facebook and the
website for anyone outside of Manchester including: London, Glasgow,
Liverpool, Leeds, Newry, Dublin and maybe Cork.
This article was originally written for U&I Music Magazine. Click here to see what else we've been up to.